Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Multimedia Notebooks

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 02/03/2018

Update May 2018. Here you will find the best multimedia notebooks under 1000 USD/Euros reviewed by Notebookcheck in the last few months. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and should assist in purchasing decisions.

Multimedia laptops are all-rounders and very popular among customers. Whether it is web browsing, office work, or modern games, modern multimedia laptops can handle everything. For this ranking, however, we limit the theoretical budget to 1000 Euros (lowest current price at the time of writing). The minimum requirement for the performance level is a GeForce MX150, which can at least handle modern games in 1366x768 pixels. The other multimedia ranking and more interesting lists are obviously still available:

The following table shows an overview of the Top 10 budget multimedia laptops as reviewed by Notebookcheck in the past 12 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").

Best Budget Laptops (Multimedia) as of May 2018

Pos.RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
187%05/2017Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 1024 GB HDD
3.1 kg27.62 mm17.3"1920x1080matte
286%11/2017Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
2 kg15 mm15.6"1920x1080glossy
385%11/2017Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80LAcer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
2.9 kg28.25 mm17.3"1920x1080matte
485%03/2018HP Envy 17-ae143ngHP Envy 17-ae143ng
Intel Core i5-8250U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
3 kg23.3 mm17.3"1920x1080glossy
584%11/2017Asus GL503VD-DB74Asus GL503VD-DB74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
2.2 kg23 mm15.6"1920x1080matte
684%11/2017Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TUAcer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
2.4 kg23.95 mm15.6"1920x1080matte
784%10/2017Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
1.9 kg18 mm15.6"1920x1080glossy
883%05/2017Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589SAcer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589S
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
2.5 kg29 mm15.6"1920x1080matte
983%03/2018
New!
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.3 kg21 mm17.3"1920x1080matte
1082%01/2018Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
8 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
2 kg17.9 mm15.6"1920x1080glossy

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Top 10 of the previous 12 months at the time of writing - current articles are listed first

Editors' Comments

There are plenty of multimedia laptops for under 1,000 Euros. This category features a good price-performance ratio, because all multimedia-class device are equipped with a discrete graphics card and provide decent gaming performance. Inexpensive entry-level models are often shipped with a powerful processor, but the common GeForce MX150 is not a perfect solution for modern 3D games. Manufacturers also try to save money in terms of storage, which can quickly become the bottleneck due to high storage requirements of multimedia contents like games, picture, or videos. You should favor an SSD/HDD combination. The Acer Aspire Nitro is a good all-rounder and still sits at the top of the ranking.

1st – Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G

The GTX 1050 Ti SKU retails for less than 1000 Euros: Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G
The GTX 1050 Ti SKU retails for less than 1000 Euros: Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G

Acer's Nitro lineup has not lost any of its appeal even after several years. The combination of powerful processors and graphics cards, a good panel (FHD, matte, IPS), and an appealing price point still has plenty of fans. The 17-inch Nitro does not reveal any major flaws in our review (Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811). Only the practical WLAN runtime is a bit short at less than 5 hours, but still acceptable for such a big device.

There are numerous SKUs of the Aspire Nitro, so you can select one that perfectly suits your requirements and budget.

The combination of Intel Core i5-7300HQ and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti also handles many modern games in the native 1080p resolution and high details. The fan noise of the laptop is always okay, but there is a small catch: SKUs for less than 1000 Euros (~$1223) are usually shipped without an SSD.

Pricecompare

2nd – Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

Performance meets mobility: Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro
Performance meets mobility: Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

The second place in this rating is occupied by a notebook with a very good rating, which is not officially available in central Europe. We are talking about the Mi Notebook Pro from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. Xiaomi announced the availability of its smartphones in Spain recently, but the notebooks are not sold officially. Instead, you have to import it or buy from Chinese shops. 

Insider's tip for some, a no-go for others: The Xiaomi Mi Pro splits the opinions of potential buyers.

The laptop was convincing when we reviewed the Mi Pro with the i5 CPU, starting with the high-quality aluminum case, the bright and high-contrast panel all the way up to low noise emissions and long battery runtimes up to 10 hours in practical scenarios. The combination of i5-8250U processor and MX150 graphics card is also a good compromise between performance and mobility.

Pricecompare

3rd – Acer Aspire 5 A517

A lot of notebook for a good price: Acer Aspire 5 A517
A lot of notebook for a good price: Acer Aspire 5 A517

The next Acer notebook in this list is once again a 17-inch system. It is the Aspire 5 A517 (here in review), so it is from the mainstream Aspire series based on the designation. The configuration with the i7-8550U quad-core ULV CPU and the MX 150 GPU offers solid performance figures in this multimedia segment.

Good display, solid performance, low emissions, appealing price – the Aspire 5 A517 is a successful all-rounder.

The list of pros is long, but there are not that many drawbacks. The WLAN performance could be a bit better, but this is not a big deal considering the price and the good specs (256 GB + 1 TB HDD).

Pricecompare

4th - HP Envy 17-ae143ng

The HP Envy 17-ae143ng offers a decent CPU performance thanks to its adequately sized cooling solution.
The HP Envy 17-ae143ng offers a decent CPU performance thanks to its adequately sized cooling solution.

The Envy 17-ae143ng’s most notable feature is its classy aluminum chassis, although we were somewhat disappointed by its lack of rigidity and would have expected more of a aluminum case. HP’s Envy is one of the last notebooks with an optical drive, but it also feature modern connectivity such as USB Type-C.

In our review, the Core i5-8250U performed above average by and large, and it was even capable of keeping up with the Core i7-8550U thanks to the HP Envy 17-ae143ng’s sufficiently dimensioned and very well-working cooling solution. Accordingly, even sustained load does not cause any trouble whatsoever.

Gaming, on the other hand, is not necessarily the Envy’s strong side due to the fairly limited GeForce MX 150 GPU that is incapable of handling the latest games. Older titles should run fine on medium or even high settings, though.

The HP Envy 17-ae143ng is a decent multimedia laptop and offers a solid overall performance. Its most notable drawbacks are the poor speakers and the lack of Thunderbolt 3.

Pricecompare

5th – Asus ROG Strix GL503VD

Entry-level gaming or multimedia? Asus ROG Strix GL503VD
Entry-level gaming or multimedia? Asus ROG Strix GL503VD

Gaming or multimedia? The transition is seamless, and Asus' ROG Strix GL503VD (here in review) is a fine example. The stylish 15-inch case houses a powerful i7-7700HQ CPU & a GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. You see the content on a Full HD IPS display with a matte surface, which is decent when it comes to luminance and contrast ratio.

Good performance and solid hardware with a touch of gaming design – the Asus ROG Strix GL503VD.

The GTX 1050 can handle games in the native 1080p resolution, but with some reduced details. We liked the keyboard during the review, and the battery runtime is up to 6 hours in practical scenarios.

Pricecompare

6th – Acer Aspire 7 A715

All-rounder with a 15-inch screen: Acer Aspire 7 A715
All-rounder with a 15-inch screen: Acer Aspire 7 A715

You take a powerful quad-core CPU from Intel, combine it with a GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, add an SSD/HDD combo, and put it into an inexpensive 15-inch case with a 1080p IPS screen. The final product carries the designation Aspire 7 A715 (here in review). 

The Aspire 7 A715 is a jack-of-all-trades.

The GTX 1050 in combination with the quad-core CPU provides smooth frame rates in modern games, also in the native Full HD resolution. The emissions of the laptop are also not too bad, even under load. You have to live with the chassis though, because you notice the price segment when you take a closer look.

Pricecompare

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7th – Acer Swift 3 SF315

Slim laptop with solid performance and stamina: Acer Swift 3 SF315
Slim laptop with solid performance and stamina: Acer Swift 3 SF315

If you like Acer's Swift series, but prefer a 15-inch display, you should consider the Acer Swift 3 SF315 (here in review). A 15W ULV CPU (quad-core) once again meets a GeForce MX150, so there is plenty of performance for different multimedia scenarios. This also includes gaming, but with adjusted quality settings.

Acer's Swift series is an interesting option if you can live without an integrated DVD drive.

We liked the wide viewing angles and the good contrast ratio of the IPS screen during the review, but the luminance is not great. The emissions are low in all scenarios and the practical battery runtime of more than 8 hours is not bad, either.

Pricecompare

8th – Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G

The case wants to show the performance: Acer Aspire VX5-591G
The case wants to show the performance: Acer Aspire VX5-591G

The Aspire VX15 VX5-591G (here in review) is another entry-level gaming system, but this is mainly displayed by the design of the laptop, and not the components. The i5-7300HQ CPU and the GeForce GTX 1050 GPU still provide solid performance figures though. You get red design accents as well as a red keyboard illumination.

If you want a laptop that screams pro gamer, the Aspire VX5-591G is a promising choice in the entry-level segment.

We did not find any serious problems during our review. The display performance is okay and fits the other specs. Another positive aspect is the low emission development, even under load.

Pricecompare

9th - Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705

Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705 with plenty of GPU performance
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705 with plenty of GPU performance

The Asus VivoBook Pro (here in review) offers decent performance for a comparatively low price. However, you will notice the latter since the base unit is not very sturdy. The chassis on tips the scale at 2.3 kg in return, which is quite light.

We were positively surprised by the matte IPS panel, which manages a decent luminance and a good contrast ratio. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 performed well and can handle smooth frame rates in many modern games. There is unfortunately not much positive news about the Intel Core i7-8550U, because it cannot maintain the expected performance level in multi-core scenarios. 

The VivoBook Pro 17 does not feature any real highlights, and it does not try to expand any limits. You get competent performance for daily tasks instead, and some gaming for a fair price is possible as well - but you have to live with some drawbacks.

The cooling unit is just not powerful enough here, which also results in high surface temperatures. The warm air is just not dissipated quickly enough. Then there is the unusual keyboard layout, which requires a learning period, and the short battery runtime might scare off potential buyers as well.

The list of positive aspects includes the good 3D performance with acceptable noise emissions as well as a fast NVMe-SSD and good speakers.

Pricecompare

10th - Acer Swift 3 SF315

Acer Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen 5 2500U and AMD Vega 8 GPU
Acer Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen 5 2500U and AMD Vega 8 GPU

Acer's Swift 3 SF315 (here in review) is an impressive example for AMD's ne mobile Ryzen chips. The Ryzen 5 2500U and the AMD Vega 8 GPU are placed inside a nice and slim chassis. This combination provides solid performance figures for multimedia applications. The Vega IGP is much faster than Intel's UHD Graphics in total.

The Acer Swift 3 SF315 can compete with Intel's 8th Gen. CPUs thanks to the new AMD Ryzen 5 2500U. The performance of this SoC does not have to hide behind the competition, and the Vega 8 graphics unit is much more powerful than Intel's counterpart (Intel UHD Graphics 620).

Short battery runtimes and a comparatively slow PCIe-SSD prevent a better rating for the Acer Swift 3 SF315. The display is also too dark with small color gamut. All in all, it is still sufficient for the 10th place in our Top 10 ranking for budget multimedia laptops this month.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80LHP Envy 17-ae143ngAsus GL503VD-DB74Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TUAcer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589SAsus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38 (20, 18)
47.9 (22.4, 25.5)
41 (19, 22)
33 (15, 18)
36.4 (16.4, 20)
49 (25, 24)
42 (22, 20)
46 (25, 21)
30.8 (15.6, 15.2)
46 (25, 21)
Response Time Black / White *
27 (16, 11)
33.7 (19.2, 14.5)
31 (17, 4)
21 (11, 10)
26.2 (14, 12.4)
36 (20, 16)
32 (17, 15)
34 (20, 14)
23.2 (13.2, 10)
36 (20, 16)
PWM Frequency
21800 (99)
122000 (90)
21010 (99)
20000 (90)
21000 (80)
20000 (90)
119 (99)
21000 (90)
Screen
Brightness middle
301
296
397
352
315.9
267
248
277
376.2
237
Brightness
270
288
364
330
304
250
237
268
355
229
Brightness Distribution
79
89
84
88
88
82
79
91
89
88
Black Level *
0.38
0.32
0.29
0.31
0.37
0.31
0.21
0.26
0.42
0.19
Contrast
792
925
1369
1135
854
861
1181
1065
896
1247
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.49
4.3
3.88
4.34
4.9
4.65
4.98
5.05
4.21
4.85
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.49
8.7
8.22
8.69
9.7
8.2
8.41
8.93
8.31
8.34
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.88
3
3.1
5.66
3.8
2.65
4.26
2.97
5.5
3.84
Gamma
2.35 102%
2.1 114%
2.59 93%
2.29 105%
2.24 107%
2.44 98%
2.37 101%
2.39 100%
2.335 103%
2.42 99%
CCT
6587 99%
7100 92%
6570 99%
6326 103%
6847 95%
6820 95%
7149 91%
6466 101%
7056 92%
6790 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
56.83
55
57
55
38
38
38
57
37
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86
86.86
84
88
84
59
58
59
87
58
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.95
Noise
off / environment *
29.7
31
29.4
304
28.3
30.4
30.5
30
28.3
31.8
Idle Minimum *
30.2
31
30.1
31.9
30.6
30.4
30.5
30
28.3
31.8
Idle Average *
30.2
31
30.1
31.9
30.8
30.8
30.5
30
29
32.1
Idle Maximum *
30.6
32.6
29.7
31.9
32.8
30.8
30.9
31.1
29
32.1
Load Average *
33.8
41.6
34.4
39.4
37.6
33.6
35.7
31.3
36.7
33
Witcher 3 ultra *
39.5
41.6
47
44.7
Load Maximum *
42.6
44.7
34.4
39.7
53.5
43.4
35.6
38.9
42.8
34.8
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
48
43.8
40.4
36
60.4
41.6
43.4
47.2
46
41
Maximum Bottom *
40.8
44.9
37
37.6
55.2
42.5
38.1
42.2
56.2
41.1
Idle Upper Side *
29.9
25.9
25.3
26.2
32.4
29.7
24.8
31.8
28.6
29.9
Idle Bottom *
29.8
26.3
24.7
27.8
36
29.4
25.2
29.5
37.6
30.9
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
560
647
592
730
WiFi v1.3
278
597
377
487
348
336
511
330
265
310
Load
122
89
73
94
53
81
Witcher 3 ultra
83
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
8.7
3.7
4.1
4.8
8.2
4
3.8
8.4
5.06
7.3
Idle Average *
12.4
7.5
9.3
8.3
11.1
6.9
6.5
13.1
10.3
9.7
Idle Maximum *
15.4
8
9.8
10.3
11.8
9.4
9.1
14.2
10.7
13
Load Average *
73
49
64
61
81
72.6
53.4
50
83
40.4
Load Maximum *
130
55.2
66.4
86
123.3
122
55.6
111
99.9
42.2
Witcher 3 ultra *
98
50.6
95.11
92.4

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
8830 Points ∼29%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
4521 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
4732 Points ∼16%
HP Envy 17-ae143ng
4893 Points ∼16%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
7465 Points ∼25%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
7466 Points ∼25%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
4918 Points ∼16%
Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589S
7226 Points ∼24%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
7474 Points ∼25%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
3521 Points ∼12%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
6500 Points ∼24%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
2954 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
3207 Points ∼12%
HP Envy 17-ae143ng
3281 Points ∼12%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
5440 Points ∼20%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
5346 Points ∼20%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
3289 Points ∼12%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
5411 Points ∼20%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
1928 Points ∼7%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
118843 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
44475 Points ∼4%
HP Envy 17-ae143ng
72057 Points ∼6%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
115145 Points ∼10%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
123908 Points ∼11%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
82307 Points ∼7%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
60920 Points ∼5%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811
3596 Points ∼60%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
3766 Points ∼63%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
3910 Points ∼65%
HP Envy 17-ae143ng
3666 Points ∼61%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
3852 Points ∼64%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
4055 Points ∼68%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
3935 Points ∼66%
Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589S
3661 Points ∼61%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
4245 Points ∼71%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
3450 Points ∼58%

Legend

 
Acer Aspire Nitro BE VN7-793G-5811 Intel Core i5-7300HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
 
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
 
HP Envy 17-ae143ng Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Liteonit CV3-8D128
 
Asus GL503VD-DB74 Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), ADATA SX7000NP 256 GB
 
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU Intel Core i5-7300HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
 
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5 Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Hynix HFS128G39TND
 
Acer Aspire VX15 VX5-591G-589S Intel Core i5-7300HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Hynix HFS128G39TND
 
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76 Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
 
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1 AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
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Sebastian Jentsch (Update: 2018-05- 8)