HP Pavilion 13 Review : A good basic laptop with a heavy price-tag

HP Pavilion 13 Review : A good basic laptop with a heavy price-tag
VERDICT:

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.

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.

Specifications
Display: 13.3-inch, WLED backlit, anti-glare screen
Resolution: 1366×768 pixels
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3-4030U @ 1.9 GHz
RAM: 4GB
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

Jayesh Shinde

Jayesh Shinde

Executive Editor at Digit. Technology journalist since Jan 2008, with stints at Indiatimes.com and PCWorld.in. Enthusiastic dad, reluctant traveler, weekend gamer, LOTR nerd, pseudo bon vivant. View Full Profile

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