Honor is getting a number of mileage out of the MagicGuide 14 chassis – we reviewed it as soon as with a Ryzen 3500U APU, then we appeared on the upgraded 4500U model. With the AMD chips coated, time to take a look on the Intel-powered model of this laptop computer that was announced last month.
There are two choices – an Intel i7-1165G7 or an i5-1135G7. Both are eleventh technology cellular chips (Tiger Lake) constructed on a 10nm TremendousFin litography. Both have 4 hyper-threaded cores (i.e. eight threads whole) and each have a TDP of 28W. The i7 model has a better base frequency (2.8 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz), greater max turbo frequency (4.7 GHz vs. 4.2 GHz) and extra L3 cache (12 MB vs. 8 MB).
We 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 models, up from 80 on the i5, however neither would do for something past informal play. But earlier than we study what’s on the within, allow us to take a look at what’s on the surface.
Design, show, keyboard
There’s not way more to say in regards to the design that we didn’t cowl in our earlier encounters with the laptop computer. The aluminum exterior is smooth, although the display bezel is plastic.
The keyboard reveals minimal flexing when pressed down, the display is a little more wobbly, however total we’re happy with the construct high quality. The laptop computer weighs 1.38 kg (don’t neglect 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 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 cause to go blue as an alternative of purple. That mentioned, the only real USB-C port do assist charging – in truth, there’s no barrel plug to be seen. But we’ll get to the battery and charging.
Before that we’ve got 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 can most definitely be occupied by a keyboard/mouse dongle and so they 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.
Moving on, the MagicGuide 14 is provided 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). But 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 kind of tangible. Our one grievance is that at 50% the brightness drops to 173 nits, which is comparatively dim. We would have most popular a extra linear scaling.
Viewing angles are fairly good and whereas there’s a shift in distinction at excessive angles, it’s not a difficulty at regular viewing angles. For shade 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 number 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 many others.) and a type of (between F6 and F7) shouldn’t be a key however the webcam as an alternative.
The plastic touchpad is about as giant as would slot in this kind issue. It is easy and correct, multi-touch gestures labored completely. To the correct of the keyboard is the Power button, which has an embedded fingerprint reader you need to use as a substitute for password login.
This might 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 is nice information as it’s soldered to the motherboard, so you’ll be able to’t add extra capability in a while.
For storage there’s a 512GB NVMe SSD, a Western Digital SN730, particularly. It is connected on the PCIe Gen 3 x4 port. You can swap it out, however there’s solely the one bay, so that you’ll have to repeat your information over to the brand new drive first.
Finally, 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 interchange this one anytime quickly.
The eleventh Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are fabbed on the second iteration of Intel’s 10nm TremendousFin course of. They have 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 soar into Honor’s PC Manager app utilizing the choice operate of F10).
The CPU comprises 4 Willow Cove cores, every operating two threads. For comparability, the Ryzen 4500U model of the MagicGuide 14 we examined beforehand is house to six cores operating 12 threads.
So, the Intel chip ought to be at an obstacle within the multi-threaded assessments, however with turbo clocks going as much as 4.7GHz on our i7-powered review pattern, it has an opportunity to edge out the AMD chip, which tops out at 4.0GHz, in single-core assessments. The i7 has extra cache too (12MB vs. 8MB).
The single-core efficiency check (primarily based on Geekbench 5) goes closely in favor of the Core i7 model with an over 40% benefit.
The power of particular person cores actually whittles down the core depend benefit of the AMD APU. So the i7-based laptop computer additionally takes the win within the multi-core efficiency check – the benefit isn’t as gorgeous, but it surely’s 20% lead over the 4500U.
Moving on to Cinebench R20, it concurs that the i7 is quicker, although with a narrower hole of round 10%.
The i5 and i7 assist PCIe Gen 4, which fits unused on this laptop computer. However, 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 MagicGuide 14 obtained a superior SSD, which did nail the three,400 MB/s sequential learn speeds marketed by WD. That is 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 check (queue depth = 1, # of threads = 1).
To check out the Iris Xe graphics we ran GFXBench 5.0 in DirectX 12 and Vulkan modes. The Aztec Ruins check confirmed higher efficiency below Vulkan the place it got here near hitting 60fps within the High Tier mode at 1080p decision. Under DirectX 12 it ran at below 54fps, however received near 80fps within the Normal Tier.
This clearly isn’t a gaming laptop computer, however it’s going to deal with informal video games simply sufficient so long as you don’t count on stellar graphics. The numbers are comparable with the Ryzen 7 4700U and its Vega 7 GPU.
Honor connected two warmth pipes to the Intel processor that result in a single fan. For quick bursts of exercise, the fan is whisper quiet (particularly when it’s not in Performance mode) However, extended stress assessments crank up the decibels – it’s not very loud, however its excessive pitch isn’t precisely nice. Still, that is solely a priority in the event you hammer the CPU and GPU for lengthy intervals of time.
Battery life and charging
The Intel model of the Honor MagicGuide 14 (2021) comes with a 56Wh capability to work with, the identical because the Ryzen mannequin we examined. However, 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 is considerably lower than the Ryzen model, which lasted over 11 hours.
Then we tried internet looking (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 whole of 8 and a half hours earlier than it was totally depleted. This is once more nowhere close to what the Ryzen mannequin achieved (12:30h).
|Test||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|
That brighter display positive 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 internet looking. YouTube playback as soon as once more proved extra demanding and the laptop computer lasted solely about 8 and a half hours. Still, 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 assessments verify that, because it took round 36 minutes to achieve 50% cost. A full cost took 1 hour and 38 minutes.
We additionally tried plugging in a tiny 18W USB-C Power Delivery charger and the laptop computer began filling up its battery. It’s not quick, in fact, however in a pinch you need to use a suitable telephone charger (nice information in the event you’re not eager on carrying the laptop computer’s personal 200g charger).
The Honor MagicGuide 14 (2021, Intel) is already out there 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 might be discovered for €1,000 on the time of writing, however observe that its MSRP is €1,200. Is this laptop computer value €1,200? In isolation we would say sure. But the true query is whether or not you’d somewhat have this one at €1,000 over the Ryzen one at €750.
The Intel model confirmed superior CPU efficiency and likewise had a transparent edge in storage pace (if not capability). Also, it comes with a greater display. However, it runs its battery dry noticeably sooner. So, if efficiency is the precedence, the Intel mannequin seems extra interesting. If you need endurance and to spare your pockets, the AMD model is healthier.
As options, there’s the Acer Swift 3 at €1,100 MSRP with the identical i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM (soldered) and 1 TB storage. You can save €200 in the event 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.
If you’re a ThinkPad fan, you may also 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 offered), it sells for €1,070. The 14” IPS LCD is dimmer, although (250 nits) and the battery smaller (45Wh. At least it comes with a 65W USB-C charger and the port helps Thunderbolt 4. The entire factor 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. This 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 factor weighs 1.17kg, regardless of the bigger 67Wh battery, which costs 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 MagicGuide 14 strikes a effective steadiness between efficiency, worth and portability. The port choice is limiting and the battery life is not so good as on its Ryzen-powered sibling (which is cheaper as well). A stable laptop computer total, however it is advisable to make sure that the additional efficiency is definitely worth the worth premium as €1,000 or so should buy you considered one of a number of effective ultra-portables.