Top 10 – Notebooks from the past 12 Months

-Place 1-

The MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460) (here in the test) is for years the first major Redesign of the workbones from the house Apple. It comes what had to come, the chassis became much thinner and lighter. Still, it is one of the best and highest quality notebook enclosures. The screen is a qualitative upper class and the huge trackpad provides great precision. As with the MacBook Pro, the touch bar is the focus. It is a small display, which serves as a replacement for the function keys and can be assigned differently depending on the software or application.

In our test, however, it became clear that the success will mainly depend on the software support, but the operation in the day-to-day life can become even more complicated.

Our test focuses on the top model with Core i7 6920HQ, AMD Radeon Pro 460, 16 GB main memory and 1,024 GB SSD. Cost: Just over 4,000 $. High performance is therefore pre-programmed and the cooling system plays amazingly well with. The GPU upgrade to AMD Radeon Pro 460 increases the performance of the basic GPU Radeon Pro 450 on average by a whopping 40 percent. With the CPU there is a small disadvantage.

The Core i7-6920HQ calculates approximately 10-15% faster than the normal Core i7-6700HQ, but this also applies to the new entry-level Quad Core Core i7-7700HQ. So you paid 400 $ for an “old” upgrade.

 

Criticism comes from the testers because of the bugs occurring, this also affects the basic configuration. Problems with WLAN connections in 2.4 GHz networks, if USB-C devices are connected. Problems with the speakers, if Windows via BootCamp is installed and image errors of the graphics card in the same mode. However, upcoming or already delivered updates should fix this.

Among the probably biggest criticisms is the radical change at the interfaces, because with 4x Thunderbolt 3 (USB type C) one is indeed very safe in the future, but without adapter you will not be in the foreseeable future.

In this sense, the MacBook Pro 15 2016 is indeed the No. 1 on the top list, with the high demands of a 3,000- to 4,000$ but it is not fair. It is a kind of intermediate step, before this chassis is equipped with Kaby-Lake processors next year. Then, certainly, the problems are eliminated and with Kaby-Lake there is a greater amount of computing power.

 

-Place 2-

 

The second part of a special notebook goes to the start, the Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full HD) (here in the test). Kaby Lake 45-Watt and GeForce GTX 1050 are designed to teach the competition, including the new MacBook Pro 15, the Fear. The device makes a big leap forward in terms of performance, especially through the GTX 1050. The ergonomics of the externally unchanged 15-inch chassis remains however on the ground. There is no excessive heat or volume in normal operation. The XPS 15 is hardly audible in the office, but the gaming pressure is a loud 47 dB.

Do not do without a full-fledged PCIe SSD and a larger battery. The hybrid solution in our test device (SSD cache + HDD) can not reach the water in terms of experienced speed of an SSD-only solution and is also always audible.

The XPS 15 is thus still a very compact 15-inch (Infinity Edge Display), which with its excellent display and high color accuracy (after calibration) as a professional working tool a good figure. Optionally, there is a 4K display in the test unit, which in the predecessor offered an even greater color space.

With a recharge time in the range of about 5.5 hours (WiFi test) can work for quite a while, but the expectations could be higher.

The high-end version with 4K-display, 512 GB SSD and Intel i7 7700HQ will be tested shortly. We will also test the version with full HD display, SSD and i7 7700HQ. We could not recognize the predecessor problem of a power throttling in the current starter configuration with 7300HQ either in the Cinebench loop or in the Witcher long-term test.

The top list shows, in the multimedia segment, there is currently only with the MacBook Pro 15 a similarly powerful and even more compact alternative, which is not quite on the side of the CPU. The version XPS 15 with 7700HQ will be able to reach the 6920HQ in the Apple at least the water. But even if not, Dell is just half the price.

-Place 3-

Asus’s 17-inch Asus N552VX was the first place to sit on top, even before the 15-inch sister. The N752VX-GC131T (tested here) is a variant with SSD, the 45-watt Skylake processor is standard in the series. While Acer is confusing the clientele of the Nitro series with Black Edition / Non-Black Edition, Thunderbolt yes / no, 15 watt or 45 watt SoC, Asus has a uniform concept: the 45 watt Skylake is as standard as The GTX 950M, whether it’s 15 or 17 inches. Unfortunately, a GDDR3 graphics memory is always installed, which considerably reduces the capabilities of the Nvidia chip. Asus probably deliberately wants a clear margin to the GL752VW (place 6), this 17-Zoller brings a GeForce GTX 960M with GDDR5. In terms of gaming, Acers Black Edition VN7-792G with GTX 960M is clearly ahead.

With the multimedia package, Asus does a lot of things right. A powerful CPU, a great sound system and an excellent display, which are housed together in a very elegant housing, are spotlighted.

On the N752VX, the Tester’s desktop-replacement-character with a quiet cooling system, good input devices, matt IPS display and good sound. A lot of storage space brings the combination of SSD + HDD. The high-quality workmanship makes pleasure, which should be in the price range of around 1,500 $ but also standard. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has restricted the maintenance possibilities, so the owner does not even get to the fan without having to dismantle the entire chassis. The small maintenance flap only leads to RAM slot and 2.5 inch SATA slot. If you would like it slimmer, but the price of an XPS 15 shy, which could be pleased with the Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T. Starting at 1,500 $, there is a GTX 960M in a 22-millimeter barebone.

-Place 4-

Everything in it, everything to it – but with scarce running times of only around 4:30 hours. So our tester titled the Asus N552VX-FY103T (tested here). It is the successor of the popular N551JK in the identical look. The main attraction of the predecessor was the powerful GTX-960M graphics as in the high-end model of the Aspire Nitro Black Edition. To date, the predecessor was equipped with a 45-Watt Haswell processor, but this has now come to an end: With 15-Watt SoC and “new” Geforce 950M with only 2.048 MB DDR3, the 2016 N551 sounds like a downgrade.

So buyers with middle presets and the HD resolution 1.366 x 768 content, where the predecessor Full HD 1.920 x 1.080 were in there (GeForce GTX 960M 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM). Those who are geared to the GeForce GTX 950M alone are already available for 750$ in the Acer Aspire F15, which currently occupies the 9th place.

This is a clear step backwards, with which Asus probably wanted to sharpen the positioning of his gaming models. Or not? Only the giants from the gaming section are waiting with GDDR5 / 960M (GL752VW-T4168T) and higher. On the subject of performance, our tester also noticed throttling in the battery operation, as far as games and applications are concerned. Asus makes the maintenance difficult – the free M.2 slot can not be reached via the maintenance flap, the same applies to the fan (cleaning purposes).

Asus N552VX-FY103T is a really good platform for those who do not want to use a blue-ray, 4K-display, regular high-preset game sessions and want to power the notebook with a power supply. The processing is impeccable, as well as display, sound, input devices, power (on line), temperature & emissions.

But the Asus N552VX also has a lot on the side, it does not occupy the fifth place without reason. In the network operation there is nothing to complain about the performance, the Core i7-6700HQ runs the full turbo. The HDD could be unloaded with an SSD version, then the application performance would be even better. The input devices are very good. Emissions and temperatures – talking about it would be idle, they are hardly there. The display of LG Philips is clearly above class level: better DeltaE (delivery condition), high contrast and a very good brightness.

-Place 5-

Lenovo is drilling its low-priced E-series, formerly marketed under the name of Edge, and is also providing a strong graphics alongside a Kaby-Lake processor. The GeForce GTX 950M appears somewhat obsolete. The office notebook is, however, from a barge to a cannon speedboat. Players should get their money’s worth and benefit from the good, if not perfect, input devices at the same time.

Overall, for the E570 because of the good value for money nevertheless a recommendation.

There are some negative points. From the suboptimal placement of the connections to the almost inferior quality and stability of the chassis. Added to this is a CPU throttling in the Stresestest, under normal load the turbo clock is maintained. The 15-inch is always cool and quiet.

On the display, Lenovo does not have any major weaknesses, the limited color space is more excuse with a cheap device, if the display otherwise good (what it does).

In the multimedia top list, the ThinkPad E570 looks deplored, its overall weak optics and processing does not fit into the circle of these high-quality aluminum notebooks. With the IPS display and the SSD, the Lenovo E570 is a better deal than the similarly priced Aspire F15 F5-573G-53V1 (HDD, TN panel) or the more expensive Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5567-1753 (SSD, TN panel)

 

-Place 6-

With the GL752VW-T4168T, Asus is talking about the Zockerfraktion. 1,500$ have to be combined for the powerful GTX-960M and Intel Core i7-6700HQ combination. The amount leads to an upscale game performance. The surprise is the display: Instead of an IPS panel, Asus uses a comparatively good TN model. This can convince with a high contrast, usable viewing angle stability and great color space coverage. Unfortunately, the switching times of the TN screen determined in the test were not shorter than for the mass of the IPS panels. The choice of TN is questionable in the eyes of the testers. The “smaller” N752VX as well as the opponent Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-792G, both have IPS screens with a better TFT rating (88 resp. 89 instead of 82%).

On the have side is the top processing, ports like USB Type-C, DisplayPort, the very good turbo utilization and also the variety of variants (1,000 to 1,500$). The manufacturer does not provide a 4K panel version.

Really disqualifying Mankos does not have the adequately expensive Asus GL752VW. Housing, input devices and, above all, almost all technical aspects remain without fault and blame.

Nevertheless, there are criticisms: the speakers are not as good as they could be with a 17-inch. The connections are slightly unfavorable and the battery is not accessible from the outside (although it can be replaced). At a sometimes similar price is currently the Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-GC102D with GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5) and otherwise very similar configuration. We have put this model on the basis of the stronger GPU to the gaming group.

 

-Place 7-

Elvis is alive! With the swanky name “Prestige”, MSI names its new high-end multimedia class in 15 and 17 inches with the MSI PE 60 and MSI PE70. With the PE60 (here in the test), MSI forms a 15-inch, which, in addition to full performance for work and play, also has some special professional features. The GTX-960M graphics (GDDR5!) Would be the first to mention; And with the 45-watt Skylake processor, the MSI PE60 can keep up with the bolides of this top list. Its turbo can drive the CPU excellently, the dual-fan cooling system does a good job.

Now there is the version of the current test, MSI PE60 6QE Prestige (Skylake, TN, FHD,
matt) and the older version PE60 2QE Prestige (Haswell, IPS, TrueColor 100% sRGB, FHD, matt). The 2QE model has the better screen, at least when we go to the US test model 6QE with TN panel. Here, interested parties should be careful, because the IPS model has a first-class display, which meets even professional requirements. In the 2QE a Qualcomm killer e2200 Ethernet card was installed, in the 6Qe not.

The buttons are illuminated and can be read at any time at any time. The keyboard has some special keys or primarily set F1-F12 keys, which are suitable for professional use. The touchpad is also very good, but the touchpad disappoints with its cheap mechanical buttons (not a ClickPad).

What scratches the profianpruch is the chassis, which is lack of perfect stability as well as a completely noble impression. The PE is by no means ugly; But if you hold it in your hands and look closely, the simple plastic base, a wobbly hinged cover and rattling mousetraps are covered. The finish of the work environment as well as the lid is brushed aluminum, which creates a valuable impression under the hands. Considerably higher quality and thinner are the ZenBook UX510 and of course the XPS 15 2017/2016 therefore, both have good IPS panels.

 

-Place 8-

The Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T (here in test) is a narrow 15-inch aluminum-look, which combines high-quality processing with high processor and graphics performance. The GeForce GTX 960M is no longer brand new, but with a chassis of only 20 millimeters in height it is quite an announcement – and for most current games in full details still good enough. However, the manufacturer now no longer relies on a 45-watt processor, but only on 15 watts. Power users should therefore take a look at the sales of the predecessor UX501VW, see the following table.

With the Zenbook UX510UW, Asus has a successful all-rounder with gaming qualities in the assortment, which thanks to good battery life even allows a mobile use.

The tester praises the great IPS scree
n, the combination of SSD and HDD for speed but also memory space, low-temperature heating and the Type C connection. Unfortunately, the keyboard is not state of the art, it could be crisp. Somewhat more stable the base could have failed.

 

-Place 9-

Dell’s Inspiron 15 5000 5567-1753 (tested here) can score with a good working speed (SSD, CPU), but less with good game performance.

If you want to play games in the native resolution, the graphic card’s performance is often not enough to display current titles in liquid form.

The advantages are the seven-hour running time, the elegant chassis (albeit sober) and a hard-wearing keyboard. The display is however a fauxpas:

However, the display left a lot behind our expectations. At this point the manufacturer should quickly improve, since such TN panels are a thing of the past.

For the ambitious occasional player, we can not recommend the Inspiron 15 5000 5567 due to a lack of odd game power. Here, the GTX 950 equipped notebooks do significantly more and at lower prices.

 

-Place 10-

The recipe has not changed: Take a cheap chassis and pack in hardware, which is just announced. Acers Aspire F15 F5-573G-53V1 (tested here) is exactly such a notebook. The core feature is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M, which is already available here for 750 $. On the other hand, Acer is not on the hurdle with such an offer: HP packs the Pavilion 15-bc006ng (Core i5-6300HQ ), Even with a 45-watt SoC. Both cost 700 $.HP has IPS panels with wide viewing angles; With the Acer F15 panel, the TN quality must be sufficient, which means both low contrast and moderate brightness. Surprisingly comes the 100% sRGB coverage, which unfortunately is paired with a bad DeltaE. Calibrate here.

The testers like the good input devices, the proper battery times, the moderate noise emissions and the stable housing. Even the 24-month guarantee is not self-evident. Unfortunately, there is no Windows license in the box at a reasonable price.

Acer has a very interesting device in terms of price / performance with the Aspire F15 at the start. However, the high temperatures under load could deter buyers.

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