HP has an almost bewildering array of smart, business-class laptops, but the Pavilion isn’t one of them. It looks like a business laptop but, as our review explains, the HP Pavilion X360 14 is a business-like consumer convertible that’s designed to be a jack of all trades. Who should buy it?
Table of Contents
- Features, Ergonomics and Design
- Ports and connectivity
- Price and Availability
- 7 Laptop Reviews of Alternatives to the HP Pavilion X360 14
- Conclusion: Should you buy the HP Pavilion X360 14?
|Screen||14-inch, matte, 60Hz, 1,920 x 1,080, 250-nit, IPS, touchscreen display|
|Processor||3.3-4.4GHz Intel i5-1235U CPU|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Graphics||1.2GHz Intel Xe|
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
MicroSD Card reader
|Dimensions||322 x 210 x 20mm|
Features, Ergonomics and Design
The HP Pavilion X360 14’s silver finish looks classy and corporate, especially with its shiny HP lid logo. At a glance, it seems metallic but it’s all plastic. It still feels high quality though. The screen has a thick, black bezel surrounding it and this contrasts nicely with the silver. Those who like a thin bezel may be disappointed, but remember that this folds backwards into a tablet, meaning you’ll need some dead space to grip the screen.
The screen itself is glossy, robust (it doesn’t flex much when a twisting force is applied) and is supported by solid hinges. The latter facilitate it folding backwards into a tablet and they make a decent fist of holding it together in this configuration.
It’s very responsive to touch and repels fingerprints impressively well. Colours are a little muted and images aren’t the brightest, though – it’s only rated to a modest, 250-nits. Still, for regular indoor office use it’s fine and the Full HD resolution displays a crisp and clear Windows Desktop.
The HP Pavilion X360 14’s multimedia performance depends on the content. The lack of peak brightness means that you can often see more details in bright areas because they don’t get washed out. True blacks are somewhat washed out but, in return, detail is also often visible in shadowy areas so, for general viewing, it’s not bad at all. However, in dark areas in dark scenes, the screen quickly transforms into a black mirror.
Colours in videos, graphics and games are, again, muted (yet not terrible) but transitions can get somewhat blocky and banded on occasion. Monochromatic transitions and gradients weren’t particularly distracting but that’s mainly because they get lost in shadow or reflections, much of the time.
Still, fast-moving objects are rendered relatively well: there might only be a 60Hz refresh rate, but a decent pixel response time helps banish blur.
The Scrabble-tile keyboard is generally comfortable and accurate to type upon. However, the low action and stiff nature (that’s common with convertible laptops where the keyboard becomes the base) meant that typing for extended periods did become fatiguing.
The touchpad is large and responsive and has nice button-actions.
As with HP siblings, the HP Pavilion X360 14’s dual speakers are tuned by Bang and Olufsen, but this doesn’t always mean they’ll be great. The good news is that those in the Pavilion are very good indeed: they provide good fidelity from top to bottom along with some punchy bass.
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The HD webcam and mic array are very good for web-conferencing and streaming. Crisp and clear audio is captured while graininess doesn’t badly blight low light images. There’s also HP’s special lighting app which can overlay a ‘ringlight’ onto the screen and you can change the thickness, brightness and colour temperature to get things just so.
All in all it’s a fine personal computer to interact with and having the touchscreen will be a boon to many. Just beware of its reflective nature and black-mirror effect during dark content.
Inside the HP Pavilion X360 14 is a 3.3 – 4.4GHz Intel i5-1235U processor with two Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores. It’s flanked by just 8GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and a small, 256GB hard drive. These combined to score a modest 4,955 in the general-computing PCMark 10 benchmark which in numerically a little low but still demonstrates it can easily handle office and general computing tasks.
In the processor-based Cinebench rendering tests it scored 1,299 in the rapid R15 test and 6,507 in the longer R23 test. These aren’t fast scores in the current market so, if you want to use the HP Pavilion X360 14 for rendering, you’ll be waiting longer than many rivals.
3D performance comes via the integrated Intel Xe graphics which run at 1.2GHz. They can’t run the complicated 3Dmark ray-tracing tests but they could just about get a score out of both Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme which mimic current, AAA-gaming titles. In these it scored 1,245 in the former and 1,453 in the latter. Both of these scores equate to an average of just 7fps, so don’t expect the HP Pavilion X360 14 to play the latest-and-greatest games without decimating the resolution and quality settings.
Still, it completed the 3DMark Night Raid test with a score of 12,308 which is an average of 70fps. So, it can still play many casual and competitive games.
We also ran our old-school CS:GO test which stresses the whole system. Here. The HP Pavilion X360 14 averaged a just-about-playable 40fps for the whole test, but it plummeted to just 6fps when the screen got busy with smoke grenades and such like.
Under heavy load, the HP Pavilion X360 14 can get a bit warm and its fans can ramp up to a robust, stable, low-whoosh. It rarely gets annoyingly loud or distracting, but it is frequently activated.
Ports and connectivity
Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. It’s not the latest, or greatest collection of connections, but the important ones are all there.
The HP Pavilion X360 14 weighs a lightweight 1.41KG and has a small, 65-Watt power supply. That puts it in ultraportable territory in our book.
The 43Wh battery sounds rather tiny, but it powered the Pavilion through our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a respectable 9 hours and 10 minutes – that’s more than a day out of the office.
Despite all the plastic, the HP Pavilion X360 14 still feels robust: the screen feels well protected and we expect it to survive life on the road quite well.
Price and Availability
The HP Pavilion X360 14 costs $1,499 which is very good value. We’ve seen it on sale for a few hundred dollars less, too – so look around. There are quite a few SKUs of this laptop, so if you want more power, you can upgrade quite easily.
7 Laptop Reviews of Alternatives to the HP Pavilion X360 14
It’s two inches bigger but packs in more power, features and quality. Why mention it? Because it’s on sale for less money than the HP Pavilion X360 14.
The Prestige is a flashy 14-inch laptop that’s available in many funky colours. It’s got more power and more-updated components but, there’s no touchscreen and it’s more expensive.
This 14-inch all-round, general-computing laptop from Acer offers slightly better everything at a bit more money – including an OLED screen. It doesn’t convert into a tablet, though.
Asus’ Zenbooks have impressed us greatly, lately. This 14-inch marvel comes in at a low price but includes an OLED screen. It’s not a convertible, though.
The big brother of the HP Pavilion X360 14. It does all the same things but better. It’s usually more expensive but, on a good dat the premium is miniscule and worth taking up.
It’s an alternative in so much as a Toyota LFA sports car is an alternative to a Toyota Prius. However, it is also 14-inches but it also plays games. Bit more expensive, though.
Dell’s Inspiron is the direct rival range to HP’s Pavilion range. Each variant can offer more or less than its counterpart, in our experience. So, it’s always worth checking both out.
Conclusion: Should you buy the HP Pavilion X360 14?
At $1,499 the HP Pavilion X360 14 is one of the best value laptops we’ve tested in recent times. It might not excel in many places but, as general-computing laptops go (i.e. not gaming laptops) it’s got a lot to offer at this price. It’s in a crowded market, but it’s always worth considering.
Best Value Laptop Award
Very good speakers
Slightly noisy fan
HP Pavilion X360 14 Scores
It might not be the most powerful laptop, but it’s packed with features and great value. It’s well worth a look if you want a general-purpose laptop but are limited in funds.