a laptop with a perfect screen… but the price makes up for (almost) everything

The MagicBook from Honor is one of those non-historical machines that is priced attractively and delivers on most of its promises without disappointing or necessarily inspiring. They give satisfaction and that is the main thing.

Bigger, but not good enough

With the MagicBook 16, however, Honor sets the bar a little higher. Because when we launch a machine equipped with such a large panel and updated at 144 Hz, please, we want to provide its users with extra convenience, a more pleasant experience on a daily basis. Therefore, we start our test from this point.

In this case, the matte plate is large and visually quite comfortable, but it folds at every obstacle, at every measurement point. So, its brightness is not weak, but very low. With 308 cd / m2, we tell you directly, you shouldn’t expect too much to work comfortably in a very bright environment. The contrast ratio isn’t great either, 01Lab measurements give it a ratio of 864:1… That’s low, really low. So much so that the MagicBook 16’s display is 88.2% worse than the average computer in the same category tested over the past two years.

If you’re hoping that colorimetric devotion can make you forget these few failures, think again. Delta E 2000 as measured by 01Lab is 4.18. Still, this result is not that great, even 12.3% worse than the average of its competitors.

It’s fairly dimly lit, not that contrasty, but does the Full HD panel score points in other areas? Nope. The definition, which could be comfortable for this screen size, is unfortunately also limited by the low pixel density. With 137 pixels per inch, the MagicBook 16 won’t guarantee the best, or even the expected minimum. We note that even at this price (officially €999.90). It’s really low and shows up on a daily basis, especially when you’re editing text or reading articles online. The fonts alias is a bit harsh on the retina.

01net.com – Lionel Morillon
Honor's MagicBook 16

Finish and ease of use

A 16.1-inch LCD (IPS) panel determines the presence of a rather impressive case, which is almost 37 cm wide. The thickness of 2.5 cm has nothing to do with the screen, but it remains quite significant. Like the MagicBook’s 1,822kg weight, which strictly prohibits it from being ultraportable – but with those dimensions, it’s hard to ask for less…or more, you finally understand.

The finish of the MagicBook 16 is pleasing to the eye and pleasant to the touch. The aluminum chassis looks attractive and solid. Obviously, we are not in the best market, but once again the price explains everything and excuses it. Frankly, for this price position, the result is very good.

The MagicBook 16's keyboard is comfortable, but not flawless.
01net.com – Lionel Morillon – The MagicBook 16 keyboard is comfortable, but not perfect.

There is no fatal ergonomic failure. The keyboard is pleasant enough to use even if it’s not backlit – really? The buttons are of good size, the stroke is quite short, there is not even a little firmness and even stiffness. The center of the keyboard tends to sink in slightly when typing, giving an overall softness. The resulting noise sounds a little plastic and obviously not as pleasant as on a Mac or Microsoft PC, but it provides a pleasant rhythm when typing long texts.

We also appreciate a few home keys, for example, which give quick access to the Windows screenshot tool or the collaboration tools integrated into the brand’s PCs, allowing easy sharing of information within its ecosystem. The same goes for the switch that turns the webcam on or off, which those who take their privacy to heart will appreciate.

There are speakers on either side of the keyboard that offer clear sound, but lack some bass, midrange, and precision. The built-in speakers will be enough for listening to some music while working, watching a movie or series, but not for adding sound to your student evenings or even listening to music in the shower. Unless you approach the MagicBook at your own risk.

The 16-inch MagicBook offers a fairly diverse, if not perfect, connection.
01net.com – Lionel Morillon

The touch panel is responsive, making a quiet click during use. However, you’ll have to get used to using the bottom two-thirds of the trackpad to avoid pressing too hard. The bottom part could be neater. It is certainly pleasant to use, but when used it sinks with the edge of the case and creates a gap. One tip, avoid eating chocolate while working… Finally, it can be criticized for being a bit small, especially if the box could offer it more space.

Space, Honor has found on the edges of the sides to integrate various and enough connections for the most common uses. Two USB-A ports on the right, two USB-C ports on the left, including one for power supply and an HDMI port. This will be perfect for projecting the screen to an external display. We can regret that Honor does not integrate an SD card reader into its machine, we will have to learn to do without it.

But like a good modern machine, MagicBook 16 doesn’t stop there, it offers other interesting options to facilitate user interaction. So, the device has a fingerprint reader to unlock it faster. It has always been fast and efficient during our use. On the other hand, don’t rely on the webcam to unlock this laptop. He can’t. Honestly, when I ask him to film us during the video conference, he is already struggling. Quality is lacking, even in bright light. The digital noise is almost disturbing. Its 720p definition didn’t promise a miracle, we don’t have one either, so it’s okay. You can still use it to chat with colleagues or say hello to grandma if you need to. However, this webcam does have one merit, it’s now located at the top of the screen and no longer in the masked “Function” button. One small step for honor, one giant leap for mankind.

The AMD platform is not affected.
01net.com – Lionel Morillon

The power to do all this every day

Honor chose AMD platform for MagicBook 16. Released some time ago, it did not have the 6000 generation. Therefore, it was found in the control panel with the Ryzen 5, 5600H, running at a frequency of 3.3 GHz, with an integrated graphics part. A six-core, 12-thread mid-range processor that can be configured by AMD partners to consume between 35 and 54 W. In this case, during our tests we measured consumption peaks at almost 65 W for the whole machine, which is probably why Honor chose to release its Ryzen 5. Not necessarily a bad choice, the MagicBook 16 isn’t ultraportable and will stay plugged in most of the time.

Moreover, ours is different benches performance summaries tend to prove that the MagicBook holds up. Compared to nine new laptops received by 01Lab, it ranks fifth for CPU and fourth for graphics. Therefore, it is far from ridiculous. PCMark 10 gives it a total score of 6002, which allows 01Lab to declare that it is 10.6% more efficient than the average of its competitors.

Its graphics chipset won’t save the world, but it lets it do more than office automation. It scores decently (16.1% below average), but it sure could handle a few tasks a little more substantial than classic word processing. With a little patience, we come to the end of small Full HD or even 4K montages. In this case, a 512 GB SSD – good storage capacity, at this price, thank you – is not a problem at all. It shows a read/write speed of around 3GB/s, without being the fastest.

If you want to find the MagicBook 16’s limitations, they are often found on the gaming side. However, you can have a little fun by lowering the requirements.

Honor's MagicBook 16 isn't very comfortable in gaming, but that's okay…
01net.com – By lowering the sails a bit, we manage to play a pretty greedy game…

we can rotate Cyberpunk 2077 squeeze into the stomach? The answer is no, or if you’re very patient or have practiced the wise art of video game slideshows… 17.4 frames per second, minimum, sorry, it’s unplayable. The same thing a Red Dead Redemption 2, who likes to expand horizons. Don’t expect to play six shots on the MagicBook 16 with an average of 18.2 frames per second. Let’s continue. for Horizon Zero Dawnif you agree to reduce the sails as much as possible, you’ll be able to get about thirty images per second… It’s paltry and really uncomfortable! Section 2, all at ground level, flirting with 40 frames per second. It’s fun! And, of course, don’t worry about a good old escape 4 were left deadeven complete, a Dead cells Where Door Kickers Action Squad, the fan is expressing himself a bit, obviously. But the games are on, and it’s possible to have some fun between two Excel spreadsheets.
A moment ago we were talking about the fan. In general, it is quite discreet. You shouldn’t hear it too much when you’re surfing, working in a word processor, or cropping some images. However, ventilation can sometimes wake up without knowing the reason: for example, when you download a large file. If we lose a little acoustic comfort, we can only appreciate that the temperature never rises too high. Moreover, Honor does not claim to dissipate the heat generated by its MagicBook 16 configuration. Two large fans work together with two heat pipes and two radiators. We recorded a maximum temperature of 37.5 ° C for a maximum noise of 40 dB. All this gives comfort.

Honor doesn't cheat when it comes to cooling the MagicBook 16.
01net.com – Lionel Morillon

An autonomy that forgets to obey it…

If we don’t find much to complain about in terms of power, especially for the price shown, the autonomy shown saddens us more. We were hoping that the dimly lit panel would at least save battery. This does not seem to be the case.

We submit the laptops that passed through our hands to two autonomy tests. One, called versatile autonomy, simulates chained daily uses (Web, email, video, etc.) until the battery runs out. Another requires the device to stream video flow the same content in the cycle until the battery is 0% charged.

First, the MagicBook 16 is 15.3% less durable than laptops we’ve tested over the past 24 months. With just 6:50am compared to 8:04am in average versatile autonomy, we’re far from providing you with a working day away from the power outlet. This confirms that this 16-incher is going to be more of a sitter and can move it around at times.

Autonomy in video streaming is hardly brighter. Even less is better. With an average battery life of 5:49 vs. 6:49, the MagicBook is 16.3% less durable than its competitors’ average. This gives you time to watch a few episodes on the train ride, but don’t make them too long…

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