The HP Pavilion 13 notebook has nothing out of the box about it, but its simplicity is what makes it a winner. I have had the HP Pavilion 13 for a week and its practicality shows up ever so often, even as it doesn’t really pip the competition in other aspects. Here is my review of the HP Pavilion 13.
HP Pavilion 13 price in India (as reviewed ): Rs 71,999
HP Pavilion 13 review: What’s new?
HP has borrowed a lot of design tricks from the Spectre and the Envy series and trickled them out into the Pavilion 13. The notebook feels premium, although it doesn’t have that attention-grabbing design, the build quality is just as good as any other laptop in the same price bracket. But that’s not to say no corners have been cut to keep the price down.
The chassis is made of plastic, though at first, I thought the notebook sports an all-metal body. It’s not a bit of a letdown, as the look and feel of this laptop are satisfactory. The notebook is also lightweight, weighing just 1.24 kg. Moving this notebook from your desk to the coffee shop shouldn’t be a problem. The port selection on this laptop is good considering its price. It has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 SuperSpeed ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, one USB-C SuperSpeed port for charging, a headphone jack, and a full-sized SD card slot.
HP Pavilion 13 review: What’s good?
I absolutely love writing on the HP Pavilion 13. In fact, this review is written on Pavilion 13. The keys have a satisfying amount of travel. The keyboard, thus far, has been reliable. Just below the keyboard is a trackpad. The trackpad is also great, though I wish it would have been bigger in size. Meanwhile, on the right-hand side of the keyboard deck, there is a fingerprint reader. The Pavilion 13 doesn’t support facial recognition for Windows 10 Hello.
A notebook’s speakers don’t usually get the most attention. Most laptops I have reviewed in this price range produce a sound quality that is mediocre and tinny – but the speaker system on the HP Pavilion 13 surprised me. I listened to a number of songs from different genres and am impressed by the sound quality. You would almost forget that these are laptop speakers.
Inside the new HP Pavilion 13 is an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor and the Intel Xe graphics. My review unit also came with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD. The Core i5 processor is impressive and will likely be fine for users who mostly browse the web, stream a lot of movies, use MS Office and Google Docs editing documents and making presentations. It’s great for entertainment, surfing and all the entry-level tasks we do on a laptop, but it’s also powerful enough to edit light video and photos. To be clear, this isn’t a gaming machine so keep your expectations under check.
Battery life on the Pavilion 13 will vary depending on the use case. I typically run my screen at 50 per cent brightness whenever I test a laptop. I got about 4.5 hours of juice on average on a typical workday with the Pavilion 13. That’s when I ran Zoom, Chrome, Microsoft Teams, Apple Music, WhatsApp Web, YouTube, and written and edited copies.
HP Pavilion 13 review: What’s not good?
Opening the lid you’ll find a 13.3-inch FHD display with a 720p FaceTime HD camera just above it. The colours on the display are impressive, though I always felt the screen was on the dim side. The display isn’t bad, it’s just that the screen is a bit glossy and its peak brightness of 250 nits makes things hard to see when the sun is shining on the screen. HP is still insisting that 720p resolution is enough for Zoom calls, which I disagree with. The web camera is a letdown.
HP Pavilion 13 review: Should you buy it?
For the average user, the HP Pavilion 13 does the job well. The Pavilion 13 represents a significant value for the price (it costs Rs 71,999) and also happens to deliver what I expect from my primary work computer. This is a great machine for anyone who wants a laptop primarily for work from home scenario. For students, Pavilion 13 is powerful enough to write assignments on, make presentations and research topics. I would recommend it above many laptops in the same price range, partly because that 16GB RAM improves performance, allowing you to do intensive tasks.