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This HP laptop almost does it all for under $1,000

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 front angled view showing display and keyboard.
HP Pavilion Plus 14
MSRP $900.00
“A spectacular display and strong performance make the HP Pavilion Plus 14 an amazing value.”
  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Solid battery life
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Spectacular OLED display
  • Strong value if purchased at Costco
  • Lid is a little flexible
  • No discrete GPU option
  • Audio quality is poor

Laptops under $1,000 commonly have some major problems. But more recently, there are a growing number of options, whether that’s the Zenbook 14 OLED or the MacBook Air M1.

The new HP Pavilion Plus 14 is one such option. This isn’t a brand-new design, as I reviewed the previous Intel generation last year and found it to be a compelling laptop for the price. This time I’m reviewing the AMD version, which offers some advantages and disadvantages compared to the Intel model. It’s even more affordable, if you buy from the right place, and the 2023 Pavilion Plus 14 is a strong competitor against a growing field of laptops.

Specs and configurations

  HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023
Dimensions 12.63 inches x 8.94 inches x 0.69-0.74 inches
Weight 3.19 pounds
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 7540U
AMD Ryzen 7 7840U
Graphics AMD Radeon M780 Graphics
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) IPS
14.0-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS
14.0-inch 16:10 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED, 120Hz
Storage 512GB SSD
Touch No
Ports 2 x USB-C
1 x USB-A
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Webcam 5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 51 watt-hours
68 watt-hours
Price $850+

The AMD version of the Pavilion Plus 14 starts at $850 for a Ryzen 5 7540U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14.0-inch WUXGA IPS display. All models are limited to integrated AMD Radeon 780M graphics, with no discrete graphics offering. At the high end, which is my review unit, you’ll spend $1,230 on HP’s web store for a Ryzen 7 7840U, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 14.0-inch OLED panel. However, the same Pavilion Plus 14 configuration is available at Costco for just $900, which is a very attractive price. Note that those without a Costco membership will spend an additional 5%, making the price $945.

That Costco price is about $100 less than a similarly configured Asus Zenbook 14X OLED (although with just 512GB of storage), which uses Intel H-series CPUs. This laptop will provide an interesting comparison as we run through the review.

A mostly unchanged design that’s just fine

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 front view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Pavilion Plus 14’s design remains mostly unchanged from the previous generation. It’s a tiny bit thicker and heavier than before, but not enough that you would notice. The Zenbook 14X OLED is thinner at 0.67 inches versus 0.74 inches for the HP, but heavier at 3.44 pounds versus 3.19 pounds. Even though the Zenbook has a larger 14.5-inch display, it’s smaller in width and depth thanks to thinner bezels (more below). The Pavilion Plus 14’s construction remains all-aluminum, and the lid is a lot more flexible than I remember on the previous generation. The chassis is solid, though, making the laptop’s build quality good, but not great for a midrange machine. The Asus Zenbook 14X, which will be mentioned often in this review, was more rigid overall.

Aesthetically, the Pavilion Plus 14 is yet another minimalist design with simple lines, a subdued chrome HP logo on the lid, and a slight edge below the keyboard adding a little bit of flair. It’s available in three colors, Natural Silver (my review unit), Tranquil Pink, and Moonlight Blue. It’s an attractive laptop overall. The display bezels are thin along the sides, but rather large on the top and bottom, and they’re plastic. That detracts from a modern and quality feel.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The keyboard has large keycaps with bold lettering and plenty of spacing. The switches were light, with a nice firm click and a comfortable bottoming action in my testing. However, they weren’t as snappy and responsive as those on some better keyboards, like HP’s Spectre line. I didn’t find it as precise for longer typing sessions. The touchpad is large and comfortable, with firm and quiet clicks. The Pavilion Plus 14 can’t be purchased with a touch display, if that’s important to you.

There are plenty of ports, including some for legacy devices. The biggest limitation is there’s no Thunderbolt 4 support due to the AMD chipset. Wireless connectivity is up to date.

Finally, the webcam is a high-resolution 5MP version that provides excellent video. There’s an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition support that worked quickly and reliably.

Competitive productivity performance

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 rear view showing lid and logo.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

My Pavilion Plus 14 review unit was equipped with the Ryzen 7 7840U, a 28-watt CPU with eight cores and 16 threads running at up to 5.1GHz. In most of our CPU-intensive benchmarks, the processor did well against the Intel Core i7-13700H, another popular choice for manufacturers that want a little extra horsepower. The Intel chip runs at 45 watts and has 14 cores (six Performance and eight Efficient) and 20 threads, running at up to 5.0GHz. The new model is also faster than the previous generation with the Core i7-12700H.

HP didn’t provide its Command Center utility to enable different performance modes, so I tested in just the default balanced mode. The Pavilion Plus 14 provides plenty of performance for demanding productivity workflows, and light creators will find it speedy enough as well. The integrated Radeon 780M Graphics are a bit faster than Intel’s Iris Xe, but not enough to make gaming a reasonable proposition.

Geekbench 5 (single / multi) Handbrake (seconds) Cinebench R23 (single / multi) PCMark 10 Complete
HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023
(Ryzen 7 7840U)
Bal: 1,819 / 9,655
Perf: N/A
Bal: 84
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,721 / 12,234
Perf: N/A
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,462 / 8,531
Perf: 1,472 / 8,531
Bal: 104
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,523 / 8,358
Perf: 1,716 / 10,915
Asus Zenbook 14X OLED (Core i7-13700H) Bal: 1,848 / 11,157 Perf: 1,852 / 11,160 Bal: 84
Perf: 82
Bal: 1,819 / 11,066 Perf: 1,826 / 12,795 6,020
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (Ryzen 5 7530U) Bal: 1,457 / 7,527 Perf: 1,458 / 8,207 Bal: 123
Perf: 121
Bal: 1,457 / 7,527 Perf: 1,458 / 8,207 5,817
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 (Core i7-1360P) Bal: 1,843 / 8,814 Perf: 1,835 / 10,008 Bal: 122
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,846 / 8,779 Perf: 1,906 / 9,849 6,102
Apple MacBook Air M2 (M2) Bal: 1,925 / 8,973 Perf: N/A Bal: 151
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938 Perf: N/A N/A

AMD CPUs are typically efficient, and the Ryzen 7 7840U runs at 28 watts versus the 45 watts of many of its competitors. My review unit had a 68 watt-hour battery, not the 51 watt-hour version in some configurations (be careful when ordering), which is plenty for a 14-inch laptop. So, I was expecting the Pavilion Plus 14 to demonstrate superior battery life.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 side view showing lid and ports.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

It did, but not by much. It lasted about an hour longer than the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED in our suite of battery tests, which is less than I expected. Even so, battery life was a little above average and promises good longevity. Note that battery life on the previous generation was poor, making this model a significant upgrade if battery life matters to you.

You likely won’t get a full day of battery life if your tasks are at all demanding, but with a lighter workflow, you might make it that long. Of course, the Apple MacBook Air M2 remains the battery life champion.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10 Applications
HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023
(Ryzen 7 7840U)
9 hours, 2 minutes 11 hours, 58 minutes 12 hours, 0 minutes
 HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 minutes
Asus Zenbook 14X OLED
(Core i7-13700H)
8 hours, 2 minutes N/A 10 hours, 49 minutes
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
(Ryzen 5 7530U)
12 hours, 13 minutes 17 hours, 19 minutes 14 hours, 23 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8
(Core i7-1360P)
7 hours, 41 minutes 13 hours, 25 minutes 9 hours, 40 minutes
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
17 hours, 59 minutes 21 hours, 9 minutes N/A

OLED’s great, ho-hum

HP Pavilion Plus 14 2023 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Just kidding. There’s nothing “ho-hum” about getting a great OLED display at these prices. The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED has OLED for less, but not by all that much. This is, as usual, a spectacular display that looks awesome out of the box. Colors are dynamic, blacks are inky, and all content – including high dynamic range (HDR) video – looks great. The Pavilion Plus 14 also supports IMAX Enhanced, which provides several benefits such as special aspect ratios on supported content (mostly available from Disney+).

According to my colorimeter, this OLED panel is as good as the average. It’s bright at 412 nits, and it has wide colors at 100% of sRGB, 95% of AdobeRGB, and 100% of DCI-P3. Colors are also incredibly accurate, at a DeltaE of 0.64 (less than 1.0 can’t be distinguished by the human eye). Blacks are perfect, and the contrast is incredibly deep. The new panel runs at up to 120Hz, dynamically switched, and that’s better than the previous generation’s 90Hz.

You’ll love this display for productivity work, creativity, and consuming media. OLED remains a significant upgrade from IPS panels, and it’s cheaper than ever to buy.

Audio quality wasn’t as great. Two downward-firing speakers demonstrated a ton of distortion at high volume levels, and by the time you turned the speakers down low enough to get rid of the distortion, they were too quiet. Mids and highs were OK, but the bass was nonexistent. You’ll definitely want a pair of headphones or an external Bluetooth speaker for anything other than system sounds.

Another excellent 14-inch OLED value, if you buy from the right place

I was almost done writing this review when HP sent me a link to buy my review configuration for just $900 at Costco (for members). I was going to give it a lower rating and a lesser review at the price of $1,230, so I had to scramble to update the review accordingly.

At the Costco price, even for non-members, the 2023 Pavilion Plus 14 is another great value. You get excellent performance, a good enough build, and a gorgeous OLED display for under $1,000. The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED and Zenbook 14 OLED both still remain strong competitors, but you should absolutely consider the Pavilion Plus 14 before making your buying decision.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
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