The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is the company's premium laptop designed for a mix of productivity and entertainment. It boasts of an all-metal body, a high-resolution display, premium speakers, and Intel's latest 12th generation mobile CPUs. Moreover, HP says that the Pavilion Plus 14 is its slimmest Pavilion laptop yet, which makes it attractive to those who have to carry their laptop around often. Should this be your next work laptop? Find out in this review.
HP currently has a limited variety of pre-configured Pavilion Plus models in India. The variant I'm reviewing is the Pavilion Plus Laptop 14 (eh0021TU) which is priced at Rs. 79,999 on HP India's website. It features an Intel Core i5 CPU, integrated graphics, a 512GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM. It is available in silver and there's also a warm gold (eh0025TU) option. If you want a higher-end configuration, the only other option in India is the Pavilion OLED 14 (eh0024TU) which has an Intel Core i7 CPU, a 2.8K display, onboard graphics and a 1TB SSD, and is priced at Rs. 93,999.
HP also has non-Plus Pavilion models in India, which are slightly more affordable due to their full-HD resolution displays, but have otherwise similar configurations as the Pavilion Plus equivalents. In other countries, the Pavilion Plus series can be configured with discrete GPUs up to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050.
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is a very professional-looking laptop, especially in this silver colour. Build quality is superb thanks to the aluminium used for the lid, base, and keyboard area. The display is also well protected against external forces and I didn't notice any pixel warping when applying pressure to the back of the lid. However, all this metal makes the lid a bit heavy, and it tends to wobble easily when open, even if you're using the laptop directly under a ceiling fan.
The display on the HP Pavilion Plus 14 is one of its highlights. It's a 14-inch IPS panel with an anti-glare coating and a resolution of 2240x1400 pixels, making images and text appear a lot sharper and clearer than on a conventional full-HD display at this size. The refresh rate is the standard 60Hz. You get slim bezels on the right and left sides, and slightly thicker ones on the top and bottom. There is a 5-megapixel webcam above the display.
The keys on the keyboard are spaced out well and have good, clicky feedback. The function (Fn) keys are a bit smaller than the rest, but I didn't find that to be an issue. What I didn't like was the last column of keys for Delete, Home, Pg Up, etc, that are placed towards the right edge, beyond important keys such as Backspace and Enter. I often found myself accidentally hitting the Pg Dn key instead of Enter and Home instead of Backspace when typing, which was annoying. HP could have left a bit more space between the last two columns of keys.
The trackpad is generously wide, and to its right is a square cutout for a fingerprint sensor. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 has a good selection of ports too, for a 14-inch laptop. The right side has two SuperSpeed USB Type-C ports (10Gbps, DisplayPort 1.4), an HDMI 2.1 video output, and a USB Type-A (5Gbps) port. The left side has another full-sized USB Type-A port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. On the bottom of this laptop are cutouts for the Bang & Olufsen speakers (one on each end) and a large perforated air vent running along almost the entire breadth of the base. The exhaust vents are situated in front of the display's hinge.
The Intel Core i5-12500H CPU in the HP Pavilion Plus 14 has a total of 12 CPU cores, which include four performance cores and eight efficiency cores. This H-series CPU should be more powerful than its P-series equivalent due to a greater amount of L3 cache and a higher base TDP of 45W (vs 28W). Indian variants of the Pavilion Plus 14 are limited to the CPU's integrated GPU, which is based on the Intel Iris Xe graphics architecture.
The 16GB of DDR4 RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which means it's not swappable or upgradable. HP seems to have done this in order to make this laptop as thin as possible, which is fine, but it does affect ease of repair should the RAM develop issues in the future. Thankfully, the 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD is upgradable. The Pavilion Plus 14 also features 2X2 MIMO antennas for the Wi-Fi 6E module, and Bluetooth 5.2. The laptop has a built-in 3-cell, 51Wh battery and ships with a 90W USB Type-C power adapter. The latter is quite compact and easy to travel with. HP says the Pavilion Plus 14 weighs 1.4kg but I found the actual weight of my unit to be slightly under this.
The laptop ships with Windows 11 Home and some bundled software such as Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021 and McAfee LiveSafe (30 days trial). HP also bundles its own software such as HP Command Centre, Omen Gaming Hub, HP Pallete, HP Audio Switch, and HP Smart. These programs are functional, and allow you to monitor and tweak various aspects of the laptop. There's even a dedicated key (F12) to quickly access HP's main programs.
I used the HP Pavilion Plus 14 for a couple of weeks on and off as my work laptop, and also used it to watch a lot of movies and TV shows. Overall, my experience was very good. The laptop runs fairly cool and silent all the time, making it comfortable to use on my lap even for prolonged durations. The lid can be opened to a fairly wide angle, making the laptop easy to use in a number of positions. The high resolution also makes everything appear sharper and crisper than a standard full-HD resolution. The brightness and colours of the display are also very good. The letters and symbols on the keys of the keyboard are a little hard to decipher at the lowest backlight setting during the day, so it's best to either have it at the highest setting or turn it off.
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 performed well in benchmarks, at times even scoring better than a laptop with a P-series Core i7 CPU. It scored 631 and 4,103 points in Cinebench R20's single and multi-core tests, respectively. In PCMark 10, the Pavilion Plus 14 scored 5,443 points. Graphics scores were a bit lower as expected, even compared to the Iris Xe GPU in the LG Gram 14 (Review) which had a Core i7-1260P CPU.
The Pavilion Plus 14 scored 1,357 and 12,974 points in 3DMark's Time Spy and Night Raid test suites respectively. The laptop's SSD performance was top-notch too. In SiSoft Sandra's File System test, the Pavilion Plus 14 returned sequential read and write speeds of 5.85GBps and 1.75GBps. Random read and write speeds were lower, but still above average.
In real-world tests, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 took 2 minutes, 43 seconds to compress a 3.24GB folder of assorted files. Rendering the BMW test scene in Blender took 5 minutes, 28 seconds which was a lot quicker than the LG Gram laptop, and encoding a full-HD AVI file to 720p MKV took 49 seconds. Since this laptop isn't really designed for gaming, especially the configurations sold in India, I didn't attempt playing any intensive games. If you wish, casual titles from the Microsoft Store such as Asphalt 9: Legends, etc, should run just fine.
The 5-megapixel webcam on the HP Pavilion Plus produces good image quality with little to no visible noise even in poorly lit environments. You can record videos at up to 1440p resolution, which is nice. HP's Enhanced Lighting app is a handy tool which creates a virtual ring light on the display and lets you tweak the intensity and colour temperature. The stereo speakers produce decent sound and this can be tweaked using the B&O app.
HP claims that the Pavilion Plus 14 is capable of achieving more than 11 hours of battery life on a single charge, but I found this to be much lower with actual usage. I was only able to get around five hours of use on average with a mix of work (Slack and Chrome), play (streaming videos from Netflix in Chrome), and some standby time. This isn't very good, and I struggled to get through even a full work day on one charge. Battery Eater Pro didn't produce very promising results either, as the benchmark ran for just 1 hour, 31 minutes. I did test the Pavilion Plus 14 a bit with Windows 11's latest update which promises battery optimisations, but I didn't notice any difference to actual battery life, or any change in the Battery Eater Pro result.
The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is a good-looking and well built laptop for general work and could even be suitable for creative professionals. Its crisp display, compact body, comfortable keyboard, and reasonably powerful specs are some of the main reasons you might want to consider it. The Rs. 79,999 price tag is not too bad considering the overall package, however if you don't really need the high-resolution display then you could also look at the Pavilion 14 models which have nearly identical specs but a full-HD display, for a lot less. Battery life is really the only main weak point of the Pavilion Plus 14 laptop, and some might also find the fixed RAM to be a dealbreaker.