Notebookcheck

The 10 Best Multimedia Laptops for Late 2017

Creativity, unhindered. Holiday season is finally upon us, and thus begins one of the most lucrative periods for anyone mulling to purchase a new notebook excelling both in content creation and consumption. The choices can be daunting, but leave it to us to help you decide on the best multimedia notebook to perfectly complement your needs.

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Your search for the best multimedia notebook ends here.
Your search for the best multimedia notebook ends here.

Since this is that time of the year where great bargains are aplenty (especially on computers), we thought it would be a good time to revisit our extensive database of notebooks and separate the wheat from the chaff to give our readers a comprehensive list of the best multimedia notebooks to have launched this year.

All the laptops featured below stand out in unique ways, have the performance to boot, and can cater to different price points quite effectively. There are myriad options available and this article aims to be a purchase guide based on commonly factored-in purchase decisions. Since we've set a stringent overall performance criteria, some notebooks might not have made it into this list, but they are still worthy of your consideration — especially if a good deal is running. Do remember that pricing, availability, and SKUs can vary by region and you might end up with slightly different hardware configurations than what's listed here.

The selection criteria for this list has been kept simple: notebooks that offer the best combination of portability, performance, and display quality were selected and related to our overall review score for that model. One size doesn't always fit all, hence, we've also indicated what could be the second best option in each category. Many of these notebooks come with fairly capable GPU options that while being able to power GPU-intensive programs, can also play modern games at low to medium settings with acceptable frame rates. The choices were not constrained by price or regional availability. Noteworthy additions such as a good keyboard and choice of ports were also given due consideration.

This list is part of a series of holiday buying guides. For other categories, be sure to check out:

Clicking on a device name will take you straight to the corresponding product review page. You can also add a notebook of your choice to the comparison tool under each benchmark to see how it fares with the rest of the models in our database.

Top 10 Multimedia Notebooks: Holiday 2017

Pos.RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
189%03/2017Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.1 kg17 mm15.6"3840x2160glossy
289%04/2017Razer Blade (2017)Razer Blade (2017)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
15.9 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.8 kg18 mm14"1920x1080matte
388%11/2017HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2 kg17.8 mm15.6"3840x2160glossy
488%07/2017Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
AMD Radeon Pro 555
16 GB Memory,  SSD
1.8 kg16 mm15.4"2880x1800glossy
587%05/2017Gigabyte Aero 15Gigabyte Aero 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.1 kg19 mm15.6"1920x1080matte
687%08/2017Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VDAsus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.9 kg18.9 mm15.6"1920x1080matte
786%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
885%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
984%11/2017Dell Inspiron 17-7773-0043Dell Inspiron 17-7773-0043
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
2.9 kg22.6 mm17.3"1920x1080glossy
1084%11/2017Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SLAcer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
1.6 kg17.95 mm14"1920x1080glossy

While the list above is not exhaustive, it will enable you to start narrowing down choices based on various parameters. The needs are as varied as the choices available — graphics artists and video editors would prefer notebooks with high resolution and large screen estate while those looking primarily for multimedia consumption would make do with a FHD display to eke out more battery life. So, without further ado let us look at how the notebooks do in their categories.

Most Portable

Ensuring portability without compromising on power and efficiency is indeed a complicated task. This year, we have seen OEMs lay a lot of emphasis on portability by devising clever means of heat dissipation to minimize throttling. Ideally, a portable notebook will weigh around the 2-kilogram mark and would at least ensure that interactive areas such as the keyboard and trackpad would be within tolerable temperatures under load.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017)

The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is one of the most portable 15-inch notebooks around.
The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is one of the most portable 15-inch notebooks around.

Tipping the scales at just 1.8 kg, the Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017) is one of the most portable 15-inch multimedia notebooks money can buy. The aluminum unibody chassis oozes premium quality and professional craftsmanship. Despite such a slim profile, the MacBook Pro 15 does not compromise on performance. The baseline configuration features an Intel Core i7-7700HQ 45W CPU coupled with 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM and an AMD Radeon Pro 555 GPU, which can breeze through both content creation and consumption. It can run Windows 10 without major hiccups via Bootcamp and can also game at low to medium settings. If you can excuse the price, Touch Bar, and the lack of ports, the 2017 MacBook Pro 15 offers the perfect combination of portability and performance.

Buy the Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017) below:

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Runner-up: HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100

The HP Spectre x360 is one of the best convertibles money can buy.
The HP Spectre x360 is one of the best convertibles money can buy.

Portability does not only mean being lightweight but also how versatile the form factor is in enabling different productivity scenarios. The HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 offers premium construction at the expense of being a tad bit heavier than other 15-inch ultrabooks, but still offers overall great portability. The convertible form factor allows different modes for different types of work or media consumption. The 15.6-inch 4K screen is a visual treat, and while it might not afford much comfort during extended use as a tablet, it greatly benefits laptop use. Under maximum load, the Spectre x360 15 is fairly comfortable to use, but we've seen temperatures of the keyboard area closest to the display reaching the 50 °C mark. Powered by the Intel Core i7-8550U with 16 GB RAM alongside an MX150 GPU and featuring a Samsung PM961 SSD, the Spectre x360 affords class-leading performance in a suave design.

Buy the HP Spectre x360 below:

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Special Mention: Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G

The Acer Swift 3 offers portability without much compromise.
The Acer Swift 3 offers portability without much compromise.

Acer's Swift 3 series of notebooks target design-conscious buyers and the Swift 3 SF314-52G doesn't disappoint. At just 1.62 kg, the Swift 3 is one of the most portable laptops you can find. The portability, however, doesn't mean you have to skimp on the internals. You get an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U, 8 GB RAM, and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU. The 14-inch screen offers a FHD resolution with wide viewing angles. The notebook does not heat up much, with the temperatures around the keyboard and trackpad area hovering around a comfortable 40.2 °C and 30 °C respectively when under maximum load. If you are looking for a laptop that offers the best portability while still being a potent performer, the Acer Swift 3 should be high up on your list.

Buy the Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G below:

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Best Display

For a multimedia notebook, display quality is everything. Whether you're an artist or content creator, having high resolution displays with good color accuracy is paramount. Displays that cover the maximum color gamut in sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces are important to reproduce the vibrancy in the picture and provide an immersive experience. Some of the notebooks also feature touch screens and pen input, which help in easy interaction and navigation.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017)

The MacBook Pro 15 has one of the best displays among multimedia laptops.
The MacBook Pro 15 has one of the best displays among multimedia laptops.

The Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017) continues Apple's tradition of offering some of the best displays in the industry. The MacBook Pro 15 comes with a 2800 x 1800 resolution IPS display that has an excellent brightness of 523 nits. This makes the display look good both indoors and outdoors, even under direct sunlight. It covers almost 100% sRGB and close to 80% Adobe RGB color space making it an excellent choice for professionals. The display is also one of the most color accurate and comes factory calibrated with DeltaE (color and grayscale) values within target ranges. One slight caveat is that the display offers relatively poor response times, meaning it is still not very suited for fast-paced games. Overall, the 2017 MacBook Pro 15 does not disappoint if display quality is the main purchase criteria. 

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Runner-up: Dell XPS 15 9560

The Dell XPS 15 9560 with the UHD screen is a creator's delight.
The Dell XPS 15 9560 with the UHD screen is a creator's delight.

The Dell XPS 15 9560 has been a multimedia enthusiast's favorite, and that's not without reason. The XPS 15 comes with options of FHD and UHD Sharp IGZO panels, and while the FHD panel is good enough, it's the UHD option that stands out due to its resolution and color gamut. Display brightness is also good with a maximum of 350 nits. While the FHD display is better suited for outdoor work, the UHD option will appeal to media professionals, as it offers close to 100% Adobe RGB color space and covers more than 100% of sRGB. Response times are fair considering this is not a gaming laptop with a black-to-white response time of 23.6 ms and grey-to-grey response time of 27.2 ms. There are some issues with certain XPS 15 units, though, most prominent of them being backlight bleed, uncentered panels, and uneven brightness/color. If not for these issues, the XPS 15 could have easily usurped the MacBook Pro 15's best display crown. Still, the UHD display of the XPS 15 9560 stands out among most of the Windows laptops released in 2017.

Buy the Dell XPS 15 9560 below:

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Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
APPA031, IPS, 15.4, 2880x1800
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
IGZO IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Razer Blade (2017)
LP140WF3-SPD1, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
BOE06C3, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Gigabyte Aero 15
N156HCA-EA1 (CMN15D7), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
48 (23.6, 24.4)
57.2 (27.2, 30)
25.2 (18, 17.2)
41.2 (23.2, 18)
42.8 (23.6, 19.2)
Response Time Black / White *
33.8 (19.6, 14.2)
39.2 (23.6, 15.6)
24.8 (13.2, 11.6)
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
32 (18.8, 13.2)
PWM Frequency
119000 (80, 210)
961.5
21370
1000
26000 (20)
Screen
Brightness middle
545
370.1
272
338.7
320
Brightness
523
356
277
325
316
Brightness Distribution
86
87
84
91
90
Black Level *
0.44
0.37
0.26
0.28
0.36
Contrast
1239
1000
1046
1210
889
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.6
5.3
4.59
4.9
4.62
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3.8
9.9
8.49
8.7
9.75
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
4.6
4.28
5.5
6
Gamma
2.26 106%
2.31 104%
2.23 108%
2.08 115%
2.46 98%
CCT
6834 95%
6284 103%
6848 95%
7498 87%
6761 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88.3
55
63.5
60
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
83
86.92
92
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

Best Performance

Most of the notebooks featured in this list feature high-performant CPUs and GPUs, therefore, you cannot really go wrong with any of the above choices. But there are certain differences when tested extensively. This is mostly due to OEM-related things such as the firmware, chassis size (that results in throttling), choice of storage subsystems etc. Whether these differences would actually matter in day-to-day usage depends on your workflow. Nevertheless, based on the CPU and GPU benchmarks, we are recommending the following notebooks as top performers in the multimedia segment.

Winner: Gigabyte Aero 15

The Gigabye Aero 15 is the notebook of choice for multimedia performance enthusiasts.
The Gigabye Aero 15 is the notebook of choice for multimedia performance enthusiasts.

The Gigabyte Aero 15 takes the crown as the best performer in the enthusiast multimedia category. The notebook incorporates the 45W Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU that boosts up to 3.8 GHz under load without anomaly in the Cinebench loop test. The Aero 15 scored 161 and 742 points in single-core and multi-core Cinebench R15 tests respectively. It also leads its class in PCMark 8 with scores of 5290 (Work Score) and 4248 (Home Score). GPU performance is also on par with the competition with 11173 points in 3DMark, thanks to the GTX 1060 GPU. Gaming at FHD with full AA enabled is easily possible and the GTX 1060 offers a lot of compute power for number crunching in demanding 3D programs. Other laptops featuring the GTX 1060 that aced the Aero 15 were the Acer Aspire VN7-593G and the MSI GS63VR 7RF, but they cater more towards the gaming crowd than crossing into the realm of multimedia machines. The Aero 15 also runs quieter (39 dBA) than the XPS 15 (47 dBA) despite featuring a higher-powered GPU. One of the unique points of the Aero 15 is that the display comes pre-calibrated for Pantone standards of color accurate out of the box, and indeed our unit required no calibration. When on the look out for a notebook that offers great multimedia performance and can also game comfortably at high settings, you'd be hard pressed to give the Gigabyte Aero 15 a miss.

Buy the Gigabyte Aero 15 below:

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Runner-up: Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD

The Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD shows enough muscle for a multimedia enthusiast notebook.
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD shows enough muscle for a multimedia enthusiast notebook.

The Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD comes quite close to the Gigabyte Aero 15 in most tests. It bests the Aero 15 by a hair's breath in the Cinebench R15 single-core score (162 points) and trails closely behind it in the multi-core test (739 points). The ZenBook Pro UX550 is also right behind the Aero 15 in PCMark 8 (Work Score) with a score of 5028 points and comfortably ahead of the Dell XPS 15 9560 (4422 points) and the Apple MacBook Pro 15 (4648 points). The notebook is fitted with the Samsung PM961 SSD, ensuring that storage will not be a bottleneck for day-to-day system performance. The GPU performance is a little on the lower side in synthetic benchmarks compared to the Dell XPS 15 9560, which also features the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. However, real gaming tests placed the ZenBook Pro UX550 ahead of the XPS 15 9560 (albeit only marginally). The Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD, therefore, offers great multimedia performance with decent gaming chops for the specs.

Addendum: The more expensive brother of the UX550VD, the UX550VE, was just reviewed and received a similar score to the UX550VD. The VE model differs in that it features a touchscreen and GTX 1050Ti GPU.

Buy the Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD below:

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Special Mention: Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G

The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G gets a lot of things right when it comes to performance.
The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G gets a lot of things right when it comes to performance.

The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G is a good performance contender that does not offer too many compromises. In fact, it has strong single-core performance in Cinebench R15 (171 points) beating even the Gigabyte Aero 15 (161 points) and the Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD (162 points). Multi-core performance is, however, not as strong (585 points). The 8th generation 15W Intel Core i7-8550U is no slouch when compared to the 45W 7th generation Intel Core-i7 7700HQ found in most laptops in this category. The results are evident in the PCMark scores wherein the Aspire 5 trails behind the Aero 15 by just 2%. The Aspire 5 comes with an M.2 SSD and a 1 TB HDD, providing a good combination of speed and storage space. The MX150 GPU is good enough for multimedia but is miles behind the GTX 1050 when it comes to gaming. Though it is significantly behind the other contenders in this list, the MX150 should enable gaming at low to medium settings at HD resolutions. The Acer Aspire 5 offers commendable performance that's just about right for basic content creation and consumption at a fair price.

Buy the Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G below:

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Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
1.95 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
1.84 Points ∼94%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
1.78 Points ∼91%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
1.77 Points ∼91%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
8.23 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
8.14 Points ∼99%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
6.44 Points ∼78%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5.76 Points ∼70%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
171 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
162 Points ∼95%
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
161 Points ∼94%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
157 Points ∼92%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
154 Points ∼90%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
742 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
739 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
735 Points ∼99%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
585 Points ∼79%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
519 Points ∼70%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
5290 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
5193 Points ∼98%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5028 (min: 5001, max: 5045) Points ∼95%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
4422 Points ∼84%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4217 Points ∼80%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
4248 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4207 (min: 4206, max: 4213) Points ∼99%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3910 Points ∼92%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
3588 Points ∼84%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3457 Points ∼81%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
8966 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7442 (min: 7434, max: 7459) Points ∼83%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4184 Points ∼47%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4023 Points ∼45%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
14265 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7461 (min: 7273, max: 7576) Points ∼52%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4564 Points ∼32%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4519 Points ∼32%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
37.7 fps ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
20 fps ∼53%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
19.8 fps ∼53%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
12.8 fps ∼34%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
68.2 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
38.2 fps ∼56%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
37 fps ∼54%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
22.8 fps ∼33%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
68.4 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
64.9 fps ∼95%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
39.5 fps ∼58%
For Honor
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:T AF:16x
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
70.1 fps ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
36.3 fps ∼52%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:8x
Gigabyte Aero 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
95.6 fps ∼100%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
50.8 fps ∼53%

Long Battery Life

Given the advances in CPU and GPU technology, relatively sleek notebooks have now started to offer at least 7 hours of battery life as standard in the multimedia segment, sometimes going even up till 9 or 10 hours depending on the load. Needless to say, all the notebooks featured resort to the integrated GPU for less intensive applications and will only call upon the dedicated GPU as and when needed.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro 15 (2017)

The MacBook Pro 15 features a 76 Wh battery. (Source: iFixit)
The MacBook Pro 15 features a 76 Wh battery. (Source: iFixit)

Apple's claims of a 10-hour battery life on the latest MacBook Pro 15 are far from fiction. The MacBook Pro 15's 76 Wh battery is the longest lasting in this list. At a luminance of 150 nits, the notebook lasted close to 11 hours during our WiFi Surfing test, which is commendable. The MacBook Pro lasted for about 8:30 hours during the 1080p video loop test (150 nits, no WiFi). The MacBook Pro 15 benefits from the down-to-the-metal optimizations of macOS, which further boosts energy savings. You can, therefore, carry the MacBook Pro 15 to work knowing that you can leave the charger at home.

Runner-up: Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5

The 60 Wh battery in the Mi Notebook Pro i5 lasts a full work day.
The 60 Wh battery in the Mi Notebook Pro i5 lasts a full work day.

The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 is a strong contender to the Apple MacBook Pro 15 in terms of offering a long-lasting battery. Although it has a lower battery capacity at 60 Wh, the Intel Core i5-8250U that powers this laptop is a very power-efficient chip. The Mi Notebook Pro lasts a full 10 hours in our WiFi surfing test (luminance set to 150 nits) and beats the MacBook Pro 15 in the 1080p video loop test. As long as the notebook is not taxed, it should be able to last a full day without needing to charge in between. 

Buy the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 below:

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Battery Runtime
1920x1080 Witcher 3 ultra 150cd
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
87 min ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 (12 fps)
83 min ∼95%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD (19 fps)
68 min ∼78%
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
644 min ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
597 min ∼93%
Razer Blade (2017)
545 min ∼85%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
535 min ∼83%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
434 min ∼67%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
377 min ∼59%
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
644 min ∼118%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
597 min ∼110%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
535 min ∼98%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
434 min ∼80%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
377 min ∼69%
Razer Blade (2017)
545 min ∼100%
Witcher 3 ultra
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
87 min ∼128%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
83 min ∼122%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
68 min ∼100%

Best Value for Money

Getting hold of a good multimedia notebook does not always mean that you have to empty your savings account. There are notebooks that enable you to be just as productive for a lot less. Most of the notebooks featured in the list come with the ability to add on RAM and storage at a later date. Hence, it makes sense to purchase the essential configuration now and expand on it as and when needed. Some of the notebooks, like the latest MacBook Pro 15, come with soldered RAM and SSDs, forcing you to weigh your future upgrade requirements carefully before purchasing.   

Winner: Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G

The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G offers great performance for the price.
The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G offers great performance for the price.

The Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G takes the crown as the notebook with the best value for money in the multimedia segment. The specs are decent for the price and the performance is also on par with the rest of the other notebooks especially in CPU-related tasks. The inclusion of the MX150 GPU ensures that applications that are GPU-dependent work well. The 17.3-inch FHD display also offers plenty of screen estate to multitask. To achieve a 1089-Euro price point, the notebook does cut some corners. The performance of the AC adapter is not up to the mark and, like the 15-inch Surface Book 2, actually drains the battery under full load. The WiFi performance, though good, is not the best in class. The keyboard could have also been better considering the price. All in all, the Acer Aspire 5 ticks all the right boxes for a capable multimedia notebook without breaking the bank.

Runner-up: Dell Inspiron 17 7773

The Dell Inspiron 17 7773 is specced well at a decent price.
The Dell Inspiron 17 7773 is specced well at a decent price.

The Dell Inspiron 17 7773 is a rather unconventional notebook: it is the only 17-inch convertible available and offers a great performance for the price. The Intel Core i7-8550U combined with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU makes for a potent combination. The storage is a mix of SSD and traditional HDD options. This being a convertible, can adapt to different productivity scenarios with ease — although it would be herculean to lug it around as a tablet. It does have its share of negatives, but given the decent specs and performance, the Dell Inspiron 17 7773 is one of our strong recommendations for a good price-to-performance mix. 

Buy the Dell Inspiron 17 7773 below:

Pricecompare

More to come in 2018

We've already started seeing a taste of what's to come in 2018. From the much awaited 8th generation 45W Intel 'Coffee Lake' hexa-core CPUs to more laptops featuring Ryzen Mobile, we will soon be spoilt for choice even more. We have just received the HP Envy x360 featuring the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U APU and the initial impressions have so for been impressive. The on-board Vega GPU should lend some good muscle to power through common multimedia tasks. We will be coming up with a full review of the Envy x360 soon, so stay tuned. The icing on the cake, however, has been the announcement of the new Intel-AMD multi-chip module, which should up the ante of enthusiast multimedia notebooks in the next year. We will also see a lot of current generation notebooks getting a spec bump or two in the run up to CES 2018 and beyond. Till then, have fun with your shiny new notebook while we continue to bring you the very best of tech news and reviews.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The 10 Best Multimedia Laptops for Late 2017
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-11-30 (Update: 2017-12- 1)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.