Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review


Honor has an extensive laptop lineup across the MagicBook X, N, and View series – all sharing similar sleek design, and bringing a focus on features and connectivity. But the MagicBook Pro 16 we are about to review is certainly the most powerful the company has ever made.

Here are the numbers – the MagicBook Pro 16 has a 16-inch 3072x1920px 16:10 IPS LCD with 500 nits of brightness, a Core Ultra 7 155H processor, 8GB Nvidia 4060 GPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 75W battery.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

This laptop is Honor going all in on productivity, gaming, content creation, and, yes, AI. Touted as the one to usher in the “New Era of AI PC”, the MagicBook Pro 16 has a lot of AI in its marketing – claiming it boosts cross-OS collaboration, smart interaction, general PC performance.

The AI is powered by Intel’s latest processors, which have dedicated neural processing units (NPUs) built in. The NPU can do low-power AI acceleration and CPU/GPU offload for tasks like background blur, eye tracking, picture framing, and image generation.

The Honor MagicBook Pro 16 ships with a hefty 200W charger – that’s a requirement if you want to use that 115W Nvidia 4060 GPU.


Unboxing the MagicBook Pro 16, its 200W charger
Unboxing the MagicBook Pro 16, its 200W charger

Unboxing the MagicBook Pro 16, its 200W charger

Design and build quality

The Honor MagicBook Pro 16 isn’t your average gaming laptop when it comes to design. In general the laptop comes in Purple and White, but the variant with an Nvidia 4060 GPU comes in White exclusively.

The laptop is sleek and thin, considering the kind of hardware it packs. It weighs 1.86kg and is only 17.9mm thick.

The 16-inch 16:10 aspect display has a bit thicker top bezel to accommodate the 1080 webcam. The bottom bezel is also slightly thicker, while the side bezels are pretty thin.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The webcam doesn’t have infrared Windows Hello capabilities. It’s flanked by the two microphones.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The laptop lacks any flashy design cues on the back. There’s just an Honor logo in the center of the metal lid.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

What sets the MagicBook Pro 16 apart from its competition is the slight rainbow color cast under the white of the lid. Honor calls this full-metal 3D Coloring Spray Technology. It stands out more under direct light and is very subdued under regular light.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

There are a total of six ports on the laptop. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the left alongside two USB-C ports – one 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps and a 4.0 Thunderbolt 4 40 Gbps port that can also handle charging via Power Delivery. There are no ports on the right side. Moving to the back, there’s an HDMI 2.0, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and the proprietary charging port.

For connectivity, the MagicBook Pro 16 has 2×2 MIMO antennas, Wi-Fi 6 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4GHz and 5GHz (though no 6E and 7), and Bluetooth 5.1.


The ports on the back and left side
The ports on the back and left side

The ports on the back and left side

There are air vents on all sides of the MagicBook Pro 16, including the bottom. It’s a necessity to improve airflow as the powerful hardware certainly generates a lot of heat.


Vents on the right and bottom
Vents on the right and bottom

Vents on the right and bottom

The MagicBook Pro 16 is very well made. The body is robust and tight – there’s almost no flex to the keyboard deck, the display lid, or the display itself. The hinge is also nicely damped and can be opened seamlessly with one finger.

The body is mostly made out of metal. The top lid and the bottom deck are both metal, and there’s a chamfer going all around the latter and the trackpad cutout, adding a premium feel to the laptop.

Keyboard, trackpad, display, audio

The keyboard on the MagicBook Pro 16 is a full-width arrangement with a numeric pad on the right side. Numpad diehards will love this setup. People who like their keyboards centered will hate it at first but will eventually get used to it.

The keys are nice and big and have good travel. Typing long hours on this keyboard is lovely, once you get used to its off-center position.

There’s an automatic white backlight that you can’t adjust or turn off. The low contrast between the white keys and the white backlight makes for a poor experience when you’re looking to find a specific key. We’d say it’s truly useful only in very dim environments.

There are speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. It’s part of the Honor MagicBook Pro 16’s six-speaker arrangement. Sound comes off from these vents upward, as well as from vents on the front underside of the laptop.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Because Honor needed to accommodate a numpad, the right Shift and the Enter keys are on the small side. The arrow keys are big and comfortable, though.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The trackpad is very big but it has a plastic surface, rather than glass. Gestures work nicely on it but there’s a bit of resistance when you’re dragging your finger over the plastic surface that isn’t there on glass trackpads.

You can tap with one or two fingers on the trackpad, but you can also click on it. You need to apply a lot of pressure to click in the upper part of the trackpad, while the bottom part feels slightly loose when clicking on it. It’s not a very premium experience.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The power button is slightly recessed and doubles as an instant-on fingerprint reader. It means it will turn on the computer and log you in all with a single press. We found the reader responsive and accurate.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The display of MagicBook Pro 16 is a 16:10 aspect unit with a 3072x1920px resolution and 165Hz refresh rate with a 3ms response time. The non-touchscreen covers 100% of both the DCI-P3 gamut and the sRGB one. There’s a Display Manager that can change between the two, adjusting the contrast and colors but on our unit, the app was not functioning for some reason (and we couldn’t find where to reinstall it from).

The panel is TUV Rheinland certified for Low Blue Light emission and being Flicker Free. There’s Dynamic Dimming as well as an E-Book mode (accessible through the Display Manager app).

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Honor claims 500 nits of maximum brightness for the panel. We measured 527 nits in the center, around 480 at the left edge, and around 510 at the right one. That’s very good uniformity and it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to spot a difference in brightness.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

The Honor MagicBook Pro 16 has some of the loudest speakers we’ve ever heard. The sound they produce is has well-defined mid range and enough of a low end to make it full when listening to music or watching a movie. We’d call the overall output excellent. They’re also widely spaced thanks to the speakers’ placement both around the keyboard and below the laptop.

Honor’s software suite can tune the speakers to either mimic Spatial audio or work in stereo. When headphones are installed, you can choose between spatial audio and DTS enhancement.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Software, performance and battery life

Honor equipped the MagicBook Pro 16 with its suite of apps – PC Manager and WorkStation. PC Manager is a hub from which you control the machine’s performance and update the various drivers of the laptop.

PC Manager is also where you can pair your laptop to an Android smartphone and project the phone’s screen on the laptop or the laptop’s screen on a tablet or foldable. Honor Share uses Wi-Fi to send files to your phone.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

There are two performance modes – Smart mode, which prioritizes battery life while giving you enough performance, and High performance mode, which unleashes the full potential of the laptop.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Honor WorkStation is where you can use MagicRing. When you have multiple Honor devices with the same Honor account, they’ll automatically sense each other and be able to share files and have connected apps – where apps flow seamlessly between phone and laptop so you can start a task on one and continue it on the other.

Some AI features weren’t available for testing at the time of this review. Smart Picture Search, Smart Document Summary, Text Comprehension, AI Subtitle, and Magic Text are all a major part of the MagicBook Pro 16’s AI prowess.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Moving on to upgradability and performance. It’s easy enough to open the MagicBook Pro 16 – just unscrew the T6 torx screws and you’re in. Once there, you can clean the innards and replace the SSD and battery. The RAM and Wi-Fi are both soldered.

That’s about as upgradable as a MacBook but it’s a good thing then that the MagicBook Pro 16 comes specced as well as it does. In Europe there’s seemingly a single hardware configuration available and it’s pretty much maxed out.

You get an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor, 32GB of 6400MHz DDR5 RAM, a 1TB Western Digital SN740 PCIe-4.0 SSD, and an 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 laptop GPU. The Honor MagicBook Pro 16 packs Intel’s Core 7 Ultra 155H of the latest Meteor Lake generation. It has 16 physical cores and 22 threads. There are 6 performance cores, 8 efficiency cores, and 2 of the brand-new low-power efficiency cores. The built-in GPU is an Intel Arc with 8 Xe cores, and the NPU has two Gen3 compute engines (that’s the maximum on any core Ultra processor).


Potent hardware
Potent hardware

Potent hardware

The PCIe-4.0 SSD packs great performance with solid read and write in all tests. It comes split in two partitions by default – C and D.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

We ran both Geekbench 6.2.2 to see the CPU performance and GFXBench for the GPU. The CPU posts impressive multi-core results. The Nvidia RTX 4060 easily scores above 80fps in GFX’s 4K test, above 200fps in the 1440p tests, and above 400fps in the 1080p tests.


Geekbench and GFXBench
Geekbench and GFXBench

Geekbench and GFXBench

What’s more impressive is the thermal performance of the MagicBook Pro 16. In our CPU stress test, the Core Ultra 7 155H maintained 2.6GHz throughout the test. More impressive, the fans were inaudible during the test, and the laptop didn’t become uncomfortably hot.

During gaming, the fans got to 50dB from an arm’s length. That’s not bad at all and wasn’t enough to disrupt work at the office.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

Finally, battery life. The built-in 75Wh pack can turn out long hours of video playback. We did two tests of streaming a 10-hour-long video – with the considerable brightness of the screen and volume of the speakers at 100% and one with both at 50%. We got 4 hours and 40 minutes in the maxed-out test and a respectable 7 hours and 43 minutes in the latter.

Conclusion

Honor plunged headfirst into the gaming laptop business with the MagicBook Pro 16. The company did it with confidence – the MagicBook Pro 16 looks like no other mainstream gaming machine out there with its white body and 3D-painted lid, while its single, maxed-out configuration exudes determination.

From the 500-nit 16-inch display to the outstanding audio quality to the sheer prowess of the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H and Nvidia 4060 GPU, it’s hard to find a fault with the MagicBook Pro 16.

We deducted points for the plastic trackpad, which is nowhere near as premium (or precise) as a glass one, and the keyboard backlight is unimpressive. There’s no Wi-Fi 7, and there’s only one Thunderbolt 4 port.

But those are all shortcomings that are easy to live with for the majority of buyers. The MagicBook Pro 16 offers them a package that’s easily future-proof for at least 5 years, 5 years more if the tasks are light gaming and office work.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 review

However, we can’t say we recommend the MagicBook Pro 16 at the time of this review, simply because you can’t buy it yet. Honor will roll out the MagicBook Pro 16 in China first, but even there, there’s no price to speak of.

We have a feeling that Honor won’t charge Razer Blade money for the MagicBook Pro 16. If the price is sensible enough it would make many a short list .



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