Honor is getting lots of mileage out of the MagicBook 14 chassis – we reviewed it as soon as with a Ryzen 3500U APU, then we appeared on the upgraded 4500U mannequin. With the AMD chips coated, time to take a look on the Intel-powered model of this laptop computer that was introduced final month.
There are two choices – an Intel i7-1165G7 or an i5-1135G7. Each are eleventh technology cellular chips (Tiger Lake) constructed on a 10nm SuperFin litography. Each have 4 hyper-threaded cores (i.e. eight threads whole) and each have a TDP of 28W. The i7 model has a better base frequency (2.8 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz), larger max turbo frequency (4.7 GHz vs. 4.2 GHz) and extra L3 cache (12 MB vs. 8 MB).
We’ve got the extra highly effective i7 model in entrance of us, however as you’ll be able to see the 2 choices aren’t that completely different. The Intel Xe graphics on the i7 mannequin boast 96 execution items, up from 80 on the i5, however neither would do for something past informal play. However earlier than we study what’s on the within, allow us to have a look at what’s on the surface.
Design, show, keyboard
There’s not rather more to say concerning the design that we didn’t cowl in our earlier encounters with the laptop computer. The aluminum exterior is glossy, although the display screen bezel is plastic.
The keyboard exhibits minimal flexing when pressed down, the display screen is a little more wobbly, however general we’re happy with the construct high quality. The laptop computer weighs 1.38 kg (don’t overlook the 200g USB-C charger) and measures 15.9 mm thick. It’s not the lightest in its class, however we’re not complaining.
The Intel model has the identical dimensions, weight and port choice because the AMD ones. That final half is a little bit of a disappointment as a Thunderbolt port would have been a pleasant motive to go blue as a substitute of pink. That mentioned, the only USB-C port do help charging – the truth is, there’s no barrel plug to be seen. However we’ll get to the battery and charging.
Earlier than that we have now to air two complaints. First that there’s solely a single USB-C (and no barrel jack), so plugging into the ability leaves you with solely a single USB-A 3.2 Gen1 and a USB-A 2.0 (which can more than likely be occupied by a keyboard/mouse dongle and so they higher be capable to share).
The second criticism, in fact, is that if you wish to plug in an exterior monitor, you’ll be able to’t use a single cable to do it – you’ll additionally want to make use of the full-size HDMI port.
Shifting on, the MagicBook 14 is provided with a 14” LCD panel with 1,920 x 1,080px decision. The official numbers are 300 nits typical brightness and 1,000:1 distinction ratio, each values being superior to the numbers for the Ryzen 4500U model (250 nits and 800:1, respectively). However once more, these are the claimed numbers.
We examined the show on the Intel mannequin and it maxed out at 370 nits – fairly strong. The Ryzen mannequin additionally overshot its goal and posted 277 nits. Even so, the practically 100 nit distinction in brightness is kind of tangible. Our one criticism is that at 50% the brightness drops to 173 nits, which is comparatively dim. We’d have most well-liked a extra linear scaling.
Viewing angles are fairly good and whereas there’s a shift in distinction at excessive angles, it’s not a difficulty at regular viewing angles. For coloration rendering, the show goals for 100% sRGB and 72% NTSC protection.
The keyboard is as earlier than, with good, giant keys with good journey and suggestions. There are additionally three ranges of backlighting. As is typical for a 14” laptop computer, this one options solely a curated collection of keys – past QWERTY, mainly solely Backspace and Delete get their very own keys. The F-row doubles up as shortcut keys (display screen brightness, quantity, Wi-Fi, and so forth.) and a type of (between F6 and F7) shouldn’t be a key however the webcam as a substitute.
The plastic touchpad is about as giant as would slot in this kind issue. It’s clean and correct, multi-touch gestures labored completely. To the correct of the keyboard is the Energy button, which has an embedded fingerprint reader you should utilize as a substitute for password login.
This can be, sadly, a brief part. The laptop computer comes with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, which is an ample quantity for the category. That’s excellent news as it’s soldered to the motherboard, so you’ll be able to’t add extra capability afterward.
For storage there’s a 512GB NVMe SSD, a Western Digital SN730, particularly. It’s connected on the PCIe Gen 3 x4 port. You may swap it out, however there’s solely the one bay, so that you’ll have to repeat your information over to the brand new drive first.
Lastly, there’s additionally a PCIe Gen 3 x1 port, which is the place the community card goes. It’s an Intel AX201, which helps Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.1, so that you most likely received’t want to switch this one anytime quickly.
The eleventh Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are fabbed on the second iteration of Intel’s 10nm SuperFin course of. They’ve a configurable TDP of between 12W and 28W. We’ve set the laptop computer to excessive efficiency mode (utilizing the Fn+P shortcut, alternatively you’ll be able to shortly soar into Honor’s PC Supervisor app utilizing the choice perform of F10).
The CPU comprises 4 Willow Cove cores, every operating two threads. For comparability, the Ryzen 4500U model of the MagicBook 14 we examined beforehand is residence to six cores operating 12 threads.
So, the Intel chip needs to be at a drawback within the multi-threaded assessments, however with turbo clocks going as much as 4.7GHz on our i7-powered overview pattern, it has an opportunity to edge out the AMD chip, which tops out at 4.0GHz, in single-core assessments. The i7 has extra cache too (12MB vs. 8MB).
The one-core efficiency check (based mostly on Geekbench 5) goes closely in favor of the Core i7 model with an over 40% benefit.
The power of particular person cores actually whittles down the core depend benefit of the AMD APU. So the i7-based laptop computer additionally takes the win within the multi-core efficiency check – the benefit isn’t as gorgeous, nevertheless it’s an excellent 20% lead over the 4500U.
Shifting on to Cinebench R20, it concurs that the i7 is quicker, although with a narrower hole of round 10%.
The i5 and i7 help PCIe Gen 4, which works unused on this laptop computer. Nevertheless, that doesn’t hurt the efficiency because the WD SN730 SSD hits its efficiency targets completely. And it’s closed to maxing out what a Gen 3 x4 connection can obtain, so there’s not a lot monetary sense in investing in a quicker drive.
Notably, the Intel model of the MagicBook 14 obtained a superior SSD, which did nail the three,400 MB/s sequential learn speeds marketed by WD. That’s 75% quicker than the SSSTC SSD within the Ryzen 4500U model managed. Sequential write speeds are twice as excessive too.
As for random entry, two the drives are comparable at excessive queue depth, however the Western Digital drive in is clearly superior at random writes speeds within the Q1T1 check (queue depth = 1, # of threads = 1).
To check out the Iris Xe graphics we ran GFXBench 5.0 in DirectX 12 and Vulkan modes. The Aztec Ruins check confirmed higher efficiency underneath Vulkan the place it got here near hitting 60fps within the Excessive Tier mode at 1080p decision. Below DirectX 12 it ran at underneath 54fps, however bought near 80fps within the Regular Tier.
This clearly isn’t a gaming laptop computer, however it would deal with informal video games simply sufficient so long as you don’t anticipate stellar graphics. The numbers are comparable with the Ryzen 7 4700U and its Vega 7 GPU.
Honor connected two warmth pipes to the Intel processor that result in a single fan. For brief bursts of exercise, the fan is whisper quiet (particularly when it’s not in Efficiency mode) Nevertheless, extended stress assessments crank up the decibels – it’s not very loud, however its excessive pitch isn’t precisely nice. Nonetheless, that is solely a priority for those who hammer the CPU and GPU for lengthy durations of time.
Battery life and charging
The Intel model of the Honor MagicBook 14 (2021) comes with a 56Wh capability to work with, the identical because the Ryzen mannequin we examined. Nevertheless, the Intel chip is extra energy hungry.
We performed YouTube (over Wi-Fi, 1080p/30 fps video) at 100% display screen brightness and in about 6 hours the battery was down to twenty%, which is when the ability saver mode kicked in. We continued till the battery died, which took an hour and 20 minutes. That’s considerably lower than the Ryzen model, which lasted over 11 hours.
Then we tried net looking (utilizing Microsoft Edge and a Wi-Fi connection), which proved simpler on the battery and the laptop computer lasted practically 7 hours earlier than the battery fell to twenty% and a few whole of 8 and a half hours earlier than it was absolutely depleted. That is once more nowhere close to what the Ryzen mannequin achieved (12:30h).
|Take a look at||Display brightness||Time to twenty%||Time to 0%|
|YouTube, 1080p, 30fps||100.00%||5:58||7:19|
|YouTube, 1080p, 30fps||50.00%||7:01||8:34|
That brighter display screen certain eats into the endurance. So, we dropped the brightness to 50% and that made an enormous distinction – the laptop computer lasted 10 and a half hours of net looking. YouTube playback as soon as once more proved extra demanding and the laptop computer lasted solely about 8 and a half hours. Nonetheless, that needs to be greater than sufficient to get you thru the day.
Like its sibling, this laptop computer comes with a 65W charger that outputs over USB-C. Official numbers declare 44% cost in half an hour and our assessments affirm that, because it took round 36 minutes to achieve 50% cost. A full cost took 1 hour and 38 minutes.
We additionally tried plugging in a tiny 18W USB-C Energy Supply charger and the laptop computer began filling up its battery. It’s not quick, in fact, however in a pinch you should utilize a suitable telephone charger (nice information for those who’re not eager on carrying the laptop computer’s personal 200g charger).
The Honor MagicBook 14 (2021, Intel) is already out there in a number of European markets. The i5 model begins at €850 with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. For comparability, the 8/512GB model with a Ryzen 4500U prices €750.
We examined the highest mannequin with an i7 and 16GB of RAM, which may be discovered for €1,000 on the time of writing, however word that its MSRP is €1,200. Is that this laptop computer value €1,200? In isolation we might say sure. However the true query is whether or not you’d quite have this one at €1,000 over the Ryzen one at €750.
The Intel model confirmed superior CPU efficiency and in addition had a transparent edge in storage velocity (if not capability). Additionally, it comes with a greater display screen. Nevertheless, it runs its battery dry noticeably quicker. So, if efficiency is the precedence, the Intel mannequin seems extra interesting. In order for you endurance and to spare your pockets, the AMD model is healthier.
As options, there may be the Acer Swift 3 at €1,100 MSRP with the identical i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM (soldered) and 1 TB storage. It can save you €200 for those who go for an 8/512 GB configuration. This laptop computer is lighter at 1.2 kg and has the identical battery capability, 56Wh (the included charger is a 45W brick). The display screen is a 14” 1080p IPS LCD and the USB-C port does help Thunderbolt 4.
In case you are a ThinkPad fan, you too can take a look on the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 – configured with the identical eleventh Gen i7, 16GB of RAM (soldered, single channel) and 512GB storage (a second M.2-2280 is on the market), it sells for €1,070. The 14” IPS LCD is dimmer, although (250 nits) and the battery smaller (45Wh. At the very least it comes with a 65W USB-C charger and the port helps Thunderbolt 4. The entire thing is heavier too, 1.6 kg.
An Asus ZenBook 14 (UX425EA) has a excessive MSRP of €1,500, however Amazon DE has it in inventory at €1,185. That is with the identical processor, 16GB of RAM (soldered) and 512GB SSD. That value will get you a 14” IPS LCD with 2,560 x 1,440 px decision that guarantees 300 nits. The entire thing weighs 1.17kg, regardless of the bigger 67Wh battery, which costs utilizing a 65W USB-C adapter. And, get this, it has two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 (however no 3.5mm jack with out an adapter).
The Honor MagicBook 14 strikes a high quality steadiness between efficiency, value and portability. The port choice is limiting and the battery life is inferior to on its Ryzen-powered sibling (which is cheaper as well). A strong laptop computer general, however you must make certain that the additional efficiency is well worth the value premium as €1,000 or so should buy you certainly one of a collection of high quality ultra-portables.