Tecno MegaBook S1 : 30-second review
The sleek design of this laptop immediately catches the eye with its expansive 15.6" 3.2K resolution monitor, boasting a 120Hz refresh rate and a full 100% sRGB colour gamut.
The overall feel exudes quality, although the silver finish is high-grade plastic, not the metal found in more premium models. Nevertheless, the build quality feels far from cheap, save for the slightly loose left trackpad click, which slightly detracts from the overall solid construction.
For the on-the-go professional, the connectivity options are impressive. There is a range of USB Type-C ports, including one USB 4.0, along with a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, a MicroSD card reader, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Ideal, then, if you've been on the hunt for the best business laptops with this sort of port selection.
Our test model came with Windows 11 pre-installed, and the hardware specifications suggest this laptop will be serviceable for several years before an upgrade becomes necessary.
Internally, it houses a 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor with 12 cores and 16 threads, peaking at 4.7GHz with Turbo Boost. The integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, with 96 compute units and a top frequency of 1400 MHz, utilizes 6.29 GB of device memory, facilitating smooth media playback and capable handling of graphically demanding tasks.
Weighing in at 1.35kg and measuring 243mm x 350mm x 13.5mm, the laptop's dimensions and weight make it an ideal solution for day-to-day tasks on the go. While it offers ample processing power for multimedia tasks and gaming, the system falls just short of running the best 3D modeling software or the best video editing software. While editing video was fine, we struggled to achieve seamless 4K video editing in applications like DaVinci Resolve. For all other intents and purposes, this laptop hits the mark as a potent solution.
Tecno MegaBook S1: Price and availability
How much does it cost? Starting from $1599
When is it out? Available now
Where can you get it? You can get it directly from TECNO or other online resellers.
Currently, the Tecno MegaBook S1 with a 256GB SSD we're reviewing isn't broadly available. With the 512GB SSD model retailing at approximately $1599 and the 1TB version at $1699, we expect this variant to be priced around $1499.
Value: 3.5 / 5
Tecno MegaBook S1: Specifications
Tecno MegaBook S1: Design
Slightly cheap feeling trackpad
Upon first glance at the Tecno MegaBook S1, you'll notice a resemblance in colour, design, and finish to any of the best MacBook Pro laptops. However, the similarity is brief; unlike the MacBook Pro, this 15.6" laptop can be easily lifted with one hand.
The overall finish and quality feel of the laptop are excellent, courtesy of the high-grade Magnesium Alloy body. It may give a plastic impression compared to metal, but this contributes to its lightweight nature. Despite this and its slim design, it feels robust and well-constructed.
Its slim profile and light build underscore its design for mobility. With a 12th gen Intel i7, 16GB RAM, and an SSD (albeit only 256GB), it boasts impressive power.
Opening the laptop reveals a large 15.6" 3.2K Super Vision Mega Screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display is bright at 450 nits, fully adjustable, offers DC Dimming, and comes with built-in eye protection.
Connectivity can be a challenge with lightweight laptops, and at 13.5mm thick, there's no room for a full-sized Ethernet port. However, it compensates with a generous array of USB Type-C and A ports, a full-sized HDMI, and a MicroSD card slot.
For conference calls and presentations on the go, the laptop is well-equipped with a 1080P FHD (2MP) AI camera, a beauty AI algorithm, and privacy options. The 6-speaker system, DTS X: Ultra, and Dual-Mics with AI ENC ensure clear audio.
An added security benefit is the Biometrics: 2-in-1 fingerprint power button, a feature that's fast becoming standard and should be considered essential for laptops.
The battery life is noteworthy at an estimated 10 hours, and Tecno includes an ultra-fast 65W GaN Super Fast Charger, which can fully recharge the 70Wh battery at 65W in just over an hour.
This laptop is designed as a step up from the mainstream in terms of power and function. It's not quite a high-end desktop replacement, but it's close. Therefore, when put under load, such as editing 4K video, efficient cooling is vital.
Tecno's Ice Storm Cooling system, with VC heat dissipation and a dual fan design, is engineered to activate under load, preventing throttling with processor-intensive applications.
Overall, the specifications, build, and quality of this laptop make it a standout choice. While it may take some getting used to the power in such a light package, its size and weight make it an excellent option for those needing a capable, lightweight laptop.
The Chiclet keyboard design offers sufficient key travel for fast typing and is spill-resistant. While there could have been room for a numeric pad, and the function keys are frustratingly small, the keys' positive action compensates for these minor drawbacks.
Design: 4 / 5
Tecno MegaBook S1: Features
Ice Storm Cooling
The Tecno MegaBook S1 boasts a magnesium alloy metal body, which contributes to its lightweight profile of 1.35kg and slim 13.5mm thickness. Its unique five-layer nano-material spraying process provides a textured surface for a tactile finish and is available in Galaxy Silver or Space Grey.
The laptop features a hinge mechanism that facilitates one-handed opening—a convenient touch. Its standout 15.6-inch display delivers a 3.2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, along with a 100% sRGB colour gamut. Additionally, the 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio and TÜV Eye Comfort Certification highlight its commitment to visual clarity and user comfort.
Equipped with a 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor featuring 12 cores and 16 threads, the MEGABOOK S1 also offers a Turbo Boost for enhanced performance, well-suited for intensive applications. During such tasks, the Ice Storm Cooling system with its dual fans becomes particularly effective.
Our review model includes 16GB LPDDR5 system memory and a 256GB SSD. However, options for a 512GB or 1TB high-capacity PCIe 4.0 SSD are available.
The cooling is adeptly handled by the Ice Storm Cooling System, incorporating a Super-Large VC and dual fans, claiming a 60% increase in heat dissipation efficiency over standard systems. Alongside is a 70Wh battery and a 65W GaN super-fast charger, suggesting a well-considered balance between performance and battery longevity.
For audio, TECNO's VOC Plus technology uses a 6-speaker sound matrix and dual AI ENC microphones, focusing on superior sound quality for both playback and communication. The Smart AI Camera supports beautification, virtual backgrounds, and motion tracking.
The MEGABOOK S1's connectivity suite is robust, featuring a USB 4.0 port, a full-function Type-C port, HDMI 2.0, two USB 3.1 ports, and Wi-Fi 6, indicating a readiness for diverse connectivity demands. Additionally, it offers biometric security with a 2-in-1 fingerprint button integrated into the power switch.
With Windows 11 pre-installed, the TECNO MEGABOOK S1 is up-to-date with the latest from Microsoft. Its comprehensive port selection, including USB 4.0, Type-C, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, ensures the device is well-equipped for various user needs. The laptop also features a Smart AI Camera with capabilities for beautification, virtual backgrounds, and motion tracking.
Connectivity options include the latest USB 4.0 port, a full-function Type-C port, HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.1 ports, and a Wi-Fi 6 module, indicating comprehensive connectivity solutions. It also includes a range of biometric features such as a 2-in-1 fingerprint button integrated into the power button.
The TECNO MEGABOOK S1 comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, providing the latest Microsoft operating system from the outset. The inclusion of a 65W GaN charger and a variety of ports, such as USB 4.0, Type-C, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, completes the package, indicating a device ready for a variety of user scenarios.
Features: 4 / 5
Tecno MegaBook S1: Performance
Poor NVMe score
The Tecno MegaBook S1 is tailored for those seeking portable computing power. Extensive testing through benchmarking software, various applications, and some gaming, reveals the capabilities of this slim, lightweight laptop.
The design, style, size, and weight present an intriguing proposition, placing it within the premium laptop bracket. Its lightweight build, paired with a large high-resolution monitor and excellent audio, makes it a versatile option for office work, entertainment, and gaming. But it also has enough power for creative pursuits if you've been looking for the best laptop for photo editing, best laptop for graphic design, or even the best video editing laptop at this price-point.
The laptop impresses with its power and speed, and while it may not top the power specification charts, it handles tasks better than expected, thanks in part to the lightning-fast SSD. However, a capacity of more than 256GB would likely enhance performance further.
There are drawbacks, notably the fans, which become audibly intrusive under heavy processor loads. The trackpad's touch gestures and features are practical, yet the left and right clicks feel subpar—sticky and cheap, detracting from the otherwise premium feel.
Performance-wise, the laptop excels where it counts: editing high-resolution 45MP RAW images in Lightroom and Photoshop was seamless, as was standard 4K video editing in DaVinci Resolve. Editing RAW 4K video proved challenging, with the 256GB SSD capacity quickly becoming a constraint. Yet, for on-the-go video editing, this laptop, combined with a portable SSD connected to the USB 4.0 port, should suffice.
As a gaming laptop, it holds its own. While it can't replicate desktop-level smoothness, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are playable at 1080p with minimal lag, providing a satisfying experience.
Performance: 4 / 5
Tecno MegaBook S1: Verdict
When discussing high-end premium laptops, we typically anticipate some weight and bulk. However, the Tecno MegaBook S1 breaks the mold with its slimline and lightweight design, which can initially feel disconcerting. The magnesium alloy shell, for instance, might be mistaken for high-quality plastic mimicking metal, but it's genuinely metal, albeit surprisingly light. The trackpad further accentuates this perception, as it has a somewhat cheap-feeling click that lacks the precision and authority expected from a premium laptop.
Despite these factors, the laptop performs admirably in key areas. It excels outside the office and can handle many processor-intensive tasks—just be prepared for the noticeable fan noise. Another crucial point for creative professionals is the SSD size; opting for more than the base 256GB is advisable, as it's insufficient and can significantly limit your capabilities.
Overall, the Tecno MegaBook S1 offers solid performance, but certain build quality issues prevent it from being classified as a truly exceptional machine.