Honor MagicBook 14 (2022) hands-on: A value-for-money 14-inch workhorse with discrete graphics

Honor MagicBook 14 (2022) hands-on: A value-for-money 14-inch workhorse with discrete graphics


  • 12th generation Core i5 processor
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 Option
  • All-day battery life
  • Competitive price

The inconvenients

  • 300nit display
  • 720p webcam
  • Disappointing speakers

Honor is primarily known as a smartphone maker, but the Chinese company’s portfolio extends to tablets such as the excellent Honor Pad 8, wearables (bands, watches and headphones) and the MagicBook range of 14-inch laptops, 15 inches and 16 inches. .

At the time of writing, the Honor MagicBook 14 (2022) is not yet available in the UK, although French and German buyers can find it online with a starting price of €999.90 (~$1,064). $). That buys you a 12-core Intel Core i5-12500H processor (4 performance, 8 efficient), integrated Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. A model with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 discrete graphics costs €1,199.99 (~$1,276). The MagicBook 14 is also available in China and Malaysia, but not officially in the United States.

Honor MagicBook 14 (2022): Ports

Left side (top): 2x USB-C, 3.5mm audio in/out. Right side (above): HDMI, USB-A.

Images: Sandra Vogel/ZDNET

The construction is very solid and the aluminum shell should withstand bumps and scratches in the normal course of events. The weight of 1.58 kg, although high for a 14-inch laptop, did not bother me as I was carrying this device in my backpack. At 16.9mm thin, it’s not super thin either, but the chassis makes room for a full-size HDMI and USB-A port on the right side, as well as a pair of USB- C and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. . One of the USB-C ports is used to charge the laptop.

The 14-inch screen sits in bezels thin enough to get a claimed 88.15 per cent scree-to-body ratio, and there’s a 720p webcam above the display. The screen’s resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels means content is crisp and clear, although its peak brightness of 300 nits is rather low. Still, I found it perfectly adequate for indoor work. The 170° viewing angle meant I could easily share content with someone sitting next to me.

Honor MagicBook 14 (2022): keyboard

The keys have 1.5mm travel and there’s a combined power/fingerprint reader button in the top right corner.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNET

My review unit had a US keyboard layout, but otherwise I found it efficient and comfortable to use. There’s 1.5mm of key travel and good rebound, and the slight click generated when typing should suit those who like to work in relative silence. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the top right of the keyboard, integrated with the power button. The touchpad is responsive and easy to grip, and as wide as the palm rest will allow.

The disappointing feature when it comes to user experience is the speaker system. Their grilles sit under the chassis, which muffles sound when you’re working with the laptop on your lap or any softer surface. The maximum volume isn’t as loud as it could be, and there’s a blur in the sound output that makes listening to music a little underwhelming. The speakers are great for spoken content, but if you’re looking for a powerful audio performer for after-hours entertainment, you might want to look elsewhere.

The 75 Wh battery is specified as good for 15 hours of local 1080p video playback. My experience in testing suggests that ten hours of battery life might be closer to the mark. Still, that should be enough for a productive day away from mains power. Honor has launched a system called OS Turbo which can recognize usage scenarios and adjust power consumption accordingly. According to the company, this can reduce energy consumption by up to 20%. Honor provides a 135W charger which it claims can take the battery from empty to 100% in 80 minutes.

The Honor MagicBook 14 (2022) performed well for the common knowledge worker tasks I gave it during testing, the range of ports is pretty solid, and the battery life was good. If you’re looking for a capable laptop for everyday use and can find it on sale, the MagicBook 14 is worth considering.

Honor MagicBook (2022) Specifications

SE Windows 11 Home
Processor Intel Core i5-12500H
GPUs Intel Iris Xe graphics card, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 (4 GB)
Storage 512 GB
Display 14-inch, 2160 x 1440 (3:2, 185ppi), 300 nits, 1500:1, 100% sRGB
Ports and locations 2x USB-C (10Gbps), USB-A (5Gbps), HDMI, 3.5mm audio in/out
Wireless WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
Keyboard full size, 1.5mm key travel
Touchpad 5-point multipoint, 120mm x 72.2mm
webcam 720p
fingerprint reader built-in power button
audio 2x speakers, 2x microphones
Battery 75Wh
Apps Honor Magic-link/PC Manager
Dimensions 307.51mm x 227.56mm x 16.9mm
lester 1.58kg
In the box MagicBook 14, USB-C Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card
Price €999.90 (16GB/512GB/Intel Iris Xe graphics), €1,199.90 (16GB/512GB/Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050)

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