Honor made a 16-inch laptop powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5

The low-cost laptop chip can beat Intel’s pricier rivals in some benchmarks.

Daniel Cooper

Pay attention to the PC business and you may notice that the momentum is now with AMD rather than Intel. It’s successes, and Intel’s failures, means that Honor is now adding AMD’s Ryzen 5 4600H into its flagship MagicBook Pro 16.

The MagicBook Pro 16 draws plenty of inspiration from another 16-inch laptop we could think to name. As usual, however, Honor and parent company Huawei are more forgiving than some rivals when it comes to connectivity. The machine has a single USB-C port, but three (!) USB-A ports, a HDMI 2.0 port and a 3.5mm line-in.

Design-wise, it looks like the company took Huawei’s MateBook X Pro and stretched that machine out a little. You get the same space gray color, same keyboard and the same pop-up webcam that sits between F6 and F7 on the function row. Weighing 3.7 pounds, it’s not the lightest machine of this size, but for a 16-inch laptop, it’s never painfully weighty.

During my remote briefing, Honor made noises about how this machine should be taken seriously by creative and designer-y professionals. The MagicBook Pro’s 16.1-inch, 16:9, 300 nit display is equipped with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen that offers 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. And, as part of Honor’s commitment to lightness and thinness, the display has a 4.9mm bezel on the top and sides, ensuring that it fills almost all of the laptop’s frame.

I get why, especially at this price, the display isn’t a 4K world-beater, as much as I would love it to be. Honor’s overall pitch skews toward a younger crowd without the cash to afford a souped-up MacBook Pro. And it’s certainly fine to look at, I just wonder if those same design students who can’t afford anything better really want a 16.1-inch, HD screen.

Daniel Cooper

Alongside the aforementioned Ryzen 5 4600H processor, you’ll find 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, paired with a 56W battery promising 11 hours on a charge. Even as a relatively cheap laptop chip, the 4600H can beat Intel’s far pricier equivalents for certain tasks. Compare the 4600H to Intel’s Core i7-9750H, and you’ll see the disparity in benchmarks for productivity tasks and light gaming.

While it’s only packing integrated graphics, Honor claims you should be able to play AAA games like GTA V with the graphics dialed down. So, I did just that, when the company sent me the laptop for some testing.

I was able to the game running at 1,280 x 720,  at a very respectable 70 fps. It’s playable enough, so long as you can look past the resolution and the slightly stretched screen, which is something. Certainly, as an affordable machine for esports titles like DOTA and work, it appears to have the grunt you need.

Rounding out the package, you’ll get a functional chiclet keyboard, fingerprint power button and trackpad that you’ll find on other Honor laptops. Stereo speakers, sitting either side of the keyboard, are certainly fine but they’ll not fill a room or cope very well with bass-heavy audio.

At the same time, Honor is updating the MagicBook 14 and 15 with AMD’s Ryzen 5 4500U, which is more modest but still pretty impressive. In artificial benchmarks, it’ll beat a Core i7-8750H despite lacking the single-core multithreading available on the 4600H.

You’ll get build-to-order options including the choice of 8GB/16GB RAM,and 256/512GB SSD. Both are packing a single USB-C port along with two USB-A, HDMI and a 3.5mm jack.

For the 16.1-inch MagicBook Pro, you’ll be able to pick it up in Germany on September 7th and most other European nations on the 8th, with the 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD variant selling for €900. The MagicBook 14, meanwhile, with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, arrives on September 21st for €750. Bringing up the rear is the MagicBook 15 (8GB RAM, 512GB SSD), which will set you back €700 when it lands at some point in early October.