Review HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E Notebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/13/2014

For the (small) business. HP's ProBook 650 is a new mainstream business notebook. It is well equipped with a docking port, 5 USB 3.0 ports, a matte display as well as a Haswell processor and it is also interesting for private users with a retail price of 750 Euro (~$1025). We have a closer look a the ProBook 650 in our review.

For the original German review, see here.

Hewlett Packard introduces the successor of the numerous ProBook 65xx-series with the ProBook 650. We reviewed many of the predecessors – for example a current ProBook 6570b (Core i5-3320MRadeon HD 7570M). HP offers mainstream business notebooks within the 65xx-series, and all devices so far could convince us with a sturdy case, a good build quality, excellent maintainability and of course many business features. Can HP's latest series convince us as well? Find out in our review.

We use the rivals Lenovo ThinkPad L530 (Core i5-3360MHD Graphics 4000) and Dell Latitude 3540 (Core i5-4200URadeon HD 8850M) to classify the notebook.

Case

The ProBook is completely made of plastic and the same applies for the ThinkPad. Dell on the other hand uses metal elements for the Latitude. The design of the ProBook is quite appealing; HP uses a simple and business-oriented design without any curlicues. The top of the base unit is silver-anthracite while all the other parts are black. The top of the display cover is also rubberized and reminds us of ThinkPads.

We cannot criticize the stability and build quality of the base unit. It is very sturdy and there is hardly any reaction to pressure. The torsion resistance is also okay, however, a notebook that was designed for the road should be a tad stiffer. All in all, still a good result, but that cannot be said about the display cover. It is very easy to twist it and it is susceptible to pressure from the back. We can bend the whole cover including the display and we can see picture distortions. The hinges do a good job and keep the display in position, but there is still some bouncing. It is possible to open the lid with one hand.

The ProBook 650 has a business-oriented design.
The ProBook 650 has a business-oriented design.
HP uses a rubberized display cover.
HP uses a rubberized display cover.
The notebook has a large maintenance cover.
The notebook has a large maintenance cover.

Connectivity

The port layout of the ProBook is convenient, but some ports on the right side are too far at the front. Hewlett Packard did not save any money and equipped the ProBook with five USB 3.0 portsThinkPad and Latitude only have one or two of these ports, respectively. All three devices have a VGA port, but only the ProBook and the ThinkPad have a digital video-out (DisplayPort) as well. These two notebooks also offer a docking port. 

The ProBook is the only notebook with a serial port. This port is not usually important for private users and was – similar to the parallel port – replaced by USB. It is however still used in business environments – for instance, for the maintenance of cashier systems. The big advantage is the quite simple programmability and the related connections/wires can be several meters long.

Left side: Power, Ethernet, 3x USB 3.0, card reader, DVD burner, smart card reader
Left side: Power, Ethernet, 3x USB 3.0, card reader, DVD burner, smart card reader
Right side: Combined stereo jack, 2x USB 3.0, DisplayPort, VGA-out, slot for a Kensington Lock
Right side: Combined stereo jack, 2x USB 3.0, DisplayPort, VGA-out, slot for a Kensington Lock
The serial port is at the back.
The serial port is at the back.
The docking port of the ProBook.
The docking port of the ProBook.

Communication

The WLAN module of the ProBook is provided by Broadcom (BCM43228) and supports the WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n. Windows always showed the maximum number of bars, even with a distance of 15 meters (~49 feet) from the router. This is however not a standardized test. The Gigabit Ethernet chip is from Intel (I217-V) and there is also a Bluetooth 4.0 module. The webcam takes noisy pictures with a resolution of up to 1280x720 pixels.

You can also equip the ProBook with a 3G/LTE modem if you need Internet on the road, but our review unit did not have the required module. The notebook is already prepared for such a module: SIM card tray and antennas are already integrated. 

Security 

The ProBook is primarily designed for business users, so there are also several security features. Besides a Trusted Platform Module 1.2 there is a fingerprint reader as well. In combination with the preinstalled tool HP Client Security, you can realize system access via fingerprint scan and HP's File Sanitizer enables safe deletion of files.

Accessories

Besides some warranty information, a quick start poster and a brochure for available accessories there are also three DVDs in the box: One application and driver recovery DVD as well as one setup DVD for Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) and Windows 8 Professional each. There is even a printed manual for the Windows 8 installation.

Docking Stations

According to the provided brochure, Hewlett Packard offers the same accessories for the ProBook 650 as they did for the predecessors. You can get either the standard Docking Station (A7E32AA, A7E34AA; around 120 Euros/~$164) or the Advanced Docking Station (A7E36AA, A7E38AA; around 150 Euros/~$205) with an additional drive bay for an optical drive or a hard drive, respectively.

HP Docking Station
HP Docking Station
HP Advanced Docking Station
HP Advanced Docking Station

Operating System

The ProBook comes with a preloaded version of Windows 7 Professional (64-bit), but you can also install Windows 8 Professional (64-bit) since installation DVDs for both operating systems are provided. Access to the recovery features is possible via the Escape-button after you turn the notebook on. The menu also grants access to the BIOS and system diagnostics.

Maintenance

The maintainability of the notebook is very good. A lever mechanism at the bottom secures the maintenance cover. You just have to loosen it and then remove the cover to gain access to the memory, hard drive, WLAN module, BIOS battery, CPU and the fan. The latter can be removed for cleaning purposes. The ProBook has two memory slots and one slot is occupied by a four GB module. Replacing the hard drive is no problem and you can use 2.5-inch drives with a height of 7 and 9.5 mm. You can even replace the processor if you want to.

Warranty

Hewlett Packard grants a 12-month limited hardware warranty for the ProBook and the same applies for the ThinkPad. Buyers of the Latitude can select between a three-year Basic Support and a one-year Pro Support. There are several additional service upgrades for the ProBook, starting with a two-year warranty for around 50 Euros (~$68) up to a three-year worldwide On-Site warranty for around 240 Euros (~$328).

Input Devices

Keyboard

Hewlett Packard equipped the ProBook with a non-illuminated chiclet keyboard. The main keys have a size of around 15 x 15 mm. HP uses flat and roughened keys, but unlike the ThinkPads, there is no conical curvature. The keys have a short travel, a clear pressure point and the necessary force is okay. There is no bouncing in the main area during typing, only a little flex around the numeric keypad. The keyboard leaves a good impression, but cannot quite keep up with its ThinkPad counterpart.

Touchpad

The touchpad of the ProBook is 10.4 x 5.9 cm (~4.1 x 2.3 inches) and supports multi-touch gestures. The surface is identical to the palm rest; the slightly roughened material provides good gliding capabilities. The touchpad enables a reasonably precise control of the cursor. Several multi-touch gestures can be configured and activated/deactivated in the associated control panel. Not all gestures are activated ex-works. You can also activate or deactivate the pad itself with a tap in the upper left corner; a small LED indicates the current status. The two mouse buttons have a clearly audible and perceptible pressure point in combination with a short travel.

Hewlett Packard integrates a keyboard without background illumination.
Hewlett Packard integrates a keyboard without background illumination.
The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures.
The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures.

Display

matte 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels is used for the ProBook, but you can also opt for a matte Full HD panel. The average brightness of the display is below average with just 186 cd/m²; ThinkPad (196.9 cd/m²; 1600x900 pixels) and Latitude (222.4 cd/m²; 1920x1080 pixels) are slightly better.

197
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
165
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
172
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
167
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 201 cd/m²
Average: 186 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 197 cd/m²
Black: 0.63 cd/m²
Contrast: 313:1
HP ProBook 650 vs. sRGB
HP ProBook 650 vs. sRGB
HP ProBook 650 vs. AdobeRGB
HP ProBook 650 vs. AdobeRGB

The situation does unfortunately not improve in regard to the contrast (313:1) and black value (0.63 cd/m²)ThinkPad (726:1, 0.27 cd/m²) and Latitude (727:1, 0.33 cd/m²) are once again superior. The ProBook display can cover neither the sRGB nor the AdobeRGB color spectrums, which are important for professional work, for instance, picture editing. We only measured 50.6 percent (sRGB) and 35.2 percent (AdobeRGB), respectively.

The average DeltaE-2000 deviation is around 10.5 and therefore comparable with many low-cost notebooks. However, the ProBook does not belong in this category. The target area (DeltaE smaller than 3) is not reached by any color; the display also has a distinct blue cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

The combination of a low contrast ratio and the low display brightness is imperfect outdoors. You can only see the display content if the environment is not very bright.

We are not convinced by the viewing angle stability either. The performance is once again comparable to a low-cost device. The situation is okay with horizontal changes and even multiple persons can see the display content, but the picture does get darker with wider angles. A vertical change on the other hand quickly results in inverted colors.

The ProBook outdoors
The ProBook outdoors
Viewing angles HP ProBook 650
Viewing angles HP ProBook 650

Performance

HP's notebooks from the ProBook 650-series are 15.6-inch business notebooks in the medium price range. The performance is more than sufficient for most office tasks, including web browsing and communication. The device is also equipped with security features like a Trusted Platform Module. Our review unit is the cheapest configuration and currently retails for around 750 Euros (~$1025). A look at the specs shows that HP offers numerous configurations of the ProBook. You can configure the CPU (Core i3 up to Core i7), memory, type and size of the hard drive, operating system as well as the display. There are also versions with a dedicated Radeon HD 8750M GPU.

A cheaper alternative to the ProBook 650 is the ProBook 655-series. It is basically the same device, but instead of Intel processors, you get AMD APUs. The least expensive configuration is currently the HP ProBook 655 G1 F2R44UT with an AMD A4-5150M for 620 Euros (~$847), the rest of the specs are identical to our review unit.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWInfo
System information HP ProBook G650 G1 H5G74E

Processor

HP equipped the ProBook with a Core i3-4000M processor. The dual-core CPU is based on Intel's current Haswell architecture and has a nominal clock of 2.4 GHz. There is no Turbo Boost, only support for Hyperthreading. The similarly clocked predecessor was the Core i3-3110M. Thanks to Haswell improvements, the Core i3-4000M should be around 10 percent faster.

The CPU always runs with the maximum clock of 2.4 GHz during the Cinebench CPU benchmarks. The results can be compared with the Latitude (Core i5-4200URadeon HD 8850M), which is not very surprising since the ULV Core i5 inside the Dell has a maximum Turbo Boost of 2.3 GHz (for two cores) and therefore just slightly lower than our Core i3-4000M. Both processors are also based on the Haswell architecture. The ThinkPad (Core i5-3360MHD Graphics 4000) has a clear lead because of the much higher clocks. The GL-benchmarks favor the Latitude with the dedicated Radeon GPU.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6233 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4664 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10298 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6274
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
7994
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3542
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.05 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
14.13 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.6 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
17.72 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
240 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
95 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
14.13 fps ∼13%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
10.39 fps ∼9% -26%
Lenovo Thinkpad L530 2479-3BG
HD Graphics 4000, 3360M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
13.79 fps ∼13% -2%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
HD Graphics 4600, 4330M, 500 GB - 5400 rpm
14.67 fps ∼13% +4%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
16.82 fps ∼15% +19%
Fujitsu Lifebook E753 Premium Selection
HD Graphics 4000, 3632QM, Micron RealSSD C400 (MTFDDAK256MAM-1K12)
20.43 fps ∼19% +45%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
43.3 fps ∼39% +206%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.6 Points ∼15%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
1.76 Points ∼10% -32%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2.45 Points ∼14% -6%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
2.47 Points ∼14% -5%
Lenovo Thinkpad L530 2479-3BG
HD Graphics 4000, 3360M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3.24 Points ∼18% +25%
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
HD Graphics 4600, 4330M, 500 GB - 5400 rpm
3.66 Points ∼21% +41%
Fujitsu Lifebook E753 Premium Selection
HD Graphics 4000, 3632QM, Micron RealSSD C400 (MTFDDAK256MAM-1K12)
5.79 Points ∼33% +123%

System Performance

The system is pretty fast and snappy, which is also a result of the fast 7,200-rpm hard drive. The PCMark results are consequently good as well. The Latitude (Core i5-4200URadeon HD 8850M) is on the same level because of the similarly powerful CPU, and the ThinkPad (Core i5-3360MHD Graphics 4000) is once again ahead due to the faster processor.

Solid-State Drive has a positive effect on the system performance. Windows starts even quicker and the system is snappier. PCMark also benefits from flash storage; our SSD (Crucial RealSSD C300 64 GB) improves the PCMark 7 result of the ProBook by around 66 percent (4,255 points).

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage4831 points
PCMark 72569 points
PCMark 8 Home3015 points
PCMark 8 Creative2590 points
PCMark 8 Work4355 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2569 Points ∼39%
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535-NZR5BGE
Radeon HD 7640G, A8-4500M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-08HXZT3
1667 Points ∼25% -35%
HP ProBook 450-H0V92EA
HD Graphics 4000, 3120M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2201 Points ∼33% -14%
Dell Latitude 3540
Radeon HD 8850M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
2627 Points ∼40% +2%
Lenovo Thinkpad L530 2479-3BG
HD Graphics 4000, 3360M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2842 Points ∼43% +11%

Storage Solution

HD Tune
HD Tune
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

Data can be stored on the Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 hard drive. It has a capacity of 500 GB and works at 7,200 revolutions per minute, which is pretty rare in a notebook these days. CrystalDiskMark determines a reading speed of 121 MB/s while HD Tune shows an average transfer rate of 96.2 MB/s. These are very good results for a conventional hard drive and show the impact of the 7,200 rpm. The same applies for the 4K read and write speeds.

HP's 3D Driveguard technology protects the hard drive. It parks the read and write heads of the hard drive as soon as the sensor detects any vibrations or a drop of the notebook to avoid any damage of the mentioned parts.

Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Transfer Rate Minimum: 26.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 123.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 96.2 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 123.4 MB/s

Graphics

Graphics are handled by the Intel HD Graphics 4600. It supports DirectX 11.1 and works with a clock between 200 MHz and 1,100 MHz. Dell's Latitude (Core i5-4200URadeon HD 8850M) is ahead of the competition thanks to the dedicated Radeon GPU; the integrated versions just cannot keep up with that performance. The ProBook takes second place because the GPU is superior to the older HD Graphics in the ThinkPad (Core i5-3360MHD Graphics 4000).

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
4795 points
3DMark Vantage3787 points
3DMark 11877 points
3DMark Ice Storm39808 points
3DMark Cloud Gate4360 points
3DMark Fire Strike563 points
Help
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
Intel Core i3-4000M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Lenovo Thinkpad L530 2479-3BG
Intel Core i5-3360M, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Dell Latitude 3540
Intel Core i5-4200U, AMD Radeon HD 8850M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
3DMark Vantage
1280x1024 P Result no PhysX37873065
-19%
8636
128%
3DMark (2013)
80%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score3980838786
-3%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score43606278
44%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score5631683
199%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-19% / -19%
104% / 92%

Gaming Performance

The ProBook is not designed for gamers, but it is still possible to play many games in low resolutions and with low details. Some games should even run smoothly in the native resolution and higher settings – for instance, several titles from the FIFA-series. A second memory module would improve the frame rates, because the performance of the integrated GPU benefits from a dual-channel memory configuration. Frame rates can increase by up to 30 percent, depending on the title. We tested it with the game Tomb Raider: The dual-channel memory results in an average performance increase of around 28 percent with 60.1 fps (low), 27.7 fps (medium) and 15.7 fps (high), respectively. 

The ProBook configuration with a dedicated Radeon HD 8750M is a good option if you are looking for a business device that can handle current games. Another alternative is the Latitude with a slightly more powerful Radeon GPU.

low med.high ultra
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 31.915.5fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 5927.416.3fps
Mass Effect 3 (2012) 32.122.4fps
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) 24.616.3fps
Assassin´s Creed III (2012) 14.9fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 46.221.912.2fps
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
Intel Core i3-4000M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Lenovo Thinkpad L530 2479-3BG
Intel Core i5-3360M, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Dell Latitude 3540
Intel Core i5-4200U, AMD Radeon HD 8850M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVX-75JC3T0
Anno 2070
-25%
167%
1024x768 Low Preset59
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:on 27.419.28
-30%
1366x768 High Preset AA:on AF:2x16.313.04
-20%
43.5
167%

Emissions

System Noise

The ProBook is not a very noisy notebook, it is usually quiet and the fan is often deactivated during idle. The only remaining noise comes from the mechanical hard drive. We can measure between 31.6 and 32.6 dB(A) during idle, both the Latitude (31.6 up to 33.5 dB(A)) and the ThinkPad (31.8 up to 32.8 dB(A)) are on a similar level. Medium workloads (3DMark 06 running) and maximum load (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously) result in a modest increase to 35.6 and 36.7 dB(A), respectively. The ThinkPad (33.2 and 37.8 dB(A)) is once again comparable, but the Latitude (40.2 and 43.5 dB(A)) is significantly louder.

Noise Level

Idle 31.6 / 31.6 / 31.6 dB(A)
HDD 32.6 dB(A)
DVD 39.2 / dB(A)
Load 35.6 / 36.7 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test ProBook
Stress test ProBook

None of our competitors have heat problems. The surface temperatures during idle are very low, only the ThinkPad surpasses the 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) mark at one spot. All three devices surpass this mark at one spot at the bottom under load. 

Our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously for at least one hour) results in the full CPU clock of 2.4 GHz, which is slightly reduced to 2.3 GHz on battery power. The GPU always runs with the maximum speed of 1.1 GHz during the stress test. The CPU temperature leveled off at around 70 degrees Celsius (with PSU; 158 Fahrenheit).

 24.5 °C26.6 °C27.7 °C 
 23.6 °C26.7 °C27.1 °C 
 23.1 °C26.4 °C27.3 °C 
Maximum: 27.7 °C
Average: 25.9 °C
30.4 °C27.7 °C25.7 °C
29.7 °C30.5 °C23.9 °C
28.8 °C29.4 °C23.7 °C
Maximum: 30.5 °C
Average: 27.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.1 °C | Room Temperature 21.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the ProBook are above the keyboard and behind a grille. The produced sound is a bit tinny and lacks bass, but voices are easy to understand. A better sound experience is available via external speakers or headphones.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We measure an energy consumption between 4.6 and 9.4 Watts for the ProBook during idle, it is therefore more frugal than both the Latitude (6.3 up to 10.8 Watts) and the ThinkPad (8.8 up to 13.9 Watts). It is the same situation with medium (3DMark 06 running) and heavy workloads (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously), the ProBook once again consumes less energy with 37.1 and 41.5 Watts compared to the ThinkPad (42 and 56.8 Watts) and Latitude (50.7 and 52.7 Watts). We should however not forget that Dell's notebook is equipped with a dedicated GPU.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 4.6 / 8.2 / 9.4 Watt
Load 37.1 / 41.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The ProBook manages an idle runtime of 7:41 hours, which is far behind the Latitude (12:34 h). We did not perform this test in our review of the ThinkPad. The Battery Eater Reader's Test is used for the idle scenario while the display brightness is set to minimum, the energy-saving mode is activated and the wireless modules are turned off. The runtime under load is 1:40 hours; the Latitude manages a couple of minutes more. This test was not performed on the ThinkPad either.

Our WLAN test results in 5:16 hours for the ProBook, which is comparable with the Latitude (5:34 h). Both devices cannot keep up with the 7:10 hours of the ThinkPad. This test simulates web browsing with a script that refreshes websites every 40 seconds. The energy-saving mode is once again activated and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². DVD playback on the ProBook finishes after 3:43 hours, but the Latitude is again superior. We have no results for the ThinkPad.

Even though we only performed the WLAN test in our review of the ThinkPad, it should also be superior in the other disciplines. The reason for this is pretty simple, it just has by far the largest battery capacity (HP: 55 Wh, Dell: 65 Wh, Lenovo: 94 Wh). It is therefore not surprising that the ProBook has the shortest runtimes within our competition, but the results are decent nonetheless.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 41min
WiFi Surfing
5h 16min
DVD
3h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 40min

Verdict

The Hewlett Packard ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E.
The Hewlett Packard ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E.

The HP ProBook 650 offers good application performance, it is usually very quiet and it has a comparatively fast hard drive. The notebook was primarily designed for business customers and was therefore equipped with good input devices. Maintainability and upgradeability are excellent and you can extend the comprehensive port variety via a docking station. Battery runtimes are also decent. The only serious drawback is the display quality. It is dark, has a low contrast and a distinct blue cast. The display cover is not very sturdy, either. Considering the retail price of 750 Euros (~$1025), the display is just not acceptable, both the brightness and the contrast should be better. Even a Full HD panel and/or an IPS display would be possible.

ProBook and Lenovo ThinkPad L530 are very similar in many respects. Advantages of the latter are the higher display resolution (1600x900 pixels) and the better keyboard. It is also cheaper: The ThinkPad L530 N2S4XGE with a Core i5-3230M, HD+ resolution and standard battery version is not sold anymore by Lenovo, but the same applies for the successor ThinkPad L540 with a Haswell processor. A configuration similar to our ProBook currently retails for around 690 Euros (~$888). We will review the ThinkPad L540 soon. 

Dell's Latitude is interesting for users that do not necessarily need a docking port and an integrated 3G/LTE modem. You can get this notebook with a matte Full HD display and a powerful Radeon HD 8850M GPU for around 700 Euros (~$956). A similarly equipped ProBook would cost around 1,000 Euros (~$1366).

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Specifications

HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM87 (Lynx Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, Single-Channel, two slots, one occupied
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4600, Core: 200-1100 MHz, 9.18.10.3310
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Display LGD03E0, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630, 500 GB 7200 rpm , 420 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
5 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Serial Port, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combined stereo jack, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: vibration sensor, Trusted Platform Module 1.2
:: Networking
Intel I217-V (ClarkvilleV) Network Adapter (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom BCM43228 (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
HP CDDVDW SU-208CB
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25.3 x 378 x 257
:: Weight
2.32 kg Power Supply: 0.235 kg
:: Battery
55 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 V, 4910mAh
:: Price
799 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit)
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD-Webcam (up to 1280 x 720), Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink Power2Go 8, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, Cyberlink YouCam, HP Client Security Manager, HP Drive Encryption, HP File Sanitizer, HP Theft Recovery, MS Office 365 (trial), PDF Complete (Corporate Edition)

 

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The ProBook has a nice design.
The ProBook has a nice design.
DVD burner reads and writes every kind of DVD and CD.
DVD burner reads and writes every kind of DVD and CD.
Numeric keypad
Numeric keypad
The hinges...
The hinges...
...keep the display in position well.
...keep the display in position well.
The maintenance cover can be removed without tools.
The maintenance cover can be removed without tools.
There are two memory slots.
There are two memory slots.
Replacing the hard drive is no problem.
Replacing the hard drive is no problem.
Experienced users could even replace the processor.
Experienced users could even replace the processor.
The fan can be removed for cleaning.
The fan can be removed for cleaning.
The BIOS battery is hidden.
The BIOS battery is hidden.
Good: Two WLAN antennas
Good: Two WLAN antennas
An optional 3G/LTE modem can be installed above the WLAN module.
An optional 3G/LTE modem can be installed above the WLAN module.
The according SIM card slot is in the battery tray.
The according SIM card slot is in the battery tray.
The battery weighs around 317 grams; ~0.7 pounds...
The battery weighs around 317 grams; ~0.7 pounds...
...and has a capacity of 55 Wh.
...and has a capacity of 55 Wh.
The PSU weighs around 235 grams; ~0.5 pounds...
The PSU weighs around 235 grams; ~0.5 pounds...
...and has a nominal output of 65 Watts.
...and has a nominal output of 65 Watts.
The ProBook outdoors.
The ProBook outdoors.

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Pro

+5 USB 3.0 ports
+Serial port
+Easy to maintain and upgrade
+Docking port
+Matte display
+Fast hard drive
+SIM card slot and antennas for a 3G/LTE modem
+Installation DVDs for Windows 7 and Windows 8
 

Cons

-Only 12 months warranty
-Display is not very bright and has a low contrast

Shortcut

What we like

The good application performance, the low system noise and the good maintainability.

What we miss

A much better display.

What surprises us

Despite a retail price of $1025, the ProBook has a display that can usually be found in a low-cost notebook.

The competition

Lenovo ThinkPad L530, Dell Latitude 3540, Lenovo ThinkPad L440, Fujitsu Lifebook E753, HP ProBook 450, AsusPro P56CB-XO193G, Lenovo B580, Lenovo B590, Lenovo ThinkPad S531, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E535, Fujitsu Lifebook E743

Rating

HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
03/31/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
76%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
84%
Display
73%
Games Performance
62 / 85 → 73%
Application Performance
62%
Temperature
88%
Noise
90%
Audio
50%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
71%
78%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-01-13 (Update: 2014-01-13)