HP Pavilion Notebooks Hands-on

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HP Pavilion Notebooks Hands-on

Even though the academic year hasn’t concluded yet for many students, HP is ready to equip you for the fall with its latest Pavilion notebook refresh. This year’s back-to-school model comes with a fresh design, that HP says is thinner, lighter and occupies a more compact footprint than the Pavilions from last year.

HP was able to achieve this new design largely in part with the shift from cylindrical batteries to a new prismatic battery. Rather than putting the battery in a barrel that extends in the rear beyond the laptop’s hinge, the new prismatic batteries are now placed in the base of the Pavilion, leading to a space-saving and footprint-reducing design. Despite the change, HP’s stated battery life looks impressive, with up to 10 hours across the board of 14, 15.6 and 17.3-inch Pavilion notebook models.

If you’re concerned about battery life, HP claims its Fast Charge technology is capable of recharging the notebooks to 90% battery capacity in just 90 minutes with the screen off. The 17.3-inch model also comes with a removable battery on the underside of the laptop, whereas the smaller models have built-in batteries that aren’t user-replaceable. To keep costs down, the 17.3-inch Pavilion’s battery isn’t hot swappable when the laptop isn’t plugged into a power source.

hpnotebooks2.jpgThis year, HP is also splitting up its Pavilion notebook range. A slightly thinner and lighter range consists of the 14 and 15.6-inch models, and these laptops come with up to an Intel Core i7 processor from the company’s latest sixth generation Skylake architecture. A second line of performance-driven Pavilion models in the 15.6- and 17.3-inch screen sizes come with either up to either an Intel Core i7 Skylake processor or a 7th generation AMD A12 processor along with discrete NVIDIA GeForce 960M graphics. The 960 dGPU on the Pavilion notebooks is a slight upgrade above the 940M GPU on the convertible Pavilion x360 line.

The 14-inch model starts at just 3.3 pounds and has a 19.5mm thin profile. The 15.6-inch has a starting weight of 4.26 pounds, while the 17.3-inch model comes in at 6.28 pounds.

All models can be configured with either up to a 512GB solid state drive or 2TB of hard drive. Dual storage options are also available, and this tops out with up to a 2TB hard drive and 128GB SSD. The notebooks also come with an optical drive bay.

hpnotebooks3.jpgAs these are notebook-first experiences, the touchscreen is optional. The thinner and lighter models come with a non-edge-to-edge display with 1080p FHD screen resolution, while the performance models can be configured with up to a 4K UHD display.

Equipped with Windows 10, users can also choose between a wide-angle camera for video chats or an Intel RealSense camera for biometric facial recognition to easily log into the PC without using a PIN or password. HP’s partnership with B&O means that you’ll get B&O tuning on these laptops with the signature B&O speaker grill design on the keyboard deck.

The 15.6-inch Pavilion will become available starting May 18 starting at $579, while the 17.3-inch model will start at $899. The 14-inch model will be available starting June 12 at a starting price of $539.