The HP Z series is all about high end workstation computing for demanding industries such as media, entertainment, architecture, geospace, engineering, construction, life science, healthcare, and product development. In my work as a web design director, graphic designer, and environmental designer, I’ve got an HP Z workstation tower on my desk attached to a Wacom Cintiq pen display and it’s awesome, but that’s in the office and we like to work remotely during Covid times, so having a mobile workstation is extremely useful. The HP ZBook Power G8 is one such workstation that’s great for getting serious work done from anywhere.
HP’s ZBook Power is the budget-friendly model in their line up. That’s relative to the other Zbook options of course, as it’s still pretty expensive and powerful. It’s their most budget-friendly ZBook with a powerful H-series Intel processor. It’ll be thicker like the ZBook Fury, but not nearly as powerful as that one.
The specs for our HP Zbook Power G8 review unit are as follows: Intel i7-11850H processor, 64GB of RAM, an NVIDIA RTX A2000 GPU, a Samsung PM9A1 2TB PCIe Gen4 SSD, 15.6″ diagonal, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS narrow bezel anti-glare 400 nits low power 100% sRGB display, fingerprint reader, and HP Long Life 6-cell, 83 Wh Li-ion polymer. The dimensions are 14.15 x 9.21 x 0.9 in; 35.94 x 23.39 x 2.28 cm.
The Zbook Power G 8 is available in a wide variety of configurations though. For processors, you can choose from:
Intel® Core™ i5-11400H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.7 GHz base frequency, up to 4.5 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB L3 cache, 6 cores)
Intel® Core™ i5-11500H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.9 GHz base frequency, up to 4.6 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB L3 cache, 6 cores), supports Intel® vPro® Technology
Intel® Core™ i7-11800H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.3 GHz base frequency, up to 4.6 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 24 MB L3 cache, 8 cores)
Intel® Core™ i7-11850H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.5 GHz base frequency, up to 4.8 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 24 MB L3 cache, 8 cores), supports Intel® vPro® Technology
Intel® Core™ i9-11900H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.5 GHz base frequency, up to 4.9 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 24 MB L3 cache, 8 cores)
Intel® Core™ i9-11950H with Intel® UHD Graphics (2.6 GHz base frequency, up to 5.0 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 24 MB L3 cache, 8 cores), supports Intel® vPro® Technology
Storage options include: 256 GB up to 2 TB PCIe® Gen3 NVMe™ M.2 SSD, or 512 GB up to 2 TB PCIe® Gen4 NVMe™ M.2 SSD or 256 GB up to 512 GB PCIe® Gen3 NVMe™ M.2 SED SSD.
RAM options include 8Gb to 64 GB DDR4-3200 non-ECC SDRAM.
In the box, we’ve got a big power brick, AC adapter cable, the ZBook Power G8, a bit of paper documentation, and a DVD disk. The computer doesn’t have a DVD disk drive, so you’ll need a different computer or an external USB DVD drive to read that. Speaking of packaging, the box that the ZBook Power ships in is made from recycled pulp, which is great because I often feel like manufacturers waste a lot of money on fancy boxes.
When closed the Zbook Power looks a lot like the other HP ZBooks. Same grey body, same Z logo. The metal chassis does pass MIL-STD tests to ensure durability though.
49.7% of the metals used in the ZBook Power are from recycled metals while 42% of the plastics are recycled.
On the right edge, there’s a 3.5mm headset/microphone jack, a USB-A port, a faster thunderbolt USB-A port, a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port (which supports 8K displays), and a circular power/charging port along with a tiny LED charging indicator light. It’s so great to still have some USB-A ports on this laptop!
The back hinge is totally clean with interesting flat angular edges.
On the left side, there’s a lock port if you want to make the Zbook Power more difficult to steal. There’s also an actual ethernet port with a spring-loaded door that opens up to fit the ethernet jack. Then there’s another full-sized USB-A port and a full-sized HDMI port. Again, really great to have. Lastly, there’s also a smart card slot for secure log-ins.
On the back, we’ve got a ventilation grille in the middle, and two triangular strips of rubber to provide some elevation and grip on a table or desk. There are 5 screws on the back that will let you into the internals, but the ZBook Power also has a tamper lock feature that will show a BIOS warning on the next boot indicating that the bottom was recently removed. That’s a nice security feature for warning users that something may have been changed or accessed inside the computer. The Tamper Lock feature can be configured for stricter actions when the cover is removed. This whitepaper explains in more detail, but you could make it do things like requiring a password to boot up again or clear all keys from the TPM module.
The keyboard is pretty great. The keys are smooth with excellent travel and feel. Typing on this feels so much better than using a Macbook Pro!
The keyboard is wide enough to include a numeric keypad on the right, which is excellent. Not many laptop keyboards include this, but it’s very important for math/science applications as well as for keyboard shortcuts in 3D animation and design programs. I know Mac users who hate not having a number pad since that means they can’t create InDesign-style keyboard shortcuts.
The trackpad is excellent as well. It’s not ginormous, but the size is plenty for scooting the pointer around on the screen, although for some very tiny controls it can be difficult to get excellent precision, but that’s true with just about any trackpad. I’d rather plug a Wacom Intuos Pro in anyway.
The video conferencing camera nicely has a tiny shutter slider switch just above it that will cover the lens for guaranteed physical camera privacy.
Above, you can see the HP Zbook Studio on top of the Zbook Power. The Zbook Power is clearly thicker but that’s something that should be expected since the Zbook Power is meant to be a less expensive mobile workstation. The build quality feels a bit less premium as well.
The Zbook Studio on the left clearly has a different keyboard layout from the Zbook Power on the right. The trackpad positioning is different as well. Both are available with different internal configurations, so I think the big difference to choose from is the body thickness and the keyboard layout. The Zbook Power’s build quality does feel slightly less high-end than the Zbook Studio, but the money you save there can be put into a more powerful internal hardware configuration.
Of course, the HP ZBook Studio comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. It nicely does not come with much bloatware like Candy Crush or whatnot. It’s a more professional installation. Still, there are a lot of HP-made included programs, but some of them you might find very useful.
One new thing that’s pinned to the Windows 10 taskbar by default is the “HP Easy Clean” app. This basically locks the keyboard and track-pad temporarily so that you can sanitize everything. That’s great if it’s a shared mobile workstation especially in the time of Covid.
Firstly, we’ve got a little “Welcome” app that gives you some more information about special offers, and tips for using the laptop.
There’s a diagnostics utility too for testing the hardware to make sure everything is running properly.
There are a good number of security utilities included as well. Above is the HP Client Security Manager where you’ve got a recovery utility as well as a “Sure Run” application monitor. It also includes a Chromium-based web browser that has a few extra HP-made security features. The browser includes the uBlock Origin plug-in by default as well.
HP Wolf Security is an anti-virus and anti-malware program that is included as an alternative to Windows Defender.
For more advanced users, there’s a programmable key in the F12 spot on the keyboard. You can set up a good number of different programmable actions such as opening applications, websites, files, folders, executing a key sequence, or entering text. You can assign different functions with modifier keys as well.
The HP Zbook Power doesn’t include the awesome Bang & Olufsen speakers that the ZBook Studio has, but you still have some special audio level controls in addition to the normal built-in Windows controls.
Another interesting addition from HP is the QuickDrop app. This is a file transfer program that works with Android and iOS devices. You can pair your phone with the computer and easily transfer files over a local WiFi network or the internet. This might be good for someone with one computer and one phone, but for me, I prefer to use good old FTP over my VPN, or SMB file shares on the local network.
The “Tile” software is also included on the HP ZBook Power and this can be used with other “Tile” products for keeping track of where things like keys and wallets are.
The Blender benchmark is 2-4 minutes slower than the ZBook Studio in all of the rendering tests.
Blender handles my Optimus Prime animation pretty nicely in the HP Zbook Power G8.
Processing thousands of RAW photos is one of the things I do a lot, and the Zbook Power G8 handles it really well without getting nearly as hot as the Zbook Studio. It might be a bit slower though.
Of course, the Zbook Power G8 handles video editing in Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve nicely as well.
Gotta do a little programming in VS Code. No problems there.
Let’s try some web design in Lunacy. Of course, the ZBook Power handles that without issue.
Animations in AfterEffects were smooth sailing as well.
Oh sure, I had to try some games on the Zbook Power G8, too. Microsoft Flight Simulator worked great as long as I didn’t turn the graphics options up to ridiculous levels. The default settings were perfect for me anyway. Unfortunately, Halo: The Master Chief Collection games wouldn’t run at all, but that’s probably due to some bugs in the authentication since I was trying to run them through my Ultimate Game Pass subscription (and I see other people have the same issue).
The 83Whr Li-ion battery can keep the ZBook Power going for a good 8 hours with light usage. When doing real work like processing thousands of photos, editing 4K videos, 3D/2D animation, and other graphics work, the battery life is going to be a lot lower… more like 4 hours.
Pricing and Availability
The HP ZBook Power is available in a wide range of configurations that you can find on the HP website. Configuration pricing varies from about $1500 to a maxed-out $4960. That pricing is a few hundred dollars lower than Zbook Studio configurations. Most of the Zbook Power configurations seem back-ordered until December of 2021 though.
Pros & Cons
Excellent keyboard with a number pad
Lots of peripheral ports on the sides (ethernet, USB-A, smartcard, Thunderbolt 4!)
Nvidia graphics processor
Lots of configuration options
Thick and a bit heavy at about 4.2 lbs
No HP DreamColor display option (only 100% sRGB gamut options)
No SD card slot
Z by HP is HP’s series of desktop and mobile workstations that provide the highest amount of reliability and power for the most demanding computing careers and applications. The HP ZBook Power G8 is certainly capable of high-end work just with a little less power than some of the other more expensive Zbooks. The 100% sRGB screen is good, but it’s not as good as the DreamColor 100% Adobe RGB color gamut screens you can get on other ZBooks. Still, the port selection, processor selection, RAM, and storage capabilities are impressive, and having the numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard is excellent. That comes in handy for so many keyboard shortcuts in professional-grade programs like InDesign or Blender or Microsoft Flight Simulator.
While it’s not the cream of the crop in the ZBook series, it’s an extremely capable mobile workstation that will save you some money over the more expensive models.
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!
There’s just something about the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro which has “love at first sight” written all over it. We pretty much felt the same about the 2020 model, and the ones before it. Don’t get us wrong, at a first uneducated glance, its performance numbers match, at least on paper, those of the HONOR MagicBook 14 (2021) we reviewed last month, but the MateBook X Pro is just so much more.
Even though they are similarly equipped, they address two different target audiences, with two different price points. And, since they perform fairly similar, it’s just fair we put this year’s MateBook X Pro to the test and see where it stands out. This is our HUAWEI MateBook X Pro 2021 review.
Why change something that has proven to successfully work? This is probably what engineers at HUAWEI had in mind when discussing the design of the 2021 MateBook X Pro, which went pretty much unadulterated for the past couple of years, and this is a good thing! It’s still as minimalistic and gorgeous as it ever was, and there’s absolutely no need to change that.
Mystic Silver is the third color available last year that didn’t make it to 2021. Instead, there’s a Space Grey and an Emerald Green (our unit) in the line-up.
With the same precision machining and crafting as the predecessor, the 2021 MateBook X Pro didn’t gain any pandemic weight, maintaining it at 1.33kg. Measurements are the same as well, with the computer maintaining its fitness at 14.6mm in height (thickness).
With no noticeable changes, you can expect the same chamfered edges that light nicely bounces off of, with a nice shine to it. You can find these around the edges, the trackpad, and the power button. Similar to last year, the power button includes a fingerprint scanner that has a cache, enough to hold on to your fingerprint and unlock Windows with a single touch of the button upon powering up.
Underneath the power button lies the precision, full-sized, Chiclet Keyboard, with a fine speaker grill to its left and right, containing a total of four (2 x 2) speakers, that cooperate with the 2 microphones. A considerable part underneath is taken up by the upgraded Touchpad with Multi-touch — the HUAWEI Free Touch — and this year, with HUAWEI Share built-in (more on that later).
The display retains its 14-inch (13.9) size, and its 3000 x 2000 resolution and 260PPI. It’s an LTPS panel, like last year, with a 1500:1 contrast ratio, 3:2 aspect ratio, 450 nits of brightness, and it is one damn fine display! Our only complaint is the fact that it’s shiny and highly reflective.
Viewing angles have been retained at 178 degrees, which is really something, as well as touch features via 10-point multi-touch sensitivity. Not only that, but HUAWEI got rid of everything else around the display, achieving a whopping 91% screen-to-body ratio, which you really have to experience in person to appreciate.
That means, subsequently, that the webcam, a 1MP 720p unit, is still inside the keyboard. The infamous “nosecam” has its advantages though, as tucking it in the body of the device makes hacking it, and subsequently your privacy, impossible.
We mentioned the similarities in the preamble of this review with the MagicBook 14 (2021). The MateBook X Pro (2021) comes equipped with either the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor or the 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 chip. Our particular unit, just like the MagicBook 14, comes with the Core i7, and, to put it simply, “damn, it is fast”!
8- and 16GB memory options are available, with the unit you see in the pictures having 16GB of 3733MHz RAM, and 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD (a version with 512GB is also available for you to configure if you need less storage and want to lower the price of the device).
Graphics are handled by the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which is a step-up from last year’s dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX250.
The battery is rated 56Wh, and the connectivity is handled via Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, and Bluetooth 5.1. There are two USB Type C ports, for charging and connecting a display, a full-sized USB A 3.2 port, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack that doubles as a microphone input port. Of note is that you don’t have an HDMI connector, so keep that in mind when selecting external monitors or cables. You will need a USB Type C connectivity solution.
Just like its predecessor (and the models in the line-up), the 2021 HUAWEI MateBook X Pro runs Windows 10. It’s the Home Edition that pops-up with the configuration screen out of the box, and HUAWEI added little to no bulk to it. Not that there wouldn’t be enough space on the generous 1TB storage drive, but this is pretty much how I’ve seen HUAWEI roll in the past. Keeping things as simple as possible.
A few firmware and software updates await for you to apply after your first setup, and that’s pretty much the entire effort you need to put into having a buttery smooth Windows 10 experience. We need to mention that the laptop is eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade, and no doubt it will handle it beautifully.
Those of you who owned previous generation MateBook computers will be familiar with the PC Manager suite. For those of you who are new to it, this application makes sure your drivers are up to date and helps you connect a HUAWEI (or HONOR) smartphone to your PC.
One of the novelties this year on the Pro model is that you no longer have the NFC sticker on the palm rest next to the trackpad. HUAWEI embedded it into the trackpad itself, a trackpad that has also been upgraded on the Pro line-up. It now features haptic feedback (called Free Touch) for a more precise feel and exquisite experience. Both of these features debuted at the end of last year on the MateBook X (sans Pro).
We went on a short hardware tangent there, but it made more sense to mention all of this while talking about the PC Manager.
We described the PC Manager and the entire “connecting your smartphone to your laptop” experience ad nauseam. In a nutshell, you get Multi-Screen collaboration with mirroring displays, copy-pasting content and images between devices, taking calls, sending texts, and more. Check out the details of that in our original MateBook X Pro review from 2020, this current one’s predecessor.
Not much else to mention on the software end, and, I can’t stress this enough, this is a good thing. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty vanilla Windows 10 experience, with the occasional frustration of compulsory and sometimes lengthy restarts upon system updates, but that’s a Microsoft issue, not a HUAWEI one.
Describing the experience using the 2021 MateBook X Pro is close to driving a fine, luxury, sports car. Everything just runs (literally, really fast!) smoothly, from the moment you unbox it, through the setup process, to the day-to-day operations and activities.
We’ve used this particular model as our daily driver for over a month, with some occasional breaks in-between.
The display is, simply put, gorgeous. The colors are rich, the blacks are deep, the contrast is spot on, brightness is enough for visibility even on the brightest outdoor days. If I was to nitpick, my only critique would be with its reflective nature. If you have a bright light behind you, it might make things a little difficult to discern on the reflective display.
Touch sensitivity is more than accurate (though I still can’t wrap my head around touch capabilities on a device that doesn’t fully convert into a tablet or handheld).
The keyboard is very pleasant and silent to type on, with enough key travel to get an actual feel for the keys you’re pushing down. Backlight is also nice, with no bleeding, and at times even too bright at its highest setting.
Probably my favorite component to input is the trackpad. Haptic feedback emulates an actual click/push down so well, and the feedback is so natural, that you’ll instantly love it. It will take a couple of minutes to get used to it, but once you do, you’ll love it!
The four speakers are pretty loud. While lacking a bit on the low end, which is normal considering their size, they’re loud, crisp, and clear, with no distortion even at high volumes.
With decent display brightness – by decent we mean normal usage, not forced maximum of 100% just for the sake of it – we got through one full workday and some relaxation at the end of it without an issue. And that is really something, as my workdays are not your regular ones, stretching towards 16 hours. Increase the brightness and do some heavier, more power-intensive tasks, and you will need to have a charger handy to make it through the day.
The system runs cool with only occasionally getting warm enough for the fans to kick in, and that’s mostly during gameplay, video rendering, or other intensive tasks.
Overall, it’s a great experience, to sum it all up.
Performance and Benchmarks
Nothing we threw at the 2021 MateBook X Pro made it stutter or managed to bog it down. It was chewing through tasks like the champ it is. App load times and even Windows boot-up are pretty fast, and overall operation is buttery smooth.
Office tasks (document management, emails, browsing, virtual calls, and everything in between you might do for work) are most of the times instant, fast at worst. Now, if you are doing heavy image manipulation, video rendering, CAD, or other demanding tasks, it will get the job done, but it will, as common sense implies, take more time.
Here at Pocketnow, we’re more inclined towards judging a product’s performance based on real-life operation, rather than numbers. However, for those of you who need to have analytic data based on benchmarks, we ran a couple and included the results above for your viewing pleasure.
– pop-up webcam angle is sometimes awkward. If it matters to you, buy an external webcam; – reflective display doesn’t make it the perfect outdoor laptop on a sunny day; – you’ll need to import it if you’re in the U.S.
We have no reservations in recommending the 2021 MateBook X Pro for those who want a beautiful laptop that’s fast, lightweight, portable, and, most importantly, future proof thanks to its great specs.
The 2021 HUAWEI MateBook X Pro is not for everyone. It’s the premium flagship laptop from the company, and it is also competing with the Apple MacBook Pro. That being the case, you should also expect a steeper price HUAWEI is asking for. It is not prohibitive, but it’s in the premium segment.
The 2021 HUAWEI MateBook X Pro goes for anywhere between €1.399,00 and £1399.99, depending on the region. Also, depending on where you are you might only have an option for the Core i5 version. Your configuration, based on processor and storage, will of course influence the price, and, depending on which country you are in, HUAWEI is running different discounts. Best to consult your local HUAWEI store for the price available to you.
All that being said, we have no reservations in recommending the 2021 MateBook X Pro for those who want a beautiful laptop that’s fast, lightweight, portable, and, most importantly, future proof thanks to its great specs.
HUAWEI Matebook X Pro HUAWEI 65 W USB-C Power Adapter USB-C Charger Cable Quick Start Guide Warranty Card
Keyboard & TouchPad
Full-size Backlit Chiclet Keyboard Touchpad with Multi-touch and HUAWEI Free Touch Huawei Share Built-in
Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.
We looked at the HONOR MagicBook 14 back when the company was still a HUAWEI sub-brand. That laptop was powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, but things have since changed, both for the brand (which no longer is tied to HUAWEI) and for the MagicBook 14.
Announced in the second half of May, the 2021 HONOR MagicBook 14 refresh now comes equipped with an 11th generation (Tiger Lake) Intel chip, available in the i5 and i7 configurations. We have the more powerful model in our labs, and we’re looking at everything it has to offer, in our HONOR MagicBook 14 (2021) review.
Those of you familiar with the AMD version from last year will recognize the identical twin. That’s to say that there are literally no changes on the outside, but are happening on the inside.
The aluminum exterior is just as sleek as it was last year. The same color options are available, in Space Gray and Mystic Silver, and our unit is the latter. The notebook itself measures 214.8 mm in height, 322.5 mm in width, and 15.9 mm in depth, and It weighs 1.38 kg, slightly less than last year.
The external ports are the same as well, with the 3.5mm headphone port, a full-size USB3.2 Gen 1 (Type A), a USB Type-C, an HDMI, and a full-size USB2.0 (Type A) port.
The battery is the same 56Wh unit as last year, hence it should offer comparative battery life (but we’ll get to that in our Performance segment below). More on that in our segment below.
The display is still a 14-inch IPS panel with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, and the same plastic bezel around it offering it a screen-to-body ratio of 84%. There’s a step up in brightness and contrast, at 300 nits typical brightness and 1,000:1 contrast ratio, versus last year’s 200 and 800:1, respectively.
Now, on to the changes. AMD Ryzen 5 4500U is out, Intel Core i7 1165G7 is in. This 11th generation processor is a 10nm unit with four hyper-threaded cores clocking at 2.8 GHz (up to 4.7GHz in its Turbo mode) and a 12MB L3 cache.
With the Ryzen out the Radeon graphics are out as well, meaning the Intel Core i7 brings in the Intel Iris Xe onboard graphics processor.
Our particular unit features 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
The usual suspects include the fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button, backlit keyboard, a camera tucked inside the keyboard (the infamous nose cam), Bluetooth 5.1, stereo speakers, and Wi-Fi 6 2X2 MIMO Dual Antenna. Bundled with the notebook you’re getting the 65W Type-C Fast Charger.
For even more details you can refer to our review of its AMD twin sibling here.
Performance and battery life
As previously stated, our review unit is equipped with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. That, coupled with the power of the Intel Core i7 processor should be enough to handle complex game titles. However, the weakest link in the chain this time around is the graphics card, which is not as fast as a dedicated one, but pretty damn good as far as integrated solutions are concerned.
I’m not saying you won’t be able to play games. What I’m saying is that you will likely have to stay away from very graphics-intensive titles, or turn the graphics settings inside the game down a notch or two so you can enjoy the experience.
That aside, this notebook is perfect for your day-to-day activities, let it be work (documents, spreadsheets, browsing, emails, video calls, etc.), or entertainment (YouTube, Netflix, listening to music, basic photo manipulation).
As you probably know by now if you’re a Pocketnow reader – if you’re not, you’re just about to find out – we’re not big fans of benchmarks. We’re all about real-life usage, but we get it, so here are some numbers for the analytical among you.
Last but not least, when it comes to battery life, the Intel chip is slightly hungrier for power than last year’s AMD processor. You should last through the workday if you keep your brightness decent and you do light office work. Expect around 7 to 8 hours of autonomy under the aforementioned conditions before you need to reach for your charger.
Anything brighter and more power-intensive will cut it down dramatically. Expect about 8 hours of YouTube streaming at up to 50 percent brightness and about 10 hours of browsing with the same brightness level. Crank it up to maximum brightness and you can easily expect the battery to last about 1.5 hours less.
When it comes to charging the 65W included charger topped off the notebook from 0 to 100% in one hour and 43 minutes.
Software and experience
This segment is pretty much identical to the Software and experience section of our review for the AMD sibling. The MagicBook 14 comes with Windows 10 (Home Edition) out of the box. What we said in our previous review still stands valid for the Intel version, namely: “After a couple of updates to the operating system, drivers, and firmware, once you’re up to date, the entire experience is smooth. Not much to report here, things are working, behaving, and performing as they should.”
In terms of preinstalled software, you’ll find the PC Manager (more in a bit), Microsoft Office, and one or two additional titles (including Adobe Photoshop Express, TikTok, a game title) you can easily remove or ignore if you don’t want them on there.
The PC Manager is the app that, on one hand, makes sure your computer is up to date in terms of drivers, and operates at a top-notch level, while on the other hand is the connection hub to your phone.
It does that as part of the HONOR MagicLink, which is the company’s take on HUAWEI Share. If you have a compatible HUAWEI or HONOR phone, you can use the sticker next to the trackpad to connect your phone to your PC by tapping the NFC tag.
Once the two devices are paired, your smartphone’s home screen will pop up on your computer. This way you can take calls, chat, send texts, and drag and drop files between the two devices seamlessly.
You can also read more about this in our AMD-version review here.
The overall experience is admirable. The display is bright, sharp, with nicely balanced color and satisfying contrast. The sound is satisfactory for a laptop of its size, and we absolutely love the feel of the keyboard. We found it smooth and silent, as well as comfortable while typing out three reviews on it, this included.
There’s no overheating and everything overall just works, which is everything a user or owner can wish for.
The Intel-equipped HONOR MagicBook is more expensive than its AMD brethren. It goes for €1,199.90 (though you might find discounted prices depending on the market), which is about €400-450 more expensive than the similarly specced AMD version, granted that only comes with 8GB of memory. However, the Intel version is substantially faster in terms of processing power, storage speed, and graphics.
The performance is there (save for a slightly shorter battery live) and it takes it real close to the high-end range. You can definitely future-proof if you opt for this model as it’s got everything it needs to serve you well for the years to come.
However, if performance is not the priority, but rather battery life and stamina, you could probably turn to the AMD version and save some money while at it. That one’s a real road warrior and offers plenty of endurance.
Pros and Cons
+ great display; + fast performance; + loud speakers; + pleasant keyboard; + integration with HUAWEI and HONOR phones.
– pop-up camera (nose cam) is something you’ll have to live with; – not recommended for graphics-intensive tasks. Get a gaming laptop instead if you’re big on gaming; – port selection could be better; – slightly poorer battery life than on its AMD-equipped sibling.
We recommend you also read our HONOR MagicBook (2020) AMD review.
Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.