HP ProBook 450 G3 / 455 G3 review – what a budget business notebook should look like

IMG_0848We really can’t get enough of those HP ProBooks. Even though the ProBook lineup isn’t representing the high-end segment of the market, HP’s budget business selection seems underrated as they offer somewhat superb working experience with elegant and robust chassis, excellent keyboard and touchpad, not to mention the provided M.2 SSD slot, which is quite a rare find at this price range. You might have already heard our opinion of the 14-inch version (440 G3) and it doesn’t differ too much for the 15-inch model as well.

Anyway, here we are going to focus on the differences between the Intel-powered model (450 G3) and the AMD-powered one (455 G3). Both configurations feature discrete GPU, AMD Radeon R7 M340, so we don’t expect any gap between the two in terms of raw graphics performance. With the 450 G3 and 455 G3 having nearly the same asking price, we are curious to see how the Core i5-6200U will stack against the new AMD APU – A8-7410.

There’s one important thing to note here, though. Most regions don’t offer the configuration we are currently reviewing, but instead, the notebooks rely on the integrated GPUs – Intel HD Graphics 520 in the Intel-powered configuration and Radeon R5 in AMD’s case.

If you are interested in buying one of the aforementioned configurations, make sure to check out the HP ProBook 455 G3 here and the 450 G3 here.

Contents


Retail package

The notebook came in a standard packaging without any additional accessories, except for a DVD with drivers, AC adapter, cable and the device itself.


IMG_0957

IMG_0962

Design and construction

We will try to be brief here, as we already gave our opinion of the overall design and construction in ProBook 440 G3’s review. The 15-inch and 14-inch versions share absolutely the same design language and materials but, of course, the 15-incher weighs (2.217 kg) a bit more and it’s slightly bigger.


IMG_0843

IMG_0846

The lid is covered in a black matte, slightly rubberized, plastic providing secure grip, nice feel, and relatively good sturdiness. Nonetheless, the panel sinks under pressure but nothing problematic. Hinges aren’t too tight so opening the laptop with one hand is possible but keeps the screen stable and firmly in position. The bottom piece adopts two service lids – one of the RAM chips and the other for managing the storage devices. There are also a few vent openings for extra airflow and the battery is user-replaceable.


IMG_0877

IMG_0871

IMG_0872

IMG_0876

Luckily, the increase of height in the 455 G3 is quite unnoticeable with only a few millimeters – 24.8 mm vs 21.1 mm in favor of the 440 G3 (14-inch variant). The same goes for the port placement – the left side holds one HDMI port, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a VGA connector right next to the main exhaust vent. The right side adopts another set of two USB 3.0 ports, LAN and 3.5 mm jack. There’s also the optical drive if you still have the need for those. The sides are built from silver-colored plastic mimicking the brushed aluminum-finish in the interior.


IMG_0852

IMG_0854

IMG_0855

IMG_0868

Speaking of which, it’s noticeably bigger than the one on the 14-inch version, giving more room for the wrist rest area as well as letting the keyboard stretch with a Numpad. Oh, and the keyboard is awesome as usual – long key travel, good spacing (maybe on the tight side, but easy to get used to) and excellent ergonomics. The same kind words apply to the touchpad, which is responsive, sometimes unwilling to register a two-finger swipe, but the mouse buttons are really comfortable to use. Of course, the best part in the interior is the brushed aluminum plate giving extraordinary sturdiness and a nice touch.


IMG_0850

IMG_0860

IMG_0865


IMG_0859

IMG_0869

It might be a bit hefty for some (2.270 kg), but at this price range, we can’t really complain. Also, the build quality is quite frankly unmatched for the asking price so now we only need to check a few more things – battery life, performance and cooling capabilities.

Display and sound

HP ProBook 450/455 G3’s display uses a TN panel with WXGA resolution (1366×768), or HD, in a 15.6-inch diagonal. This means 16:9 aspect ratio, 100 ppi pixel density and 0.253 x 0.253 pixel pitch. It can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 86 cm.

940-Micr-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Viewing angles are narrow due to the TN matrix.

940-Angles-HP ProBook 455 G3

We were able to record 233 cd/m2 maximum brightness in the middle of the screen and 226 cd/m2 average. The maximum deviation is 12% in the upper-right corner. For white point, we’ve recorded 6910K in the middle of the screen and 6850K average color temperature while the maximum deviation is -3.6%. When it comes to color deviation, the maximum dE2000 is 2.9 and average is 1.7.

940-MaxBrightness-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Color reproduction

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. Starting with the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy. Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that has been used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used by professional cameras, monitors and etc. for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Of course, the display covers just half of the sRGB gamut (53%) but it should be sufficient for office work and general browsing.

940-GAMUT-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Below you will see practically the same image before and after calibration. Color circles represent the reference colors and white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut. The profile has been set to 140 cd/m2 and optimal white point – D65 (6500K).


940-BefColors-HP-ProBook-455-G3

940-AftColors-HP-ProBook-455-G3

The contrast ratio is pretty low – 250:1 – and it goes even lower after calibration – 220:1. Also, the gamma with stock settings will make up for brighter images.


BefGamma-HP-ProBook-455-G3

AftGamma-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Below you can see the results from the accuracy color checker with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. The results are before and after calibration.


940-BefColors-HP-ProBook-455-G3

940-AftColors-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)

Unfortunately, the PWM is recorded throughout all brightness levels (except 100%, of course) but the emitted light pulsates at higher frequency (22 kHz) and can be considered less harmful than usual.

940-PWM-HP ProBook 455 G3

Conclusion

The notebook’s display has understandably low specs and it should do fine for the usual office work and browsing. However, it cannot be overlooked the fact that it has relatively low contrast ratio and uses PWM from 0 to 99%. So it’s advisable that you use an external monitor most of the time, otherwise, the notebook is a solid performer and plenty of other features you should take advantage of.

Sound

The stereo loudspeakers deliver good sound quality with little resonance at higher frequencies.

620-Sound-HP-ProBook-455-G3

Buy our display profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for Dell Inspiron 15 5567 configurations with 15.6″ LG LGD0465 (HD, 1366 × 768) TN screen, which can be found at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vLnvVn

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

[edd_item edd_id_1=’102880′ edd_id_2=’102885′ edd_id_3=’102888′ edd_id_4=’102892′]

Specs sheet

Configurations may differ depending on your region.
We’ve tested the 450 G3 and 455 G3 variants of the notebook with the only difference being the CPU

CPU Intel Core i5-6200U (2-core, 2.30 – 2.80 GHz, 3MB cache) / AMD A8-7410 (2-core, 2.20 – 2.50 GHz, 2MB cache)
RAM 8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR3L-1600
GPU AMD Radeon R7 M340 (2GB DDR3)
HDD/SSD 1TB HDD (5400 rpm) + empty M.2 SATA SSD slot
Display 15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1366×768, TN panel, matte
Optical Drive DVD burner
Connectivity LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Other features
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • webcam
  • microphone
  • 3.5 mm combo audio
  • HDMI
  • RJ-45
  • VGA
  • card reader(SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • fingerprint scanner
Battery 4-cell, 44Wh
Thickness 23.8 – 24.8 mm (0.94 – 0.98″)
Weight 2.270 kg (5 lbs)


Software

We used a fresh install of Windows 10 (64-bit) for the testing of both devices and if you wish, you can find all the needed drivers from HP’s official support page.

For HP ProBook 450 G3 drivers, click here.

For HP ProBook 455 G3 drivers, click here.

Battery

And here’s the first surprise. As you may have guessed, the Intel variant offers more raw performance and holds an edge over AMD’s solution, but if you are aiming for overall better battery life, you might want to go for the AMD A8-7410 variant. The 455 G3 offers around 25% better browsing runtimes compared to the Intel Core i5-6200U version while using the same battery capacity, display, discrete GPU etc. But the video playback result wasn’t as convincing and still a bit better than Intel’s version. And as always, all tests were performed using the following settings: Wi-Fi turned on, battery saver switched on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.

Web browsing

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

net

Excellent readings for the 455 G3 – 500 minutes (8 hours and 20 minutes).
But slightly lower result for the Intel variant (450 G3) – 375 minutes (6 hours and 15 minutes)

Video playback

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.

hp_probook_440_g3_K9J48EA (1)

Negligible difference here – 379 minutes (6 hours and 19 minutes) for the 450 G3 and 375 minutes (6 hours and 15 minutes) for the 455 G3.

Gaming

We recently started using F1 2015’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.

game

When it comes to gaming, both laptops scored nearly identical results as well – 175 minutes for the 455 G3 and 173 minutes for the 450 G3.

CPU – Intel Core i5-6200U (450 G3) / AMD A8-7410 (455 G3)

Intel Core i5-6200U

Intel_Core_i5_logo-300x400Intel Core i5-6200U is a 6th generation dual-core CPU. It is manufactured using 14 nm FinFET process, meaning it’s part of the Ultra-Low Voltage lineup.The CPU is clocked at 2.3GHz, but thanks to the Turbo Boost technology it could automatically increase its clock speeds up to 2.8GHz for a single core and 2.7GHz when two cores are functioning. It is designed using Intel’s Skylake architecture allowing it to have similar performance to Intel Core i7-5500U, which is part of the Broadwell lineup. The CPU boasts four logical cores and 3MB level 3 cache. It consumes 15W of energy and can operate at a maximum temperature of 100 degrees Celsius.

The SoC also integrates Intel HD Graphics 520. Its performance is similar to that of NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 820 GPU. The GPU can be clocked at up to 1000MHz. The SoC supports the Dual-Channel DDR3L-1600/DDR4-2133 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, AVX2, Quick Sync, Virtualization and AES-NI technologies.

You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/

Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i5-6200u/

AMD A8-7410

_original_logo__amd_accelerated_a8_processor_elite_by_18cjoj-d70hxjqThe AMD A8-7410 is based on Puma+ architecture and represents the Carrizo-L CPU lineup, which stands for entry-level devices and subnotebooks. The chip offers four compute cores clocked at up to 2.5 GHz and having a base clock of 2.2 GHz. It’s built around 28nm manufacturing process with configurable TDP of the whole SoC. It can go as low as 12W or as high as 25W and this includes the single-channel DDR3L-1866 memory controller and the integrated graphics chip – Radeon R5.

Speaking of which, it has 128 shaders running at a maximum of 850 MHz. The most impressive feature of the Radeon R5 is the ability to decode videos up to 4K resolution using the UVD (Unified Video Decoder). The chip also uses the specialized video encoder called VCE. The Radeon R5 can support up to two displays at once using either VGA, DVI, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2.

You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/

Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/amd-a8-7410/

Fritz

Fritz is a chess benchmark which tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i5-6200U managed to get 5.477 million moves per second while the AMD A8 7410 scored 4.483 million. For comparison, one of the most powerful PCs, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.

CPU performance


GPU – AMD Radeon R7 M340 (2GB DDR3)

Radeon-r7The AMD Radeon R7 M340 is a low-end graphics card used for entry-level laptops and it’s based on the so-called Tonga chip so it supports the essential features like DirectX 12, Vulkan and FreeSync.

However, the chip is clocked at 1021 MHz with five compute cores so it should be a tad faster than the R5 M335. And just like its predecessors with the Tonga chip, this one offers 64-bit bus width on a DDR3 VRAM, 320 shading units and it’s produced using a 28nm process.

You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/

Here you will find other useful information and every notebook with this GPU that we’ve tested: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/amd-radeon-r7-m340-2gb-ddr3/


Temperatures

This test doesn’t actually represent real-life usage but it’s a good way to assess the overall performance of the cooling system and the stability of the laptop in the long run. We use 100% CPU load + 100% GPU load to see how the machine handles high workload for extended periods of time.

We started off with the CPU torture test and found out that both machines, with both chips, handle the pressure pretty well while keeping the maximum operating frequencies stable without signs of thermal throttling. The maximum operating temperature for the AMD chip was around 66 °C while Intel’s chip maintained around 66 °C.


ProBook 450 G3
450 g3 cpu

ProBook 455 G3
probook 455 g3 cpu

Up until now, there were no significant differences between the 455 G3 and 450 G3, but after we turned on the GPU stress test, things started to look different. Surprisingly, the AMD model handled both workloads, of the CPU and GPU, with ease while maintaining relatively low temperatures without signs of thermal throttling but the same cannot be said for the Intel variant. The GPU stress test took a toll on the system and the graphics chip started throttling at 88 °C (for the record, AMD’s variant kept the GPU at 73 °C). And while the notebook isn’t intended for such heavy workloads for long periods of time, it’s important to note that the AMD-powered model handles the heat better. Maybe this was kind of expected given the bigger “horsepower” the Core i5 CPU has to offer.


ProBook 450 G3
450 g3 gpu

ProBook 455 G3
probook 455 g3 gpu

Anyway, temperatures on the surface remained roughly the same in both variants with no signs of overheating.


ProBook 450 G3
450 g3

ProBook 455 G3
455 g3

Verdict

Quite frankly, we weren’t surprised by the ProBook at all since the review of the 14-inch model. Our opinion of the product remains unchanged and it’s mostly positive. We are happy with the build quality, the good choice of materials and overall design. All of this make up for a reliable, sturdy and elegant product which is rarely found in this price range. The chassis also holds four USB ports on top of all other standard connectivity options and, of course, doesn’t lack the much needed good typing experience offering excellent keyboard and touchpad usability.

On the hardware front, the 15-inch ProBook is offered in two variants – with Intel CPU and AMD chip and we were able to test out just the Core i5-6200U and the AMD A8-7410 configurations and since they cost just about the same, we thought a good comparison will help users decide whether to stick with the Intel-powered model or try out the new AMD chip. It turns out that if you need more raw power, the Intel Core i5-6200U delivers considerably higher performance than its AMD counterpart, but if battery life is what you seek, the 455 G3 holds an edge over the Core i5 with around 25% better browsing runtimes. Stil, both machines will do just fine away from the power grid. Otherwise, there’s no significant difference in heat management and other hardware in both models – even the displays are the same.

Speaking of which, the ProBook has an energy-efficient TN panel suitable for office work and browsing but the lack of sRGB gamut and low contrast ratio make it somehow inappropriate for multimedia purposes. But this is expected with a business-oriented notebook but we still suggest using an external monitor most of the times when working for longer hours due to the detected PWm from 0 to 99% screen brightness. However, the frequency of the pulsations are pretty high and will most likely affect only users with sensitive eyes.

All and all, the HP ProBook 455/450 G3 is a great all-rounder with tons of useful features no matter with which model you choose to go with.

If you are interested in buying one of the aforementioned configurations, make sure to check out the HP ProBook 455 G3 here and the 450 G3 here.

Pros

  • Excellent design, sturdy construction and good choice of materials
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Supports M.2 SSD
  • Long battery runtimes (even better with the AMD variant)
  • Good value
  • Expanded port range


Cons

  • PWM from 0 to 99% screen brightness
  • Low contrast ratio
  • The 450 G3 model throttles at higher loads

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lalinda
Lalinda
6 years ago

Does the low contrast have a Terrible effect when watching movies or playing games?
I want to buy acer 574 tn panel core i3 hd version or pro book 450 g3.
Which is better?

Simeon Nikolov
Admin
6 years ago
Reply to  Lalinda

Hello, Lalinda!
It depends on what are you going to use for your notebook, but I’d bet on the HP or another configuration with i5 processor, at least. These CPUs are ULV, so keep in mind that you can’t expect great performance, and even less from an i3. Check out our CPU rankings:

BTW – you can support our media if you buy your next machine through our link 🙂 > Acer Aspire 574, HP ProBook 450

Asen
Asen
6 years ago

I’m looking to buy the version with i7-6500U but I can find it only with the DDR3L. Can I replace it with DDR4 after purchase?

Rossen Pandev
6 years ago
Reply to  Asen

No, the motherboard doesn’t support DDR4 RAM. And besides, you won’t notice the difference in real-life use.

Mark De Vriendt
Mark De Vriendt
6 years ago

If I read the specs right, I can purchase the SSD based model for overall speed and add a 1 TB SATA HDD afterwards to increase capacity?

Rossen Pandev
6 years ago

It strongly depends on your region and retailer. They might sell units with only M.2 or only HDD or both.

Warren Peace
Warren Peace
6 years ago

What does this mean? “The 450 G3 model throttles at higher loads”

Does anyone know?

Also, can you get it with Windows 7, not that bloated pigware Win10?

Rossen Pandev
6 years ago
Reply to  Warren Peace

It means that during heavy load for longer periods, the system can’t utilize the full performance of the CPU and underclocks it below the given base clocks. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for most users as I stated in the temperatures section.

sili
sili
6 years ago

How noisy is the system idle and under load? is the fan loud?

La Bette
6 years ago

Is it possible to upgrade the graphics card to 4GB Nvidia graphics card? If yes is there any negative effects to doing so?