Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Office/Business Notebooks

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

July 2014 update. Here you will find the current best office/business notebooks for below 800 Euros (~$1082) 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 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").

Office Notebook Charts (<800 Euros, ~$1082) as of July 2014

Pos. RatingDate
ModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
184%03/14Lenovo ThinkPad L540
Intel Core i5-4200M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $599 at Amazon 
2.3 kg31 mm15.61920x1080matte
281%02/14Acer TravelMate P455-M
Intel Core i5-4200U
Intel HD Graphics 4400
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $759 at Amazon
2.4 kg25 mm15.61920x1080matte
379%12/13
Lenovo ThinkPad L440
Intel Core i5-4330M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $755 at Amazon
2.3 kg29 mm14.01366x768matte
478%

03/14

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545
AMD A10-5750M
Radeon HD 8650G+HD 8570M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $799 at Amazon
2.4 kg34 mm15.61366x768matte
578%01/14HP ProBook 455 G1
AMD A4-4300M
Radeon HD 7420G
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $524 at Amazon
2.3 kg23 mm15.61366x768matte
678%01/14Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540
Intel Core i3-4000M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $654 at Amazon
2.5 kg30 mm15.61366x768matte
778%01/14

HP ProBook 650
Intel Core i3-4000M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $779 at Amazon

2.3 kg25 mm15.61366x768matte
877%04/14HP ProBook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M
Radeon HD 8450G
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $1060 at Amazon
2.0 kg25 mm14.0 1366x768matte
977%04/14HP ProBook 655 G1
AMD A6-5350M
Radeon HD 8450G
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $796 at Amazon
2.3 kg25 mm15.61366x768matte
1077%02/14HP ProBook 450
Intel Core i7-4702M
Intel HD Graphics 4600
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $889 at Amazon
2.4 kg29 mm15.6 1366x768matte

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

Editors' Comments

New in the charts as the price fell: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge L540
New in the charts as the price fell: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge L540
Office worker with FHD screen: Acer TravelMate P455-M
Office worker with FHD screen: Acer TravelMate P455-M
Long-lasting business colleague: Lenovo ThinkPad L440
Long-lasting business colleague: Lenovo ThinkPad L440
It may also be AMD: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545
It may also be AMD: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545
Slim aluminum meteor for little money: HP ProBook 455 G
Slim aluminum meteor for little money: HP ProBook 455 G

1st

Lenovo's ThinkPad L540 slides into our Top 10 Office Notebooks below 800 Euros (~$1082) due to falling prices in several shops. In Lenovo's product range, L-series models are cheaper than T-series models. Our L540 test model features an Intel i5-4200M (standard voltage) CPU with integrated Intel HD 4600 graphics solution and a matte Full HD display. The latter provides a lot of overview on the desktop and good brightness even on battery, but its colors are a mixed bag. Further pros of the L540 are its quiet system noise, good system performance, and many interfaces (docking port). An important criterion is also that the input devices are on the usual high ThinkPad level.

2nd

Acer's TravelMate P455-M profits from its falling market price, too and ranks in at the top of our charts. The title of our review was "Good, but overpriced" at the beginning of this year. At that time the price of the device was above 800 Euros (~$1082), but in the meantime it fell by over 150 Euros (~$202). Its Intel i5-4200U (ULV) CPU and integrated HD 4400 are apt for everyday office apps and keep the energy demand low. Unfortunately, Acer only equipped the laptops with an especially small battery, with which the device achieves a battery life of about 4 to 5 hours in realistic scenarios. The matte Full HD display provides a big screen real estate for several parallel windows, but its brightness is lower than the leading L540's. Users will also appreciate the quiet system noise of the TravelMate P455.

3rd

The ThinkPad L440, also from Lenovo, is the first 14-incher in our charts. Although our test model with Intel i5-4330M processor is no longer available, many shops list alternative configurations, for example, with the only slightly slower i5-4200M CPU. Alike in its bigger L540 colleague, users will appreciate a good system performance due to a standard voltage CPU and depending on the included battery (6-cells or 9-cells) also about a battery life of up to 8 hours in practice. The incorporated display has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. Alternatively, an HD+ model with 1600x900 pixels, which brings a bigger screen real estate, is also offered. Again, the built-in input devices belong to the pros.

4th

Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE is fourth. The 15-incher features a solid case built for day-to-day use. The input devices are perfectly suitable for prolific writers. It features an excellent keyboard also found in devices for professionals for above 1000 Euros (~$1352). Important difference: HP still uses separate mouse buttons, while Lenovo switched to a ClickPad but left the two TrackPoint buttons (can be used as mouse buttons). Under the hood is the first AMD platform in our charts. The A10-5750M CPU belongs to the fastest mobile processors from AMD. Coupled with a dedicated graphics card it makes for an acceptable basic piece of multimedia equipment.

5th

According to the "5" in its model name, HP's ProBook 455 G1 also uses components from AMD. The A4-4300M is about on par with Intel's Pentium CPUs and so is a basic piece of equipment for simple office applications. The tester liked the high-end aluminum case in view of the low price. With a height of 23 mm and a weight of 2.3 kg, the laptop also has a good portability. Alike all similar competitors, the display has an ergonomic matte surface and a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. 

6th

The Intel model of Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E545, the E540, has the same total rating. An i3-4000M CPU coupled with an Intel HD 4600 graphics solution works in our test model. Thanks to the same case as its AMD counterpart, this laptop features high-end input devices. The case has an easy job with the waste heat of the Intel components. The laptop always remains cool and quiet.

7th

HP's ProBook 650 is the opponent of the ThinkPad L540 and the Edge E540. Our test model comes with an anti-reflective HD panel (1366x768 pixels). The ProBook 650 is also available with an FHD display (1920x1080), and so is the ThinkPad Edge E540. We reviewed the entry-level model. The HP ProBook 650 is a mid-range office laptop with a higher quality case than Lenovo's Edge series.

8th and 9th

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 (~$676).

10th

The ProBook 450 is the Intel counterpart of the ProBook 455. The model with Intel Core i3 CPU and matte HD display convinced with its solid case and good input devices in our review. We also liked its low system noise and low temperature.

Runners-up

Asus ASUSPRO P750LB-T2057G
Asus ASUSPRO P750LB-T2057G
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk
Packard Bell EasyNote TE69HW-29574G50Mnsk

It already gets apparent with the table above that there are no newcomers in our Top 10, but only changes due to the considered time period and falling prices. Nevertheless, we reviewed another three devices in the previous month.

The Lenovo G510 came to us with different components. Its integrated AMD R5 M230 could attract friends of computer games. Actually, the device is able to smoothly run a lot of games at least with low or medium graphics details. But, the GPU does not exceed the performance of the Nvidia GeForce 820M. If you are interested in computer games you should look for a laptop with a graphics performance at the level of a GeForce 850M or higher. Such are also available in the low-price segment.

The Wortmann Terra Mobile 1749 is based on a barebone from Clevo and tries to score points especially with its big, matte 17.7-inch display. Its performance is ok for simple office use. Low emissions stood out positively.

With the Aspire E1-771, Acer focuses on the same niche. It also is a cheap 17-inch computer for the office. Since Acer uses a CPU of the previous Ivy Bridge generation, the price could be kept relatively low with just over 400 Euros (~$541).

Recent Budget Office/Business Awards


Best Value Award in December 2013: Wortmann Terra Mobile 1512
Best Value Award in December 2013: Wortmann Terra Mobile 1512
Editor's Choice in December 2013: Dell Latitude 3440
Editor's Choice in December 2013: Dell Latitude 3440
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

Size Comparison











Performance Comparison

Lenovo Thinkpad L540
Acer Travelmate P455-M
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E545
HP ProBook 455 G1
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E540
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
HP Probook 645 G1
HP ProBook 655
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
Illumination
Brightness Center303195212252218337197182209228
Black *0.700.540.32361.460.430.900.630.270.641.08
Contrast433361655173507374313674327211
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *11.5811.1610.836.2210.2210.9510.4810.499.3312.64
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *13.6512.0211.427.5210.512.7110.6811.429.3613.43
Gamma *2.593.052.682.42.5922.312.322.272.43
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)51.1247.937.8446.336.15035.237.634.734.8
Loudness
Idle Minimum *31.930.533.130.83232.231.631.631.333.5
Idle Average *32.431.233.1313232.231.631.631.333.5
Idle Maximum *32.431.233.331.232.132.231.634.931.933.6
Load Average *34.832.534.832.532.434.435.636.934.136.4
Load Maximum *36.134.735.733.736.33736.740.238.340.9
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *40.836.5474533.744.832.73633.837.1
Maximum Lower Side *39.033.343.342.140.742.746.152.143.650.8
Idle Upper Side *31.631.733.730.130.128.327.731.531.226.6
Idle Lower Side *34.531.136.330.530.432.130.537.839.227.8
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle391493655391516499461568559579
Classic / Load93651147010264100868459
DVD180214155193223200193190
WLAN298270471256261434316289288288
H.264233
Gaming
Idle Minimum *9.54.38.610.98.88.64.68.49.46.3
Idle Average *13.110.511.813.211.211.78.210.511.38.6
Idle Maximum *13.412.712.713.414.713.79.411.514.58.8
Load Average *38.630.448.144.735.249.137.140.341.241.6
Load Maximum *49.53953.461.335.961.541.547.850.858.2

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

Lenovo Thinkpad L540
Acer Travelmate P455-M
Lenovo Thinkpad L440
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E545
HP ProBook 455 G1
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E540
HP ProBook 650 G1 H5G74E
HP Probook 645 G1
HP ProBook 655
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
PCMark 7
Score280523442025158637272569190818902736
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2407729733769317530903696
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance849777180250118548777897871042
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics510645476545271774235557316631715765
static version load dynamic

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