Laptop gaming does not only come at a high price. Some laptop or notebook manufacturers provide even the release of several variants or series at once, accommodation for those who want to play games but on a budget that is not too expensive. Hewlett-Packard (HP), for example, presents the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 line which has many hardware configurations.
Starting from chipsets with Intel Core-i5, to NVIDIA RTX series graphics card options, HP provides many choices according to user needs. I also had the opportunity to try one of the variants of the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (2020), and use it for about two months. Overall, the impression I got was quite positive.
But of course, with a few drawbacks. Again, the price is indeed cheaper than the HP OMEN 15 series that we have reviewed. But it could be that some of these shortcomings are not a problem for My friends. How about the overall features? Here is a review of the HP Pavilion Gaming 15.
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 has a stronger design for gaming accents. It can be seen from the side corners, top to bottom of the screen which is not common when it is opened. The color itself is still the same, Shadow Black with a matte finish made of polycarbonate.
This material is strong enough for everyday use. It’s not easy to scratch, it’s just that it’s quite easy to imprint fingerprints and get dirt on it. It doesn’t really look like it when it’s dirty, but cleaning it takes a little extra effort. You can’t just clean it with a single wipe tissue.
The dimensions are also quite large. The thickness is up to 2.34cm, with a laptop weight of 2.33 kilograms. Plus the charger is also quite large and weighs in the range of 500 grams, bringing both of them almost 3 kilograms. Obviously, not a portable laptop that’s comfortable to carry around or tuck into a 14-inch backpack along with other things.
A little complaint is on the vent in the body underneath. For outdoor use or semi-outdoor rooms where there is a lot of thin dust, this part will get dirty easily as if it is absorbing dust into it. I didn’t experience the same thing when using the HP OMEN 15. It didn’t interfere with performance, indeed.
Display The relatively high refresh rate in its class, aka 144Hz. A luxury that you will lose when you return to a 60Hz screen laptop. The panel used is IPS with full HD resolution. Color coverage is 45% NTSC, with a brightness of 250 nits. Slightly underexposed for outdoor use.
The top, left and right bezels are classified as thin, but the bottom side is still quite thick and high. It could be an advantage because it just feels right on the eye, but the dimensions are getting bigger. And it cannot be opened up to 180 degrees, so flexibility is not the most superior. At least, the high refresh rate and color reproduction are quite pleasing to the eye.
Ports and Connectivity
In addition to gamers, this laptop also feels suitable for content creators. The reason is, the ports provided on both sides of the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 are complete. On the right, there are 2 5Gbps USB-A ports, DC-in (charging port) and an audio combo jack. The rest is put on the left; HDMI, USB-A 5Gbps which supports HP Sleep & Charge, RJ-45 port, USB-C and SD card reader.
The USB-C port of this HP gaming laptop supports USB Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4 up to 10Gbps. However, this port cannot be used to charge a laptop, even if you use a 65W GaN adapter. As for connectivity, it supports Wi-Fi 6 with Intel AX 201 (2 × 2), and Bluetooth 5.0 support which is more power efficient with a wide coverage.
The chipset used is a quad-core Intel Core i5-10300H, with a base frequency of 2.5GHz which can be increased to 4.5GHz with Intel Turbo Boost. Paired with 8GB DDR4 RAM (one chip) plus a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD.
Using this laptop for browsing needs, opening Office applications, Spotify and several other photo editing applications at one time happens quite instantly and smoothly. The temperature is quite awake, and the fan noise tends to be quiet, not too often active.
What is special and makes this laptop relatively cheap is the graphics card it carries. Not the Ti series, but use the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6. This graphics capability is quite high, where I can run Genshin Impact & The Sims 4 with the default high graphics settings smoothly, even when using battery mode though. Of course it will be smooth to play other AAA games.
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 also provides a application Named with HP CoolSense. This application functions to regulate CPU performance and fan rotation, when the laptop is being carried or placed in a non-fixed or stationary position such as on a table. In total there are two fans at the bottom, which can blow air out through a special hole in the rear body.
Gaming & More Features
There are no special gaming features on the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 other than the OMEN Gaming Hub application that I previously mentioned above. This application automatically curates the games that I have installed on the laptop. Other extra features include a desktop wallpaper gallery, AI coaching to help League of Legends players, and remote play with special conditions.
For the keyboard, the backlit light has only one color, which is green. But at least it’s still very helpful for typing in low light conditions, where the light level can be adjusted to two levels. There are no complaints for both the keyboard and touchpad that supports Windows Precision Driver.
This laptop also has a separate power button from the keyboard. The two Bang & Olufsen speakers are quite good, and are sufficient to accommodate gaming without additional earphones or speakers. The front camera, although not the most favored, has a very wide viewing angle and is classified as high quality. Suitable for video calls.
Not for those of you who are looking for a laptop with a long battery life. Yes, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 does have a larger battery capacity than conventional laptops. The capacity reaches 52.5 Wh 3-cell, and HP claims up to 9 hours of use to play videos. For everyday use a-la I, less than half of the duration.
My usage is relatively light, opening several browser tabs from Microsoft Edge, Word application and editing photos only. With battery saver mode and 75-85% brightness, it only reaches a maximum of 4 hours. And to charge, it took a little more than 2 hours to reach 100%, or – + 40% within 30 minutes of charging.