A few days ago I reviewed HP’s Pavilion 15 laptop as it is currently on sale at a large Black Friday discount. HP is taking $450 off any configuration of this model (compensated affiliate link). The specific configuration I examined is priced at $529, I think a decent price for someone looking for a nicely performing laptop who doesn’t need many bells and whistles. You can watch my video review here.
The HP Pavilion 15 features a 15.6-inch 1080p display, although it’s not the brightest at about 250 nits. The model I reviewed had a TN display, which I found to have limited viewing angles. However, the Black Friday deal includes an IPS display option, which I would recommend for better viewing quality.
Internally, the laptop is equipped with an Intel i7-1355U processor, Intel Iris XE Graphics, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, and a 256 GB NVMe SSD. The RAM is socketed, but it’s unclear if it can be expanded beyond 16 GB. The SSD can be replaced for more storage, offering some flexibility for future upgrades.
The build quality is mostly plastic, and the laptop weighs 3.86 lbs (1.75 kg). While it’s not the most robust construction, the performance does make up for it. The keyboard is decent with large, well-spaced keys, and the trackpad is functional. A notable feature is the fingerprint reader, which adds convenience for logging in.
Port selection is good, with an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-A port, a USB-C Gen 2 port (which supports power, display port 1.4 out, and data devices), a combined headphone/microphone jack, another USB-A port, and a barrel connector for power. However, there’s no card reader for additional storage or camera cards.
The webcam is only 720p, suitable for basic video calls but not exceptional. Battery life is estimated between 6 to 8 hours, depending on usage, which is reasonable for a laptop in this price range.
Performance-wise, the HP Pavilion 15 excels in basic tasks like web browsing and video streaming. It handles 1080p videos well and is equipped with Wi-Fi 6 for a smooth online experience. The speakers are average, but external headphones or speakers can enhance the audio experience.
For more demanding tasks like video editing, the laptop’s i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM allow for smooth operation in applications like DaVinci Resolve, especially for basic to moderate editing tasks. Gaming performance is adequate for casual gaming, with the ability to run demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 at lower settings at around 30-35 frames per second.
In benchmarks, the laptop scored well, indicating it can keep pace with other laptops in its generation. However, it does experience some thermal throttling under heavy load, which is common in laptops at this price point.
Lastly, I tested the laptop with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux, and it performed well, with all hardware components being detected correctly. This makes it a viable option for those looking to run alternative operating systems.
The HP Pavilion 15, especially with the Black Friday discount, offers a solid value proposition. It’s a practical choice for those needing a capable laptop without breaking the bank. While it’s not the top-end in terms of build quality or features, its performance for the price is commendable.