HP has upped its game in the mid-segment laptop category with the Pavilion home-series laptop range that clubs together a little bit of the best of all worlds. The Pavilion 14 is no different but falls short on its run-of-the-mill uninspired design. And that's where all its shortcomings end for me.
Under the hood, the Pavilion 14 sports specs similar to any other Intel-powered laptop in the sub-75K price range – 11th Gen Intel Core i5 – 1135G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 512 GB storage, a fingerprint scanner, 720p camera in a chassis of a 14-inch machine. But where it really shines is the snappy performance. The machine scored 3661on PCMark 10, which falls a little short of gaming laptops but is fairly good for this home machine. With Intel's latest 11th Gen processors and Iris Xe integrated graphics, it handled my workload including multiple Chrome tabs (approximately 25 across multiple windows), image and video editing, heavy downloads, streaming videos and long hours of video conferencing without any hiccups. Also, the built-in Alexa feature came in handy for fetching information, controlling paired smart devices and playing my playlist (I had to log into my Alexa account). Another utility feature I loved using was HP QuickDrop, which helped to share files between my iPhone and this laptop wirelessly. The Pavilion 14 is good at casual gaming (titles such as Dota 2, Dead or Alive) as there were no freezing issues. But heavy titles such as GTA V can impact the performance (mind you, it's not a gaming laptop).
Complementing this work and entertainment experience was the bright 14-inch full HD display and B&O sound. The full HD display was bright and I preferred using it at 70 per cent brightness. The 178-degree wide viewing angle worked for me, especially while streaming videos with family. But if you hate people peeping into your screen, you might not be happy about this. Also, spending long durations in front of this screen wasn't an issue as the screen was glare-free. On the sound front, the B&O sound was loud and clear. The speaker grills are placed towards the bottom corners of the laptop, which makes the sound reflect off the table. The B&O Audio Control app helped in customising equalisers when playing music. The noise cancellation feature came in handy for answering conferencing calls as it successfully reduced the background noise. All this is backed up with a 43Wh Li-ion battery that lasted a little over 6 hours on a charge. HP Pavilion 14's battery juiced up 50 per cent in the first 30 minutes and takes about another hour to reach 100 per cent.
All this is bundled in a plastic chassis with a soft premium finish. Available in white and silver, HP recently released this machine in tranquil pink colour (our review unit) which looked graceful. The outer lid was done subtle shade of pink whereas the keyboard chassis in silver. The backlit keys are well spaced and are accompanied by a large trackpad, making it convenient to type on. However, there is a slight flex in the laptop keyboard, which is barely noticeable and does not hamper the typing experience. Overall, the HP Pavilion is sleek (1.7 cm) and lightweight too (1.4 kg), which makes it super comfortable to lug around, just like a portfolio in hand. Despite the sleek form factor, HP has added ample ports including a Type C, two USB Type-A, HDMI, a microSD card reader along with the audio jack. There is also a fingerprint scanner for biometric login and verification.
Excelling in all departments barring design, the HP Pavilion 14 is a great machine to work on.
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