HP Pavilion Plus 14: Two-minute review
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is an upgrade from the original Pavilion 14 and is meant to be a decently priced low-ranged laptop for those who need a dedicated work machine.
It comes with a pretty solid screen size, which is complemented by the thinner bezels that give you more screen real estate. Its OLED touchscreen display is responsive and features an impressive picture quality that makes anything displayed through it crystal clear and sharp, which alone is worth the slightly higher price tag.
This feature shines when paired with the webcam, which is crisp and clean when sitting through Zoom meetings, but it’s a shame the webcam doesn’t come with a mechanical privacy shutter though, since nowadays its pretty much a necessity.
The keyboard and touchpad are quite good as well, one of the few work laptops that have wide keys suited for those with thicker fingers or shaky hands. We found it extremely rare to have typos thanks to the wide spacing between keys, and the touchpad provides you with more than enough space to comfortably move around, making it very accessible for those who might have more limited mobility or coordination in their hands.
Thanks to the 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 has some impressively high performance compared to many other budget-to-midrange laptops, consistently outscoring them by sometimes wide margins.
It’s an incredibly fast laptop that balances multiple CPU-intensive tasks like a champ. It even ran Sid Meyer’s Civilization VI benchmark well, netting over 60 FPS on the highest settings. Of course, it won’t be able to play titles like Hitman 3 smoothly but you’re not buying this laptop for that purpose anyway; as a general performance machine, this might have easily qualified as one of the best HP laptops going – or even one of the best Ultrabooks overall.
However, the worst aspect of this laptop by far is the battery life, and it absolutely drags this laptop down. At most, while running our HD movie test, it lasted just under 5 hours, and lasted a little while longer in our productivity test. For a gaming laptop this would be ok, but for a low-end machine whose job it is to last a full day of work or school? This is atrocious, especially considering that for the price, we're expecting something far more substantial.
HP Pavilion Plus 14: Price and availability
- How much does it cost? MSRP is $799 (about £640 / AU$1,120)
- When is it out? It is available now
- Where can you get it? You can get it in the US, UK, and Australia, though not all configurations are available in all regions.
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is available now in the US, UK, and Australia and starts at $799 / £829 in the US and UK, and at AU$2,699 in Australia.
Here is the HP Pavilion Plus 14 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Screen: 14-inch diagonal, 2.8K (2880 x 1800), OLED, 90 Hz
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Ports: 2 USB Type-A ports, 2 USB Type-C, 1 headset (headphone and microphone combo) port, 1 HDMI 2.1 port, 1 SD-card slot
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: HP True Vision 5MP
Weight: 3.09 pounds (1.4 kg)
Size (W x D x H): 12.34 x 8.83 x 0.72ins | 313.4 x 224.3 x 18.3mm
The entry-level configuration for the US will get you an Intel Core i5-1240P processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage, and a 14-inch 2240 x 1400p IPS display, with a max brightness of 300 nits. The UK starting configuration is essentially identical, though it gives you a 512GB PCIe SSD.
The starting configuration in Australia, which is also the only configuration, is identical to the one we reviewed, specs listed at right. It will set you back $1,219 in the US and AU$2,699 in Australia.
The highest-spec configuration costs $1,329 in the US will get you an Intel Core i7-1255U, an Nvidia RTX 2050 GPU with 4GB dedicated video memory, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD and a 2.8K OLED display with 400 nits brightness and Wi-Fi 6E instead of Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6.
In the UK, the highest spec is slightly different, in that it reduces the SSD to 512GB and, strangely, comes with Windows 11 Home in S Mode.
For the hardware on offer, this is pretty decent, especially at the low end, though the more expensive OLED display, as pretty as it is, is a big driver of the increase in price here. HP's main rival, Dell, has a new Inspiron 14 Plus that comes in at $1,299 (about £1,040 / AU$1,820), and it has more or less the same specs as the HP Pavilion Plus 14 model we reviewed.
There are some key differences, though, in that it comes with a 2240 x 1400p IPS display instead of an OLED panel and only has 512GB SSD storage. What it does have over the Pavilion Plus 14, though, is a 64WHr battery, which means that it will likely get a much longer battery life than the Pavilion Plus 14 — especially if it doesn't have an OLED panel to power — though we haven't reviewed the Inspiron 14 Plus so we cannot say for certain.
That said, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 would seem to win out on specs here, making it a pretty decent value, but as we'll get to later, the battery life is really this laptop's Achilles' heel and keeps it from competing with the best laptops on the market.
- Value: 3.5 / 5
HP Pavilion Plus 14: Design
- Fantastic OLED screen
- Excellent, wide keyboard
- Great port selection
The chassis is lightweight but feels surprisingly sturdy for a lower-end work laptop, and reasonably has some heft to it despite the lower weight. It’s still thin and light enough to be comfortably portable in most bags. The silver color is common among even the best laptops these days but is still appealing and sleek.
Opening it up, the OLED screen really shines, giving anything displayed through it a gorgeous high-quality picture. This makes sense, since it complements the 2.8k display and even sports some nice and thin bezels that grant some roomy screen real estate.
Its port selection is quite good, with two USB Type-C and two Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, an SD card slot, and one headset jack. The HDMI 2.1 is a pleasant surprise in particular, as normally it’s a 1.4 on work machines. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is clearly a well-balanced machine that can handle most tasks and connect to a wide range of devices.
It even enhances what would be an otherwise average webcam image, pairing well with the program that augments your image based on lighting. The latter is a handy little feature that lets you adjust how you look through the webcam in real-time, a feature that we didn’t know we needed until now.
The keyboard is one of our favorites so far in a work laptop, with a well-sized trackpad and wide and well-spaced out keys that make typing a breeze with barely any typos. There’s also a toggle for backlighting, another great feature for those late-night work sessions. It was a joy using it and having to switch back to normal-sized keys felt like a huge downgrade.
- Design: 4 / 5
HP Pavilion Plus 14: Performance
- Great for work and casual-to-light gaming
- Sound quality is fine
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is in a very weird niche, as it functions incredibly well as a work machine. It has an excellent screen that’s perfect for video calls, a great roomy keyboard and trackpad, all complemented by the powerful i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM that supports it.
Here's how the HP Pavilion Plus 14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark Night Raid: 14,892; Fire Strike: 4,201; Time Spy: 1,690
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 12,430 points
GeekBench 5: 1,741 (single-core); 8,856 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5,641 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 4 hours and 34 minutes
PCMark 10 Battery Test: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Civilization VI (1080p, High): 67 fps; (1080p, Low): 22 fps
But these same features also make it well-balanced for some casual gaming, at least with lighter games. When running various benchmarks, we found that this laptop scores higher (sometimes significantly higher) than other similar laptops in its class running comparable hardware. For a dedicated work machine, the Pavilion 14 Plus clearly has the chops to game in a more-than-normal capacity for this sort of computer.
When we ran the Sid Meier's Civilization VI benchmark test, we found the game ran at an impressive 67 FPS on max settings. Playing it, the title ran incredibly smooth with no noticeable hiccups or hangs. Other casual-to-light-duty games ran just as well, making it a work laptop well-suited for play at the end of the day.
The CPU can also adjust itself to the task that needs the most attention. While we didn’t always explicitly notice the switch in performance between every single task, it did feel like every task was optimized.
The sound quality for the HP Pavilion Plus 14 is good but not great, despite the fact that it comes with dual speakers. Still, it’s quite good for the kind of laptop it is, though it doesn’t have the most complex sound. But when it comes to voice and video chat, the sound quality is more than high enough. Ventilation is a bit below average; it tends to warm up quickly but the heat doesn’t progress into an uncomfortable range.
- Performance: 4.5 / 5
HP Pavilion Plus 14: Battery life
- Absolutely terrible
- Rival laptops in its class last much longer
This battery is the worst battery we’ve tested for a work laptop in a long time. As we said before, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 has unusually high benchmark scores compared to its competitors and even performs well with some modern games.
But it seems that this tricked the Pavilion Plus into thinking it’s a gaming laptop or something and so it spiked its own battery life in response. This battery cannot last past the four-and-a-half-hour mark in our HD movie test, and PCMark 10’s battery test showed a five hour and 10 minute result, which makes it extremely difficult to perform as a work laptop unless you keep it charged up at an outlet regularly.
This is owing to the two-fold problem of high-end hardware, like an OLED display and Intel Alder Lake Core i7, and its rather meek 51WHr battery, which is almost guaranteed to run dry in no time flat.
Sacrifices have to be made for price, size, and weight, sure. But a work laptop is supposed to last, and this one does not. Having such a poor battery life for a machine that’s meant to carry you through a work day is rather inexcusable.
- Battery Life: 1 / 5
Should you buy an HP Pavilion Plus 14?
Buy it if…
Don't buy it if…
HP Pavilion Plus 14: Report card
|Value||This laptop, as reviewed, is just under the overpriced mark, though there are cheaper models available at least.||3.5 / 5|
|Design||Has a lovely OLED screen that brings out the beauty in every image, and the keyboard and trackpad are nice and roomy as well as backlit.||4 / 5|
|Performance||This laptop works like a racehorse, galloping through every task like a total pro. It even can play a good number of games and maintain a good FPS.||4.5 / 5|
|Battery Life||The battery life is extremely low, which defeats the purpose of a work laptop in the first place.||1 / 5|
|Total||While the Pavilion Plus 14 is an otherwise excellent laptop for work and play, it’s battery life makes it hard to recommend.||3.5 / 5|
- First reviewed August 2022
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