Ryzen 4000 series mobile processors continue their triumphant march in the laptop market. They’ve successfully made it to all form factors, from ultra-compact machines to powerful gaming desktops. The advantages of new AMD chips no longer need advertising, because eight-core chips simply do not exist among low-watt Intel CPUs, and in general the “red” core is now much cheaper than the “blue” one.
However, cheapness is no longer enough for buyers. A high-quality screen, a comfortable keyboard and a reliable chassis – all this is necessary for a laptop on the Ryzen platform, as well as competing models on the chips Ice Lake and Comet Lake. Today we are reviewing an HP convertible laptop that promises all of these features in addition to tablet mode.
Companies like HP usually offer tons of different configurations for the same model, and the ProBook x360 435 G7 is no exception. Among the low-watt Ryzen 4000 variants, the manufacturer chose the quad-core Ryzen 3 4300U, the six-core Ryzen 5 4500U and, finally, the eight-core Ryzen 7 4700U chip, which is installed in the test laptop sample. All three processors operate within a TDP of 25 W and lack the SMT function, that is, there is one instruction stream per physical core.
The three CPUs in the ProBook x360 435 G7 specifications differ from each other not only in the number of physical cores, but also in the performance of the integrated graphics. Unfortunately, the next version of the Radeon RX Vega is no longer the best iGPU after Intel pulled up the speed of its own solutions in Ice Lake chips, and even an entry-level HP laptop does not have discrete graphics.
The RAM is represented by 8 or 16 gigabytes of DDR4 with a bandwidth of 3200 megatransactions per second, and the SSD capacity is 256 or 512 GB.
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (6/6 cores / threads, 2.3-4.0 GHz);
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (system RAM);
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort);
1 × HDMI;
1 × microSD
⇡#Appearance and ergonomics
The ProBook x360 435 G7 is based on the typical design of a laptop-transformer, in which the lid opens 360 ° and is pressed against the pallet, and the work surface with the keyboard is on the opposite side of the screen. As a result, the upper and lower body halves are held together by a double hinge. This design requires reliable assembly and durable materials for the device to be equally comfortable to use in both desktop and tablet modes. With this, the HP laptop is in perfect order. The work surface and display lid are made of aluminum panels that are thick enough to withstand high bending forces. It also helps that modern touchscreens are almost always laminated – an extra layer of glass also adds rigidity. In the closed position and in tablet mode, the screen is held in place by magnetic latches, and the laptop hinges are tight. Perhaps even too tight, because sometimes the laptop may not pass the “MacBook test”, that is, an attempt to lift the screen with one hand.
In terms of aesthetics, the ProBook x360 435 G7 comes across as more expensive than it really is, thanks to its classic, clean design. Its true price category is given out only by the material of the bottom panel (unlike the working panel and the lid, it is plastic) and huge frames above and below the screen. However, thanks to the high frames, it was possible to carve out a place for a large and convenient touchpad, which usually goes under the knife in devices with a 16: 9 matrix proportions.
And here’s more good news: The ProBook x360 435 G7’s keyboard is excellent. To praise it, it would be enough that the operating panel almost does not bend under pressure, but in addition to this, here and the key mechanism is difficult to find fault with: the stroke is long enough, the pressing is clear, the return to the neutral position is quick. Please note that not all modifications of the new item have a backlight.
Despite the limited area of the ends of the case, the ProBook x360 435 G7 is rich in connectors for all occasions: there are two USB Type-A ports, one Type-C, an analog audio interface, as well as full-format HDMI and even a microSD card reader. Thunderbolt 3 is not a standard for AMD notebooks. It looks like for the company to be able to afford to reject Intel and keep Thunderbolt support in the same device, it should be called Apple. HP got by with HDMI. Well, since the ProBook x360 435 G7 is clearly aimed at a business audience, it has both a fingerprint reader and a Kensington lock slot.
The laptop is charged from an unassuming-looking, but compact power supply with a conventional barrel plug at the end of the wire.
⇡#Internal design and upgrade options
In the process of opening the HP ProBook x360 435 G7, we found some interesting design solutions, and the first of them opened as soon as we began to remove the screws securing the case tray. The threads are wider than the holes in the panel, so the screws don’t fall out or get lost while the laptop is disassembled.
Another notable detail is the metal covers mounted on top of the SSD and SO-DIMM sockets (unlike many modern ultrabooks, the ProBook x360 435 G7 is memory expandable). True, the lids do not help to cool the components, rather it is a protection against interference, because the bottom panel of the case is made of plastic and removes heat very inefficiently. By the way, about cooling. The CPU cooler needs air flow through the holes in the bottom of the case, and although there is a gap between the grill and the screen lid in tablet mode, heat exchange is still complicated, so it’s better not to run resource-intensive applications in it.
Display testing is performed using the Datacolor Spyder4 Elite colorimeter in ArgyllCMS and DisplayCAL 3 applications.
Laptop battery life is measured with a display brightness of 200 cd / m2 in the following usage scenarios:
- Web surfing: alternate opening and closing of the tabs of the sites 3DNews.ru, Computeruniverse.ru and Unsplash.com with an interval of 25 seconds in the Google Chrome browser (cache and cookies are disabled);
- Continuous playback of 4K video in HEVC format (H.265).
The following devices took part in testing:
The specifications for the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 include several very different screen matrix options, including a 4K panel or a 1080p display with a claimed 1,000 cd / m2 peak brightness. Unfortunately, the test laptop has the cheapest of all screens, which deserves no compliments on anything other than a relatively high contrast ratio of 877: 1 and adequate color temperature. To begin with, the matrix is not bright enough to work in a well-lit room (only 225 cd / m2). Moreover, the laptop limits the brightness to 100 cd / m2 in stand-alone mode to conserve battery power.
As we have already noticed, the color temperature of the screen has been adjusted quite close to the reference value of 6500K, but further tests do not bode well for our HP ProBook x360 435 G7 sample.
The gamma curve is far from a power-law function with an exponent of 2.2 and takes on such a shape that the contrast of the bright areas of the image decreases.
Well, the main flaw of the matrix is, of course, an extremely narrow range of shades, which covers only 65% of the sRGB space.
Hence the completely unsatisfactory estimates of color accuracy when trying to reproduce content designed for the sRGB standard. Alas, no amount of custom calibration can eliminate this shortcoming, which makes such modifications of the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 unsuitable for any work related to photo processing and video editing, despite the presence of a powerful central processor.
On top of that, our sample laptop has distinctly uneven backlighting: the upper right corner looks gray when the screen is dark, plus the exact same, albeit less pronounced defect was found on the left.
⇡#Clock frequencies, temperature and noise level
Unlike the vast majority of gaming machines and many Ultrabooks, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 does not offer the ability to change or tweak the CPU power consumption and fan speed profiles, but from a performance standpoint, this is not necessary. The Ryzen 5 4700U chip here makes full use of the standard 25W power reserve and maintains high clock speeds of about 3 GHz with eight cores fully loaded. In fact, this is the fastest latest generation AMD processor we’ve come across in Ultrabooks. However, Ryzen 4000-based laptops do not visit the 3DNews test laboratory so often, so that the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 could be put one step ahead of any analogues, now quite numerous.
Approx. The measurement is performed after warming up the device and stabilizing all parameters.
The HP ProBook x360 435 G7 does not have a discrete graphics adapter, so when the system is rendering with the integrated GPU, you can only hear the laptop fan in complete silence. And even with a load focused on x86 cores, the machine is very quiet.
Alas, this low noise level cannot be attributed to the ultra-efficient cooling system design. It’s just that the automatic fan control sacrifices the temperature of the components to the silence: the CPU crystal here easily warms up to 100 ° C and even higher. However, according to AMD, the situation may still be changed by a future BIOS update, which will change the fan control algorithm.
⇡#Synthetic performance tests
Thanks to the high clock speeds of the central processor, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 outperforms the ASUS machine on the same CPU in the long-term multi-threaded benchmark Cinebench R20, although in the series of shorter Geekbench 4 tests, the latter wins due to the ability to briefly exceed the chip power limit, fixed at the level of 19 W. In any case, the eight-core Ryzen 5 4700U processor certainly outperforms Intel’s quad-core Ice Lake offerings in multi-threaded mode. That, however, cannot be said about the specific performance per CPU core.
As for the integrated graphics Radeon RX Vega 7, then, whatever one may say, it is significantly inferior in frame rate even in simple benchmarks to Intel’s iGPU as part of Ice Lake chips, not to mention the discrete entry-level video adapters. Be that as it may, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 is not a gaming laptop at all. Now let’s see how it performs in production applications.
⇡#Performance in production applications
The HP ProBook x360 435 G7 has the most powerful CPU of all the machines in the comparison. As a result, it is not surprising that this processor not only performs ray tracing in the Blender package significantly faster than Intel’s low-watt quad-core crystals, but also outperforms the entry-level discrete GPUs in the same task. But the integrated graphics Radeon RX Vega 7, as you would expect, is completely unsuitable for such work. It remains to be seen whether it will pull down a high-performance CPU in complex video and photo processing applications.
An octa-core CPU running at high clock speeds remains the best solution for long passive operations in Lightroom. The HP ProBook x360 435 G7 is not inferior to most Intel counterparts in the speed of active tasks, although the overclocked Ice Lake chips retain the advantage due to high single-threaded performance.
Approx. Points are calculated as a percentage of the performance of a reference workstation with Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 64GB RAM.
Photoshop leverages the power of the GPU more efficiently than Lightroom. As a result, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 did not get the leading place in the corresponding benchmark, but in fairness, we note that all laptops with a similar hardware configuration are approximately equally good for working in this program.
Approx. Points are calculated as a percentage of the performance of a reference workstation with an Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 64GB of RAM multiplied by 10.
Approx. Points are calculated as a percentage of the performance of a reference workstation with Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 64GB RAM.
Laptops without a powerful discrete GPU, as you might guess, do a poor job of editing video loaded with complex graphic effects, and are not able to complete the corresponding section of the PugetBench test suite. In addition, Premiere Pro does not appear to be well optimized for the red 4000 series CPUs in terms of live playback, which is reflected in the frame rate in the preview window. But the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 did an excellent job of encoding video – in this task there is nothing better than eight x86 cores.
⇡# SSD performance
Our HP ProBook x360 435 G7 has a 512GB Samsung PM991 solid state drive. Under favorable conditions, this model provides high performance at the level of other solutions popular among laptop manufacturers, but its advantages are concentrated in the field of random read and write operations of short blocks. When accessing data in sequential order, the Samsung PM991 does not hold up to comparison with other laptop drives. However, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 is still not a workstation, so the user will have to try very hard for the SSD to become the factor limiting the overall system performance.
Although among the notebooks we selected for comparison, the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 has the lowest battery capacity (45 Wh) after the HUAWEI MateBook 13, it is the record holder for battery life: think 7 and a half hours of continuous video playback or 8 hours of active web surfing. However, the HP laptop will not see the endurance awards, because it ran a doping marathon, dropping the brightness of the screen in isolation from the outlet to 100 cd / m2, while others performed this discipline at a brightness of 200 cd / m2.
The new HP ProBook x360 435 G7 Convertible is a mixed bag. The only thing that is beyond doubt is the clear advantage of the eight-core Ryzen 4000 series processors over any Intel counterparts that prevail in modern ultrabooks. Regardless of the binding, the “red” chips guarantee high performance, and in this case, when the Ryzen 5 4700U chip is allowed to use the entire 25W power reserve, the AMD platform is unconditionally leading in multi-threaded tasks.
But in other aspects with the HP ProBook x360 435 G7, not everything is so simple. First, – and this applies to all machines with similar characteristics – the lack of discrete graphics means that the remarkable potential of an eight-core CPU is revealed only in those working applications (why else would you need an eight-core, if not for work?) That do not rely on GPU … Secondly, the cooler of the HP laptop is quiet, but the processor under it heats up to hundreds of degrees Celsius (which, we hope, will be corrected by future BIOS updates).
Third, and most importantly, the specifications of the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 allow for very different screen matrices. The main thing to pay close attention to is the color gamut, which HP honestly indicates in the characteristics of various modifications of the laptop. The 45% NTSC mark indicates that the screen is completely unsuitable for creative tasks, and in general it looks very faded. In addition, this matrix has a weak backlight, and in standalone mode the laptop completely cuts the brightness to 100 cd / m2. Unfortunately, we don’t know how matrices with full coverage at 72% NTSC behave when the laptop is running on battery power, but they should at least provide acceptable color reproduction.
The range of performance characteristics of the HP ProBook x360 435 G7 is so wide that this model can be both an unassuming and relatively cheap office laptop with a tablet mode, or a powerful machine for more serious activities. The main thing is to decide in advance what exactly you need from her. At any rate, we are pleased to note that the ProBook x360 435 G7 is neat with components that are of particular importance to any business laptop – the keyboard and touchpad – which sometimes cannot be said about its more expensive counterparts.