After months, the unexpectedly fit-for-newsroom Honor MagicBook 14 still holds up

08 Mar 2023 07:30am
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SHAH ALAM - When it was first unveiled and up for grabs last year, the aluminium-chassised Honor MagicBook 14 RTX2050 was essentially touted as the jack-of-all-trades notebook, owing to its powerful chipset and graphics card.

And almost on-cue, most tech-nerds who got their hands on the sleek, polished laptop – bedecked with a solid keyboard – back then, echoed a similar contention; that the carpet did indeed match the drapes.

But of course, that was many months ago with those reviewing it having mostly tested the MagicBook 14 RTX2050 within the month of its launching.

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At Sinar Daily however, we opted for a different approach; a more unhasty inspection which put the 14-inch pearlescent sheened laptop through the test of time in carrying out the daily grind of a newsroom.

Why confine the review from a journalism perspective? One may well ask.

Well, the answer is simple, because we wanted to find out if the space gray Honor Magicbook 14 RTX2050 is a viable alternative for fellow journalists; especially the multidisciplinary ones who wants to juggle between not breaking the bank and getting a reliably potent laptop.

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Straight off the bat, the weight of the laptop was a plus point; with a heft of only 1.54kg meant that one would have no problem lugging from one assignment to another throughout the day; even more so with its super charging capabilities and its OS Turbo functionality.

Due to the combination of the 12-gen Intel i5-12500H processors, the 16GB dual channel LPDDR5 RAM and the Nvidia RTX 2050 graphics card, our social media executives had zero hiccups in using the laptop to churn out the day-to-day news graphics outputs.

Mind you, these guys produced tons of still graphics on a daily basis, at a rapid pace to boot.

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In terms of video editing, the Honor MagicBook 14 RTX2050 exceeded expectations as it has performed reasonably well in video news editing on Adobe Premiere Pro, especially under extensive use throughout the 15th General Election 14-days coverage.

Not only that, the laptop is also admirable in its ability to handle multiple layers of editing of the more nuanced and complex video journalism such as Sinar Daily’s news magazine series, Sinar Specials.

While the narrow 4.9mm bezel of the 14-inch screen was a welcome feature in portable video editing, the overall performance of the screen was rather sub-par when it comes colour correcting and colour grading videos despite the 100 per cent sRGB wide colour gamut.

For example, in Episode 1 of Sinar Specials, the colour in the playback was more vivid than the final exported video which suffered from a noticeable desaturation of hues that needed to be resolved through additional gamma correction – which is not ideal if one was on a tight deadline.

Thankfully, Sinar Specials isn’t breaking news and therefore video vividity was no longer an issue in the series’ subsequent episodes, however, the overall encoding, rendering, and exporting do take quite a while despite the Honor MagicBook 14 RTX2050 was cranked up to Performance Mode while plugged in.

But of course, any video editor worth his/her salt would know that these variables are relative to the length and resolution of the video and since video news are seldomly recorded and processed in 4K, the time taken for the laptop to export Full-HD videos was still acceptable.

The speakers were rather so-so; make no mistake, they were plenty loud but their positioning – at the bottom of the laptop – produced a notable muffle for those with keen hearing. Nonetheless, despite the seemingly less-than-ideal placement, the audio was generally still clear.

Although it has been months since it was brand new, the Honor MagicBook 14 RTX2050 still lived up to its intended endgame of being an affordable all-rounder machine, capable of potentially carving a niche in newsroom daily grinds.

Even more so, given the ongoing limited time special discount of RM1,000 which has now set the retail price of the Honor MagicBook 14 RTX2050 at only RM3,299 within the coming 23 days at press time.

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