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Hands on: Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

Find out what we thought of Honor’s latest laptop.

Hands on: Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop
Holly Pyne
12 April 2020

Honor may be best known for their smartphones, but in recent years, the Chinese brand has spent a significant amount of time developing laptops and wearables so that their tech can help with all aspects of your work, fitness and personal lives.

Honor says their latest laptop - the MagicBook 14 - is designed with young professionals in mind. Available in two colours - Space Gray and Mystic Silver - the MagicBook 14 is designed to be a stylish, on-the-go companion. Weighing just 1.38kg and with a thickness of 15.9mm, the laptop should easily fit in any work bag and the blue chamfered edges add something extra to what is a very reasonably-priced laptop.

But, can you get everything you want for under £600? On paper, it would seem so. The MagicBook 14 offers a 10-hour battery life with fast-charging, fingerprint ID, a pop-up webcam and a 180° hinge.

So, we put it to the test and here’s what we found out - these are the five things you should know before buying the Honor MagicBook 14.

The Honor MagicBook 14 is available to buy now for £549.99. Until 20 April, every purchase will also come with a free Honor MagicWatch 2 (worth £159.99).

1. Designed to be on the go

Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

Honor have done everything they can think of to optimise the size of this 14-inch laptop. It has a screen-to-body ratio of 84% thanks to 4.8mm ultra-narrow bezels on three sides of the screen. This, combined with being lightweight, means it is actually designed to be used on the go.

They've even thought about the charger. Pictured above next to a MacBook Pro charger, it a decent amount smaller than its big brand counterpart and weighs only 160g. To make the plug as compact as possible, the top pin can be pushed in when not in use.

The one downside to the compact design of the MagicBook 14 is that the keyboard has very little travel, which may not be ideal for those who like the 'click-clacking' noise and feel of a mechanical keyboard.

2. You can lie it flat

Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

Because it is designed to be used anywhere, the 180° hinge allows the laptop to lie completely flat. This gives you complete freedom to move the screen to give you the best view on matter how you're sitting.

To increase the comfort, the TÜV Rheinland certified display reduces excessive blue light for safer, more comfortable reading. It is also fully laminated to reduce the reflection of light off the LCD panel.

The brightness levels could be brighter if we were trying to find faults, and the finish around the screen doesn't have the same premium feel to the rest of the laptop - but that's to be expected for the price. And while cheaper laptops can feel flimsy, this is not. The MagicBook 14 feels robust and sturdy and we'd have no worries about 'throwing' it in our bags and heading out for the day.

3. Sharing photos just got easier

Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

The MagicBook 14 also offers Honor Magic-Link 2.0 so, if you have a one of the brand's smartphone, you can easily share files between the two devices. With a single tap, you can share the smartphone screen on the laptop and users can then drag, drop and edit the files from the phone (or vice versa) all controlled using the keyboard and mouse. It should make multi-tasking even easier because you won't have to keep jumping from devices to get your work done.

If you don't have an Honor phone, there is one USB 2.0 (Type A), a USB 3.0 (Type A), a HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Type-C port that also doubles up as the charging port.

4. The webcam is hidden

Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

Honor have always loved a pop-up selfie camera on their smartphones so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the MagicBook 14 has one, too. The webcam is hidden underneath a designated camera button on the keyboard. When pressed, the button pops up to reveal the webcam below. Then, when finished, you simply push it down to hide it once more. While it is a little bit of a novelty, it also serves as a privacy feature to protect against hijacking.

5. It's fast-charging, too

Honor MagicBook 14 review - 5 things to know about the new Honor laptop

With a battery that easily lasts 10 hours, you should be able to work through the whole day without worrying about the laptop's charge. However, if your work is particularly power-intensive, that shouldn't be a problem because it comes with a Type-C charger with 65W fast charging capability that we found easily provided over 45% charge in half an hour - plenty of time to grab lunch and a coffee.

The Final Verdict

This is a laptop designed for students and young professionals and it does a pretty valiant job at serving them well. If you're heading off to university in September, the Honor MagicBook 14 is a fantastic option. We haven't spoken too much about what's going on inside but the combination of a Ryzen 5 3500U processor, 8GB DDR4 dual-channel RAM, and Radeon Vega 8 graphics card should give you fast performance for pretty much any task.

Then, features including the Fingerprint ID power button, pop-up webcam and fast-charging capabilities make it the perfect study companion. Late for a lecture and forgotten to charge your laptop? No problem. Bad at remembering passwords? No problem. Forgotten your charger? No problem, the 10-hour battery will see you through. You get the idea. Put simply, if you're on a budget, the Honor MagicBook 14 is safe bet and you get a lot for your buck.