Honor MagicBook 15 Laptop in Review: Inexpensive and Great

As expected, Honor leaves the design of the MagicBook 15 unchanged. On the one hand, this means that stability and workmanship remain at the familiar good level. With its AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, Honor offers the MagicBook 15 at an extremely low price while maintaining high performance.

Like the Honor MagicBook 14, the MagicBook 15 has also been upgraded to AMD's Ryzen 5 4500U. The case remains the same compared to the predecessor with the Ryzen 5 3500U, which shouldn't be seen as a disadvantage.

 

Besides the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, the internal AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 takes care of displaying image content. In addition, there's 8 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. For a price of approximately 650 Euros (~$791), the configuration is impressive.

 

Honor MagicBook 15 4500U (Magicbook Series)                                                   

Processor:AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6 x 2.3 - 4 GHz, 30 W PL2 / Short Burst, 25 W PL1 / Sustained, Renoir (Zen 2)

Graphics adapter:AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 4000/5000)

Memory:8192 MB, dual-channel

Display:15.60 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE0872, IPS, glossy: no, 60 Hz

Mainboard:AMD Promontory/Bixby FCH

Storage:WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G, 512 GB, 420 GB free

Soundcard:AMD Raven/Renoir/VanGogh/Cezanne - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller

Connections:1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC

Networking:Realtek 8822CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0

Size:height x width x depth (in mm): 17 x 358 x 230 ( = 0.67 x 14.09 x 9.06 in)

Battery:42 Wh, 3665 mAh Lithium-Polymer

Charging:fast charging / Quickcharge

Operating System:Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

Camera:Webcam: 0.9 MP, 16:9 (1280x720)

Additional features:Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty

Weight:1.507 kg ( =3.32 pounds), Power Supply: 200 g ( = 0.44 pounds)

Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparisons

Rating

Date

Model

Weight

Height

Size

Resolution

85 %

01/2021

Honor MagicBook 15 4500U

R5 4500U, Vega 6

1.5 kg

17 mm

15.60"

1920x1080

83 %

07/2020

Honor MagicBook 15

R5 3500U, Vega 8

1.5 kg

16.9 mm

15.60"

1920x1080

83 %

07/2020

HP ProBook 445 G7 175W4EA

R5 4500U, Vega 6

1.6 kg

18 mm

14.00"

1920x1080

86 %

07/2020

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14ARE05

R5 4500U, Vega 6

1.5 kg

16.9 mm

14.00"

1920x1080

81 %

12/2020

Dell Latitude 3510 NK2MC

i3-10110U, UHD Graphics 620

1.9 kg

18 mm

15.60"

1920x1080

 

Connectivity - stylish, slim metal suit

 

The laptop's components are dressed in a stylish, gray (Space Gray) metal chassis, which is a bit more compact than its competitors' cases. Furthermore, the slim display bezel increases the computer's attractiveness. You'll look in vain for a webcam in this frame. It has been transplanted into the keyboard (between the keys "F6" and "F7") and can be folded in and out at the touch of a button. The case's workmanship and stability give no reason for criticism. The battery is firmly installed. There is no maintenance flap. The insides can be accessed by dismantling the lower shell - not a complicated operation.

 

While the MateBook D 15 has three USB Type-A slots to offer, the MagicBook only has two such slots (1x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 2.0). The USB Type-C slot (USB 3.2 Gen 1) is used to connect the power supply. It does not provide Displayport-per-USB-C functionality. Thus the notebook has a single video output with the HDMI connection. A memory card reader is not available.

 

The built-in WLAN chip (Realtek 8822CE) supports the WLAN standards 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. The transfer rates determined under optimal conditions (no other WLAN devices in the immediate vicinity, short distance between notebook and server PC) turn out well.

Input devices - The MagicBook does not offer key illumination

 

Honor has equipped the MagicBook with an unlit Chiclet keyboard. The flat, slightly roughened keys have a short stroke and a clear pressure point. When typing, the keyboard yields minimally at best and not in a disturbing way. All in all, Honor delivers a keyboard well suitable for everyday use.

 

The multi-touch capable touchpad takes up an area of about 12 x 7.2 cm. Thus, there is enough space for using the gesture control. The smooth pad surface makes it easy for fingers to glide. The pad offers a short stroke and a clear pressure point.

Display - IPS on Board

 

Honor has equipped the laptop with a viewing angle stable IPS panel. The screen can be read from any position. Due to the low maximum brightness, reading the display outdoors is only possible when the sun is not too bright.

The MagicBook 15 outdoors              The MagicBook 15 outdoors

 

Performance - Ryzen 5 with good performance delivery

 

With the MagicBook 15, Honor got a simple 15.6-inch office notebook in its assortment. It offers enough computing power for office and internet applications.

 

Processor

 

The MagicBook is powered by a Ryzen-5-3500U-APU (Picasso) from AMD. The CPU part of the APU consists of a quad-core processor that operates at a basic speed of 2.1 GHz and can Turbo up to 3.7 GHz. Simultaneous Multithreading (each core can process two Threads) is supported.

 

The Cinebench multi-thread CPU tests were run at 3 to 3.1 GHz (connected to AC/battery operation). The single-thread tests were done at 1.5 to 3.7 GHz (connected to AC) and 1.2 to 2.4 GHz (battery operation).

 

System Performance

 

The hardware combination of the MagicBook ensures a nimble and smooth system. The laptop has more than enough computing power for office and internet applications.

 

Gaming Performance

 

The Ryzen APU can run many of the games in our database smoothly. This is especially true for titles whose hardware requirements are not excessively high. Most games achieve smooth refresh rates at HD resolution (1,280x720 pixels) and medium quality settings - sometimes more than that. Even the one or other current title can be played.

 

Emissions & Energy - The Honor notebook offers only medium battery life

 

Temperature

At the beginning of the stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running for at least one hour), the processor and graphics core operate at 2.7 to 2.8 GHz // 700 to 800 MHz. As the test progresses, the speeds drop to 2.1 to 2.2 GHz // 500 to 550 MHz respectively and remain at these levels. The stress test represents an extreme scenario that does not occur in everyday life. We use this test to check if the system runs stable even under full load.

 

The Honor device does not heat up excessively. During the stress test we registered temperatures just above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) at a few measurement points. In everyday use the values are perfectly fine.

 

Speakers

 

The stereo speakers have found their place on the bottom of the device. They produce an acceptable sound, but with hardly any bass. Additionally the speakers only offer a low maximum volume.

 

Battery life

 

Our practical WLAN test simulates the load when calling up web pages. The "balanced" profile is active, the energy saving functions are deactivated and the display brightness is regulated to about 150 cd/m². In this test the MagicBook 15 reaches a runtime of 6:01 h.

 

The MagicBook runs out significantly earlier than the identically constructed MateBook D 15. Changing the conditions does not improve the runtimes: Neither uninstalling the PC Manager software (an Honor/Huawei-own system management software) nor activating the Vari-Bright function (an energy saving function from AMD) causes changes. A possible explanation for the runtime differences could be the BIOS. The MagicBook is equipped with a newer version than the MateBook.

 

Verdict

 

With the MagicBook 15, Honor delivers a 15.6-inch notebook with a stylish metal case. Thanks to the Ryzen-5-3500U-APU there is no lack of computing power for office and internet applications. Even computer games can be played to a limited extent. Good: The device heats up only moderately and does not produce excessive noise.

 

The Honor MagicBook 15 offers an attractive appearance and a decent portion of computing power at a reasonable price.

An NVMe SSD ensures a nimble and smooth system. Exchanging the SSD would be possible. To do so the case would need to be opened, which is not a complicated undertaking. An upgrade of the permanently soldered RAM (8 GB, dual channel mode) however is not possible. There are no memory banks.

 

The IPS Full HD display pleases with stable viewing angles, a matte surface, decent color display and good contrast. The maximum brightness is too low though. The color space coverage is also not convincing. The keyboard shows to be adequate for everyday use. However, we do miss key illumination.

 

The battery life is decent, but not impressive. A mobile use of the notebook requires the charger to be taken along. The latter is a universal charger with which the batteries of other devices (smartphone, tablet, powerbank) can also be charged. The charging cable is connected to the charger by means of a USB Type-C port. Helpful: The possible charging capacities (including charging voltages/currents) have been printed on the charger.

 

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