HP Pavilion Plus 14 | Best Laptop for Students in 2023

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 HP Pavilion Plus 14

HP Pavilion Plus 14
HP Pavilion Plus 14
The HP Pavilion plus 14 inch laptop is the best laptop that I've ever used under a thousand US Dollars full stop end of story it is the only laptop to get almost all the basics right in that price range and this is the laptop most of my viewers should buy so long as you don't need powerful dedicated graphics or long battery life.

Display

Let me explain why starting with the display it is absolutely stunning and a joy to look at both my two units came with a 14 inch OLED 2880 by 1800 panel colors are extremely accurate and brightness Peaks that are very respectable 400 nits content looks Vivid and sharp 

HP Pavilion Plus 14
HP Pavilion Plus 14
and I was able to comfortably run the laptop at 175 window scaling this allowed me to see more information on screen than with a default 200 percent combined with a 16 by 10 aspect ratio in my Excel test I was able to see 38 rows on screen.

Which is decent enough to get real work done and scrolling and other movement on screen looks super smooth due to the 90hz fresh right the only thing that I don't like is that pwm is used to lower the brightness on this display that's

Where the screen turns on and off the backlight very fast so the screen becomes less bright Honestly though the PW and flickering in this laptop it really isn't too bad compared to other laptops that I've tested that use this method.

So most people won't have an issue with it  and talking about brightness you may notice that the laptop seems to lower and raise the brightness at random when on battery this is actually a supposed feature to help improve battery life by optimizing the display's brightness in attempts to change the brightness based on the content shown on screen a very good idea 

But in practice it doesn't work so well if this feature annoys you like it did me you can easily turn it off in the system display brightness section by expanding it and unselecting the checkbox the display is also glossy

Which you probably noticed significant Reflections in my b-roll in everyday use though the screen gets bright enough that I really didn't notice the Reflections at all overall I think my assistant summed up this display perfectly when she said the screen is better than the Razer Blade 14s that cost more than double this laptop.

Keyboard

The keyboard is your typical HP one that you find in many of their Pavilion and edv laptops which means it is a good one comfortable enough to type on with decent key travel I know some people do like having the page up down Etc Keys placed down the right side of the keyboard 

HP Pavilion Plus 14
HP Pavilion Plus 14
But for me the keyboard feels a little off balance with the keys there and I sometimes mishit them the only major issue with this keyboard is that HP continues to combine light colored keys with a light colored backlight this makes the characters insanely hard to make out when the backlight is on and viewed from an angle this happens to me during the day.

When I'm using the laptop propped up on my lap you'll frequently have to toggle the backlight off in these situations to see the keys perhaps these laptops are more likely to sell with this clean silver looking keyboard aesthetic but I'd take the higher contrast dark colored keys of Apple's laptops over this any day as their keyboards don't have this issue.

Trackpad

The trackpad is good enough tracking is reasonably smooth although not the smoothest I've used but it's still accurate The Click feels good too however I do want to be transparent about one thing when my first review unit arrived I ended up shipping it straight by UPS ground Across America I did 

that so I could work on this review while on vacation yes I do that when UPS delivered it I noticed an issue the trackpad kept getting stuck when I was using the laptop on my lap while resting my Palms with some force on the palm rest I reached out to HP and they sent me a second unit no issue 

whatsoever I did search if anyone else had reported this issue and so far they haven't so I'm assuming it's either a one-off or caused by my UPS shipping in the event that you do buy one and it happens to have that issue just have HP swap it out.

Ports

The port selection is very decent for a small laptop you've got two USB type-c ports on the 10 gigabit variety that both support charging unfortunately neither support the faster Thunderbolt transfer rates you've then got two USB a ports an HDMI 2.1 Port as well as a headphone mic combo JackI didn't even used to mention the headphone port on my prior reviews as it was so standard.

But since Dell decided to remove it in the XPS 13 plus I thought I'd mention it the Pavilion plus also has a Micro SD card reader one downside is that both charging capable ports are on the right side so you will have to run a cable around the back if your power outlet is on the other side of the laptop.

Performance

I'd strongly advise you run the laptop in Balance mode unless you are doing a lot of sustained long-running performance tasks it offers plenty of performance for very acceptable heat and fan noise in Balance mode that is by the way I didn't test graphical intensive tasks as I don't have the model with a dedicated RTX 2050 graphics and the integrated Graphics in the CPU I have is very poor 

You won't be able to do any video editing or intensive EA gaming on this configuration older titles and Esports games only switching to light use such as browsing the web watching video and writing documents in this case the laptop absolutely shines there is literally no fan noise at all 

and the laptop remains comfortably cool to the touch it is the only Intel laptop that I've used that you don't hear fan noise or feel heat while on a zoom call HP really have done a standout job here in light use this laptop destroys lenovo's yoga slim 7i Pro X with the same Intel H series CPU as well as my ryzen laptops.

Which like the Pro X feel warm to the touch and you often hear fan noise using the Pavilion plus 14 feels more like using a MacBook with an M series chip seriously.

Battery Life

One thing battery life battery life on this laptop is not great around 5 hours I tested both my two units setting them for the best possible battery life in both windows and HP software I then set the display on each laptop to around 200 nits of brightness at 60 hertz 

I then ran a Netflix show on repeat over Wi-Fi for 4. hours one laptop had 21 remaining and the other 15 percent by the way I accidentally originally ran the test leaving the screen at a 90 Hertz refresh rate

Which was a mistake I recorded less battery on that test so definitely ensure you set the screen to 60 hertz if you want the best possible battery results and on that note you will get more battery life if you turn the screen's brightness down further this laptop's poor battery life isn't surprising as we all know that Intel's 12th gen processors aren't efficient like Intel claims and in hp's case

they have put the high performance H series processor inside which are normally reserved for larger laptops and paired it with only a 51 watt hour battery you really need a larger battery to get decent battery life out of this processor if you do want a bit better battery life I'd consider buying this laptop.

Pricing

Let's finish with pricing this is where this laptop just blows it out of the park at the time of this review this laptop starts at a ludicrously low 579 US dollars for the I5 model with 8 gig of RAM a 256g SSD and a non OLED display my review unit with the i7 12700h 60 gig of RAM one terabyte SSD and the OLED display is 999 dollars and for a hundred dollars more you can get the laptop with an Nvidia RTE X 2050 at this price range.

This laptop just cannot be beaten it is simply the best laptop under a thousand US Dollars I've ever reviewed especially now that Apple's MacBook Air which used to dominate the sub a thousand dollar price range for the older M1 version that is is now significantly more expensive for the new M2 version as essentially if you buy with 512 gig of storage or more.


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