We tested and compared the HP Envy versus the HP Pavilion in terms of Performance, Battery Runtime, Display Quality, Keyboard and more. Below you will see the Ranking of the two Laptops including general info about them and the in-depth tests of each LaptopTable could not be displayed.
Ranking First: HP Envy 17t
- Best Gaming Performance
- Fast 144Hz Display
- Good Battery
- A bit noisey while Gaming
With the Envy 17t x360, HP has an exciting convertible with a Ryzen chip in its offer: The device is fast, well manufactured, has many connections and the battery life is suitable for AMD conditions. However, the 700-Nits display and the cooling give us unexpected puzzles.
Since AMD released the Ryzen Mobile 3000 (Picasso), interesting notebooks with the chips have appeared: Besides Acer, Asus and Lenovo, HP also offers such devices, the Elitebook in the business segment and the Envy in the consumer segment. We thought the Envy 17t x360 was particularly exciting because it’s a convertible that the manufacturer sells with a very bright display – a rare feature, just for under $1400.
Specifically, HP has lent us the ar0601ng model on request: It combines a quad-core Ryzen 7 3700U with an integrated Vega graphics unit with 8 GByte RAM, a 512 GByte NVMe SSD and the aforementioned touch panel, which according to the manufacturer is supposed to shine with a solid 700 cd/m².
With 306 x 212 x 14.7 mm, the convertible turns out nicely compact, although Dell’s XPS 13 (9380) still takes up a bit less space thanks to slimmer display edges. The weight of 2.86 lbs seems a bit much when lifted, which it isn’t compared to other devices. Moreover, the Envy 17t x360 convinces us with its stable construction and the cool aluminum casing. The base unit and lid are indeed twistable, but this might be intentional to a certain extent.
Because the Envy 17t x360 is a 360-degree convertible, the two hinges are more important: They are smooth enough for a one-handed opening and still leave little play in touch gestures, so that the 13.3 inch display hardly wobbles at all. There are two of the four loudspeakers under the panel, which were quasi designed as a sound bar.
The other two are located on the underside so that the Envy 17t x360 also sounds useful in tent mode. Of course, there isn’t any real volume or bass, but we’ve already heard worse mini-boxes in thin notebooks.
We had to look twice at the chiclet keyboard, which is permanently backlit at the touch of a button: Although our test sample has a German layout, HP has a half-height input key and places the diamond above it instead of to the left.
And because it is partly necessary for our CMS, we wondered where the angle brackets had gone. Instead of hiding between Shift and Y, the two keys are hidden to the right of Alt Gr. Typing is okay on the keyboard, but we clearly prefer Lenovo’s keyboards. The clickpad is a bit compressed, and the handling is easy.
On the Envy 17t x360’s left side, HP has installed the fan outlet, the power switch, a jack plug and a USB 3.0 Type A port (officially USB 3.2 Gen1). On the right, we find another USB 3.0 Type A port and one in USB C version with the same speed. Both charge devices, even when the convertible is switched off.
The USB-C socket outputs display signals, and the Envy 17t x360 can also be charged via it, if for example the power supply cannot be used for the dedicated port. Additionally, there is a micro SD card reader (91 MByte/s read) and a switch to deactivate the 720p webcam.
HP sells the Envy 17t x360 with a 1080p panel, whereby there are two variants: A dark one without Privacy Screen aka Sure View – more about that in a moment – and a very bright one with; our sample has the latter display built in. The manufacturer advertises with a high 700 cd/m², we measure a maximum average of 674 cd/m² and 705 cd/cm² at the top.
Fortunately, the illumination is really good, since it is a IPS panel, brightness and colors are independent on the viewing angle. Moreover, the screen or its coating appears colorful, which further strenghtens the good impression. Also the contrast of 1.173:1 and the sRGB color space coverage of 92 percent are very good.
It is very unusual that the Infovision panel runs at 120 Hz – something like this is otherwise only found on expensive laptops for gaming. In everyday life, we don’t notice much of this on the Envy 17t x360, but the privacy screen is useful: Pressing the F1 key activates it, then users from the side can no longer see what’s happening on our screen.
On the board of the Envy 17t x360 8 GByte DDR4-2400 memory are soldered in dual channel operation, so upgrading is prevented. Primarily the Vega graphics unit profits from the two memory channels. It is faster than Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 and is suitable for newer or future games. For example, we spent several hours during a flight in the Battlefield V Campaign – this works quite relaxed in 1080p at medium details with around 30 fps. Attention: The Vega GPU uses 2 GByte of the existing 8 GByte RAM, there is no option to change this in the UEFI.
In our sample there is an exchangeable M.2-2280 SSD from Western Digital, an SN520. This uses only two PCIe Gen3 lanes: This explains the comparatively low sequential read rate of 1.74 GByte/s and write rate of 1.45 GByte/s – but in everyday life this is unproblematic. HP has Windows 10 x64 Home pre-installed, apart from the manufacturer’s own tools like Jump Start, McAfee Live Save is installed as Bloatware … whereby Windows 10 itself contains unnecessary ballast like Candy Crash Saga and the Netflix app is pre-installed. A Realteak RTL 8822 BE was soldered for Bluetooth 4.2 and ac-2×2-WLAN.
Noise Levels and Battery Runtime
Annoying: The Envy 17t x360’s fan turns up audibly even on the desktop or while browsing the web and doesn’t stop anymore. Fan Always On is set to Disabled in the BIOS, though. The convertible’s battery has a respectable 53 watt hours, practically as much as the XPS 13 (9380).
The Envy 17t x360 only achieves 8:35 hours in the Powermark’s productivity test with a brightness of 200 cd/m² (corresponds to level 6/10), whereas the XPS 13 (9380) achieves a very good 11:47 hours. In return, the runtime in the PCMark’s home test turns out decent with 4:53 hours.
The Envy 17t x360 is definitely a great device, especially considering the entry level price of under $1400. HP doesn’t skimp on workmanship and connectivity and has also thought about using classic USB ports. We had to get used to the keyboard, though, because a half-height input key and the offset angle brackets wouldn’t have been necessary.
We have a unified opinion about the display: The version with 700 cd/m² almost reaches this very high brightness, which is very pleasant in view of the strong reflections. The viewing angle independency and the colorful display are very enjoyable in everyday life. We also consider Sure View to be very suitable for practical use – the function is great to use at home. The bright display is unfortunately only available in combination with a larger SSD and the faster CPU (linked in the Button below), a typical procedure of almost all manufacturers.
With the Ryzen 7 3700U, the Envy 17t x360 has a lot of power, even current Intel chips with the same power budget are not faster. This is really noticeable, and the same applies to the speed of the SSD, which is only connected with two PCIe Gen3 lanes. The battery life turns out rather long with eight hours, Intel-based devices are clearly worse here.
If you want an AMD convertible, there are hardly any alternatives to the Envy 17t x360, as there aren’t any other 13.3 incher available and don’t have the Performance, which the Envy 17t x360 has. That’s why the Envy 17t x360 is on the first rank versus the HP Pavilion. The price is higher than the HP Pavilion, but that’s normal for a Laptop that has more power.
Ranking Second: HP Pavilion 15
- Good Gaming Performance
- Great Price for a Gaming Laptop
- Many Ports and Silent
- Gotta get used to Clickpad
With the Pavilion Gaming 15, HP offers a gaming notebook for under $800, which has enough 1080p performance for current titles. The display and ports are also good, but the preset 30 fps battery choke is annoying.
If you directly think of an Alienware or a Razer device in a gaming notebook, it can be said: It’s also clearly cheaper – and that without losing great gaming fun. Most of the notebooks that are sold today are not thin ultrabooks or expensive desktop replacements, but primarily cheap 15 incher notebooks. Exactly such a model is the Pavilion Gaming 15 from HP that we tested.
Although the manufacturer also offers laptops with the Omen-X series, which easily costs USD 2,000 and more, the Pavilion notebooks dominate in terms of numbers. These are now also available as gaming versions.
The design of the devices is comparatively unobtrusive or even aggressive and thus appeals to a larger circle of customers. The Pavilion Gaming 15 only appears a bit more colorful when opened, as the keyboard has green caps and a green light (which can be deactivated if desired).
The Pavilion Gaming 15 measures 360 x 256 x 23.4 mm and weighs 5.02 lbs – for a device in this class, this is comparatively compact and light. We would do the notebook a little wrong to denigrate it as a plastic bomber, but the laptop is mainly made of plastic.
The workmanship without any noticeable gaps is convincing, though. Only the sharp lower corners of the somewhat too soft lid should round off HP. The base unit is torsionally stiff, the keyboard yields slightly under pressure – at least it didn’t bother us while typing or better said while gaming.
HP lets the notebook’s two fans blow to the back, so all ports are located on the side: On the left, we find HDMI 2. 0b for 4K displays, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A, a fold-out RJ-45 for Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.2 Gen2 as Type C with Displayport alternate mode (no Thunderbolt 3!) and an SD card reader that reaches a fast 80 MB/s.
On the right there is a 3.5 mm jack, two USB 3.2 Gen1 as type A and the power connector. The USB ports are so far back that they don’t bother both right- and left-handed people when using a mouse.
The two-stage illuminated chiclet keyboard has an average stroke and triggers a bit too smoothly for our taste, and we also needed a while to get along with the scaled-down input key. We dare to doubt whether a number pad is needed for gaming, but it’s quite useful in everyday life, depending on the notebook’s intended use.
Before we made the actual tests with the Pavilion Gaming 15, we updated the firmware from F3 (03.05.19) to F12 (12.08.19) and Windows v1809 to Windows v1903 and installed the Geforce 436.30. Careful: The laptop only accepts DCH drivers (Declarative Componentized Hardware) and not the standard version, which makes no difference in practice.
We liked the notebook’s performance on the power supply, but in battery mode a software decision is quite annoying.
HP sells two variants of the display. Both are matte 1080p panels with IPS technology that is independent of the viewing angle. The cheaper one, which is in our model, has a frequency of 60 Hz and reaches a usable 261 cd/m² in brightness.
That’s a bit low for outdoors, but in a darkened room it’s completely ok. Added to this is the contrast ratio of 973:1, which is good but not outstanding. The alternative is a panel with 144 Hz and a higher brightness of 350 cd/m² according to the manufacturer.
A Core i5-9300H (four cores with eight threads) with 8 GByte DDR4 memory and a Geforce GTX 1650 with 4 GByte GDDR5 are inside the Pavilion Gaming 15 we have in front of us. How high the performance turns out depends on whether the notebook is powered by the adapter or by battery. The quad core is set to 45 watts, respectively 30 watts (Windows 10 with best performance), the graphics unit to 50 watts, as well as 30 watts.
A few examples: The processor in the Cinebench R20 achieves almost 1,800 points on the power supply, but the performance drops to slightly over 1,500 points in battery mode. The Core i5-9300H rarely brakes in games, even with 30 watts, primarily limited by the Geforce GTX 1650, which has full 1,024 shader units in the mobile version and thus delivers a surprising performance.
LAN classics like CSGO run in 1080p with maximum details at over 100 fps. We can also play Jurassic World Evolution with high settings with mostly over 50 fps. Even the challenging Hunt Showdown is competitively playable with medium settings at over 40 fps.
If we unplug the power plug, the frame rate drops to 30 fps in all titles – that caused a frown. Background is the pre-installed Geforce Experience: There is the Battery Boost and it is set to 30 fps in favor of a longer battery life. The only problem is that users need an account to deactivate the throttle.
When asked, Nvidia said that 30 fps is the recommendation for OEMs and that there is a 30 fps limit as a protective function in addition to the fuses implemented in hardware, such as an OCP against too high a current intensity. However, we didn’t find any game that could trigger the limit.
If the CPU and GPU on the 200 watt power supply are allowed to use their power budget to the full, Pavilion Gaming 15 becomes well audible, we would have expected more roar. With headphones or a headset, the two fans don’t attract attention anymore – we already had much worse things in the test lab.
The Core i5 stays below 70 degrees Celsius in games, the same goes for the Geforce GTX 1650. The keyboard gets warm, but the fingers don’t burn. The loosely 50 watts less make themselves felt in battery mode, because the notebook can then almost be described as quiet. The fan is always on in idle, but this can be changed in UEFI.
The other hardware in Pavilion Gaming 15 consists of a M.2-2280 NVMe SSD, more precisely the often used Samsung PM981 with 256 GByte. It reads with a typical 3.1 GByte/s and writes with 1.05 GByte/s.
Additionally, there is a 2.5 inch 7 mm hard disk, specifically a Seagate Barracuda Pro Mobile with 1 TByte. The SSD and the HDD are exchangeable, the same applies to the RAM in the two SO-DIMM slots. The Bluetooth/WLAN module, a Realtek RTL8822BE, is also removable. HP installs Windows 10 Home x64, we only find McAfee Live as bloatware. Additionally, the Amazon and Dropbox apps have been prominently placed in the task bar.
The battery of the laptop has 52.5 watt hours. That’s enough for 5:11 hours in the Powermark’s productivity test at 200 cd/m² brightness (level 8/10) and for 5:37 hours in Netflix streaming.
How long the Pavilion Gaming 15 lasts in games strongly depends on the brightness and of course the title, including its settings and frame rate. According to our experience, one and a half to a good two hours are in there – if you play longer, you’ll usually have a power socket at hand anyway.
Mobile gaming doesn’t have to be expensive: A quad-core with eight threads including 8 GByte memory and a supposedly slow Geforce GTX 1650 are completely sufficient to run current games smoothly in 1080p with medium to high details. Apart from these components, the Pavilion Gaming 15 has a solid configuration with an SSD and an HDD for under $1000.
In view of the numerous connections, the good and in battery mode almost silent cooling, the existing points of criticism don’t carry much weight: The clickpad and me won’t become friends, the illuminated keyboard needs getting used to because of the included number pad. Important components like RAM, SSD, HDD and WLAN are exchangeable – not a matter of course, as the Alienware 17 R5 with soldered memory shows.
Somewhat annoying was the preset 30 fps battery choke, which can only be disabled via account in the Geforce Experience. We understand Nvidia’s argumentation regarding a longer battery life, but we still think that a battery in such a device primarily serves to bridge the way to the next power outlet. Because as a mobile gaming laptop, the Pavilion Gaming 15 is a clear recommendation, especially at this price. That’s why its on the second Rank but still won our ‘Best Price’ category, so if you are on a budget the HP Pavilion 15 is the Laptop to buy.
Is HP a good Laptop Brand?
With the multitude of notebooks and manufacturers, you can definitely lose track. The “Laptop Magazine” has now selected the best brands for 2020. Lenovo comes in first in the notebook ranking. Two tech giants, however, have to make do with lower places.
Lenovo ahead of HP and Dell – these are the three best notebook manufacturers, at least according to the renowned “Laptop Magazine”. As in the previous year, Lenovo was once again able to secure first place and achieved 86 of 100 possible points in the ranking.
As criteria for the test, evaluations, design, support and warranty, innovation and value or selection were used. The five categories were weighted differently. The brands were able to achieve the highest scores in ratings. The innovation category was given the lowest weighting.
Test winner Lenovo scored particularly well in the ratings given to the models by “Laptop Magazine” between March 2019 and February 2020. Lenovo devices achieved a score of 38 out of a possible 40 points.
Behind this, HP follows in second place with a total score of 85 points. Striking here: HP notebooks are particularly convincing in terms of design. HP scores 14 out of 15 points in this category. In addition, HP achieves the second best score in evaluations (35 of 40 points). Dell landed in third place with a total score of 82 points. Acer and Asus follow closely behind (81 points each).
In return, the test turned out more disappointing for the top dogs Apple and Microsoft. In comparison to the previous year, Apple has to let off a lot of steam and only finds itself in seventh place. Overall, Apple only achieves a value of 72 out of a maximum of 100 possible points in the notebook ranking. While the lack of innovation in the design of MacBook and Co. was criticized, the iPhone company scored with very good support.
All Test Categories of the best Laptop Brands
Particularly friendly service staff have Dell, Apple and HP, according to our survey. 93 percent of Dell users thought it was good or very good, compared to 92 percent for Apple and HP.
Apple employees also gave the highest quality answers (94 percent very good and good), but Dell’s (93 percent) and HP’s (92 percent) hotlines were also very convincing. Samsung was disappointing in this category and is clearly in last place with only 78 percent in the quality of the answers.
If a repair was necessary, the workshops of Toshiba (100 percent very satisfied and happy!), HP (95 percent) and Medion (94 percent) repaired the damage best overall, while satisfaction was far lower among Asus customers (77 percent) in this sector. The repair processing, however, caused a lot of annoyance especially among Asus and Lenovo customers (67 and 77 percent), but it worked much better for Toshiba (again 100 percent) and Samsung (93 percent). The bottom line is that HP has the best customer service (86.0), closely followed by Apple (85.5) and Toshiba (83.1).
HP didn’t allow itself any major blunders, Apple on the other hand was particularly convincing with its excellent support (which is also often needed), while there is a clear potential for improvement in the repair process. By far the weakest customer service is offered by Asus (72.8). Neither in support nor in the repair itself can this manufacturer convince.
As was to be expected, Apple delivers by far the best packaging: about 93 percent of Apple buyers rated it as very good or good. Apple also leads the field in terms of performance and speed. 91 percent of Apple users rate the performance and speed of their notebook as very good or good, 82 percent of Dell users do the same, and 77 percent each of HP notebook buyers.
Medion achieved the lowest rate with 60 percent. A similar picture emerges with the quality of workmanship. Here Apple also dominates with 95 percent of very good or good ratings. Dell follows in second place with 93 percent, HP has to be content with the last place with a rate of 82 percent.
In this category we asked the buyers about image, price-performance ratio, recommendation and general satisfaction. Dell is clearly ahead in terms of image: Over 97 percent of Dell buyers consider the brand image to be very good or good.
Apple and HP follow in second and third place with values of 96 and 92 percent respectively. Medion buyers attest their notebooks the weakest image. Only 71 percent think that the Medion image is very good or good.
It was a tough three-way battle that HP (83.9) won in the end, just ahead of Apple (83.8) and Dell (83.5). The scores are very close together. HP was particularly convincing in terms of customer service and customer satisfaction; this manufacturer hardly ever made any major mistakes.
The latter ultimately cost Apple the overall victory, especially because an above-average number of repairs were due or customer service had to be called upon for devices from this manufacturer. This is also reflected in the poor value for money. We were therefore all the more surprised that Apple buyers are so convinced of the brand’s image.