Honor MagicBook 14 (late 2020) assessment
The Black Friday gross sales season is right here! The costs proven above are the most effective obtainable now, although you could want to purchase rapidly as some offers will promote out.
Honor has up to date its MagicBook 14 and 15 – solely launched within the UK a scant six or so months in the past – with quicker Ryzen 4000-series processors for a welcome spec increase. Not a lot else has modified, however given the standard of the unique MagicBook, that’s actually no dangerous factor.
The massive query is basically whether or not the late 2020 MagicBook 14 is definitely worth the value hike that comes with the quicker processor, or whether or not that ideas it over the sting and away from being our prime mid-range laptop computer advice.
Design and construct
The chassis of the MagicBook 14 stays unchanged from the earlier mannequin. What you’re primarily getting is a laptop computer that’s undeniably a mid-ranger, however is about as slick, polished, and moveable as you’re going to get with out leaping as much as a flagship pocket book.
At 15.9mm thick it’s a fairly slim gadget, although not so skinny that it could’t slot in two USB-A ports (one 2.zero, one three.2), USB-C (for charging), HDMI, and a headphone jack.
Weighing 1.38kg it’s additionally pretty moveable, particularly for a 14in laptop computer. Certain, it’s not in that sub-1kg area the place a laptop computer begins to really feel weightless, but it surely’s comfortably mild sufficient that you just gained’t do your again in lugging it round all day. Mixed with the aluminium construct, that little bit of weight it does have additionally helps it really feel reassuringly stable and durable.
Within the UK the one color obtainable is Area Gray, which comes with my favorite MagicBook contact: a barely noticeable blue chamfered edge across the lid. It’s simply sufficient to catch the sunshine now and again for a hanging impact, however not so in-your-face that it ever appears garish or flashy.
In case the identify doesn’t give it away, the MagicBook 14 has a 14in panel – although there’s additionally a bigger 15in mannequin for a similar value, so you possibly can actually simply decide which dimension you like.
The panel is IPS LCD, with an HD decision of 1920×1080. That’s actually nothing particular, however at this value it will be unfair to anticipate OLED or a 4K decision – although I wouldn’t thoughts the choice for a touchscreen, sadly not obtainable right here.
So this isn’t a world-beating show, but it surely’s crisp and vibrant sufficient for day-to-day use, mild work, and watching Netflix. With 63% sRGB protection and 47% AdobeRGB & DCI-P3 (examined utilizing a SpyderX Elite sensor) this gained’t do for critical artistic work, however then it’s actually not supposed to.
Peak brightness can also be restricted – I solely hit 220 nits in my testing – however because the end is matt slightly than shiny, this isn’t actually a difficulty, and also you shouldn’t have to fret about glare besides in extraordinarily vibrant direct mild. Throw in sturdy viewing angles and slim bezels (admittedly with a plastic border, slightly than the metallic of the remainder of the construct) and the show is a really stable package deal all spherical.
Keyboard and trackpad
That is actually a story of two components. The MagicBook 14’s keyboard is just about a slam-dunk. It has quick journey, but it surely’s full-size, backlit, and each fast & snug to kind on. There’s actually not an enormous quantity between this and the most effective laptop computer keyboards round, and I’d be shocked in case you discovered a greater keyboard wherever close to this value.
As for the trackpad…it’s not dangerous, per se. Nevertheless it’s positively a weak spot. Constructed from plastic, slightly than the extra premium glass, it’s received the sticky, frictional really feel of most inexpensive plastic touchpads. It’s a very good dimension although, and works completely properly. You gained’t hate it, but it surely’s one of many few cues that provides away that the MagicBook 14 continues to be a little bit of a finances purchase.
Past the keyboard and trackpad, you’ll discover a fingerprint sensor embedded into the ability button, simply offset from the keys. That is pretty quick and dependable, although you’ll most likely need to re-scan your fingerprint now and again.
Nonetheless, that’s more likely to be your most well-liked biometric possibility, as whereas there’s a webcam it’s not set as much as be handy for Home windows Hey login. Like on all Huawei and Honor laptops, the 720p webcam is discovered hidden inside a faux key within the Operate row. That is nice for safety and privateness – it is bodily blocked from view – however the apparent draw back is the least flattering viewing angle recognized to man.
Specs and efficiency
Right here’s the place Honor has given the brand new MagicBook 14 upgrades – some apparent, and a few much less so.
The massive change is the bounce from a Ryzen 5 3500U to the Ryzen 5 4500U. That may not sound like a gamechanger, however there was a big year-over-year efficiency bounce in AMD’s silicon, and it bears out within the benchmarks – this up to date mannequin sees a roughly 50% efficiency increase within the CPU-focused Geekbench 5 and PCMark 10 benchmarks, with extra modest good points within the GPU-intensive 3DMark take a look at.
That’s largely all the way down to the CPU acquire, although Honor has additionally opted for barely quicker 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (up from 2400MHz final time spherical), although it’s nonetheless capped at 8GB. Storage has been given a bump to, leaping as much as 512GB from 256GB earlier than.
The MagicBook 14 at all times punched above its weight when it got here to performance-per-pound, and the bounce to the 4000-series has solely made that extra true. It’s now comfortably in a position to maintain tempo with Intel laptops that value twice as a lot, making this a straightforward advice for anybody who needs a laptop computer in a position to maintain tempo with trendy multi-tasking and productiveness.
Talking of, a phrase of reassurance: the MagicBook 14 ships with Home windows 10 Residence, and it runs precisely the way you anticipate it to.
You’ll have heard that Honor telephones don’t help Google providers, as they’re impacted by the Huawei commerce ban, however the identical doesn’t maintain for his or her laptops, which have full Home windows help. Together with entry to every thing Google.
There’s one further perk to an Honor laptop computer: Magiclink. This tech allows you to faucet a appropriate Honor or Huawei telephone to the Magiclink tag subsequent to the touchpad, after which seamlessly join the telephone to your laptop computer.
As soon as paired you possibly can ship recordsdata backwards and forwards, straight work on telephone recordsdata from the PC, take audio or video calls over the laptop computer, and even convey the telephone show up as a movable window on the pc so as to straight use your telephone from the PC. It’s a really neat software program trick – however after all solely useful in case you additionally personal one of many firm’s telephones.
Battery and charging
Energy administration is one other clear power for Honor. The brand new MagicBook 14 lasted over 13 hours of steady video playback in my testing, which in sensible phrases meant it was additionally completely able to lasting a full work day of Slack, video calls, mild picture enhancing, and sustaining 1,000,000 Chrome tabs directly.
Charging is simply as spectacular. The included 65W USB-C charger (which is compact sufficient to hold round and also will cost most telephones, conveniently) topped the MagicBook 14 up by 44% in simply half an hour, making it among the many quickest charging laptops we’ve ever examined.
Value and availability
The MagicBook 14 is on the market now within the UK, with the up to date 4500U mannequin costing £669 direct from Honor, with a free reward – a mouse, backpack, or headphones – thrown in.
Take care although – Honor sells the older 3500U processor mannequin on the identical web page with out making it clear which is which. In order for you the quicker chipset, be sure you decide the 8GB + 512GB possibility – the model with decrease storage additionally has the slower processor, although in case your wants aren’t too demanding this can be definitely worth the saving regardless, because it’s less expensive at £549.
Equally, it’s the 3500U mannequin that’s at present listed on Amazon and another retailers, so take care and verify the specs earlier than you make your buy.
If you wish to examine the MagicBook 14 to different choices, take a look at our full rating of the most effective laptops we’ve reviewed to see what else is on the market.
The Honor MagicBook 14 as soon as once more represents phenomenal worth, with welcome spec upgrades justifying the modest value hike, and a design that expertly balances aesthetic and sensible issues.
Lighter customers can be simply as proud of the cheaper 3500U mannequin, however the further energy right here will greater than justify the acquisition to energy customers, or to anybody trying to assure sturdy efficiency for years to return.
Honor MagicBook 14 (late 2020): Specs
- 322.5 x 214.eight x 15.9mm
- Area Gray
- 14in IPS FullView show
- 1920 x 1080
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
- Radeon Vega eight Graphics
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB storage
- 56Wh battery (10hr battery life)
- 1x USB-C
- 1x USB 2.zero
- 1x USB three.2
- HDMI out
- three.5mm headphone jack
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.four GHz and 5 GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO
- Bluetooth 5.zero
- Honor MagicLink 2.zero
- 1Mp webcam (720p)
- Fingerprint sensor
- Home windows 10