In recent years, the market for gaming laptops grew faster than the rest of the industry. Thanks to the growing popularity of eSports tournaments, there are more professional gamers now than ever before and this is the segment HP wants to target with is Pavilion gaming laptops.
HP Gaming Pavilion 15 is a high-end gaming machine designed to be a performer. It boasts of a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce GPU, an SSD, a 144Hz refresh rate display and great audio quality. It’s also sleek, and looks quite different from other gaming laptops in the market.
I spent the entire week with the gaming laptop, and here’s my verdict.
HP Gaming Pavilion 15 specifications: 15.6 FHD 144Hz IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080p) non-touch display | 9th Generation Intel Core i7 processor | Windows 10 Home 64 | 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA|512 GB PCIe SSD|12 GB DDR4 SDRAM | Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics| Bang & Olufsen speakers | 2.25kg
HP Gaming Pavilion 15 price in India: Rs 124,990
The Gaming Pavilion 15’s subtle design is a departure from the traditional gaming aesthetic. I liked the way HP has brought back clean design and simplicity to a machine that’s meant to impress pro-gamers. The design is so simplistic for a gaming laptop that I don’t mind using this machine at the cafe or the office.
While the Gaming Pavilion 15 looks different it’s a gaming laptop at the end of the day, considering its purple backlit keyboard and polygon-shaped speakers. The laptop also feels lighter than most gaming laptops that I’ve used with the same screen size and weight. Weighing 2.25kg and measuring 25.6mm thick, it’s thin enough that you can slide it in a backpack.
There’s a healy array of ports on the Pavilion 15. On the left side, you’ll find an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, an Ethernet port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and an SD card slot. On the right side, you’ll find two more USB 3.1 Type-A ports, along with an audio jack and the connector for the coat-pocket AC adapter. The laptop, however, lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Open up the lid, and you will notice a 15.6-inch screen surrounded by thin bezels. The 1080p display with 144Hz refresh rate and an anti-glare screen seems impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Paladins and watched The Irishman on the Pavilion 15.
Most gamers would be happy with the Pavilion 15 – after all, you get rates up to 140FPS without stuttering or skipped frames. There are many eSports games that support such high frame rates, and being a professional gamer, the 140Hz screen is something of a necessity.
Most of the gaming laptops I’ve reviewed in recent months had terrible onboard speakers. But the Pavilion 15’s Bang & Olufson speakers impressed me the most and it was a surprise. I listened to a couple of tracks on the Pavilion 15 and it sounded great. The sound filled the room; the bass was okay – but not booming. Most casual music listeners and gamers will be impressed by the quality of speakers on the Pavilion 15.
The Pavilion 15’s keyboard island-style keyboard is comfortable for typing. There was ease of typing, though it doesn’t offer the same level of experience what you get on the mechanical keyboard. Nevertheless, the Pavilion 15’s keyboard felt responsive and precise.
The touchpad is a bit cramped, I would say. While the tracking is precise and it handles multi-finger gestures well, I expected to see a slightly larger touchpad though.
Our review unit had an 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, plus Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics. Its performance is in line with other gaming laptops with similar parts. So, powerful enough to run games like Fortnite in medium to high settings. At the same time, the laptop can be used for editing videos and run business productivity applications. Fair to say, the Pavilion 15 is a snappy machine that worked well for me in the past week. It’s the kind of machine that can handle heavy workload as well as meet the demands of a gamer.
While I appreciate the performance and looks, battery life leaves a lot to be desired. The machine lasted less than four hours on a single charge, which consists of continuous web surfing and the Spotify app running in the background. That’s not an encouraging sign, especially when not being used for gaming.
At Rs 124,990, HP Gaming Pavilion 15 feels like an affordable machine in a sea of gaming laptops that are designed for competitive gaming tournaments. This is a solid machine that can run virtual reality experiences, AAA-titles and editing software. But like I said, Pavilion 15 isn’t perfect. It too suffers from a disappointing battery life, like most other gaming laptops. So in case you are planning to buy the HP Gaming Pavilion 15, make sure to keep the power brick handy in your backpack every time you step out of the home.