Save. What is the 144 Hz screen value? The Pavilion Gaming 15t is the latest HP entry in the budget gaming laptop market, which is designed to compete with people like the Acer Helio 300 and Dell G7. While most of the notebook area is good (including a high refresh rate screen), HP cuts a few corners in pursuit of the best budget notebooks.
Cheap gaming laptops continue to get better and better. Dell's G7 and Acer Helios 300 are proof of this theory, and OEMs are encouraged to improve their entry-level gaming notebooks as a result. HP is looking for ante with Pavilion Gaming 15t, the company's latest entry in the mid-tier gaming market and its direct successor to Pavilion Power 15.
The 15t Pavilion Gaming took several cues from other HP lines. There is an echo of design language from Omen and Pavilion laptops, and the results fall somewhere in the middle. The internal part of the laptop is clearly mid-range. Intel Core i7-8750H paired with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q. This is a small upgrade from the usual Core i5-8300H / GTX 1050 Ti combos that are usually seen on this price bracket, but HP keeps costs at bay by choosing a 3GB variant from 1060 Max-Q. 144 Hz screen, 16 GB RAM, SSD NVMe boot, and 1 TB HDD complete specifications. These options are an improvement from what we usually see in the USD $ 1200-1300 bracket. Are they enough to beat competitors? We will see.
The mid-tier gaming market has never been more competitive. Dell's G7, Acer Helios 300, Asus FX503VM, Lenovo Legion Y530, and MSI GV62 are all strong competitors in this space. Each made his own sacrifice to press the lower price bracket. Will it be enough for the Gaming Pavilion 15t to rise above the others? Let's dive.
HP Pavilion Gaming 15t-cx0000 (Pavilion 15 Series)
- ProcessorIntel Core i7-8750H (Intel Core i7)
- Graphics adapterNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q - 3072 MB, Core: 1063 MHz, Memory: 2002 MHz, GDDR5, Nvidia Optimus
- Memory16384 MB
- , DDR4-2666 / PC4-21300, 1333.3 MHz, 2 x 8 GB
- Display15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, AU Optronics AUO82ED, IPS, 144 Hz refresh rate, glossy: no
- MainboardIntel HM370
- StorageSamsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB
- , 512 GB PCIe SSD + 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD, 1406 GB free
- SoundcardIntel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
- Connections4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 0 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone/Microphone combo, Card Reader: Full-sized SD/SDHC/SDXC Card reader, Brightness Sensor
- NetworkingRealtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
- Sizeheight x width x depth (in mm): 25.4 x 366 x 254 ( = 1 x 14.41 x 10 in)
- Battery70 Wh Lithium-Ion
- Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- CameraWebcam: HD
- Additional featuresSpeakers: 2 x 2W, Bang & Olufsen, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, B&O Play Audio Control, HP JumpStart, 12 Months Warranty
- Weight2.349 kg ( = 82.86 oz / 5.18 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
- Price1370 USD
The Pavilion Gaming 15t case is a blend of premium material and budget. The keyboard deck is one piece of black aluminum that is brushed that looks slim but attracts fingerprints. This beauty is more than just skin; the deck is very sturdy. Flex is minimal, even throughout the vents along the top edge. The rest of the device is plastic. The bottom panel is as strong as the upper deck. There is no weak spot visible, and the bottom does not curve under direct pressure. Both the keyboard deck and the bottom panel creak slightly when pressed.
The lid is the opposite of the main chassis. Made entirely of plastic, thin and feels thin. It's easy to twist under the twists of light. Repelling the back of the lid (like near the HP logo) does not distort the LCD screen, indicating some shielding between the panel and the housing. The lid does not creak when twisted. Strong and strong hinges. It's a bit too stiff to open one hand, but holds the display in place and doesn't waver in normal use (for example, when typing). All words, build good quality with the exception of weak screen housing.
The 15t Pavilion Gaming has a smaller footprint than most other 15-inch gaming laptops. This is partly thanks to the small bezel display; while the Pavilion certainly does not qualify as a "frameless" laptop, the screen housing has been trimmed a few centimeters from the side. The keyboard also extends to the side of the casing, leaving about 1.5 cm. The angle of the bottom panel makes the laptop look thinner than it really is. About 2.5 cm thick, the average depth is for mid-level devices.
The Pavilion Gaming 15t has a good selection of ports, including a single Type-C USB port. Unfortunately, Thunderbolt 3 is gone. It limits peripheral options, especially for external displays; HDMI 1.4 port is the only hookup monitor. The ports are a bit too close together; Large thumb drives or USB connectors can block other ports.
SD Card Reader
A full sized SD card reader is about the average for most gaming laptops, budget or not. Read and write speeds are around 80 MB / s, which is quite good. Some devices in this price bracket are slightly better, but users need to spend more to get a faster card reader.
The treatment is quite easy. Seven Phillips screw # 0 and some plastic clips hold the bottom panel. Keep in mind that all four screws along the top of the bottom panel (adjacent to the display hinges) are longer than three along the bottom edge. There is a small notch in the upper right corner of the bottom panel (just above a pair of USB 3.0 ports) that can be used to extract plastic clips and remove the bottom panel.
After the case is opened, the user will have ready access to each component in the machine. The CPU and GPU are soldered to the motherboard, but the heat pipe arrangement can be removed to re-apply thermal paste if desired. Both RAM modules, both storage drives, and WiFi cards are easily replaced. The battery can also be replaced. All said, while maintenance is not as easy as Dell G7, upgrades and repairs are simple and easy.
The 15t HP Pavilion Gaming comes with a standard 12 month warranty.
One of the biggest drawbacks to low-and mid-tiered gaming laptops is usually located on their input devices. Fortunately, the 15t Pavilion Gaming keyboard is very good. Feedback is firm and response is sharp. The keyboard extends to almost the entire deck, which provides plenty of room for buttons (16 mm x 16 mm). This makes typing easy. Compared to the small button and Dell G7's flabby response, the 15t Pavilion Gaming keyboard is far superior. Clatter is similar to G7; at this time, the sound is not too disturbing.
We have several complaints. The up and down arrow keys are very annoying to use. The acid green staining is tacky, and the backlight (which is a stinging green color) stabs in the dark environment. HP offers a 15t Pavilion Gaming version with matching white backlights and letters. Travel is also a little on the shallow side but must be accepted for most writing and office work. None of these problems are problem solvers, and the overall keyboard is fantastic.
While the keyboard is much better than most laptops in this price range, the touchpad is only average. Its narrow dimensions (11.3 cm x 6 cm) require a little adjustment, but smooth tracking across the matte plastic surface. The gesture is responsive, and there is no cursor jumping over. The biggest drawback is the click mechanism, which feels empty and cheap. Click register accurately, but the hinge feels more like an afterthought, which leaves a bad impression. Touchpad can be used, but most users will use the mouse.
Full HD screens from AU Optronics display unusual features seen at this price point: high refresh rate. 144 Hz panels offer fast response time and smooth motion, a definite upgrade of the 60 Hz screen that is more commonly used in low-and mid-tier gaming laptops. The screen does not support G-Sync. A high refresh rate is also not the only high point of the display. The backlight is quite bright at around 350 nit, and the distribution is fairly even though it is a little dim in the upper left corner. This is not seen in normal use. The contrast ratio is good at 993: 1. Black people look in and the colors are well defined. PWM is completely absent. All this combined with good color coverage and accuracy to make one of the better displays in the mid-tier gaming market. HP also offers 60 Hz FHD (standard) and 60 Hz 4K display options.
Battery life is slightly lower than expected considering the 70 Wh battery. The 15t Gaming Pavilion died after 6 hours 15 minutes in our WiFi v1.3 battery test, which opened a new web page every 30-40 seconds on the Balanced power profile. The Nvidia Optimus helps a little with battery life, but screens with high refresh rates require more power than the standard 60 Hz panel and thus drain the battery faster. Omen HP 15, for example, lasts two hours longer on the same test.
Even though users might get away with leaving home electricity supplies for word processing and short web browsing, they will need an adapter if they plan to do any game; The 15t Gaming Pavilion only lasts one and a half hours under load.
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