Best HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop Review
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Summary Pavilion Gaming is as clear as its name suggests with solid performance for video games and versatility for everyday tasks.
You won’t find the latest Nvidia RTX graphics chips and it doesn’t have gaming-oriented options such as Led RGB keyboard lighting or GPU overclocking. But you have a multitasking and playful machine with a design that stands out. It’s an economical 15.6-inch laptop and not too showy.
On the HP website, configuration prices start at $899 USD with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB ram processor, 1TB storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated memory. We tested the model equipped with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti at $1399 USD.
Like Dell’s G-Series gaming laptops, this Pavilion is relatively thin and lightweight for a low-budget machine. The HP logo and the backlit keyboard are subtly tinged with green to give it a “gaming pc” look. This is a nice change from all the reds typically used on entry-level gaming laptops. The keys remain easy to read with the backlight off. Even the choice of policy is interesting.
The keyboard is also comfortable to use, with enough travel to avoid fatigue in case of heavy use. Apart from the ZQSD keys, there are no other game features on the keyboard and no software to set up macros or anything like that. The touchpad is acceptable for everyday use. It has no built-in buttons, which we personally like to have for games where a mouse is not essential.
In general, on gaming laptops of less than 1,000 euros, it is not uncommon for the quality of the display to be the poor parent. The full-HD 60Hz slab of this configuration is no different. It’s not at all bad, with a good viewing angle and good contrast, but it’s not very bright and the color range and accuracy are not ideal for creating content.
If you plan to keep it on a desk most of the time, the Pavilion has a satisfactory connectivity for your devices. Right: Power, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1, HDMI 1.4 output, Ethernet and a headphone/micro combo jack. Left: two USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1 ports with an SD card slot. HP highlights the presence of an audio system optimized by Bang and Olufsen but there’s nothing to get excited about. You’ll need external speakers or a good headset for movies, music and games.
The Pavilion has been up to the task in front of gaming laptops at similar prices. Older games such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was playable in high resolution with the GeForce 1050 Ti, but you had to go through intermediate settings to make them really enjoyable.
For the new tracks Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5, we switched to medium/normal to keep the gameplay fluid. Fortnite’s sessions were quite playable, as was Overwatch, with a native resolution of 1.920×1.080 pixels and very detailed settings.
Both fans do their best to keep the Pavilion cool and we hear them working. It is best to avoid keeping the machine on your legs when you are asking for it intensively.
The battery life is also comparable to that of the competition, with just over 5 hours on our endurance test, which means you have to expect less than that with video games. Basically, if you go out for the day, don’t forget the food.
The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop is a simple and convenient laptop for PC games and all everyday tasks. Other gaming laptops in this range may seem cheap and unseen just, but this is not the case here and its subtle design is more attractive for everyday use. Game performance is also great for what you pay for.