Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks

Martina Osztovits (translated by Martina Osztovits), 09/19/2014

September 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. Several 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 12 months and relevant devices which are still available. 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 September 2014

Pos. RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionFinish
189%07/14
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
Intel Core i7 4702HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
16 GB RAM, SSD
from $2299 at Amazon

2.0 kg18 mm15.63200x1800glossy
383%06/14
Asus N750JK
Intel Core i7 4700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GT 850M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $1449 at Amazon
3.1 kg30 mm17.31920x1080matte
482%08/14

new!
Acer Aspire V5-573G
Intel Core i5 4210U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
8 GB RAM, SSHD
from €799 at Notebooksbilliger
2.0 kg21 mm15.61920x1080matte
581%

06/14

Asus N550JK
Intel Core i5 4200H
Nvidia GeForce GT 850M
8 GB RAM, HDD
- from $1079 at Amazon
2.4 kg27 mm15.61920x1080matte
680%08/14

new!
Acer Aspire E5-771G
Intel Core i5 4210U
NVIDIA GeForce 840M
8 GB RAM, HDD
from $711 at Amazon
2.9 kg28 mm17.31920x1080matte
780%06/14

MSI GP60-2PE
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
Intel Core i5 4200U
AMD Radeon R7 M265
4 GB RAM, HDD
- from $731 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

Leader: Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 (2013)
Leader: Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 (2013)
Follower: Dell XPS 15
Follower: Dell XPS 15
Asus N750: 17-inch multimedia all-rounder
Asus N750: 17-inch multimedia all-rounder
Cheap gaming laptop: Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
Cheap gaming laptop: Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
Asus N550: full sound thanks to external subwoofer
Asus N550: full sound thanks to external subwoofer
Acer Aspire E5-771G: cheap, large size
Acer Aspire E5-771G: cheap, large size
MSI GP60: entry level multimedia notebook
MSI GP60: entry level multimedia notebook
Asus VivoBook S451: 14 inch with touch
Asus VivoBook S451: 14 inch with touch

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

2nd

Even if we reviewed Dell's XPS 15 quite a while ago, it is still a top multimedia device in Dell's online shop. The laptop features an Intel quad core CPU and a GT 750M graphics solution from Nvidia. Cheap entry-level models (from 1399 Euro) optionally also come with an Intel i5-4200H CPU and without dedicated GPU. If you choose one of the top models, you can also appreciate the razor-sharp  image of the QHD display (3200 x 1800 pixels). An FHD display is available as alternative. In our review, the XPS particularly convinced with its high-end case, the QHD display and the battery life of up to 9 hours.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

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 Maxwell 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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

4th

The Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii model with GeForce GTX 850M (Maxwell) could be even considered a gaming notebook, but it only costs 799 Euro. Besides, the 15.6-incher features the popular FHD resolution and a contrast-rich IPS display! Is there anything left to be desired? While the low voltage processor slightly decreases the frame rates, the gaming performance is still outstanding in this price range. Apart from native FullHD, almost all titles of 2013 are playable with maximum details. We liked the good battery life of just under six hours in our WiFi test.

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

5th

The Asus N550's design and features are partly identical to its bigger N750 brother's, but it uses a different chassis (only only SATA slot). 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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

6th

Acer's Aspire E5-771G is a cheap 17 inch multimedia laptop. With its Nvidia 840M graphics cards it is apt for gaming with low graphics quality. We liked the matte FHD display with high brightness and contrast. Alternatively, the device is also available without dedicated GPU and without OS under the name E5-771. Thereby, the price drops below 500 Euro.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

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.

» read the review    » buy the notebook 

Recent Multimedia Awards

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch 2013-10
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
Asus N750JK-T4042H
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
Asus N550JK-CN109H
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
MSI GP60-2PEi585
Asus VivoBook S451LB-CA072H
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Illumination
Brightness Center332349275326284391228208260231
Black *0.33260.210.310.560.3880.420.30.250.450.63
Contrast9981662887582732931760832578367
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *1.958.274.773.25.249.927.114.114.7810.16
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *2.117.994.773.657.711.18.384.055.9410.99
Gamma *2.343.422.32.292.632.52.222.312.613.11
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)60.669.0858475456385249.38
Loudness
Idle Minimum *2828.031.53033.830.833.030.932.130.3
Idle Average *2828.031.53033.831.233.231.132.132
Idle Maximum *2829.834.830.633.931.433.431.332.232
Load Average *35.842.134.839.741.93336.238.741.936.2
Load Maximum *45.842.140.94043.63950.039.242.740.6
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *4648.446.152.348.53640.638.246.941.6
Maximum Lower Side *4264.644.250.246.34042.544.143.041.4
Idle Upper Side *3435.626.831.3293027.030.632.129.3
Idle Lower Side *3339.226.633.928.73327.53234.631.7
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle853850453624305360484651472
Classic / Load1811305215961561359880
WLAN551530321346220195170325362241
Idle Minimum *7.610.26.57.217.65.87.35.65.95.7
Idle Average *15.112.411.321.111.613.18.110.910.1
Idle Maximum *15.617.415.517.42413.321.79.212.512.5
Load Average *80.487.485.95483.541.450.839.852.940.3
Load Maximum *88.5115.2118.685.9108.752.274.546.363.553.7

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch 2013-10
2692 Points ∼20%
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
2974 Points ∼23%
Asus N750JK-T4042H
4616 Points ∼35%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
3834 Points ∼29%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
4289 Points ∼33%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
2361 Points ∼18%
MSI GP60-2PEi585
2562 Points ∼19%
Asus VivoBook S451LB-CA072H
1819 Points ∼14%
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
2444 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
2012 Points ∼15%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch 2013-10
72048 Points ∼48%
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
55377 Points ∼37%
Asus N750JK-T4042H
90772 Points ∼61%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
45226 Points ∼30%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
77250 Points ∼52%
MSI GP60-2PEi585
54685 Points ∼37%
Asus VivoBook S451LB-CA072H
49333 Points ∼33%
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
35889 Points ∼24%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
38911 Points ∼26%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch 2013-10
1800 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
1953 Points ∼20%
Asus N750JK-T4042H
2766 Points ∼28%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
2506 Points ∼25%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
2697 Points ∼27%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
1324 Points ∼13%
MSI GP60-2PEi585
1448 Points ∼15%
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
1707 Points ∼17%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
1211 Points ∼12%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch 2013-10
5842 Points ∼88%
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2013)
5937 Points ∼90%
Asus N750JK-T4042H
3205 Points ∼48%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
3935 Points ∼59%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
2882 Points ∼44%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
2787 Points ∼42%
MSI GP60-2PEi585
2953 Points ∼45%
Asus VivoBook S451LB-CA072H
2834 Points ∼43%
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
3319 Points ∼50%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
2742 Points ∼41%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus N750JK-T4042H
3827 Points ∼77%
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54218G1Taii
3046 Points ∼62%
Asus N550JK-CN109H
3072 Points ∼62%
Acer Aspire E5-771G-553Q
2850 Points ∼58%
Dell Inspiron 15R-5537
3699 Points ∼75%

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks
Author: Martina Osztovits, 2014-09-19 (Update: 2014-09-17)