Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks

Redaktion (translated by Martina Osztovits), 07/19/2014

July 2014 update. Here you will find the current best multimedia notebooks 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.

Every month Notebookcheck reviews numerous notebooks of all kinds. Many of them are multimedia devices. We call laptops of 14-inch size or bigger multimedia laptops if they are all-round laptops given the configuration selected by the manufacturer.

The following table shows an overview of the Top 10 multimedia laptops reviewed by Notebookcheck in the previous 8 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").

Multimedia Notebook Charts as of July 2014

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
189%07/14

new!
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 2013
Intel Core i7 4850HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
16 GB RAM, SSD
- from $1849 at Amazon 
2.0 kg18 mm15,42880x1800glossy
288%12/13

Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013)
Intel Core i7 4702HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
16 GB RAM, SSD
- from $2054 at Amazon

2.0 kg18 mm15,63200x1800glossy
383%06/14

new!
Asus N750JK-T4042H
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 850M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $1449 at Amazon
3.1 kg30 mm17,31920x1080matte
481%

06/14

new!

Asus N550JK-CN109H
Intel Core i5 4200H
Nvidia GeForce GT 850M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $1079 at Amazon
2.4 kg27 mm15,61920x1080matte
581%04/14Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $2244 at Amazon
2.4 kg21 mm15,61920x1080matte
681%11/13Dell Inspiron 7737 CN77304
Intel Core i7 4500U
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
16 GB RAM, HDD
- from 999 Euro at Cyberport
3.3 kg25 mm17,31920x1080glossy
780%06/14

new!

MSI GP60-2PEi585
Intel Core i5 4200H
Nvidia GeForce GT 840M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $849 at Amazon

2.4 kg38 mm15,61920x1080matte
880%05/14Asus VivoBook S451LB
Intel Core i5 4200U
Nvidia GeForce GT 740M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $699 at Amazon
2.2 kg22 mm14,0 1366x768glossy
980%04/14Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
Intel Core i7 4500U
AMD Radeon HD 8850M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $800 at Amazon
2.5 kg31 mm15,61920x1080matte
1080%04/14Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Intel Core i5 4200U
AMD Radeon R7 M265
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from 622 Euro at Amazon
2.4 kg25 mm15,6 1920x1080matte

Top 10 of the previous 8 months at the time of writing - current articles are listed first

Editors' Comments

New leader: Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 (2013)
New leader: Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 (2013)
2nd: Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013)
2nd: Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013)
Asus N750: 17-inch multimedia all-rounder
Asus N750: 17-inch multimedia all-rounder
Asus N550: full sound thanks to external subwoofer
Asus N550: full sound thanks to external subwoofer
Now with Haswell and anti-glare - Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G
Now with Haswell and anti-glare - Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G

1st

Although Apple's MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch (2013) is already available for a while, it did not come to us earlier, since it only marginally differs from its predecessor. Alike its predecessor the notebook impresses with a high-end case, very good input devices, and an extraordinary good high-res Retina display. You can save money when selecting the CPU. An Intel Iris Pro Graphics integrated in the CPU or optionally an Nvidia GT 750M GPU can be configured. The start price ranges from 2000 to 2600 Euro depending on the configuration.

2nd

Therefore, the Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013), which lead our Top 10 for a long while, fell one rung. It does not have serious disadvantages apart from the relatively high waste heat under load. The high temperatures are not surprising since a GeForce GT 750M and an Intel Core i7-4702HQ work inside the slim case. Important for gamers: The GeForce features GDDR5, which ensures a good gaming performance (upper mid-range). However, the QHD+ resolution of the IPS panel (3200x1800) cannot be used in games. Even Full HD is sometimes too much. The Dell delivers a first-class IPS display, a whisper-quiet fan, a high performance and a battery life of nearly 9 hours (WLAN test). Dell demanded a steep price of 2060 Euros (~$2795) for the test model at the time of testing.

3rd

A newcomer got 3rd: Asus' N750JK multimedia notebook with a size of 17-inch largely convinced in our test. With Intel quad core CPU (standard voltage) and Nvidia GTX 850M, which is already based on the new architecture, it is also suitable for friends of PC games. While the built-in display has an ergonomic matte surface, it looses points in brightness of the colors. With a battery life of above 5 hours in realistic scenarios, the 17-incher convinces in mobility.

The Asus N56JR-S4080H would be fourth because it achieved a rating of 82% at the beginning of this year. But, we removed it from the list, since it is not available.

4th

Another newcomer ranked just behind the N750 in our charts. It is also from Asus. The Asus N550's design and features are partly identical to its bigger brother's, but it uses a ULV CPU. The throughout powerful GTX 850M from Nvidia is also available for the N550. Alike the bigger N750, it is delivered with an external subwoofer, which improves the sound volume of the device.

5th

The ATIV Book 8 870Z5G with Haswell chipset and Nvidia GeForce GT 750M comes in below. We liked the non-reflective and bright display. Positive: The colors are already well-calibrated in factory state. Another calibration does not bring further improvements. All things considered, a contrast-rich and bright Full HD display, a noble aluminum case, and strong gaming performance are pros of the ATIV Book 8 870Z5G.

6th

Dell's Inspiron 7737 CN77304 is a noble 17-inch laptop with an aluminum case. It features an Nvidia GeForce GT 750M, which is already commonplace in this category. It only comes with a ULV CPU, which would also be apt for a 13-inch laptop. The big cooling system ensures that the CPU and GPU can use their maximum Turbo clock. The battery life is impressive (up to six-and-a-half hours in the WLAN test). Unfortunately, this is not true for the build quality: While the material is noble, flexural rigidity and the weak feedback of the keyboard are not. Although the HD+ panel is only a TN type, it is very bright and contrast-rich.

7th

The last newcomer in our multimedia notebook charts got 7th. With the GP60, MSI made a cheap all-round laptop with GT 840M graphics. However, it is combined with a standard voltage dual core CPU.

8th

The 14-inch Asus VivoBook S451LB ended up here. Its GeForce GT 740M belongs to the weakest models in the multimedia range, since the 840M and 820M successors are already available. Performance is delivered by low-voltage components, but the mid-range gaming performance does not suffer from it. The VivoBook S451LB looks nice and some might suspect a MacBook clone. However, haptics and stability are far from those of the paragon. All things considered, it is a good all-round notebook for a fair price.

9th

Dell's Inspiron 15R-5537 is a rather powerful 15-inch notebook with appealing features like a matte Full HD panel and the fast AMD Radeon HD 8850M. It is only a TN panel with limited viewing angles, and the contrast is also too low for multimedia purposes. We like the good gaming performance and the good feedback from the input devices. Drawbacks are the inconvenient fan noise under load as well as the issues with the GPU driver during our review.

10th

Acer's Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk is one of the first devices with an AMD Radeon R7 M265. You can run games with medium to high settings on the Full HD panel, but this is not possible in Full HD resolution. In our in-depth gaming test, it is about on par with the GeForce GT 740M and the Radeon HD 8750M. Ambitious gamers should still select a GT 750M or higher. Apart from high performance, the E1-572G unfortunately has quite a lot of disadvantages. The most annoying ones are very narrow viewing angles and only a single USB 3.0 port.

Runners-up

With the ASUSPRO B551LG, we reviewed another contender of the multimedia class from Asus. While it rather focuses on business customers, GT 840M graphics card and Intel i7 processor are also interesting for multimedia user. However, the highlight is the 15.6-inch FullHD IPS display with matte surface. In this aspect, the B551LG performs better than many of its competitors, although the total rating was finally too low to earn a place in the charts.

Recent Multimedia Awards

 
 
 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks
Author: Redaktion, 2014-07-19 (Update: 2014-07-19)