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HP Pavilion Plus 14 review: 90Hz OLED on the cheap

hp pavilion pro 14 review plus front angled
HP Pavilion Plus 14
MSRP $1,000.00
“HP Pavilion Plus 14 offers a 90Hz OLED screen at an unbeatable price.”
Pros
  • Spectacular 90Hz OLED display
  • Class-leading build quality
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Strong value at sale prices
Cons
  • Review unit performance limited by throttling
  • Poor battery life

HP’s Pavilion line carries its budget to mid-range laptops, and it’s offered some solid options over the years. For 2022, the company decided to upscale the line with the Pavilion Plus 14, a laptop that’s the thinnest Pavilion yet and the first with an OLED display. And it’s a 90Hz display, offered at an extremely attractive price.

It’s a competitive market, though, and HP has its job cut out.

My review unit is currently on sale at HP.com for $850, down from $1,000. That’s a compelling price for a 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and a 14-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display running at 90Hz. In fact, it’s one of the least expensive OLED laptops around, and it’s a step up from most, thanks to the display’s faster refresh rate. There are other excellent deals available, and if you can get the Pavilion Plus 14 at one of its sale prices, you’re getting an outstanding laptop for a fantastic price.

Design

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Pavilion Plus 14 is constructed of all aluminum, and you can tell. The chassis and lid evoke confidence in the laptop’s durability thanks to a lack of twisting, bending, or flexing. The Pavilion Plus 14 is as robust as some laptops I’ve reviewed lately that cost significantly more, such as the $1,500 MSI Prestige 14. Like that machine, the Pavilion Plus 14 isn’t quite as solid as the Dell XPS 15 or the MacBook Pro, but it’s close, and those two are much more expensive.

Even the Pavilion Plus 14’s hinge is well-designed, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand while holding the display firmly in place. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 and Asus Vivobook S 14X retail for around the same price as the Pavilion Plus 14, and neither are as rigid in their construction.

The laptop’s design is simple and streamlined, with five available colors — Natural Silver, Tranquil Pink, Mineral Silver (dark gray), Warm Gold, and Space Blue. My review unit was the silver model, sporting a minimalist but attractive aesthetic. That’s common among laptops today, with few standing out, particularly at budget and mid-range prices. For example, the Asus Vivobook S 14X is another similarly priced and conservatively designed laptop.

The Pavilion Plus 14 has been slimmed down compared to other Pavilion laptops, coming in at 0.72 inches and 3.09 pounds. The plastic display bezels are small for the class, with an 87% screen-to-body ratio that’s higher than most similarly priced laptops. That’s partly thanks to the switch to a 16:10 display, which makes the laptop narrower than previous Pavilion 14 models and slightly deeper. The Vivobook S 14X is wider and deeper while marginally thinner at 0.70 inches and considerably heavier at 3.59 pounds. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 is wider and deeper, again thinner at 0.65 inches and heavier at 3.23 pounds.

There are plenty of ports, with two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. The most significant omission is Thunderbolt 4 support, which isn’t a shock at this price point but still a bit disappointing. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide wireless connectivity.

Price and configurations

As of when this review is being written, most configurations of the Pavilion Plus 14 are heavily discounted. The best deal is the entry-level model that’s $550 at Staples (on sale from $780) with a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1240P CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch 2.2K (2240 x 1400) IPS display. The Core i5-1240P is a 28-watt 12-core (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16-thread processor running at a max frequency of 4.4GHz.

My review unit retails for $1,000 but is on sale for $850, with a Core i7-12700H (see the performance section), 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch 2.8K OLED display. Spend $1,130 (on sale from $1,310), and you get an Intel Core i7-1255U CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 GPU, and the 14-inch OLED display. Oddly enough, the Core i7-1255U is a 15-watt 10-core (two Performance and eight Efficient), 12-thread CPU. You can mix and match more CPU and GPU options using the configure-to-order tool at HP.com.

The Asus Vivobook S 14X is similarly priced at retail, $1,100 for a Core i7-12700H, 12GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and a 14-inch 2.8K OLED display at 120Hz. For $900, you can get a Core i5-12500H, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the OLED display. Another laptop that’s priced around the same is the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, which is $1,050 for a Core i7-1255U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display. Although the Pavilion Plus 14’s configuration options are complex and sometimes confusing, the laptop is a great value at its various sale prices.

Performance

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

My review unit was built around the 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H, a 45-watt CPU with 12 cores (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16 threads. It’s a processor that we don’t often see in thin-and-light ultrabooks like the Pavilion Plus 14, which typically equip 28-watt Intel P-Series or 15-watt U-Series CPUs. Also unusual is that the Pavilion Plus 14 is limited to Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. Usually, the 45-watt CPUs are paired with discrete graphics.

We have one comparison machine that also used a Core i7-12700H and Iris Xe graphics, the Asus Vivobook S 14X. Looking at our benchmarks, the Pavilion Plus 14 had a similar performance. In Geekbench 5, its single-core scores were lower but its multi-core scores were higher. It was essentially tied in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, and it was slower in Cinebench R23. Both laptops were below other machines with the same CPU, such as the Dell XPS 15, and depending on the benchmark, both were closer to laptops with the 28-watt Core i7-1260P. Unfortunately, the Pavilion Plus 14 wouldn’t complete the PCMark 10 Applications test, which is a good test of general productivity performance.

Another similarity between the two laptops was that both demonstrated significant throttling. I used each laptop’s thermal control utility to test in balanced and performance modes, and I noted that each hit 95 degrees C or higher and throttled in our CPU-intensive benchmarks. That clearly limited their performance. As I pointed out with the Asus, it’s not that the Pavilion Plus 14 is slow; it’s that it’s not benefiting from the more powerful CPU given its very thin chassis.

The biggest difference is that the Pavilion Pro 14 can be configured with the 28-watt Core i5-1240P, which could provide similar performance if it throttles less, and the 15-watt Core i7-1255U, which would presumably offer improved efficiency. And, the HP is significantly less expensive than the Asus in most of its configurations.

Ultimately, my review unit performed well for an $850 laptop and okay for a retail price of $1,000. It’s going to keep up with demanding productivity workflows, and it can do some very lightweight creative tasks as well. As I just mentioned, though, the 45-watt CPU is wasted on the thin chassis, and HP might have been better off going with the Core i7-1260P.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
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 Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,595 / 6,692
Perf: 1,681 / 7,175
Bal: 113
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,757 / 10,339
Perf: 1,792 / 12,051
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,703 / 6,520
Perf: 1,685 / 6,791
Bal: 153
Perf: 141
Bal: 1,729 / 6,847
Perf: 1,773 / 7,009
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,650 / 8,080
Perf: 1,621 / 8,544
Bal: 116
Perf: 120
Bal: 1,587 / 7,682
Perf: 1,611 / 8,078
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Bal: 130
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Pavilion Plus 14 can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050, but my review unit used Intel Iris Xe graphics. It scored slightly below average in the 3DMark Time Spy test, but its Fortnite performance was around average at 15 frames per second (fps) at 1200p and epic graphics. It’s not a gaming laptop unless you limit your library to older titles and eSports games.

3DMark
Time Spy
Fortnite
(1080p/1200p Epic)
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,520
Perf: 1,577
Bal: 15
Perf: 16
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,251
Perf: 1,253
Bal: 6
Perf: 7
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,899
Perf: 1,886
Bal: 17 fps
Perf: 16 fps
MSI Summit E14 Flip
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,740
Perf: 1,959
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 19 fps
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,658
Perf: 1,979
Bal: 12 fps
Perf: N/A
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,746
Perf: 1,919
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 20 fps
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(AMD Radeon)
Bal: 2,110
Perf: 2,213
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps

Display and audio

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

One of the most important recent advances in display technology is the widespread adaptation of OLED panels. They provide brighter and more accurate colors and deeper blacks, making for excellent productivity, creativity, and media consumption displays. If you can get an OLED display for less than $1,000, that’s a terrific value proposition, and when that display runs at 90Hz, it’s even better. Higher refresh rates help make Windows 11 a smoother experience, not to mention allowing games to run tear-free at higher frame rates (not that we’re worried about that with integrated graphics).

My review unit was configured with the 2.8K (2880 x 1800) 90Hz OLED display, and it was beautiful out of the box. If I’d spent $850 on the laptop, I’d be tickled pink with the bright and accurate colors, inky blacks, and smooth Windows 11 experience.

According to my colorimeter, HP didn’t cut any corners with the display. Brightness was excellent at 398 nits, well above our threshold of 300 nits for working in all lighting conditions except direct sunlight. Colors were wide at 100% of sRGB and 95% of AdobeRGB, and they were extremely accurate at a DeltaE of 0.78 (1.0 or less is indistinguishable to the human eye). And, of course, the contrast was extremely deep at 27,830:1, making for inky blacks.

This is a spectacular display at any price; it’s a steal at $1,000 or less. It’s a display that will please everyone, from productivity workers to creators to hardcore media consumers.

Brightness
(nits)
Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is better)
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(OLED)
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(OLED)
403 27,930:1 100% 99% 1.07
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(IPS)
386 1,900:1 100% 81% 0.78
MSI Summit E14 Flip
(IPS)
516 1,320:1 100% 89% 1.10
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(OLED)
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
(IPS)
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(OLED)
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Two downward-firing speakers on the front bottom of the chassis provide the audio, putting out very low volume sound. What they lacked in loudness, the speakers made up for in quality, with clear mids and highs and a surprising amount of bass. You’ll want some headphones for music and serious binging, but for watching a video every now and then, the audio quality is fine.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

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

The Pavilion Plus 14 enjoys a nicely sized keyboard with large keycaps, and its switches are light with a precise bottoming action. It’s almost as good as the keyboard on HP’s Spectre line and has the same row of navigation keys on the right-hand side. As I was writing this review, I found the keyboard very comfortable for longer typing sessions.

The touchpad is large and has a smooth surface that makes for precise swiping with support for the full complement of Windows 11 multitouch gestures, thanks to Microsoft Precision drivers. The buttons are responsive and quiet. You won’t find a better touchpad on many laptops costing twice as much. The display isn’t touch-enabled, unfortunately.

Windows 11 Hello passwordless support is provided by a fingerprint reader on the palm rest, which isn’t as convenient as those built into the power button. Nevertheless, it was quick and reliable during my testing.

HP built a 5MP webcam into the Pavilion Plus 14 along with some technology to improve image quality. The video was smooth and detailed, much better than the average, and good enough to make for excellent videoconferencing.

Battery life

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

The Pavilion Plus 14 has 51 watt-hours of battery capacity, which is a little on the low side for a 14-inch laptop, and my review unit equipped a 45-watt CPU and a power-hungry high-res OLED display. I wasn’t expecting miracles in terms of battery life.

I didn’t get any. The Pavilion Plus 14 demonstrated below-average battery life in all our tests, starting with our web browsing test that cycles through a handful of complex websites, where it hit 4.5 hours. That’s around half of what we like to see in this test. In our video test that loops a local Full HD Avengers trailer, the HP managed just 7.5 hours, again well under average. And in the PCMark 10 Applications test that’s the best indication of productivity battery life, it hit just 4.75 hours, again significantly less than average.

Overall, the Pavilion Plus 14 is unlikely to get you through a full day of productivity tasks. You might be lucky to make it to lunch. The other configurations with lower-watt CPUs may do better, but my review unit configuration will need its charger kept handy.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Applications
 HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 minutes
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
6 hours, 20 minutes 8 hours, 18 minutes 7 hours, 1 minute
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
10 hours, 10 minutes 16 hours, 12 minutes 10 hours, 33 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
10 hours, 6 minutes 11 hours, 12 minutes 9 hours, 22 minutes

Our take

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 isn’t the first thin-and-light laptop I’ve reviewed with a 45-watt CPU and, apparently, thermally limited performance. However, it’s much more forgivable at an $850 sale price with a spectacular 90Hz OLED display. The battery life is disappointing, but the build quality is excellent, as are the keyboard and touchpad. And as this review is being written, you can buy the Pavilion Plus 14 with a Core i5-1240P CPU and a 2.2K IPS display for as low as $550, which is a tremendous value.

The Pavilion Plus 14 is an attractive mid-range laptop even at full retail prices. And I can’t stress enough how nice it is to get such a great OLED display at such a low price.

Are there any alternatives?

There aren’t many laptops in the same price range offering 12th-gen Intel CPUs. I’ve reviewed a couple of them, and neither offers quite the same overall value as the Pavilion Plus 14.

However, if you can spend a bit more, then Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen 7 is a solid option. It has its own incredible OLED display and a stunning new design, it performs similarly, and it has better battery life. As a convertible 2-in-1, it offers a more flexible form factor.

You could drop down in display size slightly and consider the Apple MacBook Air M2. Although it’s $1,200 with less RAM at 8GB and storage at 256GB, it will be significantly faster and will offer considerably better battery life. And its display should be more than good enough.

How long will it last?

The Pavilion Plus 14 is exceptionally well-built for a budget to mid-range laptop, and it should last for years of productive service. Its components are modern, although the lack of Thunderbolt 4 does hold it back. Its industry-standard one-year warranty is okay at these prices.

Should you buy it?

Yes, if you can get it at a sale price. Performance is good if limited by the thin chassis, and the build quality, keyboard, and touchpad are all excellent. Battery life is a disappointment, though, with the review configuration. Other configurations with lower-watt CPUs might last longer.

Editors' Recommendations