HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
  • HP Pavilion Plus is powered by 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • It features a 14-inch FHD IPS display
  • It is offered at a price of ₹79,999
HP Pavilion laptops have been a staple in the industry especially when it comes to work or study machines. Compared with Lenovo’s Thinkpad line-up and Dell latitude laptops, HP Pavilion series is generally considered the better looking ones. It is the performance where all three are running for the top spot. With HP Pavilion Plus, the brand is also trying to win this round. So is this indeed the perfect enterprise and student laptop? I will explain this in my review.

Price & Availability
HP Pavilion Plus is available only in one variant. The laptop comes with an Intel core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and Intel iRIS Xe graphics. It is available at a price of ₹79,999. You can buy the laptop from Amazon India, HP’s own website, and select offline retailers.

Design & Display
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HP Pavilion Plus follows a familiar design language that we are accustomed to on HP laptops. Offered only in a natural silver color, it looks chic and yet minimalistic. Unlike the newer HP laptops with the revised HP logo on the back, here we get to see the good old circular stamp. I personally like this one.
HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
HP Pavilion Plus sports a minimalistic design

On holding the laptop you realize how lightweight it is at 1.4kg. The weight distribution is also favorable, and it is easy to carry both in your hands or in a backpack.
HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
You get all the necessary ports on the HP Pavilion Plus


Considering this is essentially a business notebook HP has provided all the necessary ports you would need here. On the right side there are two USB Type-C ports, a USB Type-A port and an HDMI port. On the left side it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, another USB Type-A port and a micro SD card reader. The card reader was beneficial for me since I copy footage regularly. It is rare on laptops these days, but having anything additional is a bonus.
HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
You also get a dedicated Micro SD card reader

Opening up the lid we are greeted with a backlit keyboard. HP is calling it a full size keyboard. However, this isn’t one considering we don’t have a dedicated number pad here. Keeping that aside, it does take some time getting used to the keyboard. Mostly because the keys aren’t soft to tap, neither do they have a deep cut out for better interaction.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
The keyboard on the Pavilion Plus has a learning curve.

Another rather unusual choice to me was the key sizes for control and alt keys. Usually it is the control key that is the bigger of the two, but it’s the opposite in its case. And trust me, it’s more annoying than it seems. Anytime I would think I am pressing the control key I would end up punching the alt key.

I find it very surprising that we also don’t get a ₹ symbol key on the keyboard. I have the same issue on my Macbook Pro as well. In both cases, I had to set up macros on the keyboard. Especially since this review is also written on the HP Pavilion Plus.

That being said, with practice, you will reach back to your optimum typing speed, since the travel time here is indeed perfect. Also, the backlight on the keys is perhaps the brightest that I have seen lately. You have three levels of brightness for them, which is also useful for saving the battery.

Keyboard shortcuts on a business laptop are a must, and HP has done a fairly good job with that. The F key row on the laptop lets you adjust pretty much everything necessary here. A quirky shortcut is an F1 key that has a smiley emoji on it. It is a shortcut to an emoji & GIF menu for you to share. Something I have not seen on a laptop.

Panning down from the keyboard, we have a big trackpad that takes up almost half the palm rest area on the laptop. As expected, you get some neat gestures on the trackpad. Like, pinch in to zoom and swipe to shift windows. However, they are a bit choppy in execution. When it comes to basic actions like tapping or scrolling on a page it works fine. But with complex gestures, it seems to miss out. And it does get annoying, especially when you are coming from a Macbook. I would try to view the tabs with a swipe but end up closing the page altogether. Eventually, I had to avoid using gestures.

HP Pavilion Plus features a standard display for 2022 laptops in its segment. This is a 14-inch display with a screen resolution of 2240x1400 pixels. The display has thin bezels on three sides and a thick bottom bezel. These are textbook characteristics of an enterprise laptop.

Now HP has tried to make the display for both entertainment and work. So let’s start with talking about the first aspect - entertainment.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
HP Pavilion Plus features a 14-inch 2.2K resolution display

The 14-inch screen size on the laptop is respectable for watching movies and shows. I watched the She-Hulk finale on it, along with the latest episode of Andor. The color tones on the panel are accurate, and the HDR also looks decent most of the time. What I didn’t like is its low brightness levels, especially outdoors.

A show like Andor, which has a ton of scenes in outer space, demands good amounts of brightness to register the action, which was missing in this one. The black levels were also slightly underwhelming - a characteristic usually associated with LCD panels.

But it’s not all bad here since the audio setup on the laptop will surprise you. One of the louder speaker setups I have heard on a business notebook, the HP Pavilion Plus, can provide room-filling audio. I would often find myself listening to music while working on the laptop.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
The brightness on the panel is underwhelming for watching content

While the display performance for entertainment is a bit underwhelming, it manages to make up when it comes to working. With a matte coating on the screen, there were no glares or reflections that would distract me.

The provided screen brightness is more than enough for general computing. This involves spreadsheets, emails, and Google Meet calls as well. Also, since the display comes with an anti-glare coating, there was no problem working on the laptop outdoors as well.

Simply put, from a strict business notebook perspective, this is one of the better displays I have personally used. But if you wish to have an all-in-one performer, then you might be disappointed.

I want to close this section by discussing the laptop’s integrated webcam. This is a 5MP sensor that will surprise you. Usually, laptop webcams are infamous for grainy pictures and poor low light performance. The unit here takes care of both of these issues to a large extent. The sensor captured better details on video calls and did comparatively better in low light conditions.

Software & Performance
HP Pavilion Plus is powered by a 12th gen Intel core i5 processor, which is a favorite of OEMs when it comes to business notebooks. Efficiently tuned, the chipset does fare well for general computing tasks. Namely - emails, surfing the internet, video calls, maintaining spreadsheets, and accessing Google suite.

This serves the core purpose of this laptop, it breezes past everyday tasks smoothly.

But I am not a regular user, since my job also demands me to edit videos. And so I gave it a shot. I installed premiere pro on the laptop and tried rendering short videos that we publish on Business Insider India’s Instagram.

Do note this is a 9:16 timeline with 1080P footage shot at 30 fps and some basic transitions and graphics. And while I had some doubts about it, the performance was not shabby. A 70-second video was exported within 2 minutes which is respectable. I have tried similar renders on Dell Latitude laptops with similar chipsets and the export time was in line with those.

Where the HP Pavilion Plus surprised me was the render quality. On the Dell Latitude laptop,, I observed a green tint in the exported file, which was a GPU limitation. However, here, the Intel Iris Xe graphics show their prowess. It’s subtle but noteworthy.

Yes, it doesn’t mean that you can rely on the Pavilion Plus as your go-to machine for video editing, considering it taps out on 1080P resolution for editing. But yes, this is good enough hardware for urgent cuts, chopping, and a fair bit of photo editing.

Also, the 16GB of DDR4 RAM on the laptop is worth noting. It makes the operations on it breezy. From boot up speed of the laptop to starting new applications, the experience is smooth. And I am talking about heavy apps like Premiere Pro as well.

We get 512GB of SSD storage on the laptop which provides quick read and write speeds. I also connected an HDD with the laptop to transfer data and the speed was respectable at 90 mbps. Yes, 512GB might not sound a lot on paper, but considering most professionals are using cloud and external storage these days, it should be sufficient.

For performance reference I also ran a Geekbench and Cinebench test on the laptop.

On the Geekbench CPU benchmark the laptop had a single-core score of 1400 while the multi-core score of 7078.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
Geekbench score for HP Pavilion Plus

With cinebench which is used to check the graphics prowess of a laptop, the single-core score was 1262 points and the multi-score score was 7764.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
Cinebench R23 score equates to the graphic prowess of the laptop.

These are impressive numbers and certainly better than what you would expect from a Business notebook.

Before we move on to the software experience, it’s important to highlight the battery life on the HP Pavilion Plus. And this is perhaps its strongest suite. I was getting upto 4 hours of average battery life on a heavy day of usage on the laptop. The ideal drainage is also minimal and I would generally just shut the lid on the laptop and go on with my day. Charging speeds are also favorable with the laptop charging upto 50% within 30 minutes with the 90 Whr charger. A complete charge takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

Battery life is very crucial on a business notebook and HP has done well on that aspect.

Now, on to software. The HP Pavilion Plus runs on Windows 11 Home, and the performance is standard. Nothing extraordinary or jaw dropping.

HP Pavilion Plus Review: Gets the basics right
Windows 11 Home is smooth on HP Pavilion Plus

And frankly, that’s not bad news. Windows 11 Home package works well in sync with the hardware on board. It is responsive and as basic as it can be. I used my usual buffet of applications that I go to on my notebooks. Instagram, Spotify, Google Chrome and Whatsapp. And the performance across them was smooth.

So if you are familiar with the Windows 11 ecosystem and want a smoother performance then you are in for a treat. Considering the hardware does infact improve the performance to the last mile.

HP Pavilion Plus finds itself at a very tough spot considering the price. At ₹79,999 it becomes very difficult to recommend this laptop to users without mentioning a specific use case. So let me break it down for you all.

If you are someone who swears by a Windows machine and wants a reliable business notebook. Then you can consider the Pavilion Plus. It is expensive but takes care of all your executive needs.

But, if you are a student or a dynamic user who doesn’t have a well-defined use case, then you can look at other options in the same price range. Maybe even a Macbook Air M1 if budget isn’t an issue.