After a remarkable arrival with its MateBook 14 last year, Honor offers a new version of the 14-inch ultrabook. This 2021 vintage of the MagicBook 14 is the adoption of a low-power Intel Tiger Lake processor. And, it associates a RAM of 16 GB.
But this move upmarket is logically accompanied by a price increase, to say the least, significant. But is this relevant in the face of very strong and well-armed competition in the mid-range ultrabook segment? Not sure…
Chassis / Design Honor MagicBook 14 2021
Honor has made sobriety its hallmark. The MagicBook 14 2021 therefore takes the design of its predecessors with a logo and blue chamfer. Our test model sports a Space Gray colourway that is reminiscent of the space gray of MacBooks. And just like Apple ultrabooks, it is also available in light gray (Mystic Silver).
The aluminum frame and finish make a good impression. The interior is to match, at least for the keyboard part where aluminum is also present. The MagicBook certainly has a borderless screen, but the matt black plastic outline is not the most beautiful effect. Especially since the lower border is at the very least imposing (more than 2 cm!). On the AMD versions, offered around $ 595/715, this could be imagined. There, with a price of $1195, it could cool some potential buyers sensitive to design.
Access to internal components does not pose much difficulty once the ten Torx screws removed. However, the interest is limited, only the SSD is accessible and can be replaced. Another complaint, despite its Tiger Lake platform, the MagicBook 14 skips the Thunderbolt connectivity, yet natively supported.
Connectivity / Ports Honor MagicBook 14
Two USB-A ports, one USB-C, one HDMI output as well as a 3.5 mm headphone/microphone jack. Moreover, a connection certainly reduced but where the essential is still present.
However, we regret that one of the USB ports only supports the USB 2.0 standard. And, it is especially that the USB-C port is permanently occupied by the mains charger. Another disappointment, the lack of compatibility with the Thunderbolt standard. Even though, the presence of a Tiger Lake processor generally implies it. This technology is natively supported. Finally, it does not support Display Alt mode and therefore cannot be used with an external display.
Honor MagicBook 14 audio system
If the sound remains the Achilles heel of portable PCs, more particularly on small diagonals, some models manage to pull out of the game. This is not the case with the MagicBook 14. The Nahimic utility does not change anything. , the sound is disappointing.
Keyboard / Touchpad Honor MagicBook 14
Despite a limited spacing (2.8 mm) and a somewhat short stroke (1.1 mm), typing on the keyboard of the MagicBook is very pleasant. And, it is due to the generous dimensions of the keys (16.5×16.5 mm) and the muffled noise produced when typing. This is one of the strengths of the MagicBook 14.
Like the other laptops of the brand, the backlighting of the keys is there only to be misleading. The fault is a glaring lack of intensity, even in the evening when the ambient light is at its lowest.
We will console ourselves with the presence of a fingerprint reader (Windows Hello). Convenient and quick to unlock your Windows session without having to enter your password.
The touchpad (122×65 mm) does not call for criticism, both in terms of precision and glide.
The Magic-link sticker indicates the location of the NFC zone intended to facilitate connection with an Honor smartphone in order to exchange data, documents or even mirroring your phone if you have one of the latest flagship.
Honor MagicBook 14 display
The MagicBook has a classic Full HD (1920 x 1080 px) matte screen in 16: 9 format. The BOE092E IPS panel (P0218 TV14NH2) offers a maximum brightness of 349 cd / m² and the almost complete coverage of the sRGB space (97%) allows it to stand out against competition that is sometimes less generous.
The contrast ratio is 1240: 1. On the colorimetry side, a passage through the characterization box is necessary to take advantage of the potential of the panel, by default, the white point being a little too high (7250K).
Little more appreciable, the hinges allow a flat opening.
If you are wondering where the webcam is, at Honor, it takes place in a key on the keyboard (between the F6 and F7 keys). An asset for privacy but a drawback in terms of angle. The low angle view is not the best to be to your advantage. And with the proliferation of Teams meetings and other “e-meetings”, this can be a point not to be overlooked.
Performance Honor MagicBook 14
Honor therefore chose Intel and its Tiger Lake platform for its MagicBook 14. In this case, the Core i7-1165G7, a low power Quad-Core processor. Interest of this CPU, it’s a rather powerful integrated graphics chipset. An asset, both with programs capable of exploiting GPU acceleration and for occasional gaming. Do not expect to run the last triple A’s on this laptop. But, a small game of Fifa 21 will not pose many difficulties.
Noise pollution / Noise / Temperatures
The MagicBook is a quiet laptop (around 40 dBA when the fan is running). It is, at least as long as the Balanced profile is selected. By switching to the Performance profile, the fan is more present and is close to 46 dBA.
Slight performance gains are indeed possible but the handful of seconds gained are not worth it in our opinion. Note that PC Manager automatically switches to the Balanced profile after each standby or shutdown.
Autonomy / Battery
In addition to performance gains, the switch to the Intel processor allows autonomy to progress significantly. The MagicBook 14 thus displays an average battery life of 9h30 (WiFi active, brightness at 140 cd / m2). Enough to meet the needs of most students and other mobile users.
You will understand, the MagicBook 14 is an attractive ultrabook in more than one respect. There remains the question of the price. Offered at $ 1100 on the occasion of the launch (June 2021), it is much less aggressive than usual. The current context associated with the supply difficulties of certain components are undoubtedly not unrelated to this. The Honor ultrabook will have to deal with more competition and just as well armed to attract potential buyers.