Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Office/Business Notebooks

Martina Osztovits (translated by Martina Osztovits), 02/14/2015

February 2015 update. Here you will find the current best office/business notebooks for below 800 Euros (~$1038) reviewed by Notebookcheck in the last few months. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and should assist in purchase decisions.

For the original German article, see here.

Office notebooks, cheap bargains and computers for everyday tasks: They require decent input devices and an ergonomic display, and the connectivity should allow the user to easily connect to the home or professional environment.

The following table shows an overview of the Top 10 budget office laptops reviewed by Notebookcheck in the previous 10 months. If ratings are equal, the latest review is listed first. The table can be sorted by clicking its headers and filtered by entering text in the text field above it (e.g. "matte").

Budget Office Notebook Charts as of February 2015

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
1

80%

12/14

Fujitsu Lifebook E544
Intel Core i5 4210M (Haswell)
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, SSHD
from $809 at Amazon
2 kg31 mm14.01600x900matte
2

79%

12/14

HP Probook 430 G2
Intel Core i5 4210U (Haswell)
Intel HD Graphics 4400
4 GB RAM, SSD
from $775 at Amazon

1.5 kg21 mm13.31366x769matte
3

78%

12/14

Acer TravelMate P256-M-39NG
Intel Core i3 4005U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
8 GB RAM, HDD
from $720 at Amazon

2.3 kg26 mm15.61920x1080matte
478%

08/14

Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
Intel Core i3 4030U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
4 GB RAM, HDD
from €415 at Notebooksbilliger

2.5 kg26 mm15.61366x768matte
5

77%

02/15

new!

Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z
AMD A-Series A6-6310 (Beema)
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
4 GB RAM, HDD
from $449 at Amazon
2.2 kg24 mm15.61366x768glare
677%

11/14

Lenovo Thinkpad E555
AMD Kaveri A8-7100
AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
4 GB RAM, HDD
from $439 at Amazon
2,5 kg26 mm15.61366x768matte
777%

08/14

HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
AMD A-Series A8-6410
AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
4 GB RAM, HDD
from $639 at Amazon

2.6 kg28 mm17.31600x900glare
877%04/14

HP ProBook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M
Radeon HD 8450G
4 GB RAM, HDD
from $725 at Amazon

2.0 kg25 mm14.0 1366x768matte
976%06/14

Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
Intel Core i3 4000M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, HDD
from €690 at Amazon

3.1 kg36 mm17.31600x900matte
1076%04/14Acer Aspire E1-510
Intel Pentium N3520
Intel HD Graphics
4 GB RAM, HDD
from $459 at Amazon
2.3 kg25 mm15.61366x768matte

Editors' Comments

Office laptop with HD+: Fujitsu Lifebook E544
Office laptop with HD+: Fujitsu Lifebook E544

1st

The Lifebook E544 from Fujitsu is a typical 14 inch business device: The HD+ display has a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels, which is rare in the meanwhile. Core i5 and hybrid hard drive ensure good, yet not extraordinary high performance. The E544 features a genuine docking port and has quite a stable construction. We discovered weaknesses in fan control and viewing angles. An IPS display with wide viewing angles and a higher contrast would be appreciated than this bluish panel.

» read the review   » buy the notebook

13 inch entry into the professional world
13 inch entry into the professional world

2nd

The Probook 430 G2 from HP is a relatively cheap entry into into the ProBook world. Valuable case, acceptable input devices (yet not perfect), good battery life and high system performance thanks to an SSD are arguments for the 13.3 incher. Compared to fully fledged ProBooks, you have to accept several disadvantages. First of all, these are the HD resolution, the missing docking port and the dark, low-contrast display.

» read the review   » buy the notebook

A lot of overview with FHD: TravelMate P256-M-39NG
A lot of overview with FHD: TravelMate P256-M-39NG

3th

Acer designed the TravelMate P256-M-39NG for the same target group as HP its ProBooks below 800 Euro: Price-conscious, demanding consumers or business customers who want to buy solid devices, but do not want to spend much money on high-end devices. The highlight of the TravelMate P256-M is its matte FHD display. The 15.6 incher with Core i3 is quiet, remains quite cool and still features an optical drive. The feedback of the input devices is good and the plastics chassis is functional and solid. The low-contrast, discolored display and the high price for the Core i3 model are disadvantages.

» read the review   » buy the notebook

Good typing for little money: Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
Good typing for little money: Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4

4th

Acer's Extensa 2510-34Z4 is a 15.6-incher for budget-minded buyers looking for a matte display, sufficient performance, and decent input devices. The Extensa delivers these, but, unfortunately, its HD panel has a low contrast and is not especially bright. While it is difficult to work outdoors, you can appreciate the very low emissions and a relatively good system performance indoors. Apart from the Core i3-4030U, the hard drive is striking since it reads slightly faster than some HDDs in mid-range office notebooks. The battery life of 6:31 hours (WLAN test) is great. Acer won our Best Value Award in September 2014 for this bundle.

» read the review   » buy the notebook

Unfortunately a glossy TFT: Satellite L50D-B-12Z
Unfortunately a glossy TFT: Satellite L50D-B-12Z

5th

Toshiba's Satellite L50D-B-12Z inconspicuously entered our Top 10. We would have never expected that the cheap 15-incher can achieve this. The frugal APU AMD A-Series A6-6310 (Beema) delivers solid performance and the battery runtimes are nothing to sneeze at: 5:45 hours in our WLAN test. The tester liked the low waste heat and the almost silent system noise. Even the input devices are decent and the case is solid. Unfortunately, the display suffers from low brightness, is bluish and has narrow viewing angels. In the meanwhile even office users deserve a better quality.

» read the review   » buy the notebook

Best Value Award for the Lenovo Thinkpad E555 in December 2014
Best Value Award for the Lenovo Thinkpad E555 in December 2014

6th

As so often, Lenovo offers office devices for an aggressive price: The Thinkpad E555 already starts from 379 Euro (without Windows). Nevertheless is achieved a rating of 77 % and made it into our Top 10. So, we assigned it our Best Value Award in December 2014 in the budget office notebook category. The functional plastics chassis is not beautiful, but at least it is insensitive. The mechanical keyboard has just a strong feedback as the input devices in more expensive T and L series ThinkPads. AMD's Kaveri A8-7100 is slightly slower than a ULV Core i5. With fast 7200 rpm hard drive, the system performance is on par with Ivy Bridge i3 platforms. The APU ensures quiet and especially cool operation (but the HDD is loud). But, the Thinkpad E555 is by far not the best in battery life with about four hours in the WLAN test.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Best Value Award September 2014: HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
Best Value Award September 2014: HP Pavilion 17-f050ng

7th

Budget-minded buyers can find office notebooks with AMD hardware for little money in price comparisons again and again. Among these HP's Pavilion 17-f050ng is a giant with its size of 17-inches. It is already available for 389 Euros (~$504) with Windows operating system. The tester was very enthusiastic, although the Pavilion 17 is not perfect. In view of the price, you can be happy about the high-end, light chassis, the very good speakers, the good battery life (4:30 hours) and the excellent emissions. Office fans will get used to the relatively low performance of the AMD A series A8-6410 if they do not want to run current games. The disadvantages include black value and contrast of the TFT. Both of them are poor, but unfortunately this is usual in this price range. HP got the second Best Value Award in September 2014 for this interesting bundle.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Exotic device with serial port: ProBook 645 G1
Exotic device with serial port: ProBook 645 G1

8th

HP's ProBook 655 and ProBook 645 G1 are the AMD counterparts to the 640 and 650 models and are almost completely identical. A special feature of the 15-incher is its serial interface. The 6xx models feature the same input devices as the 4xx models. The 6xx series models differ from the ProBooks of the 4xx series by having more features (interfaces: e.g. docking port, TPM, fingerprint reader etc.) and a more high-end build quality. The ProBook 450 G1 (Haswell) and the ProBook 450 (Ivy Bridge) are the entry devices into the ProBook world. The cheapest models start from just under 500 Euros (~$648).

» read the review    » buy the notebook

9th

Low resolution: Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
Low resolution: Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749

Wortmann's Terra Mobile 1749 (Clevo W670SZQ1) is a simple 17-incher with conventional design, i.e. bulky chassis and high weight. Pros are the good system performance, the matte display, the easy maintainability and the keyboard with backlight. Inside, there is a free mSATA slot, which could be used for connecting an SSD. Unfortunately, the display is a big weakness: First of all, it has a low resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. A 17-incher should definitely have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The matte TN display is sufficiently bright, but only has a weak contrast of 320:1. Thanks to the standard volt Core i3 4000M (Haswell) the performance is on a higher level.

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Long battery life & frugal: Acer Aspire E1-510-35204G50Dnkk
Long battery life & frugal: Acer Aspire E1-510-35204G50Dnkk

10th

Among Acer's many low-cost offers, the Aspire E1-510-35204G50Dnkk jumped into the Top 10 - neither because of a good display nor because of high performance: The 15-incher is very quiet and cool, which is desirable in the office category. Even prolific writers will like the good build quality and the decent input devices. The only advantage of the display is its good sharpness (but the pixel grid is visible), which the tester praised. However, the viewing angels are narrow and the contrast is low. We liked the battery life of just under five hours (WLAN test).

» read the review    » buy the notebook

Recent Budget Office/Business Awards

Best Value Award in January 2014: Acer Aspire E1-532
Best Value Award in January 2014: Acer Aspire E1-532
Best Value Award in February 2014: ThinkPad Edge E540
Best Value Award in February 2014: ThinkPad Edge E540
Best Value Award in September 2014: Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
Best Value Award in September 2014: Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
Best Value Award in October 2014: Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
Best Value Award in October 2014: Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
Best Value Award in December 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad E555
Best Value Award in December 2014: Lenovo Thinkpad E555

Notebooks in Comparison

Measurement Results

Fujitsu Lifebook E544 HP Probook 430 G2 Acer TravelMate P256-M Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4 Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z Lenovo Thinkpad E555 HP Pavilion 17-f050ng HP ProBook 645 G1 Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749 Acer Aspire E1-510
Screen
Brightness Center303252175232190203252238182209
Black Level *0.70.6961.220.660.70.651.460.680.270.64
Contrast433362143352271312173350674327
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *11.589.112.11210.1811.016.2212.1810.499.33
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *13.659.4413.6612.6510.6211.577.5213.5711.429.36
Gamma *2.592.562.113.092.312.092.42.12.322.27
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)51.1238.633.353383946.345.637.634.7
Noise
Idle Minimum *31.930.331.13329.734.730.83031.631.3
Idle Average *32.430.331.13329.734.7313031.631.3
Idle Maximum *32.432.531.533.130.434.731.230.734.931.9
Load Average *34.836.235.833.833.236.132.53036.934.1
Load Maximum *36.141.535.834.933.237.933.73440.238.3
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *40.832.637.434.235.539.245333633.8
Maximum Bottom *3934.64336.837.43742.13652.143.6
Idle Upper Side *31.628.728.926.62833.730.129.831.531.2
Idle Bottom *34.531.632.629.329.337.530.528.337.839.2
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle391771722721404391540568559
Load93951241459170998684
DVD180286155214200193
WiFi298262332368391238256274289288
H.264331193
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *9.55.43.454.210.910.94.58.49.4
Idle Average *13.19.35.210.86.314.313.28.810.511.3
Idle Maximum *13.410.26.910.98.614.913.410.311.514.5
Load Average *38.6412628.316.834.144.721.440.341.2
Load Maximum *49.552.427.129.524.641.561.328.747.850.8

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
3439 Points ∼47%
HP Probook 430 G2
4556 Points ∼63%
Acer TravelMate P256-M
2098 Points ∼29%
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
2150 Points ∼30%
HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
1810 Points ∼25%
HP ProBook 645 G1
1908 Points ∼26%
PCMark 8
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
2521 Points ∼46%
HP Probook 430 G2
2391 Points ∼43%
Acer TravelMate P256-M
1869 Points ∼34%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
2092 Points ∼38%
Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z
1933 Points ∼35%
HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
2033 Points ∼37%
HP ProBook 645 G1
2230 Points ∼41%
Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
2240 Points ∼41%
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
3774 Points ∼68%
HP Probook 430 G2
3599 Points ∼65%
Acer TravelMate P256-M
2624 Points ∼47%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
2970 Points ∼53%
Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z
2743 Points ∼49%
HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
2748 Points ∼49%
HP ProBook 645 G1
3175 Points ∼57%
Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
3188 Points ∼57%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
838 Points ∼5%
HP Probook 430 G2
781 Points ∼4%
Acer TravelMate P256-M
802 Points ∼4%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
784 Points ∼4%
Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z
788 Points ∼4%
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
964 Points ∼5%
HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
859 Points ∼5%
HP ProBook 645 G1
789 Points ∼4%
Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
858 Points ∼5%
3DMark (2013) - 1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
4983 Points ∼4%
HP Probook 430 G2
4787 Points ∼4%
Acer TravelMate P256-M
4738 Points ∼4%
Acer Extensa 2510-34Z4
4738 Points ∼4%
Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-12Z
3332 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Thinkpad E555
3959 Points ∼3%
HP Pavilion 17-f050ng
3225 Points ∼3%
HP ProBook 645 G1
3166 Points ∼2%
Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749
5123 Points ∼4%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Office/Business Notebooks
Author: Martina Osztovits, 2015-02-14 (Update: 2015-02-14)