Honour’s latest flagship laptop will be well received by business users searching for something unusual with some enticing features. However, we are perplexed as to why Honor only launched it in three countries outside of China (Russia, France, and Belarus) when it could have easily done so in many more.
Aside from that, the laptop is a pretty well-executed product that, if it checks all of your boxes, should be on your list of best business laptops. The screen is a joy to work with; it is quick enough for most jobs, including graphics-intensive ones; the touchpad is large; the camera is one of the best available, and the audio subsystem is excellent. In the “to be improved” area, only the slightly disappointing battery life and the positioning of the Thunderbolt 4 ports are worth considering.
Honor MagicBook View 14 Review: Pricing and availability
The Honor MagicBook View 14 is not available in the United Kingdom or the United States. We appreciate the hesitancy about the latter, but we don’t comprehend the reasoning behind skipping the United Kingdom (where the Honor 50 launched late last year). In France, the laptop costs slightly under 1,100 Euros (about £920, $1,240, or AU$ 1,730). If you’re brave enough to try changing the language on a Chinese laptop, Honor’s latest flagship product is available on Banggood for $1,180 (about £870, AU$1,650). Local taxes and delivery expenses are not included.
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Honor MagicBook View 14 Review: Design
It’s difficult to deny Apple’s iconic MacBook Pro line had an impact on Chinese laptop manufacturers like Huawei, Honor, and Xiaomi. The aluminium alloy chassis’s basic design (available in Space Gray or Blue Hour) complements the brushed metallic finish, which gives the product a luxury feel. The MagicBook View 14’s surface is spotless, save for the Honor logo and a handful of stickers.
When you open the lid, you’re faced with a slab of glass, a black mirror that stares back at you. This is the 14.2-inch touchscreen panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, and a resolution of 2520 x 1680 pixels (more than twice as many pixels as a Full HD display). With a screen-to-body ratio of 90.5 per cent, it’s no surprise that its bezels are tiny, particularly at the top and towards the bottom, and connected to the keyboard via a lengthy hinge.
Given its screen size, the laptop is remarkably portable. It measures 227 x 310mm, which is somewhat larger than an A4 page. Its thickness of 14.5mm excludes one rubber bar and two rubber feet that raise the laptop’s base to improve air circulation. The use of aluminium over magnesium for the chassis and glass for the touchscreen overlay explains why the gadget is heavier than planned, weighing 1.48Kg.
The keyboard is sandwiched between two speaker grills (which conceal two tweeter drivers), with two additional speakers shooting towards the device’s base. There’s also a massive touchpad (121 x 72mm), one of the biggest we’ve seen on a 14-inch laptop. Four microphones are positioned on the chassis’s front edge and are barely visible as four small dots. Two infrared cameras allow you to face unlock your computer, which is useful for safeguarding your laptops with biometric features.
In terms of connectivity, there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left, as well as a 3.5-mm audio connector. On the opposite side, there is a full-size HDMI port and a USB Type-A connector. There’s no card reader, and we’d want to have at least one Thunderbolt 4 port on the right for balance.
Honor MagicBook View 14 Review: Hardware
Our Russian-sourced laptop was powered by an Intel processor, the Core i7-11390H CPU. There is also a slower option with an Intel Core i5-11320H CPU. To add to the confusion, the Chinese market has a model with a specialized Nvidia GPU, the MX450, that the rest of the globe does not have.
This is a 10nm device with four cores, eight threads, a 12MB cache, and a reasonably high clock speed that corresponds to a pretty high TDP (35W). The MagicBook View offers a high-performance mode that shifts the laptop into overdrive and increases the TDP to 45W. (and gets the fans to whir faster).
The MagicBook View 14 is one of the first laptops to include a 5-megapixel camera, which is a breath of fresh air among notebooks equipped with low-resolution laptop cameras, which are the scourge of Zoom and Microsoft Teams video conference sessions. It has two camera sensors and a 90-degree wide-angle vision. There are no shutters on the camera, but you may turn it off by pushing a specific button.
The balance of the specs includes an Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 GPU with 96 Execution Units, 16GB DDR4 RAM (dual-channel for greater performance), a 512GB PCIe SSD (Toshiba KXG60ZNV512G), Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1 (through an Intel AX201 chipset), and a 65W power supply unit.
The MagicBook View 14 runs Windows 11 Home, with an upgrade to Windows 11 Pro available with a single click. There isn’t much bloatware (apart from what Windows 11 includes by default); but, you do receive PC Manager, Honor’s all-singing-all-dancing system optimization software bundle.
The glossy display is highly reflective, as predicted, but Honor engineers appear to have slapped a layer of oleophobic material that mitigates the sticky issue of greasy fingerprints. We can’t emphasize how great 3:2 aspect ratio screens are, and we wish more laptop manufacturers would follow suit. With a stated brightness of 400 nits, the View 14 display displayed outstanding colours in a variety of circumstances.
Under load, the system was loud but not unbearable. The benchmarks all indicate a very competent processor paired with a similarly capable SSD, and boy is this GPU capable! It should outperform entry-level Nvidia GPUs like the MX350 or MX450, making it an excellent choice for light or casual gaming.
The battery life was perhaps the one genuine disappointment; again, everything is relative, and while 406 minutes on our YouTube benchmark is not awful, it is still shorter than what the MagicBook Pro (intel and AMD variants) achieved last year with smaller batteries (56WHr).
The power button incorporates a fingerprint scanner, making it perfect for replacing a password or PIN. It’s a shame that the button next to it is a delete button that also serves as an insert key, which might pose problems for quick-touch typers.
The keyboard has a comfortable 1.5mm travel, and although we can get used to some of its little oddities, such as the tiny up/down buttons, others, such as the special print screen button, maybe too much for certain users. It’s a little louder than we expected, and we miss the slightly concave surface of Dell Latitude laptop keys.
Is the Honor MagicBook View 14 business laptop worth buying?
- You want to complete an 8K on a budget. You should be able to use this laptop to power an 8K display, such as the LG 55NANO956, a large but reasonably priced 55-inch television set, with a suitable converter.
- Looks are important (yours and your laptop). The MagicBook View 14 has a quality finish that makes it appear amazing, and its 5-megapixel webcam provides crisper, more lifelike images than most other laptop webcams.
- Don’t purchase it if:
- You desire an out-of-the-box experience. You’re out of luck if you don’t live in one of the four recognized regions where the MagicBook View 14 is available. An English-speaking consumer will confront various challenges, the most important of which is having it delivered.