Back at IFA 2020, Honor announced a number of new products in its MagicBook laptop line. The range blurs the lines between premium features and lower prices and offers a slim design and powerful hardware for less than 900 euros. The Honor MagicBook Pro carries the flashlight at the upper end of the range.
We have had the Honor MagicBook Pro in the house for the last week and use it as my daily workstation during this time. Let’s find out what this laptop has to offer and whether it is worth buying. This is Android Authority Honor MagicBook Pro review
See more: The best laptops at IFA 2020
About this review: I used the Honor MagicBook as my main work laptop for a week. The verification unit was supplied by Honor.
Honor MagicBook Pro
An affordable powerhouse laptop from Honor that beats the competition. With a decent display and excellent processing hardware, the Honor MagicBook Pro offers an excellent price-performance ratio.
What is the Honor MagicBook Pro?
There are no fancy 4G or 5G connectivity, Windows on Arm processors or gimmicks here. The Honor MagicBook Pro simply aims to deliver the typical high-end laptop experience while undercutting the competition in terms of price. The resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Pro nickname is no coincidence, after all. However, Honor’s € 900 offer costs a third of the price.
Honor starts the premium angle with an aluminum chassis in a slim form factor. The MagicBook Pro measures approx. 1.6 cm when closed. The company claims this 16-inch laptop has the profile of a 15.6-inch device, but the weight of 1.7 kg breaks that illusion. The laptop is quite difficult to carry around.
A fingerprint scanner is integrated in the power switch, which is located on the far right above the two front-facing speakers. The 65 W fast charging, the cooling with two fans and two heat pipes as well as the cooperation with multiple screens for owners of Honor and Huawei smartphones round off the range of functions that is definitely above your average laptop.
The next thing on our Honor MagicBook Pro test is the display. At 16.1 inches, the panel is a real workhorse. You won’t run out of space to multitask with multiple windows. The matte finish ensures minimal glare and wide viewing angles, but that’s where the awards end.
1080p is good enough at this size, but 1440p and a refresh rate above 60Hz would be better for a really top-notch product. But I guess we can’t have it all for that price. The display is limited to just 300 nits of brightness, which flirts with the limits of visibility in bright outdoor environments. There’s also a 100% sRGB color space that looks great, but is more limited than the DCI-P3 or AdobeRBG options that creative types rely on.
Overall, the display is very nice to look at. It offers enough quality for most use cases and a large size considering how slim the design is. But it’s not a media creator’s best option. These small compromises make it clear that the Honor MagicBook Pro is not quite the premium product that the name would like to imply.
Keyboard and connectors
A good quality keyboard is at the heart of every laptop, and I really like it. The key profile is quite low for fast travel times, but offers enough feedback to reassure demanding typists. I’m definitely not worried about the keys sticking. The touchpad is not so nice due to the cumbersome integrated mouse buttons. Even so, the buttons are forgiving and the trackpad is big enough to bypass applications.
Honor’s keyboard includes a tiny embedded webcam at the top, which is closed by default for security reasons. It’s a good idea on paper, but not that great in reality. The tiny size of the camera makes for good video quality, but background blooming can be an issue. The real problem, however, is its location. Your hands inevitably block the camera while typing, and the low angle is not very flattering. I have never been more confident about nostril care.
The laptop has three USB-A ports (two on the right, one on the left), a single USB-C port, HDMI 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The USB-C port doubles for data and power and can also quickly charge the laptop via USB Power Delivery. A memory card reader or a second USB-C port would have been nice, but Honor has you covered here for most use cases.
Power and battery
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H chipset, the Honor MagicBook Pro is a powerful workhorse. Six CPU cores with 12 threads, 16 GB of fast DDR4 RAM and a 512 GB SSD make multitasking and more demanding workloads child’s play. Although some find the lack of memory configurations somewhat limited. During the week I worked on the Honor MagicBook Pro review, I didn’t notice any stutters or pauses, even after loading multiple web tabs, editing pictures, and watching videos at the same time. It is a very difficult task like video encoding to identify poor performance.
While integrated graphics tend to get a bad rap, the 6-core Radeon RX Vega 6 graphics chip in the 4600H is powerful enough for some midsize games. GTA V runs at 1920×1080 without a hitch, so you’re more than safe for MOBAs and other less demanding games. Still, the frame rates will have to contend with more modern, more demanding titles. Integrated graphics can only do so much.
Speaking of demanding applications, the cooling system is pretty good too. The bottom ventilation fans only kick in when you have a very heavy workload and even then they are reasonably quiet. The only downside to this floor-mounted design is that the laptop will get a little warm on your lap with nowhere for the warm air to go.
The AMD 4600H does a good job of balancing high performance with battery life. I made it through writing and emailing regularly over a full working day. Battery life, however, struggled with a morning of intense photo editing that drained in less than four hours. Games and large downloads reduce the running time by hours. The laptop could definitely use a larger battery to ensure a full day for more demanding work.
What I like about the Honor MagicBook Pro
- Great performance, even for light games.
- Good build quality with a solid aluminum housing.
- Nice keyboard.
And what I don’t like
- Quite heavy for an otherwise slim laptop.
- The display could be better at this price.
- The battery life is good, but it may not last a full working day.
- Afraid of nostril hairs during zoom meetings.
See the MagicBook Pro specifications
|Honor MagicBook Pro||Technical specifications|
|display||16.1 inch IPS panel|
Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)
Aspect ratio 16: 9
|Chipset||AMD Ryzen 5 4600H|
|Central processor||6 cores, 12 threads|
3.0 GHz (4.0 GHz boost)
|GPU||Radeon RX Vega 6 (integrated)|
|R.A.M.||16 GB DDR4|
|camp||512 GB SSD|
|operating system||Windows 10 Home|
Honor MagicBook Pro Review: Should You Buy It?
The Honor MagicBook Pro does a lot right, especially when it comes to performance and design. The small compromises are very easy to overlook at this price. It’s an excellent all-rounder. However, the laptop market is highly competitive. There are other great options to rival Honor’s £ 899 / £ 999 price point if you’re looking for something more specific.
Customers looking for a sharper display and a lighter design should consider the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, for example. The Asus VivoBook S15 is also a slightly cheaper 15-inch option. Those looking for even more performance and gaming should consider the Dell G5 15 or the Asus ZenBook 14 if they can afford a little more money. However, for an all-purpose laptop, the MagicBook Pro is a solid option.
£ 849 .99
Honor MagicBook Pro
save up £ 150 each .00
Buy It Now
Currently, the Honor MagicBook Pro is available with one € 100 / £ 150 off, so it can be yours for € 799.90 / £ 849.99. UK customers can also purchase one of three free packages. The options are a free Honor MagicWatch 2, Router 3 and the original MagicWatch or a Router 3 and Honor Magic Earbuds. That’s quite a bargain that flips the value pin in honor of Honor.