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The Best Budget Multimedia Notebooks

January 2022 update. Whether you are looking at gaming, office use, or photo and video editing, multimedia laptops cover a wide spectrum. Below, you will find the all-round notebooks with the best price-performance ratio as well as true bargains.
Sebastian Bade, 👁 J. Simon Leitner (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 🇩🇪 🇸🇪 ...

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 Best Budget Multimedia Laptops

Position
Testergebnis
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
186.4 %
10/2021
Acer Swift 3 SF316-51Acer Swift 3 SF316-51
Intel Core i7-11370H
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.7 kg15.9 mm16.10"1920x1080matte
286.1 %
09/2021
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro 16ACHLenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro 16ACH
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2 kg17.5 mm16.00"2560x1600matte
386.1 %
12/2021
Acer Swift 3X SF314-510G-70DWAcer Swift 3X SF314-510G-70DW
Intel Core i7-1165G7
Intel Iris Xe MAX Graphics
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.4 kg17.9 mm14.00"1920x1080matte
485.6 %
11/2021
Asus VivoBook 15 Pro M3500QC-L1062Asus VivoBook 15 Pro M3500QC-L1062
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.7 kg19.9 mm15.60"1920x1080glossy
584.2 %
12/2020
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 14ARE05 82A20008GELenovo Yoga Slim 7 14ARE05 82A20008GE
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.4 kg14.9 mm14.00"1920x1080glossy
684.1 %
03/2021
Honor MagicBook Pro 10210UHonor MagicBook Pro 10210U
Intel Core i5-10210U
NVIDIA GeForce MX350
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.7 kg16.9 mm16.10"1920x1080matte
783.5 %
08/2021
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05
AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
16 GB Memory
1.7 kg19.1 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
882.4 %
08/2021
HP Envy 17-cgHP Envy 17-cg
Intel Core i5-1135G7
NVIDIA GeForce MX450
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2.7 kg19.3 mm17.30"1920x1080glossy
981.2 %
06/2021
HP Pavilion 15-egHP Pavilion 15-eg
Intel Core i7-1165G7
NVIDIA GeForce MX450
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.7 kg17.9 mm15.60"1920x1080glossy
1080.2 %
11/2021
Asus Vivobook 15 K513EQAsus Vivobook 15 K513EQ
Intel Core i7-1165G7
NVIDIA GeForce MX350
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.6 kg17.9 mm15.60"1920x1080glossy

The table above contains an overview over the best budget multimedia notebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ.
Link: all devices in this class reviewed

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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.

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1st - Acer Swift 3 SF316

Acer Swift 3 SF316
Acer Swift 3 SF316

The Acer Swift 3 SF316 is one of the more affordable mid-range laptops yet still managed to secure first place on this list thanks to its high overall total rating. Our particular review unit lacked a dedicated GPU, which means all things graphics were handled by the Intel Core i7-11370H’s iGPU, which should be fast enough for simple multimedia tasks. Gaming is certainly not on the menu even though less demanding games will run fine.

Benefits include the well-calibrated display, a long battery life, good overall system performance, good maintenance options, a quiet mode of operation, and its low price.

The Acer Swift 3 is a great 16-inch multimedia notebook with a good display and a fast CPU.

Visually, the device comes across as a sleek and modern design thanks to its thin bezels, and its comparatively low weight is very respectable for a 16-inch device.

The Acer Swift 3 is available for slightly over $1,000 on Amazon.

Pricecompare

2nd – IdeaPad 5 Pro

IdeaPad 5 Pro 16ACH
IdeaPad 5 Pro 16ACH

The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro is a powerful and long-lasting all-rounder based on AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 platform. In addition to the powerful 8-core CPU this 16-inch notebook also features 16 GB of soldered RAM as well as a 512 GB large SSD. The 16:10 display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz is also worth noting as it performed pretty well overall and offered a decent color gamut.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro is a powerful all-rounder with a good display.

Should you choose to use the IdeaPad 5 Pro for gaming you are not necessarily limited to the Ryzen’s iGPU as a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 1650 Mobile is also available, and it is powerful enough to run even current games as long as you don’t mind gaming in reduced details.

If you prefer Intel’s platform the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro is also available with Intel’s Tiger Lake SoC equipped with a slower Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU, the same display, and an optional 16 GB of RAM.

At the time of writing the AMD SKU was unavailable in North America while the Intel SKU was listed on Amazon with prices starting at $930.

3rd – Acer Swift 3X SF314

Acer Swift 3X SF314
Acer Swift 3X SF314

The Acer Aspire 3X SF314 is a powerful Swift 3 model powered by an Intel Core i7-1165G7 as well as a dedicated Intel Iris Xe Max Graphics GPU that should be adequate for casual gaming. Oher benefits include a large SSD and a good IPS panel, and all that for around 1,000 Euros.

The Acer Aspire 3X SF314 is an affordable all-rounder with adequate gaming performance and Thunderbolt 4.

The device is currently not available in North America.

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Pricecompare

4th – Asus VivoBook 15 Pro

Asus VivoBook 15 Pro
Asus VivoBook 15 Pro

Asus’s new VivoBook series is a line-up of good multimedia notebooks with a good price-performance ratio. The Asus VivoBook 15 Pro offers an AMD Ryzen APU paired with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GPU. The devices offers decent system performance and a high-quality OLED panel. With a price of slightly north of $1,000  it is most certainly a great pick if display quality is important to you.

The new VivoBook 15 Pro offers good performance paired with a great OLED display. In return, it requires some connectivity compromises.

The compromises detailed in our extensive review are something you will have to either live with or address with external hardware.

The device is listed on Asus USA’s website but currently not yet available in North America.

Pricecompare

5th – Lenovo Yoga Slim 7

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 (see review here) offers a brand-new AMD APU with excellent system performance and decent gaming performance. For less than $1,000 you get a device with plenty of performance, a quiet cooler, long battery life, and last but not least a PWM-free display.

We liked its simplistic modern design resulting in a very slim case. Nevertheless, the aluminum chassis offered decent sturdiness, even the display lid. In return, we would have expected more of its external ports as it only offers two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports without support for Thunderbolt 3, and HDMI, which is not necessarily a deciding purchase criterion.

Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7 is a modern multimedia notebook with plenty of performance and a usable iGPU.

Its 512 GB NVMe SSD was very fast and acceptably spacious for a multimedia device. If you need more space you will have to either replace the SSD or add a secondary via the M.2-2242 slot.

Pricecompare

6th – Honor MagicBook Pro

Great price-performance ratio: Honor MagicBook Pro
Great price-performance ratio: Honor MagicBook Pro

The MagicBook Pro (see review here) is a true price-performance hit and a great all-round notebook with gaming ambitions. Thanks to AMD’s latest Renoir SoC the multimedia device not only offers improved multi-core capabilities but also a Vega-based iGPU. Other benefits include a modern design and a robust base, and the Honor MagicBook Pro scored very well overall and thus deserves its spot on our top 10 list.

At around 900 Euros the Honor MagicBook Pro receives our full endorsement if you are looking for a multimedia laptop.

Nevertheless, it is not entirely free of drawbacks. Its speakers are average at best, and the device turned out to be fairly load. It also lacked an SD card reader.

Pricecompare

7th - Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15
Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 5 is a powerful and long-running all-rounder based on an Zen2-series AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU. 16 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM should be enough for most applications, and it uses the integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 7 GPU instead of a dedicated chip.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15ALC05 is a powerful all-rounder with long battery life.

Its pros outweigh the cons, and making this top 10 list was a breeze for the IdeaPad 5. Its thin case is modern and compact, although case temperatures under load get uncomfortably hot. The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U offers fast system performance and long battery life. Connectivity, on the other hand, is limited due to the lack of Thunderbolt.

The device is available through Lenovo’s own webstore with prices starting at just south of $900.

Pricecompare

8th - HP Envy 17

HP Envy 17-cg1356ng
HP Envy 17-cg1356ng

The HP Envy 17 is not only a simple multimedia laptop but one aimed at creators. Its GeForce MX450 is more than powerful enough for everyday multimedia applications, and it is supported by a fast Tiger Lake SoC, 16 GB of RAM, and a fast SSD. And while this specific configuration will cost slightly more than the 1,000 Euros we are aiming for in order to qualify for this top 10 list it remains within the range of tolerance, particularly considering that other differently equipped SKUs can be had for noticeably less than 1,000 Euros and will offer many of our review unit’s benefits. Among others, these are the good-looking design, the high-quality materials, and the laptop’s good cooling system well capable of allowing for good turbo boost capabilities.

The HP Envy 17 is a solid piece of hardware that will intrigue many potential customers.

The device is available among others on Amazon with prices starting at around $1,100.

Pricecompare

9th – HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15
HP Pavilion 15

The HP Pavilion 15 offers good performance and a dedicated gaming-capable Nvidia GeForce M450 GPU. The 15.6-inch large notebook also offers a good keyboard and low overall emissions, good speakers, and charging via USB-C. On the flip side the display is not particularly bright, and the included power supply is only rated at a meagre 65 W.

The HP Pavilion 15 may be a good multimedia laptop, but it is too expensive for what it is.

Availability was very limited at the time of writing, and the only SKU listed on Amazon was one without aforementioned dedicated Nvidia GPU.

Pricecompare

10th – Asus Vivobook 15 K513

Asus Vivobook 15 K513
Asus Vivobook 15 K513

The Asus Vivobook 15 is a modern multimedia notebook with a robust case and good battery life. A high level of performance is ensured by Intel’s Core i7-1165G7 paired with 16 GB of RAM, a fast 512 GB NVMe SSD, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX350 for occasional gaming. 

The Asus Vivobook 15 is a good all-rounder with great OLED display, and it raises the bar in the realm of budget multimedia devices quite significantly.

The device is available among others on Amazon with prices starting at $1,000.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

399 mm / 15.7 inch 259 mm / 10.2 inch 19.3 mm / 0.76 inch 2.7 kg6.02 lbs369 mm / 14.5 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 16.9 mm / 0.665 inch 1.7 kg3.75 lbs367.8 mm / 14.5 inch 236.1 mm / 9.3 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.7 kg3.69 lbs359.8 mm / 14.2 inch 235.3 mm / 9.26 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.7 kg3.69 lbs360.2 mm / 14.2 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.7 kg3.85 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.44 lbs356.67 mm / 14 inch 233.13 mm / 9.18 inch 19.1 mm / 0.752 inch 1.7 kg3.76 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 251 mm / 9.88 inch 17.5 mm / 0.689 inch 2 kg4.36 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.4 kg3.02 lbs320.6 mm / 12.6 inch 208.18 mm / 8.2 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.4 kg3.09 lbs
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Sebastian Bade (Update: 2022-01-19)