Honor continues to expand its range of ultrabooks with the arrival of the MagicBook X 15. A 15-inch laptop, as its name suggests, but this time intended for students and people looking for a cheap laptop. Officially offered at $700, it is possible to find it for less than $600 during a promotion.
A good plan a few days before the start of the school year for this laptop PC which can count on its aluminum frame and IPS screen to stand out from the competition. Undeniable advantages in this price range but which will not erase some weaknesses, crippling for some users as we will see.
|Sleek aluminum body||Awkward webcam location|
|IPS screen||Single USB-C port for charging|
|Average battery life|
|Bright IPS screen|
|Honor MagicBook X 15|
|Model||MagicBook X 15|
|Release Date||7th May 2021|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Dimensions||357.3 x 229.5 x 16.9 mm|
|Color||Space Gray, Mystic Silver|
Regulars of the brand will not be disoriented. This MagicBook X 15 retains the same design as that of other computers of the brand. The only difference is that the blue border around the frame is no longer present. Ditto for the Honor logo, now gray and therefore more in keeping with the Space Gray color. What makes it even soberer and goes everywhere.
In addition to its discretion, the MagicBook X 15 can count on its aluminum chassis to stand out. A rare feature at the entry-level, as most competing laptops are designed with plastic-based frames. The latter is 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 daily in all your travels.
Access to components is hardly a problem. All you need to do is hook up to the ten Torx screws and then pry up to unclip the frame. The upgrade possibilities are, however, limited to the SSD; the RAM is soldered. But with a modest Core i3, the 8 GB of RAM present is sufficient for all users. If you think you’re cramped, it’s best to start by opting for a laptop with a faster processor. Attention, if a 2.5-inch slot is clearly visible, it is not wired!
|Display Size||15.6 inch|
|Display Resolution||1920×1080 pixels|
|Features||15.6 “Full HD LED IPS 250 nits (1920×1080, anti-glare)|
|Dimension||357.3 x 229.5 x 16.9 mm|
The MagicBook X 15 has a satin surface with a Full HD IPS screen (BOE TV156FHM-NH1 – BOE0872). An undeniable advantage to stand out from the competition is generally satisfied with TN panels at an equivalent price. The Honor ultrabook thus offers wider viewing angles and more faithful colorimetry (deltaE at 2.1 after characterization); even if entry-level requires, it is nevertheless necessary to be satisfied with a coverage of 62% of the space. sRGB. The contrast ratio (1450: 1) and maximum brightness (270 cd / m2) are better off.
The most observant undoubtedly wonder where the webcam went? At Honor, it takes place in a key on the keyboard (between the F6 and F7 keys). An asset for privacy but a disadvantage in terms of angle. The low-angle view 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.
|Processor||Intel Core i3-10110U Comet Lake (2.1 GHz, 2 cores)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD 620 Graphics|
|RAM||8 GB DDR4 2400 MHz (soldered)|
|Storage||256 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD|
If the MagicBook X 15 makes a strong impression on the chassis and screen, the internal components deserve more attention. There is nothing to say about the SSD; the NVMe standard offers first-rate performance with nearly 3200 MB / s in reading! The only concession at its level, a capacity of 250 GB.
On the processor side, Honor chose a Core i3-10110U, a dual-core CPU with modest performance. No fear to have for simple use, based on office automation (Office suite or Google Docs, for example), Web consultation for surfing or watching videos. On the other hand, this little Core i3 is not cut out to handle more demanding needs like video editing, photo editing, or even gaming. Of course, nothing prevents you from launching Photoshop or Lightroom, but it will be necessary to be patient to apply a filter or export a batch of several photos.
In practice, this translates into times at least doubled under Capture One Pro (10 min vs. 5 min) or Davinci Resolve (6m30 vs. 3m) compared to Core i5 or Ryzen 5, sometimes offered on competing models. Admittedly, the latter is often a little more expensive and/or less well off on the chassis/screen side, but this will undoubtedly be a more judicious concession for some users.
However, the advantage of this frugal processor is that it heats little (about 70 ° C at most). The fan is, therefore, most often inactive. And when it activates, the noise does not exceed 40 dBA. Suffice to say that it will be imperceptible, except to be in a quiet room.
|Audio system||2 speakers 2W|
|Connectivity||1 USB 2.0 + 1 USB 3.2 + 1 USB 3.2 Type-C (Gen1), HDMI|
|Network||Wi-Fi ac (2×2)|
Honor persists in offering a somewhat outdated connection. Let’s switch to one of the two USB-A ports, still standard 2.0, acceptable for entry-level models. On the other hand, the presence of a single USB-C port is much less.
Especially since the load monopolizes the latter, you must 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. It will be necessary to be satisfied with the HDMI port.
Located under the underside of the chassis, at the palm rests, the two speakers deliver typical laptop sound. Sufficient for occasional use, it will be necessary to opt for an external system – via jack or Bluetooth – to enjoy the more convincing sound.
Like the design, the keyboard is common with other Honor computers. We, therefore, find large keys (16.5×16.5 mm), fairly close together (2.8 mm), and short strokes (1.1 mm).
Despite a fairly dry typing, its use is pleasant and efficient, but the surface of the keys, which is 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 backlighting on this MagicBook X 15.
Conversely, the touchpad is better off with its large surface (120×72 mm), ideal for moving the cursor and performing multitouch gestures.
Finally, welcome the presence of a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint sensor, perfectly integrated with the power button. An infrequent feature on cheap laptops.
The Magic-link sticker indicates the location of the NFC zone intended to facilitate connection with an Honor smartphone to exchange data, documents, or even mirroring your phone if you have one of the latest flagships.
|Honor MagicBook 14|
|Battery Type||Li-Polymer 3 cells|
|Battery Life||7 hours|
With an average battery life of 7:30 hours (active WiFi, brightness at 140 cd / m2), the MagicBook X 15 is again doing with the honors against a competition that struggles to exceed 5 hours in the same conditions. The power supply is light (200g) and compact (60x60x28 mm). It comes with a 1.8m USB-C cable.
With its new MagicBook X 15, Honor takes the elements that made the success of the brand. We, therefore, find a robust but light aluminum frame and a sober design capable of blending in as well in an auditorium as in the office. But it can also count on a correct IPS screen, a well-made keyboard, autonomy capable of meeting the needs of most users, and the icing on the cake, a fingerprint reader essential to unlock your session without needing to enter his password.
Many advantages, are common on mid-range models but much rarer on a cheap laptop. Because yes, with its price close to $600, the MagicBook X 15 is well-positioned in this niche of the affordable entry-level laptop.
So a faultless for this Honor ultrabook? Almost because if it is difficult to find fault on the chassis side, to be able to offer such an affordable price, it will be necessary to accept a concession on performance and settle for a Core i3.
A dual-core processor is sufficient to surf the Internet, write a thesis in Word, keep accounts in Excel, or watch streaming videos on Youtube or Netflix.
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