Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks

Redaktion (translated by Martina Osztovits), 03/15/2014

March 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 feature a dedicated graphics card.

Where do the recently tested devices range in comparison to the top models of the last few months? Which of the devices stands out in the crowd with an especially good performance and deserves our Editors' Choice Award? Are there products with an especially good price performance ratio that can win our Best Value Award?

Notebookcheck Multimedia-Notebook-Charts, effective March 2014

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

#Date%ModelWeightDisplayCPUGPURAMDrivePrice/Buy
new02/1481%Acer Aspire E1-772G 54208G1TMnsk3.2 kg17.3-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200MNvidia GeForce 820M8 GBHDDstarting at 722 Euros
new02/1481%HP Pavilion 17-e126sg2.9 kg17.3-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200MAMD Radeon HD 8670M8 GBHDDstarting at 420 Euros
new02/1481%HP Pavilion 15-n213eg2.3 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200UNvidia GeForce GT 740M8 GBHDDstarting at  579 Euros
new02/1479%Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)2.4 kg15.6-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i5-4200MNvidia GeForce 825M8 GBHDDstarting at 700 Euros
new02/1476%Medion Akoya S4217T MD985992.12 kg14-inch 1920x1080 matteIntel Core i3-4010UIntel HD Graphics 44008 GBHybridstarting at 580 Euros

Further tests of each month - current tests are listed first

Editors' Comments

1st: Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013)
1st: Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013)
2nd: Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01
2nd: Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01
3rd: Asus N750 multimedia fireball
3rd: Asus N750 multimedia fireball
4th: Dell Inspiron 15-7537
4th: Dell Inspiron 15-7537
5th: known device with new hardware - Asus N56JR-S4080H
5th: known device with new hardware - Asus N56JR-S4080H
6th: Gigabyte U24T
6th: Gigabyte U24T
New in 6th place: HP ProBook 470 G1 E9Y75EA
New in 6th place: HP ProBook 470 G1 E9Y75EA
New in 7th place: Medion The Touch 300 (Akoya S6615T-MD98549)
New in 7th place: Medion The Touch 300 (Akoya S6615T-MD98549)

The Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013) is still leading our Top 10. The 15-incher easily achieved that since 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 tester compares the XPS 15 to the current MacBook Pro 15 and both devices got the same rating since 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 demands a steep price of 2060 Euros (~$2848) for the test model.

The ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01 from Samsung, which had led for several months, was replaced by the Dell. It is an update of the older Samsung Chronos 770Z5E-S01DE. They are technically identical. Samsung simply used a new name. "Chronos" is out; all Windows devices are now called "ATIV Book." Its Ivy Bridge quad-core (3635QM) CPU still performs very well. So, an update is not necessary. The 15-incher still features a very good display with high contrast and decent viewing angles. The MVA display (like IPS) is glossy, as it is a touchscreen model. Gaming is powered by an HD 8870M. However, only a few current titles can be played in Full HD.

Asus designed the N750 and the N56 multimedia notebooks for the same customers as Samsung its ATIV Book 8 880Z5E. Those looking for a high-end, really good-looking case with aluminum finish and high build quality, have to choose between Asus, Samsung, and Dell. Asus was faster updating their models to Haswell and used a GeForce GT 750M. Depending on the game, Nvidia could perform better, but this should only be a minor aspect when deciding between Asus and Samsung. The competitors offer a good balance of display quality, performance and sound and do not differ much. Asus included a small external subwoofer while Samsung incorporated such.

Dell's Inspiron 15-7537 with powerful hardware, premium chassis, and excellent display is 4th. The elegant aluminum device performed masterfully in almost all aspects. Only the connectivity is rather poor (rating: 66%). But, the Inspiron 15-7537 is definitely worth its high price of 1200 Euros (~$1659) for the deluxe configuration, as it features a Full HD IPS panel and a GeForce GT 750M for gamers and a simple aluminum finish for design enthusiasts. The rating of its 17-inch counterpart is that different as it does not feature such a stable case and does not come with an IPS display.

The Asus N56JR-S4080H is already familiar to us since we reviewed the popular predecessor, the N56VZ-S4044V (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GT 650M). In our update test, we checked what the new model with Haswell quad-core CPU and GeForce GTX 760M is capable of. In particular, gamers might be interested in the premium multimedia notebook because the price is not exorbitantly high for the offered performance and the build quality of the aluminum case is good. The tester emphasizes the very good system and gaming performance. In addition, the Asus features a bright, contrast-rich TN panel with above-average viewing angles. The Asus N56JR features the strongest GPU in the multimedia category. We usually find GTX models in the gaming range.

The Asus N550 comes in immediately below and has the same strengths as its bigger brother. This is not surprising since our test model features the same i7-4700HQ CPU and GT 750M graphics card as the N750. Its advantages are a smaller size and a lower weight. It is 600 g (~1.3 pounds) lighter than the N750. However, it achieves the same battery life of 4-5 hours in realistic scenarios. So, it got a good fifth place. At just above 1000 Euros (~$1354), the N550 is about 200 Euros (~$271) cheaper than the bigger N750 with comparable components.

Although the German dealer, Schenker Notebooks, focused on gaming notebooks during the last few years, it continues to add office and multimedia notebooks to its portfolio, which are primarily based on Clevo barebones. The 14-inch Schenker S413 is one of the few contenders using Intel's most powerful integrated graphics card, the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 (also called GT3e). The latter was only recently introduced with the new Haswell processors. It comes in between dedicated mid-range models in terms of performance and is considered indicative of future CPU developments. In addition, the compact bundle features a good display. However, smaller flaws in build quality and input device performance prevent a better rating.

Gigabyte laptops are rarely reviewed by us. However, the U24T (just under 1200 Euros, ~$1659) proves that the Taiwanese know their craft. The compact 14-inch multimedia all-rounder combines gaming capable hardware (Nvidia GeForce GT 750M) with a fast SSD (128 GB), a big 750 GB hard drive, and even 16 GB of RAM. Because of its powerful hardware, the U24T gets somewhat louder, but the temperatures remain low. While the battery life of 4:30 hours (WLAN test) would be low for a subnotebook, it is alright considering the powerful hardware of this slim 14-incher (1.78 kg). Unfortunately, the low-res, relatively dark TN-type HD display is unsuitable for the ambitious concept. In addition, the keyboard is clattery.

Two update reviews are newcomers. The HP ProBook 470 G1 features a Haswell configuration and we tested a powerful GeForce GT 745M and Core i5-4200U in the Medion The Touch 300. The ProBook is a solid office companion with good input devices in a stable case. The easy maintainability and relatively many interfaces (no docking port) complete the outside. The 4xx models are the entry level devices into the ProBook series. So buyers should not expect the perfection of EliteBooks. The battery life of 4:30 hours is alright for a 17-incher and the emissions remain low despite powerful components (standard voltage CPU, Radeon HD 8750M). 

Medion offers a 15.6-incher with an opening angle of 300 degrees once again with the Akoya S6615T-MD98549. In stand mode, you can watch videos or photos. The rather poor display has an acceptable contrast. The performance for games etc. significantly improved thanks to the GeForce GT 745M. The GPU can run nearly all current games smoothly in native HD resolution. Together with the Solid State hybrid drive, it achieves a very good system performance, which is certainly sufficient for many years of home use. Another pro: The battery life of six hours in our WLAN test is remarkable.

These did not make it into our Top 10

Missed our Top 10: Acer Aspire E1-772G
Missed our Top 10: Acer Aspire E1-772G
Missed our Top 10: HP Pavilion 17-e126sg
Missed our Top 10: HP Pavilion 17-e126sg
Missed our Top 10: HP Pavilion 15-n213eg
Missed our Top 10: HP Pavilion 15-n213eg
Missed our Top 10: Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
Missed our Top 10: Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
Missed our Top 10: Medion Akoya S4217T (MD98599)
Missed our Top 10: Medion Akoya S4217T (MD98599)
 

These devices missed our Top 10 because they did not achieve a better rating. Acer's Aspire E1-772G 54208G1TMnsk is the first device with an Nvidia GeForce 820M we reviewed. The 17-incher with Full HD display (TN) is a typical offer for office and casual gamers. The contrast and brightness of the display are sufficient, but the viewing angles are narrow, which is usual for TN panels. The 820M does not perform significantly faster than the older 720M (6%). Games often do not even run smoothly in HD resolution. The free mSATA slot is a small bonus for those who like to upgrade.

We covered two rather attractive models of two already reviewed notebooks in two update reviews. The HP Pavilion 17-e126sg (i5 + AMD Radeon HD 8670M) and HP Pavilion 15-n213eg (i5 + Nvidia GeForce GT 740M) combine good performance with a price of below 650 Euros (~$899). The cases are adequately solid, but the keyboards are too spongy for prolific writers and their feedback is too low. The emissions are comfortably low. The displays (17-incher Pavilion 17 with HD+) have a good contrast. But, the viewing angles are narrow, because they are TN-types (glossy). In addition, both screens are significantly bluish.

The Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571) is very similarly equipped, but features a GeForce 825M and a Core i5-4200M. The maintainability of the bendable chassis is very easy, but we did not like the low quality of the input devices and the display of the otherwise interesting all-rounder. The gaming performance is only slightly worse than the GT 740M's (7%). High quality settings will not be displayed smoothly in HD resolution. The matte Full HD display is interesting anyway, although it is bluish and has a low contrast.

Medion's Akoya S4217T MD98599 focuses on buyers, which do not want to play games but are looking for a mobile 14-inch device with good performance reserves and a touchscreen for a cheap price of about 600 Euros (~$829). The Core i3-4010U runs adequately fast and goes well with the Solid State hybrid drive. Unfortunately, the HD panel loses any further appeal because it is bluish and has a low contrast. The Akoya also loses several points because of the low quality of its chassis (very bendable, soft keyboard).

Awards of the previous months in this category


 
 
 

Daily updated, automated top list


of the last 9 month
1
88% v4
Review Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013) Notebook
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
Review Dell XPS 15 (9530, Late 2013) Notebook
Intel Core i7 4702HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 12/14/2013
2
83% v4
Review Dell Inspiron 15-7537 Notebook
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
Review Dell Inspiron 15-7537 Notebook
Intel Core i7 4500U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 11/04/2013
3
83% v4
Review Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01 Notebook
Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01
Review Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01 Notebook
Intel Core i7 3635QM, AMD Radeon HD 8870M, 09/27/2013
4
83% v4
Review Schenker S413 (Clevo W740SU) Notebook
Schenker S413
Review Schenker S413 (Clevo W740SU) Notebook
Intel Core i7 4750HQ, Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 08/03/2013
5
82% v4
Review Update Asus N56JR-S4080H Notebook
Asus N56JR-S4080H
Review Update Asus N56JR-S4080H Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M, 01/24/2014
6
81% v4
Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G Notebook
Samsung 870Z5G
Review Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 04/01/2014
7
81% v4
Review Dell Inspiron 7737 CN77304 Notebook
Dell Inspiron 7737 CN77304
Review Dell Inspiron 7737 CN77304 Notebook
Intel Core i7 4500U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 11/13/2013
8
81% v4
Review Asus N550JV-CN201H Notebook
Asus N550JV-CN201H
Review Asus N550JV-CN201H Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 08/03/2013
9
81% v4
Review Asus N750JV-T4110H Notebook
Asus N750JV-T4110H
Review Asus N750JV-T4110H Notebook
Intel Core i7 4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 07/31/2013
10
78% v4
Review Update HP ProBook 470 G1 E9Y75EA Notebook
HP ProBook 470 G1 E9Y75EA
Review Update HP ProBook 470 G1 E9Y75EA Notebook
Intel Core i5 4200M, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, 02/20/2014

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks
Author: Redaktion, 2014-03-15 (Update: 2014-04- 1)