Chin up, kids, and mind the webcam: Honor lifts lid on MagicBook 14-inch and 15.6-inch laptops

Not a good look if camera hits you from the wrong angle

CES Honor, the youth-focused subsidiary of the embattled Chinese tech giant Huawei, today unveiled its latest MagicBook laptops at CES.

The latest generation MagicBook comes in two variants — a smaller 14-inch laptop, and a full-sized 15.6-inch workstation. Both machines are powered by AMD's previous-generation Ryzen platforms, with punters having a choice between the Ryzen 7 3700U and the Ryzen 5 3500U.

The Ryzen 7-powered machine packs the Radeon RX Vega 10, while the Ryzen 5-based machine has Radeon Vega 8 Graphics.

In terms of memory, users can choose between 8GB and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Meanwhile, Honor is more generous with storage, offering 256GB and 512GB of fast PCIe flash storage.

Both versions of the MagicBook come with two USB A ports (both USB 3.0 and, weirdly, USB 2.0), as well as a USB-C slot which also doubles as the machine’s charging port. There’s also a full-sized HDMI port, allowing you to connect your machine to an external monitor without having to enter dongle hell.

On the subject of the display, both machines pack a standard 1080P FHD panel. Where they differ is the relatively tight bezels, which offer a solid screen-to-body ratio.

The 15.6-inch model has an 87 per cent screen-to-body ratio, while the 14-inch version is slightly smaller, with an 84 per cent ratio.

To accomplish this, Honor has stashed the webcam in a pop-up mechanism. This is almost identical to that found on the Huawei Matebook X and Matebook X Pro, which hides the webcam under a key buried within the function row.

The biggest problem with this is that it's… well… it’s not a particularly flattering angle.

With the camera pointing directly up at your face, the person on the other end of the Zoom call can count each of the Doritos-induced chins hanging off your face. It’s like the infamous MySpace angles, but in reverse.

Honor is best known for its phones, but in recent years, it has gradually entered other sectors, like fitness wearables and TVs. In 2018, it released its inaugural laptop effort, which was exclusively available for the Chinese market.

The latest-generation MagicBook is different, and is poised for a global release. That said, given Huawei’s woes in the US, we strongly doubt it’ll hit shelves on the other side of the Atlantic. Pricing is yet to be announced, but we’d be astonished if these machines start above £800. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022