HP Pavilion Plus x360 14 review: 15-inch touchscreen laptop for creators

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The best selling HP Pavilion series is a fine example of a stylish laptop. But when the company introduced the Pavilion Plus laptop, it took the design and features up a notch. The new 14-inch HP Pavilion Plus x360 is not only great to look at, but it also contributes to the environment with its body made from ocean plastics and recycled aluminum. Beyond design, the Plus version brings a higher-quality webcam, the latest Intel processors, and a touchscreen display that supports creators’ businesses.

HP’s new Pavilion Plus x360 is the company’s new ultraportable laptop with an edge-to-edge glass display, which is great for watching movies and creating art. The touchscreen panel with stylus support is icing on the cake. This means you can draw, doodle and scribble using the bundled pen. And when you’re doing neither of these, the HP Pavilion Plus x360 delivers amazing value with its comfortable keyboard, multiple connectivity options, and long battery life. So, it comes across as a perfect pick for school or office work.

Sure, the laptop has some drawbacks, but if you ignore them, the HP Pavilion Plus x360 is a good option for its price, which starts at Rs 78,199.

HP Pavilion Plus x360 design and display

With the Pavilion Plus x360, HP is looking for people who use gadgets to create art. Be it their business or just their hobby, the Pavilion Plus x360 folds 360 degrees to give you the freedom to convert the laptop into a tablet, so that the bottom section with keys doesn’t become a hindrance. Its well-defined edges give it a clean look, which I liked, but I think might be a bit too formal for creators. My unit is Natural Silver, which looks like a run-of-the-mill gray shade for a business class laptop. Do not get me wrong. The Pavilion Plus x360 doesn’t look bad, but HP could have tried to think out of the box to give it a theme that suggests it’s manufacturer-oriented.

The sleek lid is sturdy and opens with just one hand. I like the attention to detail more than the fact that HP tried to cram a 14-inch screen into a lid that has very narrow bezels on the sides. Sure, the top and bottom bezels detract from the beauty, but there’s a reason for that. When folded into a tablet, these black areas on the top and bottom bezels are where my thumb and fingers usually rest. This prevented misunderstandings.

I don’t like large screens on laptops, so 14 inches is a good size. This 1080p IPS display is sharp and most HD shows and movies look great. But I have trouble with the brightness level. As long as I was working indoors, I couldn’t see any downside to this beautiful touchscreen display. But the moment I took it with me for a drive on a sunny day, I was disappointed. The maximum brightness of 250 nits falls short, so I ended up shading the display to be able to see something. The glare on the display is adding to the lack of brightness. I’m not a photographer or an artist so it wasn’t a big deal and just a one time occurrence, but someone who is may have to deal with this issue. Maybe try getting an anti-glare screen protector?

HP’s rechargeable pen works well with the touchscreen. Detection is nearly instant, but I occasionally found that there was a slight delay in response. So the pen would sometimes break continuity when drawing thin strokes. That was annoying for me too. Maybe a software update will help.

The size of the HP Pavilion Plus x360 makes it ultraportable. The 1.41 kg weight is in its favor. Build quality is also great. I accidentally dropped the laptop once but didn’t get any scuffs. Manufacturers would prefer that the laptop be durable. It is also very thin. That’s despite the many ports. The HP Pavilion Plus x360 has one USB Type-C with 10Gbps signaling rate and support for USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge), two USB Type-A with 5Gbps signaling rate, a headphone/microphone combo , an HDMI 2.1, and an AC Smart Pin port.

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Since privacy is important to most of us, the manual shutter door lets you block the camera when you don’t want to be seen. But when you do, HP’s Pavilion Plus x360 is one of the best-equipped laptops for video calls. The HP True Vision 5-megapixel camera delivers a high-resolution video stream, so you’re clearly visible on the other end of the video call. There are a number of add-ons available through dedicated apps. But if you’re like me and forget to change the settings using the dedicated app, the HP Presence tool integrates with all the major video calling services. These enhancements are available right where the video feed is — sometimes right next to the native features of the video calling service you’re using. Like the high video quality, HP has given equal attention to the voice part. I used the in-built AI noise removal tool and I can say that it made a difference on video calls. This can be great for those who are attending mostly virtual meetings. Integrated dual-array digital microphones help capture voice clarity.

Speaking of which, the laptop has great connectivity. I’m glad HP thought enough to equip the Pavilion Plus x360 with Wi-Fi 6E, which makes data transfer possible at high speeds. However, the bundled router you get from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may not support this latest Wi-Fi standard. You may need to invest in compatible hardware. But this Wi-Fi standard also has other advantages. It rarely drops the internet connection. When not connected to my home Wi-Fi network, I used the mobile hotspot via 5GHz bandwidth. I did not face internet problem even once.

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HP Pavilion Plus x360 performance and battery

The 13th generation Intel Core i5 processor delivers faster performance. It’s not the fastest laptop you can find on the market, but it’s fast enough for the kinds of tasks you’re likely to do with it. As a creator, you can open multiple tabs in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom without ever seeing your face. I did just that and didn’t notice any visible lag. Then I tried my bread and butter. With more than 10 tabs opened in both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, my office work ran as smoothly as it does on a good day and a good machine. The 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MHz helps apps open faster and stay open for longer. The pre-installed Windows 11 works fine and takes a normal amount of time to boot up.

The HP Pavilion Plus x360 scored a maximum of 5,249 on PCMark 10, which is impressive. But here’s the catch. Even though the processor and RAM allow for some, if not all, high-end games, the Pavilion Plus x360 isn’t exactly meant for gaming, which is a shame. Due to the lack of dedicated graphics, the Pavilion Plus x360 is great for light games. Need for Speed ​​also didn’t run properly. If you’re looking for a machine that lets you create artwork and play games for long periods of time, the Pavilion Plus x360 doesn’t do the trick. But if you’re a casual gamer, this laptop is worth considering.

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I love the HP Pavilion Plus x360 keyboard. The keys are flat and have a certain bounce, which makes typing not only convenient but fun. The keys are a bit larger than most laptops I’ve used, so it took me some time to get used to the new layout. But once I was all set, the HP Pavilion Plus x360 became my favorite laptop for typing. I should mention that I’m a keypounder and the keys worked well for me. The keys have a white backlight, which gives them a glow, but I found it a bit hard to identify the keys at times. I will tell you why. White light against the silver color doesn’t provide a distinctive mark in a well-lit environment, so I often had minor problems when my brain was still teaching keyboard layout. But that’s just a complaint because when it was dark, my love for keyboards returned.

The battery life of the HP Pavilion Plus x360 is very good. On a single charge, I managed a full working day which is around 9-10 hours. But it depends on how you use the laptop. If you’re consuming a lot of media, battery life can suffer a bit. Using heavy apps for photos and videos will also affect this battery life. My usage was limited to writing articles, browsing the internet and watching just one episode of Netflix’s latest show Night Agent. Let me tell you that I did not watch any other show or movie on this laptop. That’s because the Bang & Olufsen speakers stay quiet even at full volume. I often struggled to hear dialogues, which let down the audio experience. It’s a shame as the display is otherwise great for watching movies.

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HP Pavilion Plus x360 Verdict

HP’s popular Pavilion series is known for its looks and versatility. The Pavilion Plus x360 offers both at a good price. Sharp touchscreen display, speedy processor, comfortable keyboard and long battery life are among its strong suits. It is one of the best machines for making video calls. If you can overlook the drawbacks like the low-brightness display and quiet speakers, the HP Pavilion Plus x360 is a good option for around Rs 78,000.

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