- Clean and Elegant Design
- Big Display, like at 16.1" Big
- Quite a Generous amount of ports to get users going
- Lovely Performance and experience overall
- AMD Ryzen 4600H is a pleasant surprise in a laptop like this
- Competitively Priced against major players
- The Keyboard and Trackpad requires improvement
- Webcam could have been positioned on top of the display
We have reviewed Huawei laptops in the past, some we love and some we didn’t but their sister brand, HONOR also makes laptops – and while the resemblance maybe uncanny, what I did love is how they were a value for money. Literally every HONOR MagicBook announced from the start has sold out. That said, the MagicBook lineup now extends with a Pro variant. Sadly, we never got to review the previous generations, but I am glad we had the “HONOR” (Pun intended) to review the Pro – here’s what we feel about this laptop.
Look and Feel
The laptop has a similar look to the Magicbook we saw a while back and it has a very angular finish. On the back you will notice that the laptop touts the off-centered HONOR logo and has an exceptionally clean finish which is perfectly beautiful. Once you open the laptop, there are certain design cues that would tick the laptop getting inspiration from the Cupertino brand, but hey – that’s okay. It has the Space Grey tone which I am definitely in love with and the design is rather finetuned. Gone are the Blue highlights which you’d see at the chamfered areas to give it a more honor vibe. Now its just a simple and clean looking laptop overall.
The feel of the laptop – the moment you touch and carry it around, you will notice that it has a premium feel to it and what it seems to be constructed out of part metal and part polycarbonate. But its well put together with very minimal keyboard flex and not to forget – a good hinge that does justice.
Specification and Performance
The previous Magicbook we have seen, all ran based on the AMD Ryzen Processor and it was using a little dated ones but well, what do you know – the MagicBook Pro carries the latest 4000 Series Renoir AMD Ryzen series.
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor, 6 Cores 12 Threads
- AMD Radeon Vega Discrete GPU
- 16GB Dual Channel DDR4
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
What came as a surprise is that the laptop doesn’t use a toned down U Series processor but instead uses the decked out H Processor, that also means that the performance is a lot superior than you’d expect (case in point: the Acer Swift 3 we reviewed has a Ryzen 5 U Series processor). That said, other part of the specification is quite alright, and I am glad they did go for a 16GB Dual Channel RAM which fits everyone’s day-to-day needs.
As for the ports, we have a good selection: On the left, we have a USB-C, HDMI and Full Size USB-A and on the other side, the laptop has another two USB-A and a Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack. In order to charge the laptop, it comes with a 65W USB-C Charger to power it on.
Starting off with the Cinebench R20 Benchmark to show how capable this processor is – it literally slam dunks with a whopping score of 3046 points in the Multicore and 452 points in the single core performance – making it a very capable machine for CPU intensive tasks. In V-RAY, the laptop scored about 8 118 ksamples which is impressive too. Finally, we have the infamous BMW Blender Render which the laptop managed to finish within 5 minutes and that’s very impressive. A good CPU is very essential for a laptop or given any CPU and say if this was a Team Blue processor running under the hood, chances are the scores are far behind as they still use an older architecture despite the higher clock count. But its no doubt that the AMD 4000 Series can put up a good show and get your work as smooth as possible.
We benchmarked the SSD found in the laptop and HONOR if you are reading this – for the love of god, stop partitioning your SSD, its annoying and unnecessary. The performance from the SSD is pretty impressive with a Sequential Read Speeds of 3415 MB/s and Write Speeds of 2713MB/s, respectively.
Finally, we did the PCMARK and 3DMARK benchmark to give an idea of how well it performs under different circumstances. Its not a gaming laptop but throw some titles like Overwatch and set the configuration to Low, you should be able to play some decent games. Do take note that the laptop doesn’t have a High Refresh Rate, so, witness tearing is normal.
The thermals on the laptop run surprisingly quiet and during our time – the laptop does hit a peak 97 degrees, but it does an alright thermal management to keep it below the 90-degree mark. When stress testing, it’s obvious the laptop does run hotter but for the most use case scenarios, the peak temperature isn’t something you’d face on a day-to-day basis. When its in idle, the laptop is cool, coming around 47 degrees, respectively.
The laptop houses a 16.1” FHD Display in a 16:9 aspect ratio which is really nice to look and use – thanks to the anti-glare coating, you can use the laptop under harsh lighting and get some work done. The colors look quite okay and what I do like is how thin the bezels are, giving a very immersive experience for users. If you are watching shows from Prime Video or Netflix, the display looks great. I was watching Ratched from Netflix and Grand Tour from Prime, it was really a nice display to use. Viewing angles are good as its an IPS Panel.
Keyboard, Trackpad and Speaker
The keyboard is exactly the same as we have seen with the Matebook X Pro from Huawei and it’s the exact same from the MagicBook with a chiclet style keyboard and personally, I have a love hate relation towards the keyboard. While it may seem like a nice keyboard to type on with the backlit especially at night or darker environment, the keyboard does leave an uncomfortable experience overall. But the layout of the keyboard makes up for the typing experience as every key is sized right and it doesn’t feel odd. The arrow keys require little bit of work to use as the up and down keys are technically fused together.
The trackpad on the MagicBook Pro is decently sized and does work very well. Thanks to Windows precision drivers, you can even perform gestures very easily and take control of things. The left and right button has a nice satisfying click to it and the palm rejection while typing works surprisingly better. Sometimes it does have a hiccup where when you use one finger to move the cursor and the other finger to click the left button, the cursor skips. This can be fixed with an update.
The speakers are located at the sides of the keyboard and it’s pretty obvious – with the black accents. It uses Nahimic Drivers to take advantage of the sound standing and sort. With that said, it has a nice experience overall with good sound experience – we tried Alone with You by Lolo Zouai and it has a very subtle experience. Its definitely not the loudest speaker but it suffices for a good music listening experience and maybe a little bit of Netflix.
This was a bit odd because the camera on this laptop is on the keyboard and its one of those pop-up kinds and I was curious because there is enough space on the top to put the camera and add a privacy shutter to close the camera. They could have just done that and since the camera is at the bottom, you don’t get IR Windows Hello.
There is a fingerprint sensor which doubles as the power button and it works simply fine.
When I tried the MagicBook for a short while, I share the same sentiment with the MagicBook Pro – there’s nothing, well – maybe for the keyboard but except that, I really love what I see here. Coming from a brand that has solely focused on smartphones and IoTs for the longest period of time, getting a laptop and getting it right in the first try is what made me get surprised. They could ditch the shorter travel keyboard for a better chiclet style keyboard and if they were to do that, Honor might just have the perfect laptop one could ask for.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s almost there and for the asking price of – wait for 6th October, you’ll be surprised – I can recommend this laptop wholeheartedly.
Special Thanks to HONOR Malaysia for gracing us with the MagicBook Pro for review and for making this content happen.