The HONOR MagicBook X 15 aims to be an affordable sub-RM,3000 notebook intended for everyday computing that neatly dovetails into the brand’s burgeoning 1+8+N ecosystem of devices. Here’s our review of the HONOR MagicBook X 15 that tests whether this budget laptop is truly worth the money.
What’s in the box
As an affordable laptop, HONOR has eschewed frippery and the packaging is a nondescript cardboard box that comes with the laptop itself, a USB-C to USB-C cable, a 65W fast charger to juice it and aught else.
HONOR MagicBook X 15 Review – Build and design
Out of the box, the HONOR MagicBook X 15 makes for a strong first impression indeed. The top lid is done up in stamped aluminium in a shade that they call Space Gray which is a tad darker than the usual brushed metal finish seen in other laptops.
The matte finish also has the side benefit of repelling fingerprints nicely. The only form of ostentation on the top lid here is the HONOR wordmark emblazoned in silvery letters. Of note here are the gently rounded edges around the chassis that make it easier to grip and which lends it a more polished look and feel
There’s no creaking in the top lid though there is a tiny bit of give when you prod it in the middle but it’s well within standard tolerances. To make it easier to open, they’ve also cut a shallow notch cut into the bottom half of the laptop base to make it easier for fingers to gain purchase.
The underside of the laptop is done up primarily in polycarbonate with a similar Space Gray finish as the top lid with grilles spaced along its length for ventilation. Emplaced on the left and right midway along the chassis are a pair of downward firing stereo speakers.
The base also has a series of rubber feet to ensure the laptop doesn’t slide off into oblivion when plonked on a table. In actual use, the speakers were serviceable if underwhelming at best and weren’t particularly loud on account of the downward firing nature of the speakers which means that it works best on a flat surface.
To HONOR’s credit, the hinges on the MagicBook X 15 are built like a tank without the slightest wobble and allow the display to deploy up to a 45 degree angle. Unfortunately, this also means that opening the laptop is a two-handed affair due to the stiffness of the hinges.
In terms of overall build quality, our HONOR MagicBook X 15 review sample proved to be slim at 16.9mm thin and relatively light at 1.56kg, making it ideally sized for all day carry in a backpack while the addition of a fingerprint resistant coating means that it will hold up well to daily use.
HONOR MagicBook X 15 Review – Ports
The left side hosts a HDMI port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port and a USB-C port for charging duties from the bundled 65W USB-C charger. On the right of the laptop is a USB-A port for plugging in peripherals along with a 3.5mm combo jack.
There’s no card reader and if you’re charging the laptop, you won’t have any additional USB-C ports to use which makes the addition of a USB hub a necessity especially for users who need to connect other peripherals to the HONOR MagicBook X 15.
HONOR MagicBook X 15 Review – Display
Opening the laptop reveals a 15.6-inch Full HD Eye Comfort FullView display that is impressively appointed with narrow side and top bezels that are just 5.3mm thin though the bottom bezel is about half an inch thick. This affords it a generous 87% screen-to-body ratio. The panel itself has Full HD (1,920 x 1080 pixels) resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate which precludes it from professional gaming duties.
What it has in its favour though is the inclusion of TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification and also flicker free certification from the same body which ensures that the display is ideal for extended use.
On paper, the panel is rated for 45% NTSC colour gamut reproduction and a modest 800:1 contrast ratio which means it’s less than ideal for content creator work but that’s not the intended mission profile of the HONOR MagicBook X 15. Screen brightness and detail is sufficient for indoor use and has satisfactory colour reproduction though more intense hues look slightly washed out.
Unlike conventional displays, the laptop has its webcam emplaced into the keyboard with a spring-loaded mechanism that will only pop up if you manually press it. While it does wonders for privacy, it’s stuck at a rather unflattering angle though this is a small price to pay for security.
HONOR MagicBook X 15 Review- Specifications
Under the hood, the HONOR MagicBook X 15 runs Windows 10 Home on a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor paired with 8GB DDR4 2,666MHz RAM, Intel UHD Graphics and a 512GB SSD partitioned into a 128GB main drive for the OS and the remainder for storage.
All this is fairly standard though HONOR has added their own PC Manager app that helps you keep the laptop drivers and other firmware updated via one easy interface along with some rudimentary troubleshooting diagnostics if things go pear shaped.
Detractors will likely question the use of a 10th Gen Intel chipset when 11th Gen CPUs are in wide distribution but a 10th Gen Intel Core I5 is more than sufficient for its intended use profile for daily computing while keeping costs down to a reasonable level.
Here’s a summary of our HONOR MagicBook X 15 review unit specifications
|Display||15.6-inch HONOR Eye Comfort FullView display, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 45% NTSC colour gamut, 800:1 contrast ratio|
|Processor||10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 2,666MHz RAM / 512GB PCIe NVME SSD|
|Battery||42Wh w/ 65W fast charger, 7.86 hours battery life (quoted), 53% charge in 30 minutes|
|Size/Weight||357.3 x229.5 x 16.9mm / 1.56kg|
A variant exists with just 256GB of storage and a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 10110U processor for RM2,299 which is a good RM600 less if you’re on a tight budget. When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the laptop scored the following:
|Unigine Superposition 720P Low||2311|
|Unigine Superposition 1080P Medium||752|
|Unigine Superposition 1080P High||527|
|Unigine Superposition 1080P Extreme||242|
|3DMark Time Spy||440|
|3DMark Time Spy Extreme||188|
|3DMark Night Raid||5361|
|3DMark Fire Strike||1048|
|3DMark Fire Strike Extreme||485|
|3DMark Fire Strike Ultra||263|
|Geekbench 5 Single core score||1047|
|Geekbench 5 Multi core score||3750|
|PCMark 10 Extended||2704|
|PCMark 8 Battery Life Creative Profile||3 hours 34 mins|
When put to the test, our HONOR MagicBook X 15 review sample proved to be ideal to tackle daily computing tasks, web browsing, Netflix and general word processing which fits the needs of most casual users.
It’s also able to handle a modest bit of photo editing though it’s not able tackle serious video editing and is not able to handle all but the most basic retro gaming like Kingdom: Two Crowns. These capabilities mean that it is more than sufficient for students in high school and as a budget option for those working from home.
In terms of battery life, the laptop has decent if unremarkable performance. When set to performance mode and running PCMark 8’s most demanding Creative profile battery life benchmark, it managed a fair 3 hours and 34 minutes of use on its 42Wh battery.
Under actual field conditions with WiFi on and a combination of web browsing, Google Docs, YouTube and Netflix with brightness set to about 60%, the laptop managed to offer 5 hours and 30 minutes of usage which is enough to get you through the better part of a work day. Fortunately, the bundled 65W charger is compact and light so a top up isn’t that far away. From dead zero, it managed to charge up to about 70% in just over an hour.
Should you buy the HONOR MagicBook X 15?
The HONOR MagicBook X 15 represents excellent value for money with a flicker free, low blue light display, decent hardware for daily computing and solid build quality for just RM2,899. If you’re looking for an affordable laptop for school or work from home scenarios that don’t involve heavy graphics work, this is an excellent choice.
HONOR MagicBook X 15
HONOR MagicBook X 15
The HONOR MagicBook X 15 represents a delightful sweet spot between price and performance with enough pixel crunching power for everyday computing in a sturdily built form factor that looks. If you need an affordable laptop that gets the job done for work and studies from home, this is well worth your consideration.
Good build quality Sufficient performance for everyday computing Webcam design enhances privacy Low blue light display great for extended work
More USB-C ports would be welcome Odd angle for webcam