Hands on: HP ProBook 455 G3 review

Solid build quality meets stylish design

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

HP's slick ProBook 455 G3 is a weighty entrant into the mid-range laptop world, but don't expect blazing performance out of its AMD APU and meager 4GB of RAM.

For

  • Great build quality
  • Stylish design
  • Passable battery life

Against

  • Low-resolution display
  • Heavy
  • Not great value

With the ProBook 455 G3, HP is hoping to lure business users looking for a relatively affordable laptop with a premium feel. In terms of design, it's an upgrade on HP's 255 G3 model and even moreso on the value-focused 250 G4. The 455 G3 feels more grown-up, and expensive, than both - but not necessarily more capable; surprisingly.

HP ProBook 455 G3

At £504 (around US$666 or AUS$874), part of its price tag is down to the 455 G3's premium materials which include a brushed aluminum pattern on the keyboard base. Build quality is robust; the space on each side of the wrist rest is rock solid and resists flex well. At 2.1kg (4.6 pounds) this is a heavy 15-inch laptop and not the most backpack-friendly option out there.

HP ProBook 455 G3

The ProBook 455 G3's dark grey plastic lid positions a reflective HP logo in the centre, lending the unit a moody and professional appearance. Opening it up reveals a combination of plastic and metal materials, with a stylish mesh speaker grille, silver trackpad and matte-black keyboard base. The rear of the lid features an eye-catching strip of metal that helps break up the seat of black plastic. Combined with the metal sides of the body underneath, it looks great.

HP ProBook 455 G3

HP has made the sensible choice of keeping the base free of stickers, adding to its minimal allure. The 455 G3's shape is consistent with budget laptop lines, featuring rounded corners and a flimsy lid that contorts under little pressure. The unit's keyboard isn't anything special but it's functional enough, with a crisp and sharp low travel action thanks to its chiclet-spaced keys.

HP ProBook 455 G3

Our review unit came equipped with an AMD A10-8700P Radeon R6 APU, which features 10 compute cores. The 455 G3 can be configured with a number of enterprise options including a TPM that helps protect the machine from BIOS-level attacks from viruses and malware; a spill-resistant backlit keyboard and HP's security policy software courtesy of an HP Touchpoint Manager app.

HP ProBook 455 G3

Other software includes HP's Drive Encryption app, Security Manager, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Defender, Validity Fingerernt Driver, HP SoftPaq Download Manager, CyberLink Power2Go, PowerDVD and YouCam, along with HP Connection Manager, 3D Driveguard, Recovery Manager and Support Assistant.

HP ProBook 455 G3

Performance is nippy enough on the desktop and the merger 4GB of RAM isn't too much of a problem, save for the occasional hitch if you're opening multiple browser windows and tabs. The biggest offender on this machine is its lowly 1,366 x 768 pixel-resolution display, which far from impresses with average contrast and color saturation. Even on full brightness it's difficult to see what you're doing outdoors, which isn't helped by the display's average horizontal and vertical viewing angles.

HP ProBook 455 G3

The unit's ports situation is a little better - there's two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0, a headphone/microphone combo jack, Ethernet, and HDMI/VGA connections for hooking up the 455 G3 to an external displa.

Benchmarks

  • Cinebench R15: OpenGL: 23.13 fps; CPU: 200 points
  • Geekbench (Single-Core): 2,076 points; (Multi-Core) 4,831 points
  • Battery test (1080p looped video streamed over Wi-Fi in Edge, 50% brightness): 5 hours 31 minutes

Laptops powered by AMD's APUs can often prove a savvy alternative to Intel-based ones with integrated graphics, as they can be capable of bringing superior graphics performance at as similar price. The ProBook 455 G3 unfortunately doesn't excel in this area, scoring a lower OpenGL score compared to the much more affordable HP 250 G4 that houses an Intel Core i3-5005U with integrated Iris graphics (23.13 fps, versus the 250's 24.6 fps).

HP ProBook 455 G3

Battery runtimes were better than what the HP 250 G4 achieved, however; the HP ProBook G3's 4-cell 44 Whr Li-ion battery lasted for 5 hours and 31 minutes before giving up the ghost.

Early verdict

There are clear advantages here for business users thinking of stumping up cash for the ProBook 455 G3; Its build quality is excellent, there's a healthy selection of ports and it can reach up to around two hours more of battery life on a single charge compared to the more affordable HP 250 G4. That said, the AMD APU inside isn't much more impressive than the Intel Core chip in that cheaper model and even lost out in our graphics benchmark. For the price, though, the biggest offender is the ProBook 455 G3's low pixel-resolution display which is dull and simply does not have huge appeal stretched across 15 inches.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.