ASUS VivoBook 14 A413

The HONOR MagicBook was revealed last week and the one thing that surprised me the most was the price. It’s only RM2,299. I didn’t expect the price of this laptop to be this low – but we do get what we pay for, right? For this low price, there surely are some compromises, right?

Well, not really. In some ways, it’s better than many other laptops in the market. Here’s why.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

Unboxing

What you get out of the box is exactly the same as the Huawei MateBook D 15. What’s important here is the laptop itself, the charger, and also the USB-C to USB-C cable for charging.

HONOR MagicBook

If you bought the HONOR MagicBook during its launch promotions, then you’ll get the HONOR backpack and something else too.

Design

I absolutely love how the whole laptop looks and feels. It feels premium to the point where I am genuinely shocked. It’s made out of plastic but it doesn’t feel plastic. The logo is looking very minimalistic, too.

HONOR MagicBook

The HONOR MagicBook that we have here is in this gunmetal grey color and it looks sleek and mean at the same time.

HONOR MagicBook

Ports

Of course – the ports are important. The HONOR MagicBook has these ports:

  • USB-C port for charging
  • HDMI
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (5GB/s)

HONOR MagicBook

  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • USB 2.0

HONOR MagicBook

I’m not sure if this is considered a “port”, but the power button has an integrated fingerprint scanner as well. This fingerprint scanner also “caches” your fingerprint you can just press the power button to boot up and immediately logs you in after it boots up.

HONOR also moved the power button out of the whole keyboard array, which sits above the speaker array that flanks both sides of the keyboard. Speaking of the keyboard…

Keyboard and trackpad

Immediately touching the keyboard, I realized that HONOR used a different keyboard when compared to the Huawei MateBook D 15. On this laptop, it has a much smoother keycap with lighter actuation force, but the travel distance remains good.

HONOR MagicBook

In layman’s terms, the keyboard is good to type on. This entire review is typed using the HONOR MagicBook, too.

I do like the keyboard layout too – but the Fn key still takes time to get used to it. The Fn key toggles the function row buttons only.

HONOR MagicBook

As for the trackpad – well, it works pretty well. There are some hiccups here and there but that’s just how trackpads on Windows usually are.

The screen

The MagicBook is using a 14-inch 1080p IPS LCD screen and I think that it just looks great out of the box. It’s bright enough for outdoor use and dim enough for indoor use as well. The bezels around the display are thin but they are definitely not the thinnest – especially the top. HONOR did retain the webcam at the top, so I guess that’s okay.

HONOR MagicBook

What’s impressive here is the hinge. The HONOR MagicBook can open to nearly 180° and I absolutely love it. For someone who is rather tall, having that hinge means I don’t have to hunch my back to use the laptop.

HONOR MagicBook

Specs and performance

The specs on the HONOR MagicBook is as such:

  • 14-inch 1080p IPS LCD screen
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • AMD Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics (1GB VRAM)
  • 8GB RAM (7GB usable, 1GB reserved as VRAM)
  • 57.4Wh battery

We won’t talk much about the performance since the HONOR MagicBook performs identically when compared to the Huawei MateBook D 15. Click here to check out that review instead.

Maintenance and upgradability

Just like the Huawei MateBook D 15, the HONOR MagicBook is rather simple to open – if you have the correct screw bit. It’s using 9 Torx screw to hold the backplate in place. Just remove the screws and release the clips to detach the backplate, revealing its guts.

HONOR MagicBook

Overall, the motherboard layout is simple but its components are unusual. The 8GB RAM is soldered but the M.2 SSD is swappable. I doubt anyone would want to swap since it’s a 512GB PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD anyway.

HONOR MagicBook

What piqued my interest here is the cooling system. HONOR used a total of two heatpipes – one thick and one thin, leading from the Ryzen 5 3500U to a single heatsink. The cooling fan inside this HONOR MagicBook has a copper shroud – which is the first time I’m seeing such a thing. Usually, laptop fan shrouds are made out of aluminium.

HONOR MagicBook

But still, the HONOR MagicBook can easily be opened up and cleaned without voiding the warranty. Good job, HONOR.

HONOR MagicBook

Powering up the whole laptop is the 57.4Wh battery. Which leads us to…

Battery life

I used the HONOR MagicBook to do my usual job, as usual. I use Chrome and Spotify heavily, with some occasional YouTube videos and some lightweight Photoshop work. The HONOR MagicBook handled it like a champ and managed to last about 6-7 hours on our workload. That’s just impressive, honestly.

HONOR MagicBook

As for the charging time, the HONOR MagicBook does come with a 65W charger. It can charge the laptop from 15% to 100% battery life within about 2 hours. It’s quite good.

HONOR MagicBook fast charging benchmark

Do we recommend the HONOR MagicBook?

Here’s our answer – yes, we do. For the price of RM2,299, it’s a no-brainer of a deal. The AMD Ryzen 5 3500U with 8GB RAM (7GB usable) is a fantastic deal. When was the last time we can get a good laptop at this price? That’s right – this is the first time.

The HONOR MagicBook does have its set of differences compared to the Huawei MateBook D 15 (review). The MagicBook has a better screen hinge, larger battery, faster and larger SSD – but has a slightly smaller screen and does not have a 2.5-inch HDD drive. In most cases, I’ll recommend the MagicBook. If you need a terabyte of storage, then get the Huawei MateBook D 15 instead.

HONOR MagicBook

I mean, we already love the Huawei MateBook D 15 when we first reviewed it. The HONOR MagicBook improves upon that design and lowered the prices even further. Fantastic job, HONOR.

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