The HP ProBook 430 G5 is a 14-inch business notebook that offers affordability and productivity. Not only does the $879 model offer a speedy 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, but its keyboard is also comfortable to type on and its battery lasts all day long. Unfortunately, its low-res and dim display leaves a lot to be desired, and its storage is on the slow side. Still, the model we tested is much cheaper than similarly specced competitors, making this HP definitely worth considering.
The HP ProBook 430 G5 features a silver polycarbonate shell that will blend in with the crowd, but its interior is filled with questionable decisions. For example, the silver chassis frames a black aluminum keyboard deck, and I felt the gap where those two pieces met as I typed on the keyboard.
While business notebooks are typically made to either attract envy or avoid drawing any attention, the thick, clunky, raised bezels of the ProBook 430 G5 make me want to yell, "What are those?!"
The ProBook 430 G5 weighs 3.3 pounds and measures 0.8 inches thick, which makes it lighter than the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 (3.6 to 4.0 pounds, without and with extended battery; 0.8 inches). The Dell Latitude 7390 (2.9 pounds / 0.7 inches) is even lighter.
On the left side of the ProBook, you'll find its security lock slot, USB 2.0 port, headphone jack and SD memory reader. The notebook's USB Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and power ports sit on the right side.
Security and Durability
Looking for a machine that will survive the bumps and bruises of the road? The HP ProBook 430 G5 passed nine tough military MIL-STD 810G tests, including operational testing in extremely hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit) and cold (minus 20 degrees) environments, at high altitudes (15,000 feet), and while being sprayed with dust for 6 hours.
The ProBook 430 G5 packs most of the security essentials that IT teams demand. The package starts with a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello login, and the 4th generation of HP's BIOSphere technology will guard your system's BIOS. A TPM 2.0 chip will protect sensitive data. You don't get Intel's vPro remote-management technology, but this model is targeted at small businesses, which don't demand vPro, as opposed to enterprise-class companies, which do.
The HP ProBook's 13.3-inch, dim, dull display is the kind of screen I expect to see on a sub-$500 budget laptop, not on an $879 business machine. From the second I booted it up, I noticed a white tint that made blacks and other hues appear lighter than they should be. The 1376 x 768-pixel screen made a 1080p trailer for A Quiet Place look fuzzy, with the torn-out newspaper headlines and radio equipment in John Krasinski's makeshift office appearing blurry.
According to our colorimeter, the ProBook 430 G5 produces 65 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is almost half of the 112 percent average for premium laptops and the 132 percent rate from the Latitude 7390. The ThinkPad T480 rated a slightly higher 77 percent.
The ProBook 430 G5 emits up to 208 nits of light, which is a lot dimmer than the 300-nit category average. The 269-nit ThinkPad T480 and 286-nit Latitude 7390 are also brighter than the ProBook. Don't expect to share a video on the ProBook's screen with those around you, as picture quality degrades at 45 degrees to the left and right.
Similarly priced configurations of the ThinkPad T480 also feature an anti-glare (1366 x 768) screen, while similarly configured Latitude 7390 models costs more but start with 1920 x 1080-pixel full-HD displays. For $55 extra, you can upgrade to a full-HD, 1920 x 1080-pixel display, which should be brighter and more colorful, as it's got an IPS panel, as opposed to the TN panel in the unit we texted.
The HP ProBook 430 G5's keyboard enables comfortable typing. Testing it out on the 10fastfingers typing test, I hit a rate of 75 words per minute, not too far from my average of 80 words per minute. This was possible thanks to the keys' 1.4 millimeters of vertical travel (we look for 1.5mm) and because the keys require 64 grams of force for actuation (we look for at least 60 grams).
The ProBook 430 G5's 4.3 x 2.5-inch touchpad offered accurate tracking as I navigated the desktop. It also provided smooth scrolling and speedily recognized Windows 10's three-finger window-management gestures.
The HP ProBook 430 G5's speakers filled my large living room with middling sound. So, while vocals and drums sounded clear and accurate on Kendrick Lamar's "DNA," the track's bass came out slightly hollow.
The sound improved once I found the HP Audio Controls app, which isn't shown in the Start menu list of apps, but instead found by clicking the Windows key and typing, "audio." Changing the Listening Experience setting from Movies to Music gave the bass that firmness it needed.
Armed with an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of RAM, the HP ProBook 4350 G5 I tested packs enough punch for serious multitasking. I saw nary a stutter or pause after splitting my screen between a streaming 1080p YouTube video and a dozen Google Chrome tabs (including ones for TweetDeck, Google Docs and Slack).
The ProBook 430 G5 turned in a solid 11,145 on the Geekbench 4 general performance benchmark, beating the 10,105 premium notebook average. We saw higher scores of 12,047 from the ThinkPad T480 (Core i5-8350U with 8GB of RAM) and 13,990 from from the Latitude 7390 (Core i7-8650U with 8GB of RAM).
The 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD in the ProBook duplicated 4.97GB of media files in 30 seconds, for a slow rate of 169.6 MBps, which is less than the 281.5-MBps premium notebook average. Faster speeds were recorded by the 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD in the ThinkPad T480 (267 MBps), and the 256GB SSD in the Latitude 7390 (318.1 MBps).
The ProBook 430 G5 finished our Excel VLOOKUP test (matching 65,000 names to corresponding addresses) in 1 minute and 17 seconds. While that's less time than the 1:38 category average, the ThinkPad T480 (1:11) and Latitude 7390 (1:07) turned in shorter times.
The ProBook 430 G5 took 19 minutes and 58 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p, a time that's 2 minutes and 2 seconds shorter than the 22-minute category average. The ThinkPad T480 (18:09) and Latitude 7390 (17:00) finished in even less time.
The Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU in the ProBook 430 enabled an Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test score of 71,382, which falls short of the 81,812 premium notebook average, though that includes laptops with discrete graphics cards. The ThinkPad T480 (Intel UHD Graphics 620) earned a higher score of 132,991, and the Latitude 7390 (Intel UHD Graphics 620) also did better, with 80,426.
The ProBook 430 G5 ran the Dirt 3 racing game at 59 frames per second, which is below the 66-fps category average, but above our 30-fps smoothness standard. The 56-fps rate from the Latitude 7390 is slightly slower, while the ThinkPad T480 ran the game at a super-smooth 117 fps.
The HP ProBook 430 G5 is a long-lasting notebook, enough that you can leave your power cord at home for day trips. The laptop made it 10 hours and 18 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (web surfing at 150 nits), a longer time than the 8:45 premium notebook average, and the result from the base configuration of the ThinkPad T480 (8:07).
The Latitude 7390 (10:23) posted a similar time, and the extended-battery version of the ProBook 430 G5 made it an epic 17:19.
The 0.9-megapixel webcam in the HP ProBook 430 G5 isn't bad; it's just no better than every other integrated camera that I've seen in countless other laptops I've reviewed. Sure, I'm recognizable in the selfie I shot on the notebook, but the photos are so blotchy that it looks like they were processed using Adobe Photoshop's Rasterize filter.
The ProBook 430 G5 gets pretty warm. After we streamed 15 minutes of HD video on the notebook, its keyboard and underside measured 99 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, two marks that are above our 95-degree comfort threshold. Only the notebook's touchpad, which hit 82 degrees, stayed cool to the touch...
HP gave the ProBook 430 G5 a pretty light amount of preloaded software. Its JumpStart software helps educate newbies on their purchase, IT pros will use HP Client Security for device management, and HP WorkWise allows you to control your PC from an Android smartphone.
Then, of course, you get the standard, unavoidable bloat of freeware such as Candy Crush Soda Saga, March of Empires and Sketchbook.
We tested the HP ProBook 430 G5 with an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1366 x 768-pixel screen. That configuration costs $879, which is $240 more than the $639 entry-level model. That version features a 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB and 7,200 rpm hard drive.
If I were to configure my own ProBook 430 G5, I'd spend $55 extra to get it with a full-HD, 1920 x 1080-pixel display, which features a brighter, more colorful IPS panel.
The HP ProBook 430 G5 is a speedy business notebook that offers solid productivity with its long-lasting battery and comfy keyboard. Plus, the Core i5 processor provides snappy performance. If only this notebook's display weren't so lifeless and low-res, the ProBook would be a fantastic laptop. I would definitely get the full-HD panel instead.
Those who want even more battery life can customize the ThinkPad T480 with its 72-watt-hour battery, though they'll spend an extra $139 for that $1,018 model. If you wanted a system with similar specs, but with a 1080p display, I recommend the Dell Latitude 7390. However, you'd spend nearly twice as much for that $1,668 laptop. Overall, those constrained to a tighter budget should definitely check out the ProBook 430 G5.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Laptop Mag