HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review

An enticingly low price for an ultraportable OLED display

HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review

HP Pavilion Plus 14

An enticingly low price for an ultraportable OLED display
PROS
Incredible value for money with its 2.8K OLED display
slender and light-weight (though not the lightest)
A good selection of connections and a webcam with 5 megapixels of resolution
CONS
Battery life of less than ten hours
There is no privacy shutter for the webcam.
No Thunderbolt 4 ports

HP PAVILION PLUS 14 SPECS

Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i7-12700H
RAM (as Tested)16 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)1 TB
Screen Size14 inches
Native Display Resolution2,880 by 1,800
Touch ScreenNo
Panel TechnologyOLED
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate90 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Wireless Networking802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Dimensions (HWD)0.72 by 12.3 by 8.8 inches
Weight3.09 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)9:30

Customers who previously would have looked up to the more costly Envy and Spectre series of laptops from HP are now showing interest in the company’s Pavilion line of laptops, which are the company’s mainstay products in terms of sales volume. The Pavilion Aero was a speedy, well-equipped, and featherweight 2.2 pounds, and the new Pavilion Plus 14 (starting at $729.99; $1,279.99 as tested) is a sleek aluminum ultraportable laptop that is available with a dazzling OLED display. Both of these laptops were released during the summer of 2013. The Plus has replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon as the Editors’ Choice recommendation for a midrange ultraportable laptop. The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is lighter and features OLED as well, but it is more expensive and has fewer ports than the Plus.

There is a Vast Selection of Configurations Available.

People who like to pore over setup minutiae will find the Pavilion Plus 14 to be a dream machine. The only color option available to American customers is Natural Silver, as opposed to the various hues that are available to customers shopping in other countries. You have the option of ordering it with integrated graphics from Intel or discrete graphics from Nvidia, as well as 12th Generation processors from Intel’s 15-watt U, 28-watt P, or 45-watt H series, depending on how much power you need. That’s a lot of options to pick from, and which one you go with will depend on how much you care about performance against how long the battery lasts.

The Core i5-1235U processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe solid-state drive, and a 14-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 2,240-by-1,400-pixel resolution are included in the most affordable model, which can be purchased from HP.com for $729.99. The GeForce MX550 graphics processing unit is also included in this configuration. However, prices may go lower in the future; therefore, it may be worthwhile to wait for a discount such as the $549.99 deal that we saw at Staples, which ended just before this review was published.

The variant that costs $999.99 is equipped with a Core i7-12700H processor (six Performance cores, eight Efficient cores, 20 threads), Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, and an OLED panel with a resolution of 2,880-by-1,800 pixels. Our review model, which retails for $1,279.99, is identical to it, with the exception that it comes preinstalled with Windows 11 Professional rather than Windows 11 Home. The Core i7-1255U processor and the GeForce RTX 2050 graphics are available to would-be gamers as a combination. For wireless connectivity, many versions include Bluetooth in addition to Wi-Fi 5, our system’s Wi-Fi 6, or Wi-Fi 6E, both of which are optional.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review

The Pavilion Plus 14 has a height, width, and depth (HWD) of 0.72 by 12.3 by 8.8 inches and is marginally more cumbersome than the Slim 7 Carbon (0.59 by 12.3 by 8.5 inches). The dimensions of the Acer Swift 3, a 14-inch ultraportable with a screen aspect ratio of the standard 16:9, are 0.63 inches in height, 12.7 inches in width, and 8.4 inches in depth. The HP is the heaviest of the three at 3.09 pounds, compared to the Lenovo’s 2.42 pounds and the Acer’s 2.71 pounds. However, its weight does not make it difficult to carry in a briefcase.

HP is particularly proud of the fact that the Plus has a lid, keyboard deck, and bottom made of recycled aluminum, in addition to keycaps made of recycled plastic. Although there is some give in the laptop when you grab the screen edges or pound the keyboard, it still has a very robust feel to it overall. Bezels around the screen are narrow (the manufacturer claims that the screen-to-body ratio is 87 percent), and the palm rest houses a fingerprint scanner, allowing users to log in without entering a password.

We like to see Thunderbolt 4 connections on laptops that cost more than $1,000; the Pavilion Plus does not have any, but given that it starts at less than $1,000, we can’t really complain too much about this fact. In addition to an HDMI video output and a 5Gbps USB Type-A port, the right side of the laptop features two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Type-C ports. One of these connections can accommodate the AC adapter that is used to charge the laptop’s battery. On the left side of the device is where you’ll find an additional USB-A connector, a slot for microSD cards, and an audio jack.

A Smattering of Finer Aspects

We are disappointed that the webcam does not come equipped with a privacy shutter; however, since Windows Hello can be accessed by using a fingerprint, we do not mind that it does not include face recognition technology. On the plus side, it outperforms the typical 720p garbage with a sharp 5-megapixel resolution (recording 2,592-by-1,944-pixel 4:3 images or 2,560-by-1,440 16:9 shots or videos) and produces well-lit and colorful pictures without any noise or static.

The fact that the backlit keyboard has dedicated keys for Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down is a significant plus. Alternatively, other keyboards force you to use the Fn key in conjunction with the cursor arrows to do these operations. It suffers from HP’s trademark arrangement of said cursor keys in an incompetent row rather than the appropriate inverted T, with half-sized, difficult-to-hit up and down arrows stacked between full-sized left and right arrows. This layout causes it to lose points. (And I almost want to suggest that it loses even more points for the presence of an emoji key with the settings for brightness and volume on the top row.)

HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review

The Escape and Delete keys on the keyboard are somewhat little, but the overall typing experience is quite satisfying. Although it lacks depth and has a plasticky texture, it is nevertheless quick and responsive. The huge touchpad, which does not have any buttons, taps and glides easily but has a vague and loose feeling click.

The vibrant OLED display that is available at a cheap price is the primary source of the praise that is bestowed upon the Pavilion Plus 14. The screen that HP refers to as a 2.8K display is not a touch screen, but it is extraordinarily sharp and vibrant, with exquisite hues and sky-high contrast levels. The white backgrounds are spotless, and the blacks have the appearance of India ink. In addition, the panel gives users the option of selecting either the standard 60Hz refresh rate or a 90Hz rate for somewhat more fluid scrolling and video playback. (As you can see in the performance benchmarks that follow, this gaming machine is not designed for fast-twitch gaming.)

Speakers that are situated on the bottom provide sound that is relatively loud and clear. Even at maximum level, the sound is not tinny or hollow, and it is possible to make out overlapping recordings. However, there is not much in the way of bass. The B&O Audio Control software includes a parametric equalizer with presets for music, movies, and voice, as well as noise cancellation for use in conferences. Other software includes a trial version of McAfee, LastPass, and ExpressVPN, as well as HP Enhanced Lighting, which can replicate a ring light on the screen; HP QuickDrop, which can transfer files to or from your smartphone; and so on.

An Evaluation of the Pavilion Plus 14: An Ultralight Ultraportable Laptop-Faceoff

When we were conducting our benchmark tests, we pitted the HP Pavilion Plus 14 against four other 14-inch consumer slimlines, the most notable of which were the OLED-screened, AMD-powered Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon and its Intel-powered brother, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro. The Acer Swift 3 and the XPG Xenia 14 are the other two options, and their prices are quite close to and just just beyond $1,000, respectively.

Test System Configurations

PROCESSORGRAPHICSRAMSTORAGE
HP Pavilion Plus 14Intel Core i7-12700HIntel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM1TB SSD
Acer Swift 3 (2021)Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM512GB SSD
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 CarbonAMD Ryzen 7 5800U (1.9GHz)AMD Radeon Graphics16GB RAM512GB SSD
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i ProIntel Core i7-11370H (3.3GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM1TB SSD
XPG Xenia 14Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM512GB SSD

Examinations of Productivity

The primary benchmark that is used in UL’s 10 mimics a wide range of real-world productivity and content-creation processes. This benchmark is used to measure overall performance for office-centric operations such as word processing, spreadsheet editing, web surfing, and video conferencing. In addition, we utilize 10’s Full System Drive test to determine how long it takes a laptop’s storage to load and its overall throughput.

In order to evaluate how well a personal computer can handle tasks that need a lot of processing power, three benchmarks concentrate on the CPU and make use of all of the cores and threads it has. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 mimics popular applications such as PDF rendering, speech recognition, and machine learning using the company’s Cinema 4D engine. Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro, on the other hand, renders a complicated scenario using the company’s Geekbench 5.4 Pro software. In the end, we convert a video clip that is 12 minutes long from a 4K resolution to a 1080p resolution using the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4. (lower times are better).

The Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s well-known image editor is used in Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop to evaluate a personal computer’s performance in relation to the creation of content and the running of multimedia programs. This is our final productivity test. It is an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks such as opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image as well as applying masks, gradient fills, and filters. These tasks can be carried out in a variety of ways depending on the user’s preferences.

The Pavilion Plus finished firmly in the upper half of the pack, coming in first place for our CPU tests and surpassing 4,000 points in , which is indicative of outstanding productivity for everyday applications such as Microsoft Office or Google Workspace.

Examinations of Graphics

HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review

We evaluate the graphics capabilities of Windows personal computers by running two DirectX 12 game simulations developed by UL’s 3DMark: Night Raid (a more basic simulation that is appropriate for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also conduct two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark known as GFXBench 5, which challenges both low-level routines like as texturing and high-level visual rendering similar to that of a game. Both the 1440p Aztec Ruins and the 1080p Car Chase tests exercise graphics and compute shaders by making use of the OpenGL programming interface and, in the case of the Car Chase test, hardware tessellation. These tests are produced offscreen to suit differing display resolutions. The higher the frame rate in terms of frames per second (fps), the better.

Once again, we find that the integrated graphics of Intel’s Iris Xe fall far short of the performance of discrete GPUs used in gaming laptops. This is the ten thousandth time this has happened. It is not recommended to play the most recent simulation games or shoot ’em ups on an HP or one of its competitors, but they are fine for streaming entertainment and casual gaming.

Tests on the Display and the Battery

Playing a locally saved 720p video clip (the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel) for an extended period of time with the display brightness set to 50 percent and the audio volume set to 100 percent is how we test the battery life of laptops. Before beginning the test, we check that the battery has a full charge and turn off Wi-Fi as well as the illumination on the keyboard.

We also make use of a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software in order to evaluate the color saturation of a laptop screen. This involves determining what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display is capable of displaying, as well as the display’s peak and 50 percent brightness levels measured in nits (candelas per square meter).

Although a battery life of nine and a half hours without an external power source is absolutely acceptable—three years ago, we would have considered it a miracle—it falls short of the twelve or more hours that are commonly seen in ultraportables these days. Nevertheless, the Plus ought to keep you going through an entire day of work or school with enough time left over to watch a little bit of YouTube or maybe an entire Netflix movie. More importantly, the OLED Slim 7 Carbon has a display that comes close to competing with the stunning display offered by the HP. The OLED Slim 7 Carbon has exceptional brightness and great color coverage.

The $1,000 Model Looks Even Better

Once you’ve experienced the brilliance of an OLED screen, it’s difficult to go back to a display technology other than IPS on a portable device. Even with the additional cost of our review unit’s one terabyte solid state drive, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 in its IPS configuration is a capable ultraportable. However, the OLED variant of this laptop represents a significant value proposition. Even if it would be even better if it shed a few ounces and extended its battery life by a few hours, we believe it is still deserving of the Editor’s Choice award and a place on your shopping list.


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HP PAVILION PLUS 14 SPECS Laptop ClassUltraportableProcessorIntel Core i7-12700HRAM (as Tested)16 GBBoot Drive TypeSSDBoot Drive Capacity (as Tested)1 TBScreen Size14 inchesNative Display Resolution2,880 by 1,800Touch ScreenNoPanel TechnologyOLEDVariable Refresh SupportNoneScreen Refresh Rate90 HzGraphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe GraphicsWireless Networking802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)Dimensions (HWD)0.72 by 12.3 by 8.8 inchesWeight3.09...HP Pavilion Plus 14 Review