The enterprise part of the laptop market is glooming. As the global pandemic continues in 2021 and restrictions around the world are ever so tight, quite a lot of people are working from their homes. In this case, laptops became mandatory. One of HP’s strongest series in this spectrum is the ProBook 400s. However, today, we’re going to talk about a more uncommon device – the ProBook 650 G8.

Instead of the lackluster 14nm Comet Lake-U processors from Intel, HP has decided to get the fresh out of the oven 10nm Tiger Lake chips for their laptop. Maxing out with the Core i7-1165G7 and featuring an option to include the GeForce MX450, this machine aims at productivity. Also, the manufacturer is boasting a slim and light chassis, which surely comes as a strong point in a world huge of notebook options.

Unsurprisingly, the device packs Wi-Fi 6 certificate and a Full HD IPS panel. Actually, it can also be purchased with a 768p TN display, which is an utter disgrace in 2021. Nevertheless, the ProBook 650 G8 shows a lot of promise on paper, and you will soon know why.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-probook-650-g8/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP ProBook 650 G8 – Specs


M.2 Slot


2x 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4


OS


Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home


Body material


Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum

Ports and connectivity

  • 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack 3.5 Combo Jack
  • SmartCard Reader
  • SIM Card Slot

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

Similarly to the 400 series ProBooks, this unit comes inside a pretty budget-conscious package. It only features some paper manuals, and a 45W power brick, that has a proprietory connector.

Design and construction

Indeed, HP’s claims are true – the laptop weighs only 1.74kg and has a profile of 19.9 mm. So, portability is in check. How about structural integrity? Well, despite the aluminum chassis, we found the ProBook 650 G8 to be a bit twisty. But this is not the issue we discovered. What we saw, is that the touchpad registers a click as soon as you twist the chassis to the left.

Nevertheless, let’s move to the lid. It opens easily with a single hand and reveals a matte display, surrounded by relatively thin bezels. Above it, you’ll find an HD camera with a privacy shutter, and an optional IR face recognition camera – not bad. What is bad, however, is the physical resistance of the lid. It twists and bends quite a lot more than the base, which is unfortunate.

Next, let’s take a look at the base. It features a backlit keyboard that has full-sized keycaps. It is spill-resistant, so don’t hesitate to have your bottle of water near (still, be careful, because it is not water-proof). Also, it has clicky and quiet feedback, as well as an average key travel. Ultimately, the unit seems very comfortable for typing. If you look closely, you’ll see that the Power button is found in the same unfortunate location, we saw on other HP laptops released in 2020. However, a single touch of the Power button doesn’t do anything, because it is disabled by the software.

Further down, there is the touchpad which is topped by a glass cover and has a decent area for a Windows laptop. Its tracking is decent, and the gliding is smooth. By the way, above the keyboard, you’ll find the speaker setup.

This leaves the bottom panel only with ventilation grills, as the exhaust happens from in between the lid and the base.

Ports

On the left side of the notebook, you will find a security lock, a Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a SmartCard reader. Switch sides, and you’ll find the charging plug, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, an audio jack, and a MicroSD card reader.

Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To take the bottom panel away, you need to undo only 5 captive Phillips-head screws. After that, pry the panel with a plastic tool.

This device’s cooling solution includes a single beefy heat pipe, a decently-sized heat sink, and a fan.

What is more important is upgradeability. Here, we see two RAM SODIMM slots that support 32GB of DDR4 memory in dual-channel, working at 3200 MHz. Also, there are two M.2 PCIe slots for storage.

Battery-wise, the laptop features a 45Wh unit.

Display quality

HP ProBook 650 G8 comes with a Full HD IPS panel, model number LGD064C. Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are good. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 273 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 253 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 13%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 5780K (average) – warmer than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 77% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.12 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1180:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s 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 is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, 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.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows HP ProBook 650 G8’s color gamut coverage.

Its display is limited just to 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of HP ProBook 650 G8 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 32 ms.

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

HP ProBook 650 G8’s backlight does not use PWM at any brightness level. This ensures comfort to the eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

HP ProBook 650 G8’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a backlight that doesn’t use PWM. Sadly, it covers only half of the colors of the sRGB color gamut.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP ProBook 650 G8 configurations with 15.6″ LGD064C (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*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.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

HP ProBook 650 G8’s speakers produce a sound with decent quality. However, there are deviations throughout the entire frequency range.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-probook-650-g8-notebook-pc/37934587

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This unit has a 45Wh battery pack. It lasts for 10 hours of Web browsing and 5 hours and 53 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

You can choose from the Intel Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7, and the Core i7-1165G7.


GPU options

Apart from the integrated Intel UHD Graphics, and Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80EU and 96EU), you can pair the notebook with the GeForce MX450 (2GB GDDR5).


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-1135G7 (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
HP ProBook 650 G8 3.58 GHz (B+49%) @ 92°C 2.44 GHz (B+2%) @ 75°C 2.09 GHz @ 62°C
Acer Aspire 5 (A515-56G) 3.68 GHz (B+53%) @ 83°C 2.25 GHz @ 63°C 2.15 GHz @ 62°C
Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54) 3.54 GHz (B+48%) @ 87°C 2.01 GHz @ 66°C 2.03 GHz @ 67°C

Seemingly, ProBook 650 G8’s cooling solution seems to be a bit underwhelming. However, we have to mention that the noise levels were extremely low, which comes as no surprise when talking about a ProBook laptop.

Comfort during full load

This laptop remains cool and quiet throughout the entire period of the test, and even at extreme workloads.

Verdict

Another business notebook has passed through our office. After a thorough test (although we didn’t need more than a second to figure this out), we deduced that this machine sits between the ProBook 400 series and the EliteBook 800 series. Unlike the latter, it lacks Thunderbolt connection, but honestly, the I/O is wide enough for professional work. Thankfully, although the USB Type-C port lacks Thunderbolt certification, it has a 10Gbps speed and offers a DisplayPort signal and Power Delivery in addition to the mandatory data transfer.

Also, the laptop features Wi-Fi 6 for a faster wireless connection, and it offers supreme upgradeability, thanks to two RAM SODIMM slots (for up to 32GB of DDR4 memory), and two M.2 slots for storage.

HP ProBook 650 G8’s IPS panel (LGD064C) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and a backlight that doesn’t use PWM. Sadly, it covers only half of the colors of the sRGB color gamut.

Interestingly, we saw the battery life to be pretty good when browsing the Web – 10 hours, and somewhat disappointing, when watching videos – 5 hours and 53 minutes.

Other than that – the performance seems good, and the laptop feels cool and quiet under extreme workloads and occasional gaming. Unfortunately, the structural integrity seems a bit compromised, as the twists in the base lead to accidental clicks on the touchpad, and the lid bends like cheddar.

However, in the day-to-day use of a business person, the ProBook 650 G8 seems like a sensible choice.

Pros

  • Decent spill-resistant keyboard
  • I/O and upgradability are on point
  • Optional fingerprint reader and IR face recognition
  • Great viewing angles and contrast ratio (LGD064C)
  • Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (LGD064C)
  • Tiger Lake CPUs on board
  • Wi-Fi 6 and MicroSD card reader

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt connectivity
  • Covers only 51% of sRGB (LGD064C)
  • Twisty chassis

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-probook-650-g8/





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