In other words, it’s a great time to shop for a gaming PC. HP and all of its competitors have entry-level models in the $750-$800 range, and higher-end models for $1,000 or more. It’s hard for any of these vendors to stand out, but HP has made some interesting choices in storage technology and other details. Let’s take a closer look.
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop Prices and Features
HP Pavilion Gaming Notebooks start with just one 15.6-inch design factor and many possible configurations.
Starting at $799, you get an Intel Core i5-8300H CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 15.6-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Storage has two sides upside down: a 1TB hard drive running at 7200 cycles rpm is when we see a lot more 5400rpm drives in this price range. 16GB Intel Optane memory module provides fast cache to make your drive feel a lot faster. The AMD Radeon RX 560X discrete GPU, on the other hand, is slightly less powerful than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050s that you’ll find on similarly priced models.
HP does best at $909: you get the same Intel Core i5-8300H CPU with 8GB of RAM, but the graphics graduate to a GTX 1050 Ti. Storage space remains ample compared to competitors: a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive for files, plus a 128GB HDD for accelerating OS and applications.
If your budget stretches to $1,000, you have some new options. The $1,019 configuration of the Pavilion gaming laptop comes with a faster Intel Core i5-8750H processor and 8GB of RAM. The GTX 1050 Ti remains, but HP is upgrading the screen from the standard 60Hz to a fast refresh rate of 144Hz. Storage comes back to a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive and 16GB of Intel Optane memory, but this monitor could be a worthwhile trade-off. There’s also a 4K display option, but this component will eat into your battery life.
To HP’s credit, the company has teased a few details in the design of the Pavilion Gaming Laptop. The body color is simple black, but you can choose the color of the backlight: Ghost White, Acid Green or Ultraviolet. The screen has narrow bezels to increase the screen space. The keyboard isn’t mechanical, but the aluminum one adds durability in case you’re the kind of person who takes things out on your PC when a game doesn’t go your way. The speaker grille runs above the keyboard to maximize audio output, and you better immerse yourself in gaming.
Ventilation makes or breaks a gaming laptop – no one wants your CPU or GPU to be throttling because they can’t stand the heat. HP builds large vents in the hinge area and places the dual fans in corners directly through those vents, rather than placing them deeper inside the machine, to maximize airflow.
Shop for a mainstream gaming PC, and you’ll quickly find a bunch of very similar competitors jostling about certain sweet price ranges. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptops jump straight into the fray, with their own share of good points and great details compared to the competition. I would say the storage options deserve the most credit for the delicate balance between speed and capacity. We’ll tell you more if we have a chance to review it.