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Honor MagicBook Pro first impressions: Could this be the best laptop under RM4,000?

[ UPDATE 6/10/2020 11:51 ] Full pricing and availability details for Malaysia have been revealed. Full details here.

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Honor—and parent company Huawei—have certainly been making efforts to solidify their newfound presence in the laptop market. After announcing the value-for-money MagicBook 14 laptops a couple of months ago, Honor is looking to build on that success with the MagicBook Pro: the flagship laptop from the company. 

The headliner here is that this is the first Honor laptop to be powered by an AMD Ryzen 4000 series chip, with the MagicBook Pro featuring an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H mated to integrated AMD Radeon graphics.

We’re also getting the range-topping configuration in Malaysia, which means that the MagicBook Pro will have 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

So, might this be Honor’s latest and greatest laptop yet?

Larger display, smaller footprint

The MagicBook Pro has a 16.1” Full HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, but Honor says that their new laptop still has a similar footprint as a “typical” 15.6” laptop. This is because they’ve managed to shave down the top and side bezels to just 4.9mm, which results in a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. 

On top of that, this screen is also capable of displaying 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, which should be pretty valuable for people who do photo editing or colour work.

Honor uses a pop-up camera that sits in the function key row, so you might have to get used to some pretty awkward angles during video calls. Unfortunately, this also means that there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, although you have a fingerprint scanner that that doubles up as a power button for biometric logins.

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When it comes to ports, Honor has included quite a few, including legacy USB-A ports. You get a single HDMI 2.0 port, three USB-A ports, and a single USB-C port. And yes—there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The laptop also sports dual speakers, which Honor says can reproduce “virtual 3D sound”. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much of a chance to test these out, but the placement of the speakers (one on each side of the keyboard) seems promising, especially in terms of providing a “3D sound”.

Meanwhile, Honor promises that the MagicBook Pro’s 56Wh battery can handle 1080p offline video playback for 11 hours on a single charge, with charging from 0–50 taking around half an hour. For “office use”, you’ll get up to 11 hours, and for web browsing, nine hours. And like most of Honor and Huawei’s other laptops, you’re also getting a 65W USB-C charger.

I didn’t have much time to actually test out the capabilities of the MagicBook Pro, but from first impressions, Honor’s flagship laptop’s aluminium body feels well built, although it’s certainly hefty at 1.7kg. That said, this is a 16.1” laptop, and for context the MacBook Pro 16 weighs 2kg, so this is on the lighter side of things. 

MagicBook Pro

I will say that the display of the MagicBook Pro looks great. Honor talks a lot about its TUV Rheinland Flicker-Free certification and the colour accuracy of the display, but for me, it is the almost all-screen appearance thanks to the 90% screen to body ratio that impresses the most.

And of course, the Ryzen 5 4000 series under the hood is probably what Honor fans have been asking for for awhile now, so props to Honor for listening to their fans.

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At the time of writing, we don’t have official pricing details just yet. However, the MagicBook Pro is priced at around EUR 900 (~RM4,376) in Europe—so we do expect to see a price tag of just below RM4000. So, what do you think? Could this be the best laptop under RM4,000? First, we’ll have to wait for official details from Honor—and you’ll be the first to know when we get word.

Photography by Nic Ker with the Sony A6600.