I replaced my MacBook Pro with the Honor MagicBook Pro 16 — here’s what happened

Has Honor found its laptop mojo to take on Apple?

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Honor MagicBook Pro 16 is a solid all-rounder — providing the sleek chassis with a great screen and even better ergonomics, alongside plenty of horsepower under the hood. Whatever you throw at this, be it processor-intensive work, AAA gaming or content consumption, this can keep up with all of it (at the sacrifice of battery life).


  • +

    Impressive performance

  • +

    Great keyboard and touchpad

  • +

    Zippy fingerprint scanner

  • +

    Top notch display and speakers


  • -

    Dull webcam with no IR

  • -

    The white finish stains easily

  • -

    Underwhelming battery life

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Honor has made some pretty forgettable laptops over the past few years, but all that has changed with the MagicBook Pro 16 — something I found out when using it as my daily driver instead of the M3 Pro MacBook Pro.

When it comes to taking aim at one of the kings of laptops in the form of Apple’s aluminum slab, you have to nail three things: design and ergonomics, screen and speakers, and great performance with power efficiency. It’s a tall order, but Honor comes so close to the point that by finding a fine balance between sleek stylings, pure power and (interestingly) gaming prowess.

This 16-inch machine manages to tick off most of these criteria, thanks to the Intel Core Ultra 7 and RTX 4060 pairing inside, a fantastic keyboard, a bright and vivid 16-inch 3K panel with 165Hz refresh rate, alongside some of the best speakers I’ve heard outside of a MacBook Pro.

That’s not to say everything can stand up to the Cupertino crew — some of it is a double-edged sword. That 115W TDP gives you solid performance, even during more intense workloads, but that 75Wh battery gets drained fast. In white with those dynamic edges, this laptop looks seriously sleek…well it would if the lid didn’t stain so easily. Seriously, I’m a clean freak and that slight yellowing was already present when I received this system.

Then there’s the webcam, which I’ve become accustomed to the inevitability of each tiny shooter atop a laptop looking like a potato, no matter how much AI you throw at it. But with these issues in mind, it’s clear that Honor has taken a giant step in the right direction. The MagicBook Pro 16 is not quite there in proving to be the MacBook Pro’s ultimate foe, but there’s a lot to love.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16: Cheat Sheet

  • What is it? This is a powerful multi-purpose laptop — nailing prosumer work, AAA gaming and content consumption.
  • Who is it for? I’d recommend this for creative pros with the power under the hood, but those gaming credentials could make it a good option for the players as well.
  • What does it cost? We don’t know the global pricing as of yet, but we can make some conclusions based on the cost in the Chinese market. With a base model with Intel Core Ultra 5 at CNY 8,999 ($1,250 / £1,000), and the model we tested priced at CNY 9,999 ( $1,400 / £1,100), this could come in rather competitively.
  • What do we like? It performs well, feels great to type on and has a stellar display/speaker combo for all your streaming/gaming needs.
  • What don’t we like? The battery life isn’t too hot when under pressure, the webcam is dull, and that white finish of the lid stains easily.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Display16-inch (3,072 x 1,920) IPS LCD, 16:10, 165Hz
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
Storage1TB SSD
Ports1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6
Battery75Wh cell
Size14 x 9.4 x 0.6 inches
Weight4.1 pounds

Honor MagicBook Pro 16: The ups

So we’ve got quite a lot to unpack here, because the MagicBook Pro 16 can be a lot of things to a lot of people — be it creative professionals, multitasking magicians or even gaming gurus.

Display + speakers = <3

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

It all starts with probably the most potent combination of the whole laptop — a divine display and stellar speakers (I promise I’ll stop with the alliteration now). 

Up top, the 16-inch 16:10 display sounds relatively standard with IPS LCD tech, but the colors are really well balanced to inspire confidence in any and all of your creative work accuracy, while bringing out the vividity of any games you throw at it. Plus the strong 500 nits of brightness with that matte coating atop makes it easy to read in bright lighting conditions.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the buttery smooth 165Hz refresh rate. Of course this can be most easily spotted in games running with that slickness you know and love from some of the best gaming laptops, but even in your day-to-day, your eyes will thank you for the increased fluidity.

And then we turn our attention to the Honor Spatial Audio system — a combination of six speakers to make this the first Windows laptop to sport this technology. 

While the actual surround effect is kind of a dubious claim, what this bunch of tweeters and a subwoofer actually achieve is a sound quality that practically matches my MacBook Pro in terms of impressive details in the highs and mids, along with a nice bassy warmth. While there may be small ways to improve this (i.e. giving us an OLED display), the formula on offer here makes this a mightily satisfying machine for content consumption.

Solid all-round performer

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

This is backed up by surprisingly good performance. Not that Honor has shocked the world here — the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, RTX 4060 and 32GB of DDR5 RAM means this was always going to be quite the speed demon. But rather that this configuration and the high 115W TDP gives it more of an edge in gaming than you might think.

Outside of the MacBook Pro, I’d say the MagicBook Pro 16’s closest competition is the Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Ultra and, well, Honor comes real close to its more expensive brethren and in some circumstances, manages to absolutely trounce it. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
BenchmarkHonor MagicBook Pro 16 (Intel Core Ultra 7 155H)Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Ultra (Intel Core Ultra 9 185H)MacBook Pro (M3 Pro)
Geekbench 6.2 single core230224213154
Geekbench 6.2 multi-core124571312414357
Handbrake (time to transcode 4k movie to 1080p)4:334:514:26

Of course this comes at the expense of battery life (more on that later), but my theory is since the Intel Core Ultra 9 and RTX 4070 of the 4 Ultra is stuck to 80W TDP, whereas Honor’s machine can go up to 115W; a lot more performance is extracted from these components.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Gaming benchmarkHonor MagicBook Pro 16 (RTX 4060)Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Ultra (RTX 4070)
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p)20.6 FPS18.97 FPS
Red Dead Redemption 2 (1080p Ultra)32.1 FPS20.2 FPS

Nothing from Intel is going to touch what the M3 line of silicon is capable of, but for the greater amount of things you can do on a Windows machine, alongside the simply salivating price-to-performance ratio of the MagicBook Pro 16, Honor has blindsided us with a real beast whatever you throw at it.

Stellar ergonomics for productivity

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

Then, you get to work on this machine, and you’re greeted by a generously-sized keyboard with a number pad. The 1.5mm key depth of these tactile switches makes every keystroke feel intentful, and you’ll love gliding across this board if you’re a fast typer. The subtle backlighting gives everything a nice, calm glow when working (or playing) at night, and even though this is a plastic construction, there’s none of that giveaway bend to the top deck that can distract you with a cheap, tacky feel.

Complimenting that is a vast touchpad with a lovely smooth surface that has a subtle friction to give you more precise control. I would’ve preferred to see a vibration-driven click like with the Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook Pro — instead you’ve got your standard bottom left and right clicks here. But the snappiness of said clicks is enough to forgive this missing element.

Once you get into your flow, the Honor MagicBook Pro 16 stays right there with you.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16: The downs

Given the pricing of this machine, Honor has made some difficult decisions — going in hard on certain aspects to tell the story of who this laptop should be for, while making compromises elsewhere. One thing, however, is a bit of an own goal.

More off-white than the family computer

You know the kind I’m talking about, right? Either that or I’m showing my age real bad here. The off white family computer that took pride of place in the living room — ready for you to play a ton of flash games and downloading “LiNkInGpArK-nUmB.exe” on Limewire for the impending wave of 24 viruses.

The pure white finish of the Honor MagicBook Pro 16 reminds me of those days, and not in a good way, as that lid can pick up discoloration so fast. By the way, this is coming from a clean freak. There ain’t no way I’m approaching this machine with a snack in hand, and still you can see the slight yellowing on the lid.

Let me be clear. This is not a beef about the physical design. I love the sharp edges with that brushed metal sheen, along with the sensible port arrangement that keeps your desk tidy. But some sort of color treatment is desperately needed to avoid it losing its white glow, and without it, you’re just left feeling a little let down.

Webcam could be better

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

Not much to say here. The 1080p camera doesn’t really feel like FHD, as pictures feel a little mushy in quality, and really ramp up the noise when lighting conditions go anywhere less than perfect.

Plus, it’s not the most helpful potato of a camera either, as no IR functionality means Windows Hello is limited to the fingerprint sensor. It is a fast one, though, but face scanning would’ve been far quicker.

Battery life is a letdown

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

We don’t have lab tested battery life scores yet, but I always expected this — looking at the max TDP and the size of that 75Wh cell inside. Something’s got to give, and it is the battery life. When just going casual with your usage, you can make it through a whole working day with roughly 10% left. But if your workload includes anything more than just a couple tabs on Chrome, make sure you have that beefy charger handy to keep it topped up.

Then when you throw a demanding game like Cyberpunk 2077 at it, you’ll be lucky to make it past an hour. I understand the choice being made here to lean into performance, but hopefully with the continual improvement of power efficiency in these chips and a larger cell in the next gen system, we can get past this. Either that or more immediately, some sort of more granular controls on the system wattage may be a good workaround.

Honor MagicBook Pro 16: Verdict

Honor MagicBook Pro 16 (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

And that is the tale of one of the more surprising laptops of 2024 — one that shows Honor finally getting its groove in the notebook space. If the Galaxy Book 4 Ultra is Tony Polanco’s new favorite Windows laptop, the MagicBook Pro 16 is the cost effective alternative.

Because sure, when compared to my M3 Pro MacBook Pro, there are some key things missing like a premium aluminum unibody, lightning quick performance, and the legendary battery life. 

But Honor’s goal is to be all things to all people — a potent prosumer device by day, and a powerful entertainment machine by night. And you know what? I think with the issues taken into account, I think the team have only gone and cracked it.

Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.