Another day. Another week. Another laptop. 2023 is filled with laptops, and just like the smartphone world, there is something for everyone. HP has thrown the Pavilion Plus 14 into the mix. Starting at Rs 91,999, the Pavilion Plus 14 has something for everyone. Want to watch John Wick 4? Check. Want to play a casual game like Limbo? Check. Want to run Photoshop for some photo editing? Check. Want to write your next article (like this review)? Check.
What are you getting with the Pavilion Plus 14?
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 for 2023 is a mid-range Windows laptop. It’s an ultraportable laptop available with Intel’s latest 13th Gen CPUs. Specifically, their U-series, P-series and H-series processors. Only the Core i5-1340P or an H-series CPU supports Thunderbolt 4. It comes with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, The memory and storage options max out at 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. There’s a choice between a 2.2k IPS display (2230x1400) and a 2.8k 90Hz OLED display (2880x1800), both of which are IMAX certified. The laptop comes with a 51Wh battery, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5MP webcam (with support for Windows Hello).
The model I have comes with an Intel 13th Gen Core i7-1355U processor, but there is an AMD variant in case anyone is interested in that. The AMD variant comes with AMD Radeon 780M Graphics.
Let’s talk about ports. There are two USB-A ports, two USB Type-C ports, one HDMI out, a MicroSD card reader, and a headphone jack.
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 has a simple but understated design and comes with thin bezels, a sturdy hinge and a few different colour options. One look at the bottom and you’ll notice the speakers (near the front) and the vents (near the back), At the back of the keyboard, next to the hinge are more vents. This is a clamshell laptop and not a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. If the latter catches your eye, then HP has plenty of other options for you to check out.
In my two weeks of usage, the laptop has taken a bump here and there. But I’m happy to report that the build quality is top-notch. The laptop has an aluminium chassis and thankfully, very few scratches or fingerprints. The keyboard likes any flex (unlike the hinge)
At 1.44kg and 17.55mm, the laptop is thin, light and extremely portable. The HP Pavilion 14 Plus is a little bit front-heavy, but that doesn’t affect day-to-day usage in the slightest. HP has kept up its tradition of providing the best displays for its line of laptops. The OLED display is every bit as good as it should be and is IMAX Enhanced for an overall better viewing experience. My only gripe is that the refresh rate is limited to 90Hz and that HP didn’t give it the 120Hz it deserves. Do not go for the IPS panel and stick to the OLED one only. OLEDs are known for great contrast ratio and the one on the Pavilion 14 Plus ticks off that box. With a peak brightness of 500 nits, the display is useable in the outdoors but, if you’re at an angle, then there may be slight difficulties while reading or watching content.
Whilst I’ve kept a high WPM count with the keyboard, I’m not entirely impressed. The keys are on the smaller side, but they do have enough space between them. It doesn’t feel cramped, and the layout doesn’t take long to get used to. There are navigation keys on the side (which one isn’t used to), but I’m glad they’re separate. The keyboard isn’t the most premium I’ve used, and there isn’t a lot of key travel, but thankfully, the typing noise is low. There are also two backlight brightness levels.
The touchpad feels smooth. It’s made out of plastic, but I’ve had no issues using it. There is a satisfying click as well and one doesn’t need to click hard to register an input.
“Tune in to the sounds you love through immersive audio by Bang & Olufsen,” reads the description on the HP website. These are indeed very good speakers, even at loud volumes, as there is minimal noise. Those who care about bass will be disappointed. That’s the only thing to nitpick here.
My favourite feature of the Pavilion 14 Plus is the webcam. The quality is amazing as the photos retain a lot of detail and with great colour accuracy. In low-light scenarios, the webcam does falter a bit. The microphones are loud and clear.
Let me just finish this section by saying that I’ve had absolutely no problems with respect to performance. There have been a couple of instances where an app shut down, but for the most part, the laptop hasn’t lagged while in use.
Where’s the downside?
Battery life. That’s the only thing I’d like to complain about with respect to this laptop. The battery life is good when you aren’t pushing it. But, if you’re consuming content, then the battery life falls behind some of the immediate competitors. Having integrated graphics helps push the battery life to around 7 hours or so on average. Again, the U-series processors consume the least amount of power and hence will provide the most battery life.
I’d like to reiterate that 7 hours isn’t bad. But it does lag behind some of the competition out there.
Verdict: Your next laptop?
The HP Pavilion 14 Plus is one of those laptops that’ll just keep on chugging along for years to come. It’s got a solid build, a good screen, and decent internals. The HP Pavilion 14 Plus isn’t pushing the boundaries, in terms of design or performance, but it certainly isn’t slacking. It’s easy to lug around and got Intel’s 13th Gen CPUs to boot. It’ll handle all your productivity tasks but not every high-intensity game out there.
With a decent keyboard, a best-in-class webcam, a large port selection, and more, the HP Pavilion 14 Plus is a worthy addition to the laptop market.