Better options do exist, when it comes to specs from brands like Acer and Lenovo, but the HP Pavilion 13 with its petite frame, lightweight form factor tries to offer something in areas that others haven’t fully locked down on. It is highly ultra portable as a device, offers encouraging audio performance, oodles of storage space and good battery performance. For a laptop that’s suited for basic tasks and a little casual gaming on the side, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Getting your hands on a good laptop at the Rs. 40k price range can be a bit tricky at times, because it’s an awkward price range to be in – sandwiched between the budget laptop category around the Rs. 25k to Rs. 35k mark, and the Rs. 45k to Rs. 50k mark mainstream laptops. Notebooks at this price point are transitional between the budget to mainstream laptop segments, and this can always be a difficult handoff. Not so much with the HP Pavilion 13 notebook, though. For its asking price, we found it to be a good basic laptop to have. HP’s Pavilion range of laptops have traditionally rolled out good looking laptops at a slightly higher price tag, but it’s good to see that this lower-priced Pavilion 13 has maintained some of those characteristics. The laptop has a snazzy metallic gray colour scheme, has a slim profile overall, and has a bit of a polished look and feel going for it – great to see that, although it’s not totally unexpected. At 1.8 kg, this laptop is in the ultrabook range, meaning it’s quite easy to hold onto and transport while tucked away in your backpack, which is a good feature in any laptop. Made out of plastic through and through, it’s good to see the HP Pavilion 13 is built well – not exceptionally so, but we found no undue creaking in its joints and its screen hinge does a good job of fusing the screen with the rest of the chassis.
Typing on the Pavilion 13’s isolated, island-styled keys is a good experience, with little or no flex encountered during furious bursts of typing. We’ve seen that sometimes manufacturers end up using a flimsy metal plate as the base for the keyboard but that’s not the case here. Its single-slab touch pad (with no dedicated mouse buttons) is good to use – once you get accustomed to its feel – and we found no fault in its haptic feedback. The laptop’s Beats Audio speakers are good compared to most laptop speakers we’ve encountered at this price bracket, but they aren’t exceptionally great by laptop audio standards – still disappointing, overall, to say the least.
Coming to the Pavilion 13’s core performance, we found it to be average, and within the range of its onboard hardware – not bad, not great either. Its screen’s brightness isn’t too great at 130 cd/m2, and with a contrast ratio of 97:1, we can say that the Pavilion 13’s screen isn’t very good. But for basic use, it’s alright. Watching movies on the anti-glare screen helps block out reflections to a large extent, and the accompanying onboard audio definitely adds to the experience. Its HD webcam is quite efficient at handling video chats through Skype or Google Hangout, no problems whatsoever. Definitely no gaming on this machine, since it lacks a discrete graphics chip, and the most you can do without throttling it down is access the Web through a browser, listen to music, watch movies, work on productivity software, and that’s about it. For most people, that’s enough, and a laptop need not be capable of doing anything more.
What we definitely liked about the HP Pavilion 13 are two things – 1 terabyte of hard disk space and 3 hours of runtime in our battery benchmark (at high performance preset), which should let this laptop last between 4 to 5 hours on a single charge. We don’t have any complaints about that. Basically, it all boils down to the price. Better options do exist, when it comes to specs from brands like Acer and Lenovo, but the HP Pavilion 13 with its petite frame, lightweight form factor tries to offer something in areas that others haven’t fully locked down on. It is highly ultra portable as a device, offers encouraging audio performance, oodles of storage space and good battery performance. For a laptop that’s suited for basic tasks and a little casual gaming on the side, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Display: 13.3-inch, WLED backlit, anti-glare screen
Resolution: 1366x768 pixels
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3-4030U @ 1.9 GHz
HDD: 1TB, 5400 RPM
GPU: Onboard Intel HD 4400
I/O ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x headphone, mic combo port
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
SD Card Reader: Yes
OS: Windows 8.1
Weight: 1.8 kg
Cower, puny human, for I am Big Daddy! The ground rumbles beneath my feet, the very air you breathe resonates to my primal roar. Mere mortals, I am the scourge of the n00bs, destroyer of worlds. Fear my might, tremble in my presence.
07 Nov 2019
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