Best HP Electronics Reviews

HP Electronics

HP Inc. is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, that develops personal computers, printers and related supplies, as well as 3D printing solutions.
1 HP Chromebook 14-inch HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC

HP Chromebook 14-inch HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC

Google play store: The millions of Android apps you know and love on your phone and tablet can now run on your Chrome device without compromising their speed, simplicity or security Sleek, responsive design: Keep going comfortably with the ...
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2 HP 15.6″ HD LED Display Laptop, Intel Pentium Gold 6405U Processor

HP 15.6″ HD LED Display Laptop, Intel Pentium Gold 6405U Processor

15.6" diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), micro-edge, BrightView, 220 nits, 45% NTSC, Intel Pentium Gold 6405U (2.4 GHz base frequency, 2 MB L3 cache, 2 cores) 128GB SATA M.2 SSD, 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (1 x 4 GB) Optical drive not included, ...
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3 HP 24mh FHD Monitor – Computer Monitor

HP 24mh FHD Monitor – Computer Monitor

OUTSTANDING VISUALS – This FHD display with IPS technology gives you brilliant visuals and unforgettable quality; with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 75 Hz, you’ll experience the image accuracy and wide-viewing spectrums of premium ...
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4 HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Wireless Printers

HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Wireless Printers

The main functions of this HP color inkjet photo printer: copy, scan, fax, wireless printing, AirPrint, touchscreen, Instant Ink ready so you'll never run out of ink, and more The power of your printer in the palm of your hand: The HP Smart ...
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5 HP Envy Desktop Computer

HP Envy Desktop Computer

YOUR CREATIVE SIDEKICK: Render, edit, game and stream better than ever before FAST PROCESSOR: 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10700 Processor, 8-Core, 2.90 GHz base frequency, up to 4.8 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology MEMORY: 16 GB ...
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6 Newest HP EliteBook 840 G7 14″ FHD IPS Premium Business Laptop

Newest HP EliteBook 840 G7 14″ FHD IPS Premium Business Laptop

10th Generation Intel Core i7-10610U Processor (Quad-Core, 1.8 GHz Upto 4.9 GHz, 8 MB Cache), 16GB DDR4 Memory 2666 MHz, 512GB PCIE SSD 14" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS, anti-glare, 250 nits, 45% NTSC Display, Intel UHD Graphics WiFi 6 ...
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7 HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

POWER FOR THE FUTURE – Get ready to game on your terms with seamless expansions and easy upgrades. This potent PC will keep up with your skills and the games of tomorrowR FOR THE FUTURE – Get ready to game on your terms with seamless expansions ...
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8 HP – Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop

HP – Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop

10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 mobile processor: Powerful quad-core, eight-way processing performance. Intel Turbo Boost Technology delivers dynamic extra power when you need it, while increasing energy efficiency when you don't. 12GB system ...
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Best HP Electronics Reviews

Best HP laptops 2021

The HP Pavilion 15 is a 15.6” laptop with a full HD IPS touch screen, 512GB fast SSD, Ryzen 5-3500U processor and 8GB of RAM. There are other models in the range, but this one offers a good balance between performance and price. It’s currently around £550 or $600, but prices vary. 

It’s not the flashiest laptop. It’s predominantly plastic, there’s no 360 degree hinge and it’s not super lightweight. But it’s fast enough to run pretty much anything and can even handle some light gaming with its integrated Vega 8 graphics.

Could this be the perfect all-round laptop for most of us? Let’s find out.

Overview

Inside the box you get the laptop itself, a 45W charger and a quick-start guide. You can download a full user guide from HP that I’ll link to below.

Left side of laptop

The left side of the laptop has a full size HDMI port, a Gigabit Ethernet port with accompanying status LEDs, a USB Type-C port, the status LED for the SSD drive and a combo headphone microphone jack. 

Right side of laptop

The right side has the memory card reader, a Kensington security slot, 2 standard USB type-A ports and the charging port with its accompanying LED.

The USB ports are all USB 3.1 Gen 1 so support a maximum of 5 Gbps, not the 10  Gbps of the more recent Gen 2, but that should still be plenty quick enough for most accessories you’ll plug in for the time being. The SD card slot is useful but limited to slow USB 2.0 speeds as seems to unfortunately be the norm.

Opening the lid reveals a chiclet style keyboard with a number pad. The keyboard isn’t backlit like on some models in the range.

The trackpad measures 115mm by 60mm, wider but narrower than most. 

All plastic construction does feel a little flimsy in places

The build quality of the laptop is decent if nothing spectacular. It looks fairly premium, but it’s made almost entirely of plastic. The keyboard surround and palm rest feel fairly firm but creak ever so slightly. The lid has more flex than I’d like to see, which apart from making it feel a little flimsy, offers little protection to the LCD panel behind it. 

The base of the laptop is more rigid with an air vent and four rubber feet.

The laptop measures 361mm by 246mm and is 20mm thick taking into account its feet. It’s slightly beveled around the sides and chiseled towards the front making it look thinner. It’s lighter than spec’d at 1.7kg

When you first power on the laptop you’ll need to finish off the Windows 10 install as usual. This goes fairly quickly thanks to the SSD.

Not too much junkware

There’s not too much junkware – I uninstalled McAfee, letting the built in free Windows Defender take its place. If you need additional protection I usually install MalwareBytes. There’s also some HP software that I’m keeping for the time being.

Bezels aren’t too noticeable

With its larger 15.6” display, I was pleased to see a thin 5mm bezel around the sides keeping it’s overall size down. The top bezel measures 11mm but includes the 720p HD webcam and dual microphones for noise suppression.

The bottom bezel with the HP logo measures 20mm. 

Small of amount of flex in the middle of keyboard – but not too bad

There is a small amount of flex in the keyboard towards the centre and it does sound a little clattery, but there’s a decent 1.5mm of travel and I found typing on it perfectly acceptable.

Keyboard has decent travel

I do prefer a full size Return or Enter key though.

Trackpad nice and wide but a little short

The multi-touch trackpad is nice and wide but feels cramped in the vertical direction. The surface is a little rough compared to some high end trackpads I’ve used and I still much prefer using this laptop with a mouse, but it’s more than adequate with nice positive clicks; if you choose clicks over the default taps.

Elan Clickpad software

And you can customise it through the pre-installed Elan Clickpad software.

Display and performance

Only 130 degree hinge …

The 1920 x 1080 full HD screen has an IPS touch screen panel that is one of the highlights of the laptop. There’s no 360 degree hinge to really take advantage of the touch display, but that would bump up the price. The hinge tilts back to just 130 degrees and the base of the lid then becomes a large rear foot for the laptop, tilting the keyboard slightly.

Touch display can still be useful, but limited without 360 degree hinge

Even without a 360 degree hinge, the touch display can be still useful for casual interaction with the laptop.

Full HD IPS panel

The IPS panel looks crisp and has good viewing angles but the glossy screen is very reflective, so you still might need to adjust the tilt of the screen to reduce any distracting reflections. Personally I could probably forego the touch screen for one of the models with an anti-glare panel.

Using an X-Rite i1Display Pro monitor calibrator, I measured a maximum brightness of 230 nits, a little less than the quoted 250 nits. It’s still bright enough indoors, but would struggle outside in brighter conditions.

Measuring brightness and colour accuracy

This is not a laptop specifically aimed at photographers but I calibrated the screen, again using the i1Display Pro, to attempt to get the most accurate colours possible from the screen. There wasn’t a hugely noticeable difference to my eye. 

Delta E of 2.74 after calibration

I measured the colour accuracy or Delta E of the screen. Delta E is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives colour difference with a value of less than 1 being not perceptible to the human eye. And a value between 1 and 2 being barely perceptible. I measured an average Delta E of 2.74 which is not too bad and an improvement over the 5.77 I got before calibration. 

Only 59% of sRGB colour space

Only 59% of the sRGB colour space was covered, the spectrum of colours that most devices conform to, from phones to TVs to monitors. This is a low result, but again for general use the display is more than adequate and the variation in brightness across the screen was minimal, passing a final uniformity test. 

45W AC charger

The 41Wh integrated battery charges with a 45W, 19.5V 2.31A AC adapter with a 4.5mm pin. I would much prefer to see a standardised USB-C charger. Apart from being more convenient it’s also more robust. 

A full charge from completely empty with the laptop turned off took exactly two hours with the amber power status light turning white.

Fast charging times

The battery supports fast charging and a 30 minute charge, again from completely flat with the laptop turned off, brought the battery status to 43% – a little below the quoted 50%. A 90 minute charge brought it to 96%, higher than the quoted 90%.

Battery life is quoted as 9 hours 30 minute in mixed usage and 8 hours 45 minutes for video playback. HP don’t specify exactly how they get these figures and they seem optimistic.

Measuring battery life

Playing back a full HD YouTube video full screen, with brightness at maximum I got around 4 hours of usage with the battery slider at Best Performance. Dropping the performance slider to Best Battery Life and at 50% screen brightness, which is pretty dim on this laptop, this increased to just over 5 hours. These are still decent results for a powerful laptop with a 15.6” full HD screen, considering you’ll get longer just using the computer for web browsing or word processing.

Battery remaining time not enabled by default …

By default you won’t see the estimated battery remaining time, only the battery percentage. You can turn this feature on in the system BIOS. Turn the laptop off and then power on holding down the Esc key. Press the F10 key to enter the BIOS Setup.

Need to turn on in BIOS

Use the arrow keys to navigate to the System Configuration menu and Enable Battery Remaining Time.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU

This model has an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U with Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics. It’s a quad core processor with 8 virtual threads and has a 2.1GHz base speed boosting to 3.7Ghz. It’s roughly equivalent to something like an Intel i5-8250U but its integrated graphics are better, which I’ll come back to.

Together with its 8GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2400Mhz and fast M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD drive, this laptop feels very nippy in general use. 

Benchmarking fast NVMe SSD

Using CrystalDiskMark to test the speed of the drive, I measured 1633MB/s read speed and 944Mb/s write speed, which is much faster than even a standard SSD.

The laptop booted in 8 seconds to the login screen and woke from sleep in around 3 seconds.

Geekbench 5 scores

Running the Geekbench 5 Benchmark gave a single core score of 893 and a multi-core score of 3020 which are both decent results. You can see how these results compare to a 2012 MacBook Pro, the Lenovo Yoga 530 I reviewed recently and my high end desktop PC.

UserBenchmark score

The UserBenchmark test gave the laptop a relatively high 74% Desktop score, but with the laptop’s integrated graphics a fairly low Gaming score of 20%.

Scrubbing complex timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro

In real use, I was able to edit a fairly complex sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro with multiple layers without too much trouble. These were 4K clips in a 1080p timeline and I had created proxies or lower resolution substitute files as I do even on my powerful video editing PC. Lowering the playback and pause resolution, I could play and scrub the timeline without too many dropped frames which is quite a challenging task.

Theoretically supports hardware encoding using GPU, but had to revert to software encoding with this sequence

Unfortunately I couldn’t use the AMD Vega 8 graphics processor for exporting using hardware encoding, for any sort of real life project at least, even though it looked like it was supported. The integrated graphics only has 2GB of dedicated VRAM which may not be enough. Perhaps if you were to increase the system RAM to 16GB that might help.

Switching to software encoding that just uses the CPU was slow, taking almost 30 minutes minutes to render a 2 minute section of my 12 minute sequence using the standard YouTube preferred H264 codec. This took just over 10 minutes using software encoding on my desktop PC with an i7-8700 processor and less than a minute using the hardware encoding of my Nvidia RTX 2070 video card.

But at least it is possible to use the laptop for some very heavy duty tasks if need be, although I wouldn’t buy it solely for that purpose.

Light gaming is possible on this laptop. Playing Doom

Considering there isn’t a dedicated graphics card, the integrated GPU handled a few games I tested quite well.

Playing Fortnite

You’ll have to experiment with resolution and graphics quality, but Doom was quite playable as was Fortnite and several other games I tried.

Heaven graphics benchmark

The synthetic Heaven benchmark in Basic mode gave a score of 780 with a very acceptable average frame rate of 31 fps.

Adjusting HP CoolSense to try and control fan noise

It’s easy to upgrade the memory or NVMe SSD, or replace the battery when it’s no longer holding its charge. There’s even space for an additional 2.5” hard drive, although you’d need some additional parts to hold it in place and connect it to the motherboard.

RAM can be upgraded to 16GB maximum

If you wanted to use the laptop for more intensive work, I’d start by replacing the two 4GB RAM modules for 8GB modules taking the total memory to its 16GB maximum.

720p webcam with dual mics

The 720p Wide Vision HD webcam does a good job, as do the dual microphones either side of it. Even in low light, the webcam still manages to capture an image, albeit a very grainy one. In good light it’s better than a lot of other built in webcams I’ve used. There’s an white indicator light to let you know the camera is on.

You can see and hear to a webcam and microphone test in the video at the top of the page.

B&O tuned speakers

The built-in stereo speakers, tuned by Bang and Olufsen according to HP’s marketing info, still sound like laptop speakers, with very little bass. But they are pretty loud and mids sound bright. It’s perfectly acceptable for video chats but for anything else, personally, I’d connect headphones or an external speaker.

Speaker sound test in video …

You can listen to a speaker test in the accompanying video.

Bluetooth 4.2

You could use the integrated Bluetooth 4.2 for that if you wanted to. There isn’t the latest Bluetooth 5.0 but that’s not anything I’d be too concerned about.

802.11ac WiFi

There’s also 802.11ac WiFi and the connection was decent around the house to the very average Sky router. I didn’t quite get the download speeds of my iPhone 11 but I could still stream YouTube videos quite happily to the furthest points in the house.

Conclusions

The HP Pavilion 15 is a very capable laptop – I don’t really think you could ask for a much better spec for the price. The build quality is generally good and it looks quite stylish, but there’s more flex in the lid than I’d like and together with its all plastic build and lack of a 360 degree hinge, you’ll have to take a little extra care with it.

The Ryzen processor and generously sized fast NVMe SSD, really make the laptop feel quick in both general use and more intensive tasks. If you wanted to use it for heavy duty work regularly you have the option of upgrading the memory to 16GB.

It even handled light gaming thanks to the integrated AMD Vega 8 graphics, as long as you’re  willing to adjust resolution and graphics quality.

I did find the fan a little noisy and the screen is very reflective. There doesn’t seem to be much you can do about the fan noise, but you could opt for a model with an anti-glare screen at the expense of touch if you think the reflections would bother you.

It may not be the flashiest laptop around, but it could well be the perfect laptop for a student going off to university, or anyone else who wants the best spec possible without breaking the bank.

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