HP – HEWLETT PACKARD – PAVILION i7 LAPTOP
Case & Connectivity
The Pavilion 14 largely conforms to HP’s current design scheme. The lid and underside are silver colored while the inside is black. It is striking that HP has put white stripes on the palm rests. In addition, the hinge covers shine like metal (but they are made from plastic) and so does the big, central HP logo on the lid. The lid is made from metal, which feels nice to the touch. The inside and base unit are made entirely from plastic.
While this is not bad per se, the plastic used feels very soft to the touch and appears cheap. This applies to the base unit especially. While the base unit twists only slightly, the lid twists slightly more. Nevertheless, the stability is all right for a relatively cheap device. The palm rests bend significantly when applying pressure in the center while it is stable along the edges. Pressure against the lid is not visible on the display. At about 1.5 kg (~3.3 pounds), the HP Pavilion 14 weighs slightly less than the Lenovo and Acer in our comparison group.
The connectivity conforms to what is commonplace in typical 13-inch and 14-inch notebooks today. However, our test model lacks a USB Type C port and one of the USB ports is still USB 2.0. The interface layout is ok. All interfaces sit on the left and right side towards the rear. Please note that an Ethernet port with cover is used. Otherwise, the relatively thick port might not have found enough space. Unfortunately, HP uses Fast Ethernet (100 Mbit/s), which unnecessarily limits the performance.
The Wi-Fi adapter likewise performs poorly. While the connection is stable, HP uses a very slow b/g/n 1×1 adapter with a maximum gross rate of 72 Mbit/s and a net rate of barely half of it.
The keyboard is good when compared to other devices in this price range. It uses the typical HP layout with very small vertical arrow keys and navigation keys at the right edge, which are not really subject to complaint. The typing experience is all right, not too spongy and not too hard, and the keys feature sufficient travel. Please note that the keyboard springs slightly when typing more vigorously. This is a bad property that many cheap notebooks have in common.
In contrast to the keyboard, the Synaptics touchpad is by no means good, even when compared to other devices of this category. While it is relatively big, and the surface is smooth, the integrated click mechanics of the ClickPad appears very cheap. In addition, the ClickPad clatters slightly. Unfortunately, the touchpad did not work flawlessly. It repeatedly did not respond at all for a few seconds when we tried to move the mouse pointer.
HP incorporated a 14-inch display with FHD resolution (1920×1080 pixels). The panel comes from AUO (AU Optotronics) and features a glossy surface. The FHD IPS display is the only option available for the Pavilion 14 in Germany.
With an average brightness of 208 cd/m2, the panel is relatively dark. The displays of the two devices in our comparison, the Lenovo and Acer, are brighter. While the HP performs better than its competitors in contrast with 786:1, it falls behind them in color space. The AUO display does not use PWM, but it shows some backlight bleeding along the lower display edge when the display is completely dark.
As it is a Pavilion, the test model is designed for multimedia. With a 15 W ULV CPU and a dedicated graphics card, the device is sufficiently equipped for this purpose.
Apart from the tested configuration with i5 CPU, HP offers another model of the HP Pavilion 14, which is identical to the test model except for the CPU. The 100 Euros (~$112) more expensive model uses an i7-6500U.
HP is not thrifty as to RAM. Both variants come with 8 GB DDR4-2133 RAM, however in a single module. As a result, RAM runs in slow single channel mode.