Can you do Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade -Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop?

Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade
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Can you do Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade to play faster games? With HONOR Magic-link 2.0 you can instantly share your photos videos to your computers nearby, with transfer speeds of up to 30 MB/s. The 2-in-1 touch button combines the power button and fingerprint sensor into one, offering more convenience and less waiting. Powered by the recent generation 12 nm process AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop combines high performance and high power efficiency together which is ideal for multi-tasking.

Pros & Cons -Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop

Pros

  • Dual Channel DDR4 2400 (finally!)
  • Precision touchpad (yeah!)
  • Good IPS screen, good nits, good contrast
  • Good keyboard
  • Great build quality; all metal build and looks pretty nice in silver. Logos are barely visible.
  • Price (about 70% of equivalently specced Intel Magicbook (8/256/IPS))
  • 25w performance tuning, 35w turbo. Never drops below 2.6GHz under sustained load.
  • Fan noise is not distracting under heavy load.
  • Temperature is under control with 100% fan speed

Cons

  • No fancy stuff like fingerprint reader
  • Screen could be better. Only 45% NTSC (BOE panel), not one of those great 72% panels (a supply chain problem, 14′ 72% IPS are not mass produced yet).
  • Sandisk SATA SSD, not PCIe. Still SSD though, and fast enough.
  • Memory timing? It’s 2400C17. Could be better.
  • AMD-V (virtualization) is disabled by Huawei, and there is no way to turn it on.

Specifications – Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop

Brand nameHONOR
Item Weight2 Kg
Package Dimensions40.1 x 28.2 x 7.4 cm
SeriesHONOR MagicBook
ColorSpace Gray
Form FactorLaptop
Screen Size14 inches
Processor BrandAMD
Processor TypeRyzen 5 3500U
Processor Speed1.8 GHz
Processor Count1
RAM Size8 GB
Memory TechnologyDDR4
Maximum Memory Supported8 GB
Hard Disk TechnologyFlash Memory Solid State
Graphics Chipset BrandAMD
Graphics Card DescriptionIntegrated
Graphics RAM TypeShared
Graphics Card Ram Size8 GB
Graphics Card InterfaceIntegrated
Number of USB 2.0 Ports1
Number of USB 3.0 Ports1
Optical Drive TypeNo Optical Drive
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home

Price & availability – Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop

he Honor MagicBook 14 is on sale in the UK with prices starting at £549.99 (around $670, AU$1,100) . This model comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, 8GB DDR4 and 256GB SSD.

This follows a global launch earlier in 2020 for the Honor laptop. As with devices from its parent company, Huawei, while they are easily bought in Asia, and especially their native China, they are not always available elsewhere in the world. While Honor has made much of the global launch of the MagicBook 14, it doesn’t seem to be available in certain countries, like the US.

 The similarly-specced Huawei MateBook D 15 costs slightly more at £599.99 (around $780, AU$1,200). This comes with the same AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, but with a larger 15-inch display. There’s also the 14-inch Huawei MateBook D 14, which comes with a 512GB SSD, and costs even more at £649.99 (around $800, AU$1,300).

Is double the storage space worth that extra £100? We’d argue it is, as these days 256GB is a rather paltry amount for a laptop, and once Windows 10 and various apps are installed, it doesn’t give you a lot of space left.

However, we can’t argue that at £549.99, the Honor MagicBook 14 offers a very tempting price, and while the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U is not the newest, or most powerful, CPU, you’re getting 8GB of RAM. We’d argue that’s now the minimum amount of memory you’d want for a Windows 10 laptop. All too often, we’re still seeing budget laptops trying to get away with 4GB.

Who is this for Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop RAM upgrade?

Buy it if…

You want an affordable Windows 10 laptop that doesn’t look cheap
The Honor MagicBook 14 comes at a compelling price, but its design feels premium. The thin bezels around the screen, and aluminium body, makes this laptop look and feel more expensive than it is.

You want a cheap laptop, but not a Chromebook
The MagicBook 14 is good for web browsing, word processing and light photo editing – and not much else. This means Chromebooks are a good alternative, as they do roughly the same stuff, but cheaper still, but if you want to stick with Windows 10, this isn’t a bad choice.

You have an Honor smartphone
One of the Honor MagicBook 14’s best features is the Honor Magic-link NFC sticker that lets  you quickly and easily connect an Honor smartphone to the laptop. If you have one and are looking for a new laptop, then this makes the MagicBook 14 a compelling purchase.

Don’t buy it if…

You want the cheapest laptop
While the Honor MagicBook 14 is certainly priced low, it’s not the cheapest laptop on the market. If you want a lower price with the same (or even better) performance.

You want a powerful laptop
The Honor MagicBook 14 isn’t a great performer. For the price, it’s fine, but if you want something that opens apps in a flash and can handle games, this isn’t for you.

You want all-day battery
With day-to-day use, you’ll see around five to seven hours of battery life with the MagicBook 14. That’s not bad, but there are laptops out there which last much longer. Chromebooks, for instance, as well as a growing number of Windows 10 laptops as well.

Compare HONOR MagicBook 14 vs HUAWEI MateBook D 14

HONOR MagicBook 14 – 14 Inch LaptopHUAWEI MateBook D 14 2020 – 14 Inch LaptopASUS VivoBook X412DA 14 Inch Full HD Laptop
Computer Memory Size8 GB8 GB8 GB
Processor (CPU) ModelRyzen 5 3500URyzen 5 3500UR Series
Processor (CPU) ManufacturerAMDAMDAMD
Processor (CPU) Speed1.8 GHz3.7 GHz2.1 GHz
Display Size14 in14 in14 in
Hard disk DescriptionFlash Memory Solid StateMechanical Hard DriveMechanical Hard Drive
Operating SystemWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 HomeWindows 10
Processor Count144

Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop review

Case

The MagicBook 14 has an aluminium chassis, just like the MateBook D 14. Available in Space Gray and Mystic Silver, Honor has given both versions blue accents. Called “Azure Blue”, the accents extend to the Honor logo and the chamfered edges around the display cover. The Space Gray model that Honor kindly lent us resists fingerprints well and feels sturdy. On the one hand, this sturdiness gives the MagicBook 14 a durable feel. However, the display cannot be opened with one hand, which is a shame.

Overall, the MagicBook 14 is well-built, especially for a £550 laptop. However, it would have been nice had Honor extended the blue accents to the keyboard deck. Arguably, the display lid is the most visually appealing part of the MagicBook 14, with the keyboard deck and plastic display bezels making it indistinguishable from the MateBook D 14.

Design

The extra weight, however, comes with extra sturdiness. We didn’t find any flex points – the area next to the hinge feels tough, the palm rest area is rigid and the middle of the keyboard is the only spot where the chassis gives in but only after great amount of force is applied.

The MagicBook 14 is definitely one of the sturdy guys in its class. The whole chassis is made of aluminum, save for the plastic bezels around the screen. The downside to that is that the laptop is a bit on the heavy side. 1.4kg isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things but it’s definitely not among the lightest laptops of this size either.

Even the lid feels rigid enough with minimal flex while the hinge is perhaps even a bit too tight. You can’t open the notebook with one hand so you always have to hold the base when opening it. On the upside, there’s no wobble when the laptop is placed on unstable surface, the lid can open all the way to 180 degrees and the base has a big indentation so you can open the lid easier.

 Fingerprint

Other small but cool design choices are the chamfered edges around lid, the fingerprint integration with the power button and, of course, the pop-up camera integrated into the F-row. Which in turn has enabled razor-thin bezels all-around. Despite its mid-range standing the notebook really has a premium and modern feel.

 
Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard has well sized keys with nice and clicky feedback. They are well spaced too and LED illumination is discreet with two adjustable levels. We felt we could get up to our normal typing speed while the sound coming from the keyboard can be described more as a “gentle rattle”. The touchpad is responsive, it’s slightly wider than usual (it gives us a bit of an HP vibe), clicky and accurate.

We would have appreciated a slightly longer key and the touchpad is rather hard to press in the upper half. Also, the LED illumination could be just a tad brighter. Of course, this is mostly nitpicking as we can’t immediately point to a better alternative without going up several market segments.

Display and sound

All in all, the multimedia experience on the MagicBook 14 is impressive. The display is great for the asking price while the sound quality and loudness are unrivaled at this price point and form factor. We are quite baffled by the sound coming out of this small chassis.

One of the key selling points of the MagicBook 14 is the display. And not just because of the thin bezels. The notebook easily stands out among its peers with an excellent 1920 x 1080px IPS LCD panel. We did a quick background check and the screen is manufactured by BOE with model number TV140FHM-NH1. The previous iteration of the device had a similar TV140FHM-NH0 panel from BOE, so it’s probably safe to assume that the former is a revision with minor changes.

Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop review

The screen reaches a respectable 277 nits of brightness with high contrast and lively colors. The matte surface does help with the reflectiveness and it does well in most conditions. Still, if you take it out to the park on a bright sunny day it will start to struggle.

Honor MagicBook 14 review

The sound is another great aspect of this notebook. As opposed to the previous generation where the speaker grilles were on each side of the keyboard, this time they are placed on the bottom of the chassis near the edges. And to our surprise, this didn’t take away the great audio experience. The sound coming out of the stereo loudspeakers is full, punchy and even speech doesn’t sound muffled. Not to mention that it also has solid bass.

Of course, this will also be affected by the surface you place the notebook on. After all, it’s intended to be used on a desk so if you place it on your lap, the sound will be slightly distorted.

Ports

The MagicBook 14 has two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack and an HDMI port. This should be enough for most people, although there is space for a card reader. There is plenty of space between each port though, so you should not encounter cables clashing with each other.

The device’s USB Type-C port handles charging, next to which Honor has included an LED notification. However, the port operates on the slower USB 2.0 standard and does not support HDMI or DisplayPort. Hence, the MagicBook 14 will not work with a USB Type-C dock. Instead, you must use one cable for charging and another for connecting to an external monitor.  

Battery life

Honor was able to fit in a fairly big 56Wh unit that supports fast charging over the USB-C connector. Honor markets that the included 65W charger can replenish about 46% in just 30 minutes and our simple 30-minute charging test confirms that claim.

Honor promises the MagicBook 14 will last a full working day away from the plug, which means around 8 hours of normal usage. We did get similar endurance but “normal usage” is highly subjective.

Suffice to say that for office work you will either get the advertised 8 hours uptime or at least come very close.

Another interesting thing to note is that the 14-inch version of the MagicBook that we’ve reviewed has bigger battery than the 15-inch flavor. So if endurance is what you are after it’s strongly advisable that you go for the smaller model.

Hardware and upgradability (Honor MagicBook 14 RAM SSD upgrade)

As we said earlier, the new Honor MagicBook 14 gives you a choice only between AMD CPUs and in markets outside of China and a rather limited choice between Ryzen 5 3500U and Ryzen 5 3700U.

We got the Ryzen 5 3500U for our review, but and we can’t imagine the overall experience being a lot different than on the Ryzen 5 3700U. The Ryzen 5 3500U offers four cores with a base clock of 2.2 GHz and boost of up to 3.7 GHz. There is multi-threading so you get 8 threads.

An important side-note here is that AMD is about to bring its 15W Zen2 CPUs (the 4000U series) based on the considerably more efficient 7nm manufacturing process. However, with the current pandemic chances are it won’t be broadly available for a few more months at least.

The cores are based on the Zen+ architecture using the improved 12nm manufacturing process. It’s a small step up from the previous generation CPUs based on the 14nm node and utilizing the original Zen architecture. The performance per clock has been bumped up a little allowing for slightly higher clock speeds as well while keeping things in the 15W TDP ballpark.

That’s a long time in the technology world though so it’s only relevant to those in no hurry to get a new machine. And the good thing is the current MagicBook 14 configuration is already doing a fine job, perforamnce wise.

8GB of DDR4 memory tags along, which should be enough for most users but we wished there was a 16GB configuration available. Unfortunately you can’t upgrade it yourself either as the RAM chip is soldered to the motherboard.

Since the 14-inch model doesn’t have discrete GPU, the system will rely on the built-in Radeon RX Vega 8 with eight CUs (512 shaders) and is running at 1200MHz.

The good news is this is not the case with the storage. There’s a standard M.2 stick mounted running on the latest PCIe NVMe interface. The available storage variants are 256GB and 512GB.

So what about system stability and temperatures? We ran a standard CPU + GPU stress test for about an hour to check how the cooling system handles high loads over time. Do keep in mind that this is not an accurate representation of real-life use. It tests the hardware in extreme scenarios that wouldn’t normally occur. After all, no one will utilize 100% of the CPU and GPU for such a long time.

Using the FurMark stress test tool, we put the CPU under an hour-long 100% burn test. The CPU ran at its maximum 3.7GHz frequency for a while before going down to 3.0-3.1GHz and staying there for the remainder of the test. At this point, the CPU’s temperatures were around 70 °C.

After an hour had passed, we ran the GPU stress test as well. At 100% load, the integrated GPU managed to keep the 1200MHz core clock speeds with some minor fluctuations while temperatures didn’t go beyond 61 °C.

We can conclude that the cooling system design is sufficient for the hardware and can handle extremely high loads for extended periods of time without any risk of overheating. The CPU and GPU implementation is also excellent as both chips managed to utilize its full clock speeds. The temperature on the surface around the keyboard was also more than okay.

Software

It’s needless to say that we did our testing on the pre-installed Windows 10 with all of the latest drivers and updates installed. Honestly, there’s not much to talk about – the system runs smoothly, it boots really fast and the fingerprint reader scans your fingertips when turning on the PC and logs you in super fast. No issues with the fingerprint or the OS whatsoever.

Honor MagicBook 14 inch Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB laptop performance review

The MagicBook 14 is available in most regions with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, 8 GB of dual-channel RAM and 256 GB of storage. However, Honor sells a 512 GB version in some regions like Russia and a Ryzen 7 3700U model in China. Nonetheless, the Ryzen 5 3500U and 8 GB of RAM is powerful enough for all general tasks. We encountered no issues with running multiple tabs in Chrome, several spreadsheets and a few word documents simultaneously. The same applies when connecting the MagicBook 14 to an external monitor or streaming videos from Netflix or YouTube.

It is worth pointing out that while the SSD is upgradeable, the Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade is not. You can also change the Wi-Fi card if you ever need to.

Is it good for gaming?

The MagicBook 14 relies on a Radeon RX Vega 8 for graphics tasks, which is integrated on its Ryzen 5 3500U processor. In our experience, the MagicBook 14 is powerful enough for some light gaming, including newer titles at lower resolutions and graphics details. Our device comfortably ran Resident Evil 7, for example, and even managed older titles like Bioshock Infinite at maximum graphics.

In short, triple-A titles are beyond the Radeon RX Vega 8, but the integrated GPU can handle older titles easily.

A look at the inside of the Honor MagicBook 14.
Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade

How to do Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade?


Can you do Honor MagicBook 14 RAM upgrade? I will remove the bottom case in order to access the battery, SSD, Wi-Fi card, RAM, cooling fan, heatsink, and motherboard.

  • To access the internal structure, you have to remove the screws on the bottom cover and pry off the bottom cover with a plastic tool. The interior design of the MagicBook is very simple and clear.
  • The bottom is the battery, it comes with a 7.6V, 57.4Wh Li-ion battery and with a part number of HB4593R1ECW; the upper thermal module occupies a large area, which includes two heat pipes and a fan, the fan covered with a layer of copper, and the overall heat dissipation effect is good. In addition, the memory is integrated on the motherboard and cannot be expanded.
  • The M.2 NGFF SSD is located at the top and comes from Lite-On. The LITE-ON CV8-8E256 is a SATA SSD, but the good news is the M.2 port supports PCI-E SSD, so if you are not satisfied with the SATA SSD, you can upgrade to a PCI-E SSD. The lower part of the heatsink is the Intel i5-8250U processor and GeForce MX150 video card. Most of the mainboard are sealed with black adhesive tape to prevent static electricity.
  • The Wi-Fi adapter placed near the heatsink and it’s Intel 8265HUW. We found that its model is different from the model on other brands notebooks. Usually, the model number should be 8265NGW. It is estimated that this is a Huawei customized model.

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