The Magic Ben MAG1 is a 1.5 pound laptop with an 8.9 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel touchscreen display and an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor.

First launched in September, the MAG1 sells for $630 and up… if you opt for a WiFi-only model.

But now there’s also an option to buy a 4G LTE model, making the MAG1 one of the first modern mini-laptops to feature an integrated cellular modem.

GeekBuying is selling the MAG1 with LTE for $710 and up, but you can save a few bucks by using a coupon.

Here are the MAG1 configurations currently available:

Each model features PCIe solid state storage, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 Type-C and Type-A ports, a micro HDMI port, a headset jack, and a microSD card reader.

The little laptop has a metal chassis that measures 8.2′ x 5.8″ x 0.7″ and it has a fingerprint sensor, a backlit keyboard, and a small touchpad below the keys (rather than the optical pointing sensor that’s become common on mini-laptops in recent years.

It does not have a 360-degree hinge or pen support — the MAG1 is very much a little laptop and not a convertible tablet. And it does not have a camera, so if you need to make a video call on the go, you’ll either have to use your phone or lug around a USB webcam or something.

 

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23 Comments

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  1. It’d be nice if they come out with an “international” version with an LTE modem that supports carriers outside China.

  2. I’ve seen a listing on amazon though i don’t know if i can really trust it or not. Not for prime shipping though.

  3. Far better than GPD pocket 2 max. Let’s hope that we will see it in more credited online retailer’s.

  4. This really needs a trackstick instead of that tiny touchpad.

    Anyway, with the backlit keyboard and LTE, this seems to be the best 8.9” notebook so far.

  5. Too bad you have to buy it from GeekBuying. I avoid both them and AliExpress. They’ve both been hacked/had data breaches before in addition to general bad sales support.

  6. Too bad they didn’t send you an LTE model. I’m interested in how well it performs given the metal case and that OneNetbook decided to drop it on their similar One Mix due to bad signal/performance.

  7. Do you know what part they’re using for the LTE module? Maybe we can guess how well it could be supported under Linux.

    1. That’s a good point. If we know if the module is known to work well or not, then that could reduce the risk of buying it.

    2. The website only mentions supporting Chinese carriers. It does provide some frequency band info but it’s a pretty short list. No info on the module interface either. Who knows if the module even works in your country or if you can even buy a compatible yourself.

      I was excited about the the LTE version but I’m not sure I can even use it in my country.

      1. Oh, it does provide a part number: L830-CN. Seems it’s an M.2 module specifically made for China. I wonder how difficult it is to buy M.2 LTE modems.

        I’m guessing the non-LTE models won’t have the antennas and SIM slot built-in for people outside of China who won’t be using the L830-CN.

        1. Darn, I guess I’ll be passing on this UMPC. I don’t plan on buying my own LTE module that’s compatible with my country and installing. I’m guessing I’ll need to get antennas too since those are usually for specific frequencies.

          Seemed like a great UMPC.

        2. That sucks. I have Verizon and that LTE module doesn’t support any of Verizon’s LTE bands based on what’s in the links.I guess I’ll continue using my Surface Go with LTE.

        3. Well, there goes my enthusiasm about this. Is the LTE module replaceable? Are there even modules that can be bought by regular consumers? If so and per another comment, if we also need to replace the antenna that matches the frequencies of the module, do those come with antennas?

          Wasn’t looking into a DIY product when comes to the LTE functionality.

  8. Interested in the LTE version. Maybe I’ll replace my Surface Go with LTE with this. Assuming I can get from more reputable online stores.

  9. I would only replace my mini 5 with LTE and brydge keyboad if this has decent battery life, which I doubt, and a good keyboard. Anyway will be looking forward to your review (even if it’s just the Wifi version)

  10. I think the m3 is the perfect processor for these machines. It will actually handle windows 10 unlike an Atom but aren’t so terribly expensive like those i5/i7 mini PCs. There becomes a point when a machine is so underpowered for windows that it makes more sense to just use something else such as an iPad mini 5 w/ keyboard.

    1. I guess…
      I’ve only been running Windows 10 on an Atom (a ~$310 fanless Apollo Lake Celeron N3450 pushing pixels on a 2736 x 1824 display) most every day for a couple years now. Of course, I’m not playing 3D games, Photoshopping RAW images, editing/transcoding video, etc on it but anyone trying to do that on a UMPC is a bit of contortionist anyway. Otherwise the Atom-based Celeron handles multiple windows in 3 different browsers, Quicken, desktop email and RSS reader apps, light image editing, multiple Excel/Word docs, downloading/converting/normalizing MP3 files in MediaMonkey, and numerous background tasks all in parallel just fine.

  11. If this shows up on Amazon for Prime shipping, then I’d get it to replace my Surface Go LTE. Not going to buy anything from GeekBuying. I do wonder how loud the fan is.

    I would have preferred a trackpoint/nub pointer between the “b” and “h” keys over the tiny touchpad though.

    Are you going to get a review unit with LTE? It’d be nice to know if it works on Linux.

      1. That’s unfortunate. I’ve been looking for one of these modern UMPCs with LTE. I prefer using a Linux distro but I guess I can use Windows 10 if it happens that some hardware ends up not working on Linux.

        Although, I also will only be buying this if it’s on Amazon Prime. It seems QA issues are common among these UMPCs and post-sales support from these manufactures are nearly non-existent (ie. GPD and OneNetbook). I’m guessing it’s the same with this OEM.

    1. Yeah, I’ll be a buyer for the LTE variant if this can be bought from Amazon Prime. I had to deal with GPD support and, yup, support is non-existent. I’m guessing the same for this OEM.

    2. Hopefully, someone risks buying the LTE model from GeekBuying + the device isn’t defective somehow and posts a review somewhere about LTE performance and Linux compatibility. Lot’s of if there though.

    3. I’d definitely avoid sites like GeekBuying and AliExpress unless you don’t mind horrible support where you may or may not get a refund for DOA products. Too risky with these OEMs who have frequent QA issues. I’m guessing Magic Ben is the same as GPD where you’ll encounter language barrier issues or they don’t even bother replying to you.

      Hopefully, they sell enough to people who don’t mind or know the risks and they expand to more reputable distributors so I could get the mid-range LTE model.