If you’re in the market for a brand-new laptop but on a tight budget, you might want to checkout the new HONOR MagicBook X14.
Priced at only Php29,990, this machine should be equipped well enough to handle most tasks, especially if you’re working or learning from home. But is it really competent enough? We’ll find out in our full review.
HONOR MagicBook X 14 Specs
- Windows 11
- 14-inch FHD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 157ppi
- 800:1 aspect ratio, 250-nits peak brightness
- TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker Free certified
- 11th-Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 dual-core CPU, 2.4GHz, up to 4.2GHz
- 8GB RAM
- Intel UHD graphics
- 256GB internal storage
- Retractable camera, 720p
- WiFi 6, dual-band
- 1x HDMI, 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 2.0
- Full-size keyboard, backlit
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Fingerprint power button
- Stereo speaker
- Bluetooth 5.1
- HONOR Magic-link
- Dimensions: 322.5 x 214.8 x 15.9mm
- Weight: 1.38kg
- Color: Space Gray
- 56WH Li-Po battery
Design and Build Quality
As said earlier, the HONOR MagicBook X14 is a practical laptop, and it sure looks like it. You might look at the design as plain and boring, while others may find it minimalistic. Personally, we’re leaning toward the latter.
For a laptop like this, what we care most about is if it’s light and thin so it’s easy to carry — which is the case with X14. Not by a lot, but it’s compact enough to fit a daypack without hurting your back. It weighs 1.38kg and is 15.9mm thick.
The laptop has an all-metallic body, which didn’t only provide the said clean look, but also made it feel tough and sturdy.
In addition, the X14 also has a pretty sturdy hinge, which makes it a little tough to adjust, but it does stay in place. The screen can also do a 180-degree angle, so it’s more flexible no matter what position you use the laptop.
Overall, the HONOR MagicBook X14 is a well-dressed and well-built laptop, no questions about that.
First, let’s talk about the full-size backlit keyboard. They are not the most satisfying keys to type on, but I got used to it quickly, even if I daily-drive a MacBook.
This one has a 1.3mm actuation distance, which is noticeably high compared to the MacBook’s 0.86mm.
I also liked how you can easily adjust the volume, brightness, and other commands using the function keys by just single pressing the Fn button.
Meanwhile, the trackpad feels a little small for my liking. On the upside, since it’s quite small, I didn’t experience any accidental palm touches.
It’s a 4-point multi-touch pad with a size of 119.2 x 62.5mm and it was quite responsive during our tests.
Oh, and we also have the webcam hidden between the F6 and F7 buttons. Compared to other laptops’ cameras, this one is retractable, so the camera is physically hidden when not needed to protect your privacy.
However, since it’s at the keyboard level, the angles look unflattering and can be easily blocked by your finger if you’re typing, which can be annoying if you’re in a meeting.
And since it’s retractable, it doesn’t seem to work with Windows Hello face recognition.
Fortunately, the power button also works as a fingerprint scanner, and it works fast and reliably during our time with the device.
The port selection is not a lot, but it has all the basics to make sure you hit the ground running. No need to purchase a USB-C adapter.
It has a 1x USB Type-C port for data and charging 1x full-size HDMI, 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo port for audio.
Display and Sound Quality
The HONOR MagicBook X14 has a 14-inch FHD IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 157ppi, 250-nits peak brightness, 800:1 aspect ratio, and has TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker Free Certifications.
Display quality is fine, especially for the price. Since it’s an IPS, it provides decent colors for watching content and even some minor photo and video editing. Sharpness is also decent, but we have to admit, we miss QHD screens when we’re playing with this laptop.
The screen also appears to have an anti-glare coating, so it’s still easy to see even if there’s an open window pointed to the screen. Although, at 800 nits, it’s a little hard to use if you’re in really bright areas like the outside of a coffee house on a sunny day. But we’re just nitpicking here, and there’s very little to get picky about at this price point.
HONOR put two speakers and 2 microphones on the MagicBook X14. The speakers give decent volume that can fill up an entire room and still be audible in noisy environments.
Clarity is fine but the bass is nowhere to be found. Stereo separation is also there but not too distinct. Overall, it’s fine for casual use, but if you want better sound, you should plug in a pair of wired audio devices or go wireless with its Bluetooth connectivity.
Performance and Software
The HONOR MagicBook X14 is powered by an Intel Core i3-1115G4 dual-core processor, with a 2.4GHz base clock, and up to 4.2GHz on boost. It is paired with Intel UHD graphics.
Performance was fine after I used it as a daily driver. It was able to handle my work well, which includes writing articles, researching on Google Chrome with about 5 to 8 tabs open at a time, and basic photo editing on Adobe Photoshop.
With those tasks, the X14 delivered a really passable performance. However, it does start to show its weakness when you have multiple layers or do complex editing on Photoshop.
If you plan on gaming, you can do that too, but you have to manage your expectations. I tried downloading GTA V, however, since the 256GB storage was partitioned, I wasn’t able to fit the game’s large size.
With that, I settled with lighter games. CS:GO run fine, but I had to drop all the graphics settings to their lowest and the screen resolution at 720p for it to be playable.
DOTA 2 was also playable at 1080p with the graphics set at “fastest”, which is essentially the lowest preset. Under those settings, the game runs at around 80-90fps. The laptop started to heat up after 5 minutes of playing, but it’s tolerable.
Battery Life and Charging
The MagicBook X14 has a 56Wh Li-Po battery. HONOR claims that it can play 1080p online videos continuously for 9.9 hours.
As I said earlier, I primarily used it for writing articles, researching the web, basic photo editing, and with Spotify playing in the background.
Under those tasks, the device went from 100% to 20% in just about 4 hours. Not bad, but we suggest not forgetting your charger at home if you plan on using it for an extended period of time.
Speaking of charging, this one has a USB-C 65W charger and a USB-C to USB-C cable, which means that you can also use it to fast-charge your phone and other devices. For the laptop itself, a full charge took about an hour and a half.
The HONOR MagicBook 14X runs on the new Windows 11 Home OS. If you’re wondering, yes, Microsoft Word and other Office apps are preinstalled, but you have to pay for the subscription fee if you want to continue using it.
What we liked is HONOR Share as we were able to easily transfer files from the HONOR X7a, which we reviewed alongside this laptop. It also works with other HONOR smartphones and tablets.
Multi-screen collaboration is also here that allows you to wirelessly project and control the laptop with your tablet, foldable phone, or TV.
The HONOR MagicBook X14 offers a decent value for the price. If you’re looking for a laptop for school or work, this is worth considering. As long as your work only involves word documents, researching on the web, minor photo and video editing, and other basic tasks.
But if you plan on doing heavy gaming or creative work, look elsewhere. Or better yet, increase your budget and get something with a more powerful processor, graphics, and RAM.
HONOR MagicBook X14 price and availability in the Philippines
The HONOR MagicBook X14 has a price tag of Php29,990. There’s also the MagicBook X15 with a bigger screen, twice the storage, and a faster Intel Core i5 CPU for Php37,990.
- Clean and sturdy design
- Decent performance for basic tasks
- Fingerprint for security
- Poor gaming performance
- Retractable camera is good for privacy, but not for angles