Honor MagicBook Pro Review in 2021

With a large display, Ryzen 4000 CPU, 16GB RAM. With its many fast connections and a price tag of less than $ 1000, the Honor MagicBook Pro does a lot right. The test shows how much “pro” is actually in the latest Honor notebook.

Instead of charging more than $ 2000 for a “Pro Notebook,” Honor has apparently asked itself the question of how much Pro you can build into a price of less than $1000. The answer is the Honor MagicBook Pro, which could be exactly the right combination for some users despite its weaknesses.

Technical data for Honor MagicBook Pro Review 2021

Display16.1 inch (40.9cm) Full HD IPS anti-reflection in 16: 9 format
resolution1920 x 1080 pixels, 300 nits maximum brightness
processorAMD Ryzen ™ 5 4600H, 6x 3.0 GHz, Turbo up to 4GHz, 11MB cache
graphicAMD Radeon ™ Graphics (500MB VRAM)
random access memory16GB DDR4 2666MHz (firmly soldered)
hard disk256 / 512GB PCIE NVME SSD
networkBluetooth 5.0
WLAN: 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 2X2
connections3x USB-A (3.2 Gen1)
1x USB-C (3.2 Gen2)
1x HDMI 2.0a
1x 3.5mm jack
battery pack56 Wh
Input devicesbacklit keyboard
Precision touchpad
SoundStereo speakers
camera720p HD webcam
securityThe fingerprint reader in the power button
operating systemWindows 10 Home Edition (64-bit)
Dimensions369mm (L) × 234mm (W) × 16.9mm (D)
Weight1.7kg
Pros
  • performance
  • processing
  • Weight
Cons
  • Webcam

Everything for a successful start

The Honor MagicBook Pro is delivered in stylish white packaging. In addition to the notebook and some paper, the box itself also contains the 65 watt Type C charger used in all Honor and Huawei notebooks.

Honor uses little plastic in the packaging. That always gives plus points. Dongles or adapters are not included in the scope of delivery. This is not necessary for the connections of the Honor MagicBook Pro.

Well-known aluminum design and good workmanship

The design is very reminiscent of a larger Honor MagicBook 14 & 15 (Review), and that’s something delicious. I praised them in our test for offering first-class quality for their price range. The artistry of the Honor MagicBook Pro is also impeccable. There are no sharp edges, and nothing rattles.

The material used is almost exclusively aluminum, which ensures a high-quality feel. However, the aluminum is not as thick as in the more expensive “pro machines,” which results in a low torsional stiffness. No end of the world, but with a little pressure, parts of the Honor MagicBook Pro’s casing can be easily dented.

As befits a modern notebook in 2020, the Honor MagicBook Pro also has very slim display bezels. So slim that there was no more space for a webcam. As with other notebooks from Huawei or Honor, it is hidden in one of the F keys. This is good for your own privacy, but the angle of the camera is far from beneficial.

Another successful detail of the MagicBook Pro is the fingerprint reader in the power button. It saves the printout when switched on and, thanks to Windows Hello, boots directly past the password entry – directly on the desktop. That may sound like a small feature, but it increases the comfort immensely.

The weight is also very comfortable – at least considering the size. Compared to other Creator machines, the Honor MagicBook Pro weighs 1.7kg, easily 15% less. However, to keep the comparison fair, other Pro notebooks often have dedicated graphics units. Nevertheless, it is very comfortable to carry the laptop in the bag, precisely because it simply pulls less on the shoulders.

You can Also Read: HP ProBook 455 G7 Review 2021

Crisp keyboard and good touchpad

The Honor MagicBook Pro trackpad is not the largest of its kind at 12x9cm, but it still works reliably in everyday life. It is also stable and does not rattle. Gestures are also precisely recognized and implemented.

The notebook’s keyboard is a matter of taste. The Honor MagicBook Pro’s keystroke is very crisp due to the flat design, which, in conjunction with the short key drop, ensures a precise pressure point.

For me, long texts go well with the Honor MagicBook Pro. Not everyone likes this type of button.

Fast connections only

One of my criticisms of the Honor MagicBook 15 was the USB 2.0 ports. This is no longer available with the Honor MagicBook Pro. The notebook uses two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and a jack port on the right.

There is a fast Type-A connector on the left side of the MagicBook Pro, an HDMI 2.0a port, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C socket. The device is also charged via the Type-C port.

With the MagicBook 14 & 15, the Type-C was still penalized with USB 2.0, making it almost useless beyond charging. With the Honor MagicBook Pro, the Type-C can develop its full potential thanks to the high transfer speed.

Solid display

The Honor MagicBook Pro’s display clearly shows where buyers have to compromise. Instead of a 16:10 format, the classic 16: 9 remains. This works well for movies but less so for productive work.

The maximum display brightness cannot match other pro laptops, either. Honor itself specifies 300nits as the maximum brightness for the MagicBook Pro. The actual brightness is even slightly higher at 323nits. This is only partially sufficient for outdoor use. But if you mostly use your notebook indoors, you shouldn’t have any problems here.

With 99% coverage in sRGB and 75% in the extended AdobeRGB color space, the Honor MagicBook Pro is only partially suitable for professional image editing. However, color-critical work can also be carried out on a suitable external monitor. It is then quickly connected via an HDMI port or a docking station.

All in all, more expensive “Creator Notebooks” offer more brightness and even more precise colors, but these features can also be paid for at double or triple the price. If you can live with the compromises, the Honor MagicBook Pro has a good display with a slim frame.

Windows 10 and (almost) nothing else

Something that I very much appreciate in all Honor and Huawei notebooks is the use of the software. You limit yourself to the minimum. Honor does not preinstall unnecessary software such as McAfee or Candy Crush with the MagicBook Pro, either. Buyers get clean Windows without bloatware.

Honor itself pre-installs the PC manager, with which it is clear at a glance whether the MagicBook Pro drivers are up-to-date and whether there are hardware problems.

There is also the Honor Magic-link software. This means that Huawei and Honor smartphones can be connected wirelessly to the Honor MagicBook Pro and can conveniently exchange data with one another.

Strong performance thanks to Ryzen Renoir

An AMD Ryzen 4600H works inside the Honor MagicBook Pro, which, together with 16GB of RAM, ensures excellent performance. The built-in SSD from Western Digital also delivers good speeds.

The Honor MagicBook Pro has hardly any problems processing larger video files. Even if the integrated Radeon graphics unit with 512MB VRAM does not have the largest memory, it is enough for a few older or less demanding games. For example, World of Warcraft brought it in Full HD with the graphics setting “Extreme” to playable 30 frames per second.

Despite the good cooling concept from Huawei / Honor, there was a thermal throttling of the MagicBook Pro CPU. After many loads, the CPU throttled by almost 20% to prevent the processor from overheating. With reduced performance, temperatures leveled off at around 80 ° C.

In terms of performance, the Ryzen 4600H plays on the level of an Intel i7 of the tenth generation without any problems. The new Renoir CPUs from AMD clearly show the age of Intel’s current processor architecture. With Tiger-Lake, Intel has launched CPUs in the 10nm process for the first time, while AMD has already reached 7nm with the 4000 series.

10 hours of battery life

The efficiency of the AMD Ryzen 4600H ensures not only good performance but also perfect battery life. With light office work and about 250nits of display brightness, the Honor MagicBook Pro ran for nine hours before it had to be plugged in.

If you reduce the display brightness a bit, you could also manage the ten hours on one charge or even the “up to 11 hours” specified by Honor for the MagicBook Pro. But even with the nine hours I achieved, that’s an excellent value for the small 56Wh battery.

Cool and quiet

I have already praised the good cooling concept in Honor and Huawei laptops in other tests, and I do the same with the Honor MagicBook Pro, albeit a little less.

The MagicBook Pro fans are only audible under heavy load, and even then, they never get annoying. Only those who press their own ear to the housing will hear a soft beeping. This is still not the standard with “Pro Notebooks.”

Honor uses a small and a larger fan in the MagicBook Pro to dissipate the CPU heat. As already mentioned, the processor still throttles a bit, which leads to a cooler case that never gets uncomfortably warm.

Expandable and upgradeable

Ten Torx screws hold the bottom of the Honor MagicBook Pro in place. Interestingly, there were eight T4 and two T5 screws in our test sample. If these are loosened, the base plate can be removed relatively easily with an old plastic card.

As with other Honor and Huawei notebooks, there is not much that can be done under the MagicBook Pro hood. The main memory is firmly soldered and, therefore, cannot be exchanged. The SSD, on the other hand, is quickly identified and can be replaced just as quickly.

The battery of the MagicBook Pro is fortunately only screwed and not glued. Honor has also left a slot for another 2.5-inch drive on this laptop. However, there is no suitable cable to connect another SSD to the mainboard. This can only be done in a Huawei service center, where you have to go with your self-purchased SSD if you want to expand the storage in this way.

Good highs – no lows

The lack of a resonance chamber alone makes it difficult to get good sound from laptop speakers. The Honor MagicBook Pro speakers are okay for the price range, but there is a clear lack of bass. This is good for the intelligibility of voices but less pleasant for a full sound,

I think that the large speaker grilles to the left and right of the keyboard, and the addition of “Pro” to the name suggest something more than is actually delivered in the end. But that only means that a headset or external speakers should be used for video or pure audio – this is not the end of the world. The MagicBook Pro speakers are always good enough for a short YouTube video or a podcast.

Conclusion on the Honor MagicBook Pro Review 2021

How much pro is there in the Honor MagicBook Pro? The honest answer is – something. The display is good, if not great. The performance is also good, but the Ryzen 4600H is throttled during longer, heavy loads. But if you only do normal office work with it, you will not notice it. The battery life convinces with enough reserves for a whole working day.

Otherwise, the quality is good, and the keyboard and trackpad of the Honor MagicBook Pro also really appealed to me. The same would apply to the connections, even if I missed an SD card reader. But I can have it together with the network connection via a USB-C docking station.

In the end, the Honor MagicBook Pro has no real competition. A Dell XPS 17 (test) is roughly in the same performance class, but it is directly in a different class in terms of quality, display, and a dedicated GPU. The three times the price of the Dell doesn’t even play a role.

So the device stands a little on its own. It’s better than many office notebooks, but the Honor MagicBook Pro isn’t a creator laptop either. It is simply a good notebook with a 16-inch display that calls for a very fair price.

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