HP Pavilion 15: An affordable but unremarkable lifestyle laptop


With Ice Lake’s first laptops spinning and the GPU showing its age, it’s hard to justify giving up £ 850 on the HP Pavilion 15. That said, this laptop is not really wrong. . If the price goes down in the weeks and months ahead, the bargain hunters could kill.


  • Beautiful keyboard
  • Good speakers
  • Well suited for office work

The inconvenients

  • Sub-average display
  • Not fantastic value for money

Key specifications

  • Examination price: £ 850
  • 15.6-inch Full HD display with IPS
  • Intel Core i7-8565U Processor
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • 8 GB of DDR4-2400 MHz RAM
  • PCIe SSD NVMe M.2 256 GB
  • USB Type C 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB Type A 3.1 3.1 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4; Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack

What is the HP Pavilion 15?

The HP Pavilion 15 is an affordable laptop that minimizes competition, making it an ideal choice for students and office workers.

In the review unit that was sent to me – the HP Pavilion 15-cs1506sa -, an Intel Core i7-8565U processor sits under the hood, next to an Nvidia GPU GTX 1050 Ti. This means that, on paper, you need enough processing power to perform basic PC tasks and enough graphics to integrate a little Fortnite, Overwatch, and more. on the side. Do not expect to run them at maximum speed. texture packs and settings are bent to the maximum. There might be a dedicated graphics card here, but not a high-end gaming laptop like the HP Pavilion 15.

That said, the price here is quite attractive – £ 850 at the time of writing – and means that it rivals directly with the likes of the Acer Nitro 5, which occupies the same price range but features cards the most modern of the 16 series, the Razer Stealth Blade (2019) and not to mention HP’s own Envy 13.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa Reviews

HP Pavilion 15 has right angles and silver surfaces

HP Pavilion 15 Design and Features – Geezer Diamond

The new HP Pavilion 15 is a rather standard Windows 10-based notebook that features the micro-perforated rectangle triangle pattern found on other HP notebooks such as HP Envy 13s. and HP EliteBook 1050 G1. On this particular laptop, the nested triangles create a slightly retro / elongated Zelda rupee shape.

Two speakers lie behind this triangular fabric and, like many HP notebooks, they have been tuned with the help of the high-end Bang & Olufsen Danish audio brand.

The HP Pavilion 15 is a fairly large laptop – measuring 361.6 x 241.6 x 17.9mm – with a full-size keyboard, keypad, and 5mm side frames for the screen. 15.6 inches. In terms of ports, the right side has two USB 3.1 Gen 1 type A ports, a lock slot and a normal-size SD card reader, while the left side has HDMI 1.4, Ethernet and Type C USB 3.1 ports, with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Like HP Envy 13 technology, Thunderbolt 3 technology is not present here, so the USB Type-C port only transfers data at speeds up to 5 Gbps (compared to 40 Gbps with Thunderbolt 3) . a £ 800 laptop and Thunderbolt 3 remain expensive to implement.

The HP Pavilion 15 has another common feature with the HP Envy 13: the shape of the case allows you to slightly lift the back part of the underside of the deck – where the air outlet is – from the desktop when you open the laptop. It’s a design feature we’ve also seen on other laptops – namely the Asus ZenBook range – and that seems likely to become a standard feature of all upcoming Ultrabooks.

Weighing a little under 2 kg (1.89 kg), the HP Pavilion 15 is a bit heavier than most laptops in its class. Most Ultrabooks and lightweight notebooks nowadays are closer to the 1kg mark. Although the HP Pavilion 15 is heavy in comparison, it is still slim and thin enough to be carried all day in your wallet.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa review - a finger presses a letter, showing the major moves of the HP Pavilion 15

A good trip and a key action makes it easy to enter on the HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15 Keyboard – Is it easy to hit the HP Pavilion 15?

The HP Pavilion 15 is very easy to type. The keys make for a good ride – not the Lenovo ThinkPad T490, but a deeper and more enjoyable feeling than most laptops – and subdued lighting lets you work easily at night.

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The keyboard keys are similar to those of the HP Envy 13, but as the HP Pavilion 15 ‘is larger, you can use a keypad here. This (somehow) compensates for the fact that the arrow keys are small and surrounded, and you can simply use the numeric lock and make sure that the 2, 4, 8 and 6 keys also serve as arrow keys – the problem is solved .

Despite these layout problems, the keyboard of the Pavilion 15 is solid. The action of the keys is pleasant and lively, and the keys of the letters hardly move. Shift, Caps Lock, Entry, and Spacebar – the usual suspects – are all a little more unstable, but nothing here worries me immediately. Everything feels robust and durable.

The trackpad was less easy to use out of the box, which forced me to adjust the sensitivity level thoroughly to be able to use it easily. After reviewing the Asus ZenBook 14, which contains the smoothest touchpad I’ve used in the past few months, I think all other laptop trackpads are ruined for me.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa review - keyboard detail

The keyboard layout here is usually good, although crushing the navigation keys above the numeric keypad is not ideal

HP Pavilion 15 Speakers – Are Bang & Olufsen Speakers Good?

The speakers of the HP Pavilion 15 are very good, with only minimal distortion visible at maximum volume.

The streaming Netflix and iPlayer content dialogs seemed clear, as did most of the music I read while working on this review. He successfully passed my puppet master test – where I listen to the classic Metallica song at 50% of the volume and note the obvious distortions – with a clear and definite sound for all the instruments.

Some music, such as solo piano and acoustic guitar, tracks on which there is a lot of resonance, do not sound very good at high volume. Steve Howe’s Mood for a Day, a recording that seems to have been specially designed to sound horribly loudspeakers on a laptop, seems smothered if pushed beyond 60% of the volume.

In general, the speakers are very good and a notch above all. The music and dialogs are certainly better than what you might expect to hear coming out of a laptop at £ 800.

HP Pavilion 15 screen – Can I use the HP Pavilion 15 for photo editing?

The HP Pavilion 15 display is not suitable for photo editing. A low maximum brightness and low coverage of color ranges mean that I would not recommend it, even for the most basic of photo work or digital works. Even if you’re just resizing your vacation shots, if you’re looking for a photographic job with a laptop, you’d better choose a device like the HP Envy 13 or the Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019). .

I recorded a maximum brightness of 223.55 nits using an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter and DisplayCAL 3. This is a poor score which explains why websites, photos and games are a slightly dull and faded. If a laptop can not provide you with at least 300 nits of peak brightness in 2019, you should reconsider it.

That said, a low black level of 0.15 nits means the contrast is high – I recorded an acceptable contrast ratio of 1432: 1, and even though things were a little dull, nothing seemed excessively cloudy or faded .

However, the coverage of the color gamut was low, with only 61.7% of the space sRGB (standard RGB) covered. As the name implies, sRGB is the standard color space used by developers, web designers and digital artists. It is therefore a good indicator of the visual and dynamic appearance of websites, web comics and dynamic video games. Ideally, a screen will offer you 100% sRGB coverage, but in reality, any laptop screen covering 80% or more is good.

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The large Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color spaces are more relevant to digital photographers and videographers. Although you do not make any major changes in Premiere Pro on the HP Pavilion 15, it is worth mentioning that Adobe and DCI partitions are very small – 42.9% and 44.0%, respectively. Again, it’s below normal. You need to expect coverage of about 70% of these two color spaces.

In contrast, the HP Envy 13 printer covered 69.2% and 71.7% of the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts when I had tested it.

Fortnite played on the HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa with all the graphics and textures on Epic

If you want Fortnite to look so pretty on the HP Pavilion 15, you can expect a cruising speed of 30 frames per second.

HP Pavilion 15 Game – How Does Fortnite and Apex Legends Work?

Using FRAPS to measure game performance, I recorded average frame rates of about 30-40 fps and 70-100 fps on Fortnite with graphics settings on Epic and Low respectively, and between 20-30 fps and 50-60 fps with Apex Legends, with textures and compound shadows. all at the top, and all at the bottom.

Although the 60Hz display means you will not be able to enjoy the higher frame rates you can get on the HP Pavilion 15, you can still connect it to a Full HD gaming monitor. HDMI 1.4 is old-fashioned – it’s about HDMI 2.1 nowadays – but it still supports 1080p video at 144Hz. So if you’re in the market for a game where you can play Battle Royale players and you already have or plan to buy a cheap Full HD monitor anyway, you have at least the ability to work around it. .

Do not expect AAA titles such as Control or The Division 2 to work well. I’ve led the reference in the game on Dirt Rally – a 2015 game that we still use in critics to see how systems handle older games – and with the Ultra settings, I’ve got a average number of frames per second of 44.95. I could comfortably erase only 60 frames per second when I set the graphics settings to Medium, where the HP Pavilion 15 gave me an average of 77.92 frames per second and a maximum fps of 110.24.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider has not been so successful. I’ve posted an average of 29 frames per second and 30 frames per second with charts set to High and Medium. Whenever I tried to run the performance test with visual effects at the highest settings, the game would collapse. To be fair, the HP Pavilion 15, with a 2017 graphics card, should not work well with demanding titles. It’s good enough for Battle Royale shooters and older PC games.

You will, however, want to get a gaming mouse, because when it comes to hard fights, this trackpad is not your friend.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa review - the ports on the left side of the laptop, HDMI 1.4, Ethernet, USB Type C, 3.5mm audio jack

Left-to-right ports on the HP Pavilion 15: HDMI 1.4 ports, Ethernet, Type C USB, 3.5mm audio jack

HP Pavilion 15 General Performance – What does the HP Pavilion 15 look like for basic PC use?

The HP Pavilion 15 is ideal for everyday office work. Despite the average speed of reading and writing SSDs, I had no trouble spending a day working on it.

If you sometimes have problems loading multiple photos into Photoshop, GIMP or your free photo editing app, this should not be a big problem, as the screen is not really up to the job for a serious photo job anyway.

I used PCMark 10, a general performance benchmark, and achieved a score of 4220. This is just below the base score of 4500, UL indicates that the developer of PCMark 10 indicates that a PC is suitable at a desk job. From what I know, the HP Pavilion 15 is perfectly suited in this regard. Laptops that generated scores of 4,000 and a little lower are also perfectly capable of performing basic computer tasks, for example, browsing the web with multiple open tabs, word processing, emails, and video calls.

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At the same time, Geekbench 4 scores similar to those I saw on laptops with Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake: 4668 single-core and 13,081 multicore. I recorded similar results when I performed the same test on the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 (4647, 13,742) and Dell XPS 13 (4281, 14,167). Both laptops have the same Whiskey Lake processor. The HP Envy 13 model that I tested gave similar results (4877, 14,509), although it uses a less powerful processor, the Core i5 Whiskey Lake.

Clearly, all these numbers mean that, yes, the HP Pavilion 15 and its processor are ideal for office work.

I also used the 3DMark Fire Strike reference, designed to test the graphics rendering capabilities of a GPU, and score 5948, a fairly average score nowadays. We have already established the game references of the HP Pavilion 15, so it is not interesting to be interested.

Finally, the CrystalDiskMark test, which tests the read and write speeds of SSDs and hard drives, gave me a good reading score of 1735.8 MB / s and a write speed of 742.90 Mo / s. Saving large projects may take a long time, but if you store the bulk of your work written in Google Docs or Microsoft OneDrive, the problem may be less serious.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa review - the ports located to the right of the laptop, the SD card reader, the Kensington lock slot, two USB type A ports and the AC adapter port

Ports to the right of the HP Pavilion 15 from left to right: SD card slot, Kensington lock slot, 2 x Type A USB ports

HP Pavilion 15 Battery Performance – Will the HP Pavilion 15 Work All Day?

In general, yes. From my experience, the HP Pavilion 15 m allowed to spend nearly eight hours off, the brightness of the screen being locked at 150 nits.

HP’s official data sheet states that you can spend more than 16 hours on this, but in my experience, this number makes sense only if you do not do much with your laptop. If you work – write, crop photos, send and reply to multiple emails, all with music pumped in the background – you’ll be able to navigate comfortably all day long without having to worry too much of the charger.

That said, running the PC Mark 8 performance test, with a brightness pinned at 150 nits until the battery reaches critical levels, even gave me a three hour result and three minutes, which is well below what I’ve observed on a day-to-day basis. use. I’m not sure why such an atypical result was returned, since most of the Whiskey Lake laptops I’ve tested allow you to get between 8 and 11 hours of flying time on a single charge. The presence of a dedicated graphics processor is a factor – you can still manually disable it via the Nvidia Control Panel if you have to switch to the built-in graphics of the CPU.

Fortunately, you can charge the HP 68 Pavilion 15 68 Wh 100% Li-ion battery in just over two hours. After half an hour of charging, expect to have 40% in the tank and 69% after one hour.

HP Pavilion 15 cs1506sa test - a photo of the HP Pavilion 15 open and seen from the front

Should I buy the HP Pavilion 15?

Since you can get the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Envy 13 without spending more money, I advise against buying an HP Pavilion 15, unless you can buy one when you buy it. a Black Friday sale with a great discount. .

Considering that it costs £ 850 and we will see laptops like the Acer Swift 5, equipped with the next generation Intel Ice Lake laptop processors, on sale very soon for roughly the same price, it is hard to justify dropping the best part of a big on that moment.

The HP Pavilion 15 is not serious, but it comes on the market with an outdated GPU, a screen not very good and a price that soon will not be as competitive.

You have the choice between waiting for the price or choosing an alternative: if you want a cheap laptop for less than £ 1,000 to do basic work on a computer, get the HP Envy 13 instead. It’s smaller, but the experience is much better.

If you want a cheap laptop for light games, get an Acer Nitro 5, which has a similar price and that comes with the Nvidia graphics options of the 16 series instead of the 10 series. If you want something who rides both sides, think of a Dell XPS 13 or a Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019).


A fairly decent laptop, but currently too expensive for what you get.

HP Pavilion 15: An affordable but unremarkable lifestyle laptop
HP Pavilion 15: An affordable but unremarkable lifestyle laptop 1

Verdict With Ice Lake's first laptops spinning and the GPU showing its age, it's hard to justify giving up £ 850 on the HP Pavilion 15. That said, this lap

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