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Honor’s 2021 MagicBook Pro may be a downgrade but there’s a good reason for that

By switching to Intel, HONOR may have found a way to bring the laptop to the US and India.

Published onJanuary 10, 2021

HONOR MagicBook Pro
  • HONOR announced the 2021 MagicBook Pro at CES.
  • New to this year’s model is a 10th-gen Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU.
  • The company hopes to bring the laptop to the US and India, among other global markets.

When HONOR announced the MagicBook Pro at IFA Berlin 2020, it quickly became one of the best laptops you could buy for around €900 thanks to its Ryzen 5 4600H processor. It was fast, well-built and had a nearly bezel-less display. There was just one problem with it: limited availability. You could only buy the MagicBook Pro in a handful of markets in Europe. But now that the company is no longer associated with HUAWEI, it can work with US companies to source components. And thanks to a partnership with Intel, HONOR’s 2021 MagicBook Pro will feature a Core i5 processor and will be available globally, with the company hoping to bring it to the US and India.

But the processor swap does come with one major compromise. In moving over to Intel, the 2021 MagicBook Pro trades its predecessor’s Ryzen 4600H processor and Vega Radeon RX Vega 6 GPU for a 10th-gen Core i5 10210U CPU and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU. The 10210U is a four-core, eight-thread 14nm processor with a max TDP of 25W. By contrast, the 7nm 4600H is a six-core, 12-thread CPU with a 45W TDP. So you’re getting a processor that has both fewer cores and less total power output. Oh, and the 10210U is coming up on its second birthday this year.

With 16GB of RAM complimenting the processor and a zippy 512GB NVMe for storage, the new MagicBook Pro should still feel plenty fast. However, the 2020 model was one of the fastest non-workstation laptops you could buy last year. Judging by its specs, the 2021 variant will have a tough time matching that mark. I guess you win some and you lose some. Getting into the US and India would be a major win for HONOR, but the 2021 MagicBook Pro is a less compelling device because of its old Intel processor.

HONOR MagicBook Pro

For better and worse, HONOR hasn’t made too many other tweaks to the MagicBook Pro. Like the MateBook X Pro, it still comes with a pop-up webcam that will make you hate Zoom calls more than you already do. However, it also still comes with a generous selection of ports, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and a single HDMI connection, along with the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also a fingerprint sensor that doubles as the computer’s power button, and the 16.1-inch display comes with a Full HD panel with 100% sRGB coverage.

Related: CES 2021: Everything announced so far and what to expect

The company claims you can get up to 11 and a half hours of uptime out of a single charge from the MagicBook Pro’s 56Wh battery. The included 65W power adapter will get the battery back to 50 percent charge after 30 minutes.

There’s no word on an exact release date, but when the MagicBook Pro becomes available later this year, it will cost $1,000.

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