Huawei Honor is one of the few OEMs doing AMD Ryzen right
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The AMD Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U are excellent processors able to stand toe-to-toe with the well-received Intel Kaby Lake-R series. Unfortunately for AMD, major OEMs are seemingly unwilling to associate these Ryzen SoCs with flagship laptops like the Dell XPS series, HP Spectre series, Asus ZenBook Pro series, or Huawei MateBook X series. These AMD cores are instead found on budget-conscious mid-range models like the Dell Inspiron, HP Envy or ProBook, and the ThinkPad A series. The main problem here is that these less expensive configurations often bottleneck the AMD processor with very slow HDDs, poor displays, and single-channel RAM for subpar first impressions.
One notable exception is the recent 14-inch Honor MagicBook. This particular laptop has both Intel and AMD options, but both SKUs are otherwise identical in RAM, display, and storage. In other words, the AMD option is not handicapped by cheaper components like we often see on many other AMD-powered laptops. CineBench R15 ranks the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U version just 2 to 5 percent slower than the Intel Core i5-8250U version even though the AMD model retails for about $150 USD less. Meanwhile, integrated GPU performance is significantly in AMD's favor by over 100 percent according to 3DMark benchmarks.
A notable downside to the AMD model is that it is slightly less power efficient during low to medium loads for shorter runtimes than the Intel by about 1 to 2 hours when browsing the web. Even so, 9 hours of constant use should be more than enough for most users.
The worst part about the MagicBook is that it's not currently available in the United States and so interested users may have to import the machine. Huawei introduced a redesigned MateBook D with AMD Ryzen at CES 2019 that shares many characteristics with the Honor MagicBook. The manufacturer plans to launch the new MateBook D worldwide which we hope will also show the AMD Ryzen series in a more positive light compared to other OEMs.
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