Tecno Megabook S1, A flagship laptop with a heft of features. 120Hz, NFC, AI webcam

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

If you were not aware. Tecno makes laptops now. Beginning of this year they released the Megabook T1. It is essentially a mid-tier ultrabook powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU and boasting just over 17 hours of battery life (Perfect for Zimbabwe’s current power crisis).

Yesterday they launched a more premium and more powerful version of this laptop alongside the Phantom X2. The Megabook S1. This one levels things up a bit with the 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, beefier cooling, and quite a number of interesting features.

Megabook T1 vs Megabook S1

Tecno Megabook T1Tecno Megabook S1
CPUIntel Core i5
10th Gen CPU
Intel Core i7
12th Gen CPU
GPUIntel intergrated GPUIntel intergrated GPU
Storage512GB/1TB m.2 NVMe SSD512GB/1TB m.2 NVMe SSD
DisplayFHD 1920×1080
350nits brightness
sRGB 100%
15.6 inch
3.2K 16:10
450 nits brightness
sRGB 100%
15.6 Inch
I/O Ports1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1x HDMI 1.4
3x USB Type-A
2x USB Type-C (One for data only, another for charging)
1x MicroSD card reader
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1x HDMI 1.4
2x USB Type-A
2x USB Type-C
1x MicroSD card reader
Speakers2 speaker system
DTS-X support
AI-Noise cancelling
6 speaker system
DTS-X support
AI-Noise cancelling
KeyboardBacklit Chiclet KeyboardBacklit Chiclet Keyboard
WifiWifi 6 (802.11ax)Wifi 6 (802.11ax)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.1Bluetooth 5.1
17.5 hour battery life
(Manufacturer claim)
Power Supply65W USB-C PowerDelivery65W USB-C PowerDelivery
WebcamYes 2MPYes 2MP
BiometricsWindows Hello fingerprint scannerWindows Hello fingerprint scanner
PriceUS$524 startingUS$1500 (512GB)
US$1600 (1TB)

We recently bid farewell to the CD-Drive on laptops. Now we are going a step further and slowly losing the ethernet port. Both these laptops are designed to be ultra portable meaning they are thin and light. Something that pushes them to lose the ethernet port and commit to wifi unless you are thinking of getting a USB-C hub which comes with such ports.

The Megabook S1 has a MUCH more polished design vs the Megabook T1 which is more targeted towards GenZ. Their words not mine. It’s also got a newer and more powerful processor than the T1 that is a 12th Gen i7 vs a 10th Gen i5. On the S1, the display is much sharper. 3.2k or almost 4K plus 120Hz refresh rate as compared to 1080p and 60Hz found on the T1. They both share the same colour accuracy of 100% sRGB however on the S1, the panel is brighter at 450 nits vs 350 nits on the T1.

It’s all fun and games up until you see they both have the exact same 70WHr battery. Because of the feature diet that the T1 went through, it can squeeze out a claimed 17.5 hours of battery life which the S1 obviously cannot match. There are no official battery life claims on the S1 but I would estimate that conservatively it can manage about 11 hours. A brighter display with over double the pixel count, higher screen refresh rate and more powerful processor paired with beefier cooling are all creature comforts that do nothing for battery life. Oh and did I mention that the S1 has fewer ports?

There is also a one touch NFC file sharing feature on the S1 they are calling OneLeap which allows you to quickly send files on your smartphone to your laptop. Which also coincidentally meant the brand new Tecno Phanom X2 is the first Tecno smartphone to support NFC! The feature can also be used to share your smartphone screen with your laptop and even drag and drop stuff between the 2 devices. Same thing that Huawei does with OneHop. A less fancy version of it is called Tecno Link that the T1 is using. It’s not a one touch solution but it pretty much supports everything else that OneLeap supports.

What they both share in common are a couple of interesting features. There is AI in the webcam that can detect a face peaking from behind you and automatically dim the display. This obviously means the camera is running in the background at all times which I feel is a bit creepy. Also not to mention how that must draw some significant power from the battery. I am sure it’s a feature you can choose to disable if you don’t need it but what a way to ensure you have eyes on the back of your head.

Pricing. It’s trouser troubling

With a starting price of US$1500, it’s one expensive laptop. This is now MacBook Pro and HP Spectre territory and these are ultrabook titans that have been in the game for a while now. Don’t get me wrong. On paper (Still waiting for review units) it looks like it went through the ultrabook checklist and ticked a lot of boxes.

  • Design – Clean, sleek, thin and light
  • Materials – Aluminium
  • Performance – Core i7 12th Gen
  • Pin sharp display – 3.2K + 120Hz refresh rate
  • Features – One touch NFC file sharing, Peek proof auto dimming, 6 DTS-X tuned speakers, Dual AI noise cancelling mics
  • USB-C charging – 65W GaN charger

It’s got the walk to back the talk on paper but I fear it’s coming in a bit too aggressively on price making it easy to ask if it’s worth the same money as the older and more established brands. What do you think about the Megabook S1?

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  1. Lawresia

    Off all the specs for a tech review how can you forget the graphic card and graphic memory

    1. Anonymous

      I don’t see anywhere where the specs are stated. Might be something that will be put to light in an in depth hands on review once the devices are available

      1. MD

        It has an intel integrated GPU you clueless dandaheads, zvataurwa wani. When we talk of Intel GPUs it’s totally pointless to talk of graphic memory 😂

  2. Anonymous X

    Anyone selling any CORE I5 Laptop in Marondera Whatsapp @+263733623605

    1. Nijoo

      I got mine from the pindula market better take a luk there

  3. Nijoo

    Sei ma camera ema laptop achiuya akadhakwa kudara zvima 1mb2,3,4,5 never 12 or higher apa its a laptop, kukundwa nephone why is that?

    1. MegaPickles

      Thin screens. They would be hard-pressed to fit in the same main sensors and lens assemblies as those found in phones. Anything better means custom research and development and hardware, which cuts into profit if they want to remain competitively priced. Covid changed things a little. Finally 1080p is becoming more common, but so far the focus is on software/computational features

  4. D.K.

    Those machines are Very Cheap in Price if we compare with what our parliament staff had been authorised to get before something happened!

  5. 2434

    You can check for laptops

  6. Nomi

    This article is packed with valuable information

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