The Pavilion laptops from HP have been a pretty famous budget notebook for a while now. While showing a good overall performance they also managed to tout a low price tag. This time HP decided to pack a bit more ‘power’ into the slim chassis of Pavilion and hence introduced the Pavilion Power series. This one, HP Pavilion Power 15-cb077nr, looks promising staying well behind the 900 bucks marks. Let’s check it out then.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (7th Gen), 2.8 GHz
- GPU – 2 GB DDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- Memory – 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4
- Screen – 15.6-inch Full HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 1 TB SATA HDD + 128 GB SSD
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – There doesn’t seem to be much difference in the configuration from the previous Pavilion series. An Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a dual storage solution comprising of 128 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD. And to make it a bit gamer friendly it also comes with a dedicated GPU. More about that later. It performed pretty steadily both in the synthetic and real-life tests and made sure that there isn’t any complaint about its prowess. While the solid state drive was fairly snappy (sequential read speed at 500 MBps and write speed, a bit low, at 130 MBps) the 7200 rpm hard disk drive was a bit on the slower side with an average transfer speed of 100 MBps.
- GPU – First of all, know one thing- it’s not a gaming laptop. Neither does it claims to be one. It’s just one of those machines that just happens to come with a discrete GPU. So you shouldn’t expect much from this laptop. It houses a GTX 1050 graphics card with 2 GB of VRAM. This 1050 card is not by any chance very gamer friendly due to its limited power. Even though the numbers were not very exciting it certainly was capable enough to take on some of the less taxing titles in either low or medium preset. Anything more than the native 1080p display settings was too much for this starting graphics unit. It could run titles like Doom (~80 fps in 1080p Medium), Batman: Arkham Knight (~75 fps in 1080p Medium) and The Witcher 3 (~65 fps in 1080p Medium) at respectable frame rates. Although some of the more challenging games like Mafia 3 was pretty laggy and choppy in high (or even in medium) settings.
- Battery – I’m pretty much impressed by the battery backup of this notebook. Under casual usage (such as web browsing and video streaming in medium brightness) the battery lasted for almost 7 to 8 hours. Pretty long, isn’t it? For a budget notebook that’s a pretty good feat. And another great thing about the laptop is that in almost 2 hours it gets fully charged from a dead state.
- Display – Let me clear one thing first- it could easily have been out of the con list if (and only if) it was somewhat brighter and a bit more vivid. Pavilion Power 15 comes with a 15.6 inch anti-glare IPS display. As told the brightness is pretty low at only 240 nits. Many competing laptops provide a much brighter panel such as Lenovo Yoga 720 (285 nits). The dim screen would only help you in getting into more trouble if you decide to take it outside in the sunlight. The low brightness is accompanied by the limited colour coverage. It showed a sRGB colour coverage of 60% which is pretty low considering the category average of 85%. The only positives about the display maybe are its high contrast ratio of 1300:1 and low delta E value (measuring the colour accuracy) of 0.7. In essence, the display is just passable.
- Cooling – The fans seem to be a bit noisy. The fans were active even when doing trivial tasks. The noise level was recorded around 43 dB while doing slightly demanding task. That’s a pretty high reading for regular usage. And when the notebook was pushed to its limits the fans literally seemed to growl and the noise level almost reached the 50 dB mark although you won’t be facing this kind of situation every day. The fans still were as loud as 45 dB while gaming. So using a headphone while gaming is recommended.
Let’s sum up the situation. We do get some great stuff including the excellent battery backup. And for the negatives (or rather some of the places where they could improve a bit) we can pick the dim display and the slightly sub-par fans. I would say it has got almost all the stuff you need in your everyday laptop. It’s a pretty good choice at this price point if you ask me. You get loads of features including a dedicated GPU to quench your thirst for light gaming as well. Recommended.