HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop: Being a gamer on a tight budget has always been challenging. Especially so when portability is a part of the equation. Historically, enthusiasts have always advised against reaching for the cheapest options on the shelf.
However, an increasing number of reputable manufacturers have been offering surprisingly compelling and affordable options. When it comes to immersive virtual experiences, HP is mostly known for its Omen line-up.
But the Pavilion Gaming 15 has recently become a popular alternative. What makes thousands of consumers choose it over numerous competitors? To answer this question, let’s take a closer look and highlight the most noteworthy features.
What’s In the Box
- The laptop itself
- 150W power supply
- Product documentation
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 ec AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Laptop Specs
|Product name||HP Pavilion – 15-ec1019ur|
|Microprocessor||AMD Ryzen™ 5 4600H (3.0 GHz base clock, up to 4.0 GHz max boost clock, 3 MB L2 cache, 6 cores)|
|Chipset||AMD Integrated SoC|
|Memory, standard||16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)|
|Hard drive||512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD|
|Optical drive||Optical drive not included|
|Display||39.6 cm (15.6″) diagonal FHD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit, 250 nits, 45% NTSC (1920 x 1080)|
|Wireless connectivity||Realtek 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2×2) and Bluetooth® 5 combo|
|Network interface||Integrated 10/100/1000 GbE LAN|
|Expansion slots||1 multi-format SD media card reader|
|External ports||1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 USB 2.0 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 HDMI 2.0; 1 RJ-45; 1 AC smart pin; 1 headphone/microphone combo|
|Minimum dimensions (W x D x H)||36 x 25.7 x 2.35 cm|
|Weight||Starting at 1.98 kg|
|Power supply type||150 W Smart AC power adapter|
|Battery type||3-cell, 52.5 Wh Li-ion|
|Webcam||HP TrueVision HD Camera with integrated dual array digital microphone|
|Audio features||Audio by B&O; Dual speakers; HP Audio Boost|
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 – General Overview
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is a medium-tier gaming laptop with an appealing price tag. The best price for this HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop starts at $723 on Amazon. It doesn’t blow its more expensive competitors out of the water. However, the configuration meets system requirements for relatively demanding titles without breaking the bank.
Despite the somewhat gamey exterior, it’s also suitable for content creation and productivity tasks. The AMD Ryzen and Nvidia GTX1650 combo can handle a variety of resource-intensive workloads. The design and presentation fall somewhere in between a battlestation and an understated office machine.
There are no crazy RGB waves or LED strips to attract unwanted attention. That isn’t to say that the aesthetics are boring by any means. In fact, they call for a thorough description.
Style and Ergonomics
To reiterate, the device has an inconspicuous look to it, especially with the lid closed. The color spectrum is limited to the dominant dark gray with slender but vibrant green accents.
The top is rather elegant thanks to a visually pleasing shade of gray. While not a fingerprint magnet per se, the plastic surface is not impervious to smudging. Fortunately, cleaning said smudges off is not an ordeal. The only prominent element is the reflective HP logo in the center.
The Pavilion branding is engraved at the bottom in a clean minimalistic font. The lid itself is reassuringly sturdy and isn’t particularly prone to bending. In terms of mobility, the chassis is not the lightest. It weighs a little over 2 kilograms. The power brick, on the other hand, is surprisingly thin and lightweight.
On the back, there are no ports whatsoever. The corners cover the hinges and are slightly angled, which is unusual but esthetically interesting. The power jack resides on the left side at the very back. This positioning is quite comfortable since the cord doesn’t get in the way.
Next to it, there is a single USB type-A. Most people will likely use it for charging their phones or inserting external drives. But some may prefer it for connecting their mouse or other peripherals. The remaining I/O is situated on the right. It includes an HDMI, another USB-A, an Ethernet socket, a type-C, and a headphone-mic jack.
Additionally, there is an SD card reader. Next to each port, there is a green-colored icon indicating its purpose. Someone has clearly put careful thought into the layout. And while it isn’t all-encompassing, the essentials are all there.
The hinge is a common structural weakness of many notebooks. Thankfully, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is built to last. When the screen is closed, it doesn’t hang loose or open under its own weight. However, it is possible to lift the cover with one hand. Doing so reveals an impressive-looking set of keys with black tops and green sides.
The area above accommodates hundreds of ventilation holes that strongly hint at the intended application. They form a cool bracket-like pattern that evokes rather fitting associations with coding. The power-on button is located above the Esc key to avoid unintentional actuation.
In combination, the functional and cosmetic elements create a distinctive vibe. At first glance, It doesn’t scream gamer due to the lack of flashy embellishments. Even the unconventional palette could be attributed to a purely stylistic choice. But upon closer inspection, the rig’s true nature becomes apparent.
The W, A, S, and D keys immediately stand out due to additional outlines. Not that modern players need any special cues to find the traditional first-person shooter controls. But it’s a nice touch that adds a bit of flair without being too noticeable.
The somewhat toned-down appearance will not be much of an eyesore in a professional environment. But in the context of a casual LAN party, it will also fit right in.
Screen and Audio
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 comes with a 15.6” IPS panel. Sadly, it has a 60 Hz refresh rate, which is unsurprising, given the cost. Still, 120 Hz would be a much preferable option. Other than that, the panel is actually quite impressive in almost every way.
It has an anti-glare matte coating and wide-enough viewing angles. The colors are not especially vibrant, but natural and easy on the eyes. The brightness levels are above average even without turning the slider all the way up.
The bezels are not extraordinarily thin, the left and right ones being the narrowest. By contrast, the horizontal ones are fairly noticeable. At least the designers had a good reason for making them so prominent. The top harbors an integrated webcam, while the bottom protects the screen from excessive heat.
The audio implementation is similarly competent. The HP Pavilion Gaming 15’s front-firing speakers create a decent stereo image for their size. Tuned by Bang & Olufsen, they deliver a pretty transparent sound. The lower frequencies resonate inside and reflect from the surface underneath, producing decent bass. Unfortunately, the volume is a bit lacking even at maximum values.
It’s just enough to block out the fan noise, which, incidentally, is not that high. The listening experience can be quite nice. But most gamers would likely prefer using a headset during their single- and multiplayer adventures.
This is where HP’s Audio Boost preinstalled software comes in handy. It allows adjusting the levels and the gain without digging through Windows settings and submenus.
Pavilion 15 – Keyboard and Trackpad
The typing sensations are neither especially pleasant nor frustrating in any way. The keys have an okay travel but could be a tad more springy. The spacing between them is sufficient, keeping accidental presses to a minimum. The F-row buttons are noticeably smaller, which is not that big of a loss.
The backlighting is single-zone but has several stages. Dedicated number pads are not everyone’s cup of tea. But they sure are nice to have when dealing with large datasets and worksheets. Moreover, they provide additional customization and flexibility of shortcuts and macros.
Perhaps, the only downside has to do with the size of the arrows. The Up and Down ones are half the size of the other keys. Not necessarily a huge deal, but it does take some getting used to.
The touchpad offers a respectable surface area to work with. It has a pleasant satin texture that does develop some shiny spots over time. The input sensitivity is very reliable. And, of course, the Microsoft precision drivers remain the golden standard for Windows-based portable computers.
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Performance and Power Management
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor. And for the price point, it is a perfect fit. While not as performant as the 4800H, it handles diverse multitasking scenarios wonderfully. In fact, it outshines Intel’s 9th gen i7 CPUs in both tests and practical applications.
Furthermore, Team Red’s product is far less power-hungry and significantly more energy-efficient. The slightly lower clock speed is a small price to pay for the added longevity. And even without overclocking, this component is unlikely to create a bottleneck in most games.
As for the graphics, the laptop sports a mid-range Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU. Enthusiasts generally describe it as adequate. Although it can struggle in demanding open-world simulators, its value proposition is hard to beat. Expecting too much from it would be unwise.
The 4 GB of memory is not enough to render busy, detail-rich environments without slowdowns. But it will fare reasonably well on high settings at 1920×1080. Achieving 60 FPS in AAA titles is definitely possible. And the majority of competitive shooters won’t give this card any trouble. Just don’t try to max out every slider and switch the most taxing ones off.
- In Cinebench R20, this configuration scores over 3270 in multi-core and almost 450 in single-core.
- The Geekbench 5 results amounted to 6380 and 1115 points respectively.
- In PCMark 10, it was able to overcome the 5000 thresholds.
- 3D Mark’s Fire Strike running on DirectX 11 approached the expected value of 8800.
- Storage-wise, CrystalDisk showed respectable 2410 MB/s read and 1490 MB/z write speeds.
Real-world Gaming Tests
At the native 1080p screen resolution, it is possible to get away with high presets. The visually stunning Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran at just above 50 FPS.
Doom Eternal approached the 70 mark in Vulcan. Days Gone, a zombie-infested survival sandbox, reported an average of 60 FPS.
Another post-apocalyptic masterpiece, Metro Exodus, was only able to output that frame rate on medium.
By contrast, the renowned futuristic Battle Royale Apex Legends had no issues almost at max.
Call of Duty: Warzone turned out to be more of a challenge at 56 FPS. Collectively, these results show a clear trend. The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is meant for advanced graphics presets, ray-tracing, or complex details. But even with some eye candy, the gameplay feels relatively smooth at 60 Hz.
During the testing, the cooling system did an exceptional job of managing the temperatures. The hefty heat pipes coupled with the equally sizable intakes prevent the components from overheating. The fans do spin up from time to time, but never get annoyingly loud.
The temps rarely rise above 70-80 degrees Celsius, keeping thermal throttling to a minimum. Not that it doesn’t occur occasionally, but the impact is not that noticeable. The engineers have obviously done some amazing work conceptualizing and implementing the cooling solution.
The included 200W charger is very compact compared to the typical offerings in the segment. It delivers sufficient power to go from 0 to 50% in under an hour. The battery continues to accumulate charge even during extended playthroughs.
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15’s battery lasts around 2-2.5 hours in games. With power saving enabled, it provides about 8 hours of watching YouTube and web surfing. In that scenario, it would be wise to turn the backlighting all the way down. Lowering the screen brightness can also help significantly. Generally, it is safe to expect somewhere around 5 hours of autonomous operation.
The competition is quite stiff in the 15-inch segment of the market. Almost every major manufacturer has a product in this form factor. The most obvious contender is the Lenovo Legion 5 PRO. It has an even more down-to-earth design, a stellar keyboard, and solid build quality.
However, it is also on the pricier side, even at MSRP. Other compelling options to consider are Dell G15, Acer Predator Helios 300, and Asus TUF Gaming FX705G. They all boast 144 GHz panels in addition to comparable specs.
Creating a cost-effective and portable config is a difficult undertaking. But a few nitpicks aside, The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is safe to recommend. It looks unassuming enough not to raise any eyebrows at work. But at the same time, its unusual shape and striking edges are anything but boring.
Every sacrifice it makes is justified by logical reasoning. For instance, the modest weight makes up for the relatively low capacity of the battery. The small power adapter tops it up in no time anyway. The AMD Ryzen and GTX 1650 combo is a terrific bang for the buck. Launching recent releases with impressive graphics won’t be a problem in Full HD.
Every other aspect, including the build, the connectivity, and the usability is competently executed. In summary, this laptop is a great value for under $1000.
Read more gaming laptop reviews:
HP Pavilion 15 Review: Budget Gaming Laptop!
FAQ About The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 can run demanding games on high settings at 60 FPS. However, the 1920×1080 resolution is lower than some players would prefer. Overall, it offers plenty of performance per dollar and is worth considering.
The AMD Ryzen 4600H processor makes the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 suitable for video editing. Its 6 cores that can be overclocked to 4GHz are great for multitasking and encoding. The SSD and RAM are fast enough to handle large files and complex effects.
The AMD Ryzen 5 4600H + Nvidia GTX 1650 edition does not have a fingerprint reader. However, a few other models in the HP Pavilion product line-up do.
The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is a great all-rounder, suitable for both studying and entertainment. It’s compact, lightweight, and capable of running AAA games on high graphics presets. The battery lasts up to 8 hours under regular learning-related workloads. The keyboard and touchpad are comfortable, and the port layout is well-thought-out.
Generally, gaming laptops are inferior to similarly priced desktop PCs in terms of performance. However, their portability often makes up for the lower frame rates. Models like the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 can handle AAA titles on high settings without issues.
- Operates relatively quietly
- Moderate heat
- CPU and GPU do not reset in games
- Low durability
- Low battery life
- Few USB ports
- Cheap display
CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 5 4600H (3.0 GHz base clock, up to 4.0 GHz max boost clock, 3 MB L2 cache, 6 cores)
RAM Size: 16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 (4 GB GDDR6 dedicated)
Display: 39.6 cm (15.6″) diagonal FHD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit, 250 nits, 45% NTSC (1920 x 1080)
Connectivity: 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 SuperSpeed USB
Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 USB 2.0 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 HDMI 2.0; 1 RJ-45; 1 AC smart pin; 1 headphone/microphone combo
Memory Size: 512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
Weight: Starting at 1.98 kg
Battery: 3-cell, 52.5 Wh Li-ion
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop Review: The AMD Ryzen and GTX 1650 combo is a terrific bang for the buck. Recent releases with impressive graphics won’t be a problem in Full HD
Product SKU: HP 15
Product Brand: HP
Product Currency: 723
Product Price: $
Price Valid Until: 2023-06-25
Product In-Stock: InStock