Hp pavilion gaming 15 laptop (2021) review

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HP’s Pavilion Gaming Laptop may seem lượt thích a relic from years past, given the rise of HP’s Omen line. Granted, the Pavilion line lacks Omen’s “For Gamers, By Gamers” cred, but...well, what’s in a name, really? The Pavilion Gaming Laptop is really just an Omen in disguise, an entry-level peer with mainstream branding.

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Variants

The pricing is mainstream, too. The Pavilion Gaming Laptop starts at just $800 for a base Pavilion 15t Model on hp.comRemove sầu non-sản phẩm link, with Hãng Intel Vi xử lý Core i5-9300H & a last-gen GTX 1050. The Model we received is essentially HP’s “high-end” unit, equipped with an Hãng Intel Vi xử lý Core i7-9750H, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a 256GB M.2 SSD, and a 1TB HDD. It used lớn be discounted at Costteo (no longer, alas) but remains available for $1,600 at hp.comRemove sầu non-sản phẩm link. You can adjust the configuration up or down to lớn suit your budget. For example, the similar Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is available for $1,300 on hp.comRemove non-hàng hóa link with a Chip Core i7-9750H, 12GB of RAM và a 256GB SSD, and a step down in graphics khổng lồ Nvidia’s GTX 1650. 

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

Storage is a place you can skimp, depending on your needs. On hp.com, opting for only the 256GB SSD saves $100, though you’ll be packing games in like sardines at that point. A 512GB SSD might be the better option—still small by modern standards, but more than enough to lớn keep a few games installed at all times, & you’ll still save sầu $50 over the 256GB SSD/1TB HDD full bộ. 


Aim low, or you might as well check out Omen, which is only a little more expensive. For instance, you can configure a Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15t on hp.com for $1,490Remove sầu non-product link with a bộ vi xử lý Core i7-9750H, GTX 1660 Ti, a 512GB SSD, and a 144Hz display. The same configuration in an Omen Laptop 15t on hp.com is $1,550Remove sầu non-sản phẩm links. It’s only a $60 difference, but the Omen line is arguably slightly better, as you"ll see when we delve inlớn the kiến thiết.

Design

The difference is in the details—some small ones, but also some very important ones. Let"s start with the aesthetics.

The Pavilion Gaming Laptop looks every bit as good as HP’s Omen lineup. It features the same centered hinge as the Omen 17 we reviewed in November, the same almost-rectangular shape. But where the Omen opted for a brushed-metal look inside & outside, the Pavilion goes with a matte-blaông xã finish—and a proper HPhường biệu tượng công ty, instead of Omen’s demon-face.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

Honestly? I prefer the Pavilion Gaming Laptop khổng lồ the Omen cousin. It’s a go-anywhere máy tính xách tay, a day-to-day workhorse that also plays games on the weekends. Even the “Acid Green” variant we reviewed is fairly inoffensive. The electric-green keyboard backlighting invites Razer comparisons, but HPhường went with a jewel-tone emerald accent for the lid biệu tượng công ty that’s eye-catching but not eye-searing, a fine line khổng lồ walk. I recommend paying $10 for the trắng hình ảnh and backlighting if you really want to blend in, but I have sầu no problem with the Pavilion Gaming Laptop aesthetically.

Unfortunately most of the other differences between the Pavilion & the Omen go in the latter’s favor. First and foremost, the 15.6-inch display. This is an area where lower-cost laptops often skimp, because the display is one of the priciest components.

The Pavilion Gaming Laptop defaults khổng lồ a standard 1080p IPS screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. Not every máy tính xách tay needs khổng lồ be 144Hz or 4K resolution—but it does need to be bright enough lớn see. I’m frustrated because I just applauded HPhường for equipping the Omen with a bright 362-nit screen, a rarity for budget-conscious manufacturers. The Pavilion Gaming Laptop tops out at 250 nits plugged in, our baseline for viewing comfort. However, it dims khổng lồ 200 nits unplugged, far short of that baseline, which we use for battery benchmarking.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

What that means for you depends on your use case. The Pavilion Gaming Laptop is plenty bright with the lights out, so late-night gaming sessions are fine. Even a single overhead light is enough khổng lồ wash out the Pavilion Gaming Laptops’s display, though, & window glare can be a real problem during the day, especially unplugged. Picture: Those huge glass panes at the airport, & you squinting to see your screen.

HP does offer two additional display options: 1080p at 144Hz, & 4K. Assuming the 144Hz variant is the same used on the Omen though, it’s probably worth the $100 tăng cấp. That alone would add a half-star to our rating here.

Below the display, you’ll find a row of upward-firing speakers. This, too, differs from the Omen, & I don’t necessarily hate the change in isolation. The Pavilion Gaming Laptop gets loud, và the audio output is reasonably clear. These speakers are decent for watching YouTube, fine for listening khổng lồ some slightly tinny music, &...well, pretty unpleasant for gaming. Use a headset.

The larger issue, though is that the speakers came at the cost of a larger trackpad & dedicated mouse buttons.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

I’ve sầu said it again & again, but I think dedicated left- & right-cliông chồng buttons are a must for gaming laptops. Sure, you’ll plug in a real mouse for anything serious, but there are plenty of times when I’m on the road without a mouse, or where a mouse isn’t feasible (i.e., airplanes). In those situations, having reliable left- and right-cliông chồng buttons is crucial to lớn playing even simple adventure games. Tap-to-cliông xã isn’t good enough, and it’s a shame HP.. went that route with the Pavilion Gaming Laptop. It’s the one aspect where head-to-head the Omen definitively comes out on top.

You could also argue the Omen keyboard’s zone RGB lighting is better than the flat single-color lighting on the Pavilion, though that’s less crucial. Just be sure to lớn get the color variant you prefer, either green or Trắng. Regardless, HP’s máy vi tính keyboards continue khổng lồ impress me. They’re stiff, but with a satisfying cliông chồng.

Lastly, ports. As I said in our Omen Reviews, “Accolades for putting all the ports on the side.” Too many gaming laptops put important I/O on the rear—great for keeping cables out of the way on a desk, but a pain to lớn access on the road. The Pavilion Gaming Laptop includes power, two USB 3.0 ports, & a 3.5milimet jachồng on the right side, plus HDMI-out, an additional USB-A 3.0 port, ethernet, an SD card reader, & a USB-C port on the left.

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Performance

Don’t expect record-setting benchmarks here. Yes, we tested the “high-end” Pavilion 15 with a Core i7-9750H, GTX 1660 Ti, và 16GB of RAM, but the quotation marks are there for a reason. What’s high-over for the Pavilion line is solidly mid-tier elsewhere, the reliable family sedan of gaming laptops.

With both the Omen & Pavilion lines, HPhường opted for Intel’s familiar Chip Core i7-9750H part, allowing us to vày some head-to-head testing. And you know what? The Pavilion Gaming Laptop really is an Omen in disguise. Below you’ll see the results of our HandBrake chạy thử, wherein we use the không tính phí utility lớn encode a 30GB MKV tệp tin down to the “Android Tablet” prephối.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

We’ve tested & tested và tested the bộ vi xử lý Core i7-9750H và the Core i7-8750H before it, so any deviation sticks out. Notice that the Pavilion Gaming Laptop drastically underperforms compared khổng lồ the Dell G7 và MSI GS65—with the Omen 17 sitting right alongside. Both struggled with this task, taking nearly five sầu minutes longer than the norm.

As I said in our Omen 17 Đánh Giá, it doesn’t really matter. Most games are constrained by the GPU, not the CPU. Day-to-day use is unlikely to lớn tax a CPU as hard as HandBrake, & short-burst performance is less impacted, as evidenced by our Cinebench testing below.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

The HandBrake results are interesting, though, if only because there’s a clear relationship between the Omen and Pavilion lines. These really are two flavors of the same máy vi tính, one aimed low-kết thúc và one high-over, with some minor overlap in the middle.

I vì chưng wish we’d tested an HP.. Omen with a GTX 1660 Ti so we could bởi vì further direct comparisons. Alas, the Omen 17 we tested in November contained a full-kích thước RTX 2070, a high-performance powerhouse.

The GTX 1660 Ti is a humbler card, somewhere between the power of the last-gene GTX 1060 & the RTX 2060, và without the ray-tracing capabilities provided by the latter. It handily beats out the GTX 1650, though—important, given that it"s a lower-cost option for the Pavilion Gaming Laptop. You’re much better off with a GTX 1660 Ti, as evidenced by our 3DMark testing.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

Is the GTX 1660 Ti worth the extra $270 HPhường charges? That’s a steep price, but I think so. The GTX 1650 works, but barely. With new consoles coming next year, the GTX 1660 Ti is a slightly more future-proofed option. It’s still going to struggle to run newer games with all the bells and whistles, but it should remain viable an extra two or three years longer than the GTX 1650—và by then we’ll be well inlớn the next hardware cycle, and upgrading won’t feel as volatile.

The performance gap is even more evident in real-world testing, where the GTX 1650 struggles khổng lồ run Shadow of Mordor at Ultra—a six-year-old game—while the GTX 1660 Ti breezes past the 100-frames-per-second mark. Rise of the Tomb Raider is less impressive sầu as that game is more CPU-constrained, but there’s still a jump between the GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660 Ti.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman
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IDG / Hayden Dingman

Per usual, we kết thúc on battery. Based on our chart below, the Pavilion 15 handily beats the Omen—và several other gaming laptops as well. Lasting well over five sầu hours, battery life is actually very respectable.

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IDG / Hayden Dingman

Remember that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. We typically vị our battery testing at 250 nits, but as I said earlier the Pavilion Gaming Laptop dims to lớn 200 nits when unplugged. Thus our result here comes with an enormous asterisk, because the screen might be too dark for you to lớn actually use the Pavilion Gaming Laptop, no matter how long it lasts. That said, the Omen 17 we tested had a better screen but terrible battery life. It’s a compromise either way.

Bottom line

I came into lớn this thinking I’d find a pitched battle between HP’s Pavilion và Omen lines. Really, they’re just two sides of a coin. The Pavilion’s your entry-level Omen, whether HP’s willing lớn hotline it that or not.

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As such, I think the Pavilion Gaming Laptop that we reviewed is a hard sell. It’s cđại bại in price to lớn a similarly configured Omen, but with a dismal display & no mouse buttons. You’d be better off spending more for the Omen, I promise.

The Pavilion Gaming Laptop nevertheless punches well above its weight in the entry-cấp độ range. If you’re looking for a sub-$1,000 gaming máy vi tính, HP’s built one every bit as sturdy và refined as its high-end counterparts—because at the core, they’re the same máy vi tính. Branding is funny sometimes, eh?


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