Honor continues to strengthen its offer of cheap laptops as the start of the school year approaches with new versions of its MagicBook. Offered in 14 and 15 inches, they now have a more efficient AMD processor (Ryzen 5 5500U) without denying what makes the strength of the brand: elegant design, premium chassis and features usually reserved for the upper range. All at a particularly aggressive price. What to overshadow the competition and impose itself as obvious to students?
Features of the Honor MagicBook 15 AMD
|Screen(s)||15.6″ Full HD LED IPS sRGB 300 nits (1920×1080, anti-glare)|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Lucienne (2.1 GHz, 6 cores, TDP 15W)|
|RAM installed||8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (soldered)|
|Graphic card||AMD Radeon Vega 7 integrated into the processor|
|Storage||256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD|
|connectors||1 USB 2.0 + 1 USB 3.2 + 1 USB 3.2 Type-C (Gen1), HDMI|
|Network||Wi-Fi AX (2×2), Bluetooth 5.1|
|Windows Hello||Yes, via fingerprint reader|
|Audio system||2 x 2W speakers|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home 64 bit|
|Announced autonomy / Battery||9 hours / Li-Polymer 56Whr|
|Weight / Dimensions (mm)||1.6 Kg / 358 x 230 x 16.9|
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Chassis / Design
Regulars of the brand will not be out of place. This MagicBook 15 takes up the design already offered by the brand’s other computers.
Only small touch of originality, a blue border around the chassis and the Honor logo which can also come out blue depending on the incidence of light.
In addition to its discretion, the MagicBook 15 can count on its aluminum chassis to stand out. A rare entry-level feature, with most competing laptops being designed with plastic-based chassis. The latter are less noble and potentially a little less robust. Another advantage, a contained weight, with barely 1.6 kg on the scale. Ideal if your laptop is intended to accompany you on a daily basis in all your travels.
Access to the components is not difficult. It is enough to get down to the ten Torx screws then to lever to unclip the frame.
The upgrade possibilities are however limited to the SSD, the RAM being welded. It will therefore be necessary to be satisfied with the 8 GB of RAM offered. Too bad, especially in the absence of a 16 GB version.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Connectors / Ports
The models parade but Honor persists in offering somewhat outdated connectivity. Let’s move on to one of the two USB-A ports still at the 2.0 standard, still acceptable although already limited on an entry-level model. On the other hand, the presence of a single USB-C port is much less so.
Especially since the latter is monopolized by the charger. You must therefore either unplug the power cable or go through an adapter / mini-dock to connect a USB-C device! Another complaint is that it does not support Display Alt mode and therefore cannot be used with an external display. You will have to settle for the HDMI port for that.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Audio system
Located under the chassis, at the level of the palm rests, the two speakers offer a sound typical of a laptop computer. Sufficient for occasional use, it will be necessary to opt for an external system – via jack or Bluetooth – to enjoy a more convincing sound.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Keyboard / Touchpad
Like the design, the keyboard is common with other Honor computers. We therefore find large keys (16.5×16.5 mm), fairly close together (2.9 mm) and with a short stroke (1.2 mm).
Despite a fairly dry keystroke, its use is pleasant and efficient, but the surface of the keys, which are slightly grainy to the touch, will probably not be to the taste of all users. Ditto for the absence of a numeric keypad and/or keyboard backlight on this MagicBook 15.
Conversely, the touchpad is better off with its large surface (120×72 mm), ideal both for moving the cursor and performing multitouch gestures.
The Magic-link sticker indicates the location of the NFC zone intended to facilitate connection with an Honor smartphone in order to exchange data, documents or even the mirroring of your phone if you have one of the brand’s latest flagships.
Finally, we welcome the presence of a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint sensor, perfectly integrated into the power button, moreover. A feature still rare on cheap laptops.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Screen
The MagicBook X 15 has a Full HD IPS screen (BOE TV156FHM-NH2 – BOE0936) with a matte surface. An undeniable asset to stand out from the competition, which is generally content with TN panels at an equivalent price. The Honor ultrabook thus offers wider viewing angles and more faithful colorimetry (deltaE at 1.9 after characterization) with the added bonus of almost complete coverage of the sRGB space (96%). Contrast ratio (1153:1) and maximum brightness (350 cd/m2) are more common.
The more observant are probably wondering where the webcam went? At Honor, it takes place in a key on the keyboard (between the F6 and F7 keys). An asset for confidentiality but a disadvantage in terms of angle. The view from below is not the best to be to your advantage. And with the proliferation of Teams meetings and other “e-meetings”, this can be a point not to be overlooked.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Performance
For its new MagicBook, Honor has chosen to trust low-power AMD Ryzen processors. We therefore find a Ryzen 5 5500U, a hexa-core CPU (6 cores) with sufficient performance to offer some versatility.
No fear to have for a simple use, based on office automation (Office suite or Google Docs for example), Web consultation whether it is for surfing or watching videos. Occasionally, some more demanding tasks such as video editing, photo editing or even gaming are possible.
However, the advantage of this frugal processor is that it does not heat up very much (about 80°C max) and can therefore do without a fan quite frequently. In case of triggering, the latter remains discreet (45 dBA). Suffice to say that it will be imperceptible, except to be in a silent room.
Honor offers two power profiles via its PC Manager utility. In practice, our various tests showed no significant impact. The most efficient couple being the profile “ Balanced” associated with the Windows setting “Optimized”.
Honor MagicBook 15 AMD – Autonomy / Battery
With an average autonomy of 9h45 (WiFi active, brightness at 140 cd/m2), the MagicBook 15 AMD is doing well. Nomads and students looking for a laptop capable of holding a day of class will be seduced.
The power supply is light (200g) and compact (60x60x28 mm). It comes with a 1m80 USB-C cable.
Our opinion on the Honor MagicBook 15 AMD
With this new version of its MagicBook 15, Honor takes advantage of the power of AMD chips to offer a more versatile laptop. For the rest, this new ultrabook is in line with its counterparts and can count on many qualities to stand out from the competition.
Its chassis is undoubtedly its main asset. But not the only one. Its screen is rather better off than the average with in particular an almost total coverage of the sRGB space. Autonomy is comfortable and the presence of a significant fingerprint reader.
But the AMD MagicBook 15 isn’t perfect. If its keyboard is comfortable, the absence of backlighting and especially its coating will probably not be unanimous. Ditto for the location of the webcam or the absence of a numeric keypad.
Small “defects” quickly forgotten when we take into account its price: 599€ for this start of the 2022 school year. Enough to make it one of the most attractive laptops of the moment given its quality / price ratio !