A superbly made Min laptop that crushes the competition when it comes to value for money. Read our Honor MagicBook 14 review.
Honor is better known for its smartphones, but the MagicBook 14 is the company’s first attempt at a laptop. It certainly gets off to an impressive start, with well-designed hardware that doesn’t compromise on features to achieve its low price. This slim Windows 10 laptop offers similar looks and build quality to the excellent (but considerably more expensive) Huawei MateBook Pro X. It comes with a 1080p non-touch Full HD display, and its chassis is made entirely of metal.
The MagicBook 14 even includes a few luxuries, such as a fingerprint reader for fast unlocking and a ThunderBolt 3-enabled USB-C port. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with Radeon Vega 8 graphics, 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage on its SSD drive.
For a laptop that ticks so many boxes, it’s the price that really catches the eye. Frankly, nothing else comes remotely close to what the MagicBook 14 offers.
Design and connectivity
This laptop has been built with portability in mind. It weighs 1.38kg, which is the same as the most recent MacBook Pro. making it light enough to carry all day without causing shoulder ache. Its metal case looks smart, with a matte finish and a blue pinstripe round the lid.
For connectivity, the MagicBook 14 has a USB
Nothing else comes remotely close to what the MagicBook 14 offers
Type-C port, two standard USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI socket and a 3.5mm audio jack. It also comes with Honor’s Magic-Link 2 technology, which lets you transfer photos, videos and documents by tapping your Honor phone on the built-in NFC chip under the keyboard.
It’s worth noting that this laptop hasn’t been affected by the US government’s trade ban with China, so it comes with Windows 10 and all the necessary security updates installed, and no restrictions on what you can install or run.
The keyboard is lovely to type on, with a double-height UK-specific Enter key and large backspace and right Shift keys. The touchpad is quite small, however. The only questionable design decision is to place the 720p pop-up webcam on the keyboard between the F6 and F7 keys. Its image quality is adequate but its low position results in an awkward, up-your-nose camera angle.
The laptop’s Min IPS screen has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and performs well for the price. Its sRGB coverage of 57.9% is mediocre but at least it’s bright (278cd/m2) and has good contrast (1,328:1).
The MagicBook 14 performed admirably in our Geekbench and gaming benchmarks, comparing well with laptops that cost much more. The battery lasted eight hours and 15 minutes in our rundown test, too, which is more than you’ll get from many pricier models.
The Honor MagicBook 14 costs a lot less than most similarly equipped Windows and macOS rivals, making it an absolute steal. It’s slim, light, handsome and very pleasant to use. It also offers plenty of power. Honor hasn’t cut any significant corners to reach its attractive price, making this an extremely tempting proposition for anyone who’s looking for a well-built Windows laptop on a tight budget.
- Well made and good looking
- Decent performance
- Solid battery life
- Pop-up webcam captures from an awkward angle
- Poor screen colour accuracy
See also THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO…OLED laptops
■ AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor
■ 8GB of memory
■ 256GB SSD
■ 14in 1,920×1,080 pixels IPS screen
■ Windows 10
■ 323 x 215 x 15.9mm