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Honor MagicBook 14 with Intel Core i7-1165G7 evaluation


Introduction

Honor is getting plenty of mileage out of the MagicBook 14 chassis – we reviewed it as soon as with a Ryzen 3500U APU, then we seemed on the upgraded 4500U model. With the AMD chips lined, time to take a look on the Intel-powered model of this laptop computer that was announced last month.


The Honor MagicBook 14 is back, this time with an 11th generation Intel Core processor
The Honor MagicBook 14 is back, this time with an 11th generation Intel Core processor

The Honor MagicBook 14 is again, this time with an eleventh technology Intel Core processor

There are two choices – an Intel i7-1165G7 or an i5-1135G7. Each are eleventh technology cellular chips (Tiger Lake) constructed on a 10nm SuperFin litography. Each have 4 hyper-threaded cores (i.e. eight threads complete) and each have a TDP of 28W. The i7 model has the next base frequency (2.8 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz), larger max turbo frequency (4.7 GHz vs. 4.2 GHz) and extra L3 cache (12 MB vs. 8 MB).

We now have the extra highly effective i7 model in entrance of us, however as you’ll be able to see the 2 choices aren’t that totally different. The Intel Xe graphics on the i7 mannequin boast 96 execution items, up from 80 on the i5, however neither would do for something past informal play. However earlier than we study what’s on the within, allow us to take a look at what’s on the skin.

Design, show, keyboard

There’s not far more to say concerning the design that we didn’t cowl in our earlier encounters with the laptop computer. The aluminum exterior is glossy, although the display bezel is plastic.

The keyboard reveals minimal flexing when pressed down, the display is a little more wobbly, however general we’re happy with the construct high quality. The laptop computer weighs 1.38 kg (don’t overlook the 200g USB-C charger) and measures 15.9 mm thick. It’s not the lightest in its class, however we’re not complaining.


The 14
The keyboard is a bit cramped, but the touchpad is great

The 14″ show delivers over 300 nits brightness • The keyboard is a bit cramped, the touchpad is nice

The Intel model has the identical dimensions, weight and port choice because the AMD ones. That final half is a little bit of a disappointment as a Thunderbolt port would have been a pleasant purpose to go blue as a substitute of purple. That stated, the only real USB-C port do assist charging – the truth is, there’s no barrel plug to be seen. However we’ll get to the battery and charging.

Earlier than that we’ve to air two complaints. First that there’s solely a single USB-C (and no barrel jack), so plugging into the facility leaves you with solely a single USB-A 3.2 Gen1 and a USB-A 2.0 (which is able to most probably be occupied by a keyboard/mouse dongle they usually higher be capable of share).

The second grievance, in fact, is that if you wish to plug in an exterior monitor, you’ll be able to’t use a single cable to do it – you’ll additionally want to make use of the full-size HDMI port.


USB-C (charging is supported, DisplayPort is not), USB-A 3.2 Gen1, HDMI
USB-A 2.0, 3.5 mm jack

USB-C (charging is supported, DisplayPort shouldn’t be), USB-A 3.2 Gen1, HDMI • USB-A 2.0, 3.5 mm jack

Transferring on, the MagicBook 14 is supplied with a 14” LCD panel with 1,920 x 1,080px decision. The official numbers are 300 nits typical brightness and 1,000:1 distinction ratio, each values being superior to the numbers for the Ryzen 4500U model (250 nits and 800:1, respectively). However once more, these are the claimed numbers.

We examined the show on the Intel mannequin and it maxed out at 370 nits – fairly stable. The Ryzen mannequin additionally overshot its goal and posted 277 nits. Even so, the almost 100 nit distinction in brightness is sort of tangible. Our one grievance is that at 50% the brightness drops to 173 nits, which is comparatively dim. We’d have most popular a extra linear scaling.

Viewing angles are fairly good and whereas there’s a shift in distinction at excessive angles, it isn’t a problem at regular viewing angles. For colour rendering, the show goals for 100% sRGB and 72% NTSC protection.

The keyboard is as earlier than, with good, giant keys with good journey and suggestions. There are additionally three ranges of backlighting. As is typical for a 14” laptop computer, this one options solely a curated collection of keys – past QWERTY, mainly solely Backspace and Delete get their very own keys. The F-row doubles up as shortcut keys (display brightness, quantity, Wi-Fi, and so on.) and a type of (between F6 and F7) shouldn’t be a key however the webcam as a substitute.


The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader

The ability button doubles as a fingerprint reader

The plastic touchpad is about as giant as would slot in this manner issue. It’s clean and correct, multi-touch gestures labored completely. To the best of the keyboard is the Energy button, which has an embedded fingerprint reader you should use as a substitute for password login.

Upgradability

This can be, sadly, a brief part. The laptop computer comes with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, which is an ample quantity for the category. That’s excellent news as it’s soldered to the motherboard, so you’ll be able to’t add extra capability afterward.

For storage there’s a 512GB NVMe SSD, a Western Digital SN730, particularly. It’s connected on the PCIe Gen 3 x4 port. You’ll be able to swap it out, however there’s solely the one bay, so that you’ll have to repeat your knowledge over to the brand new drive first.


An app that keeps drivers up to date
Huawei Magic Link is supported

An app that retains drivers updated • Huawei Magic Hyperlink is supported

Lastly, there’s additionally a PCIe Gen 3 x1 port, which is the place the community card goes. It’s an Intel AX201, which helps Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.1, so that you most likely received’t want to switch this one anytime quickly.

Efficiency

The eleventh Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are fabbed on the second iteration of Intel’s 10nm SuperFin course of. They’ve a configurable TDP of between 12W and 28W. We’ve set the laptop computer to excessive efficiency mode (utilizing the Fn+P shortcut, alternatively you’ll be able to rapidly leap into Honor’s PC Supervisor app utilizing the choice perform of F10).

The CPU accommodates 4 Willow Cove cores, every working two threads. For comparability, the Ryzen 4500U model of the MagicBook 14 we examined beforehand is residence to six cores working 12 threads.

So, the Intel chip ought to be at a drawback within the multi-threaded exams, however with turbo clocks going as much as 4.7GHz on our i7-powered evaluation pattern, it has an opportunity to edge out the AMD chip, which tops out at 4.0GHz, in single-core exams. The i7 has extra cache too (12MB vs. 8MB).

The only-core efficiency take a look at (primarily based on Geekbench 5) goes closely in favor of the Core i7 model with an over 40% benefit.

The energy of particular person cores actually whittles down the core rely benefit of the AMD APU. So the i7-based laptop computer additionally takes the win within the multi-core efficiency take a look at – the benefit isn’t as beautiful, but it surely’s a great 20% lead over the 4500U.

Transferring on to Cinebench R20, it concurs that the i7 is quicker, although with a narrower hole of round 10%.


Honor MagicBook 14 (Core i7-1165G7): Cinebench R20
Honor MagicBook 14 (Core i7-1165G7): Geekbench 5

Honor MagicBook 14 (Core i7-1165G7): Cinebench R20 • Geekbench 5

The i5 and i7 assist PCIe Gen 4, which works unused on this laptop computer. Nevertheless, that doesn’t hurt the efficiency because the WD SN730 SSD hits its efficiency targets completely. And it’s closed to maxing out what a Gen 3 x4 connection can obtain, so there’s not a lot monetary sense in investing in a sooner drive.

Notably, the Intel model of the MagicBook 14 acquired a superior SSD, which did nail the three,400 MB/s sequential learn speeds marketed by WD. That’s 75% sooner than the SSSTC SSD within the Ryzen 4500U model managed. Sequential write speeds are twice as excessive too.

As for random entry, two the drives are comparable at excessive queue depth, however the Western Digital drive in is clearly superior at random writes speeds within the Q1T1 take a look at (queue depth = 1, # of threads = 1).

Honor MagicBook 14 with Intel Core i7-1165G7 review

To check out the Iris Xe graphics we ran GFXBench 5.0 in DirectX 12 and Vulkan modes. The Aztec Ruins take a look at confirmed higher efficiency below Vulkan the place it got here near hitting 60fps within the Excessive Tier mode at 1080p decision. Underneath DirectX 12 it ran at below 54fps, however acquired near 80fps within the Regular Tier.

This clearly isn’t a gaming laptop computer, however it’ll deal with informal video games simply sufficient so long as you don’t anticipate stellar graphics. The numbers are comparable with the Ryzen 7 4700U and its Vega 7 GPU.


Intel Iris Xe graphics test: GFXBench (DirectX 12)
Intel Iris Xe graphics test: GFXBench (Vulkan)

Intel Iris Xe graphics take a look at: GFXBench (DirectX 12) • GFXBench (Vulkan)

Honor connected two warmth pipes to the Intel processor that result in a single fan. For brief bursts of exercise, the fan is whisper quiet (particularly when it’s not in Efficiency mode) Nevertheless, extended stress exams crank up the decibels – it’s not very loud, however its excessive pitch isn’t precisely nice. Nonetheless, that is solely a priority when you hammer the CPU and GPU for lengthy intervals of time.

Battery life and charging

The Intel model of the Honor MagicBook 14 (2021) comes with a 56Wh capability to work with, the identical because the Ryzen mannequin we examined. Nevertheless, the Intel chip is extra energy hungry.

We performed YouTube (over Wi-Fi, 1080p/30 fps video) at 100% display brightness and in about 6 hours the battery was down to twenty%, which is when the facility saver mode kicked in. We continued till the battery died, which took an hour and 20 minutes. That’s considerably lower than the Ryzen model, which lasted over 11 hours.

Then we tried net searching (utilizing Microsoft Edge and a Wi-Fi connection), which proved simpler on the battery and the laptop computer lasted almost 7 hours earlier than the battery fell to twenty% and a couple of complete of 8 and a half hours earlier than it was totally depleted. That is once more nowhere close to what the Ryzen mannequin achieved (12:30h).







Check Display screen brightness Time to twenty% Time to 0%
YouTube, 1080p, 30fps 100.00% 5:58 7:19
YouTube, 1080p, 30fps 50.00% 7:01 8:34
Shopping 100.00% 6:50 8:25
Shopping 50.00% 8:22 10:24

That brighter display certain eats into the endurance. So, we dropped the brightness to 50% and that made an enormous distinction – the laptop computer lasted 10 and a half hours of net searching. YouTube playback as soon as once more proved extra demanding and the laptop computer lasted solely about 8 and a half hours. Nonetheless, that ought to be greater than sufficient to get you thru the day.

Like its sibling, this laptop computer comes with a 65W charger that outputs over USB-C. Official numbers declare 44% cost in half an hour and our exams affirm that, because it took round 36 minutes to succeed in 50% cost. A full cost took 1 hour and 38 minutes.





Charging Time
0-50% 0:36
0-100% 1:35

We additionally tried plugging in a tiny 18W USB-C Energy Supply charger and the laptop computer began filling up its battery. It’s not quick, in fact, however in a pinch you should use a suitable telephone charger (nice information when you’re not eager on carrying the laptop computer’s personal 200g charger).

Verdict

The Honor MagicBook 14 (2021, Intel) is already obtainable in a number of European markets. The i5 model begins at €850 with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. For comparability, the 8/512GB model with a Ryzen 4500U prices €750.

We examined the highest mannequin with an i7 and 16GB of RAM, which will be discovered for €1,000 on the time of writing, however word that its MSRP is €1,200. Is that this laptop computer price €1,200? In isolation we might say sure. However the true query is whether or not you’d fairly have this one at €1,000 over the Ryzen one at €750.

The Intel model confirmed superior CPU efficiency and in addition had a transparent edge in storage velocity (if not capability). Additionally, it comes with a greater display. Nevertheless, it runs its battery dry noticeably sooner. So, if efficiency is the precedence, the Intel mannequin appears extra interesting. If you need endurance and to spare your pockets, the AMD model is best.

As alternate options, there may be the Acer Swift 3 at €1,100 MSRP with the identical i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM (soldered) and 1 TB storage. It can save you €200 when you go for an 8/512 GB configuration. This laptop computer is lighter at 1.2 kg and has the identical battery capability, 56Wh (the included charger is a 45W brick). The display is a 14” 1080p IPS LCD and the USB-C port does assist Thunderbolt 4.


Acer Swift 3
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2
Asus ZenBook 14 (UX425EA)

Acer Swift 3 • Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 • Asus ZenBook 14 (UX425EA)

If you’re a ThinkPad fan, you can too take a look on the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 – configured with the identical eleventh Gen i7, 16GB of RAM (soldered, single channel) and 512GB storage (a second M.2-2280 is out there), it sells for €1,070. The 14” IPS LCD is dimmer, although (250 nits) and the battery smaller (45Wh. Not less than it comes with a 65W USB-C charger and the port helps Thunderbolt 4. The entire thing is heavier too, 1.6 kg.

An Asus ZenBook 14 (UX425EA) has a excessive MSRP of €1,500, however Amazon DE has it in inventory at €1,185. That is with the identical processor, 16GB of RAM (soldered) and 512GB SSD. That worth will get you a 14” IPS LCD with 2,560 x 1,440 px decision that guarantees 300 nits. The entire thing weighs 1.17kg, regardless of the bigger 67Wh battery, which fees utilizing a 65W USB-C adapter. And, get this, it has two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 (however no 3.5mm jack with out an adapter).

The Honor MagicBook 14 strikes a positive steadiness between efficiency, worth and portability. The port choice is limiting and the battery life is inferior to on its Ryzen-powered sibling (which is cheaper besides). A stable laptop computer general, however that you must make certain that the additional efficiency is definitely worth the worth premium as €1,000 or so should buy you one in every of a collection of positive ultra-portables.

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