HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook review: Gaming on a budget

1064 0
HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Tech Specs, Performance

Tech specs at a glance

  • 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD matt anti-glare
  • 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 4GB of DDR5 VRAM
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB 5400rpm HDD
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 11b/g/n/ac dual-band 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • SDXC card slot
  • Stereo Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • HD webcam single mic
  • 5mm headset jack
  • 48Wh lithium-ion battery
  • Measurements: 384 x 265 x 29mm
  • Weight: 2.32kg

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Performance

Strip its ‘gaming’ shell and the underlying HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook would still be a good workhorse. While it gets the lower rung Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake chip, it will not let you down in productivity tasks or everyday computing. It’s reliable, it runs cool and quiet.

Yes, the non-SSD hard drive is somewhat of a penalty, so you may want to opt for the i5 version with SSD if overall responsiveness is what you’re looking for.

But let’s not forget why we’re here. Gaming. Since we’re on the topic, let’s skip the fact that the notebook has integrated Intel graphics by virtue of the chipset.

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Let’s go straight into gaming performance with the dedicated NVIDIA GTX 950M with 4GB of VRAM. This is NVIDIA’s upper mid-level mobile GPU based on the Maxwell architecture, manufactured in 28nm. It may be a year old, but it copes well enough with most 2014/2015 games.

More intense, demanding games are still playable at Full HD resolution, but dependent on how much you’re willing to compromise visual quality for acceptable frame rates. For some 30fps is considered playable, while for others it’s 60fps or nothing.

READ ALSO  HP 23es display review: Stunning edge-to-edge budget monitor

Check out some of the benchmarks results below:

Benchmarks

  • PC Mark 8 Home: 2,981
  • PC Mark 8 Work Accelerated 2.0: 3,989
  • PC Mark Battery Life: 1h 29min
  • 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra: 721
  • 3D Mark Fire Strike: 2,750
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0: FPS: 24.7; Score: 622; Min FPS: 14.7; Max FPS: 54.5
  • Ultra, Extreme, 1280×720 8xaa Fullscreen, DX11
  • Ultra, Extreme, 1920×1080, FPS: 18.9; Score: 476; Min FPS: 6.3; Max FPS: 38.6; 2xAA, DX11
  • Project Cars: Ultra: 21-25FPS; High: 30-34FPS
  • Grid Autosport: High: 70fps, Ultra: 33FPS
  • PayDay 2: Medium: 30FPS

Benchmark snapshots (click to enlarge)

One thing you should know is that the notebook runs cool, even when playing more intense games. The main CPU fan on the right side is constantly on spin, and I’ve not seen temperatures hitting above 75C. The only bad thing about the vents being on the right side is that your mouse-totting right hand will be warmer than the left.

I’m also very surprised at how quiet the notebook is when I’m not gaming.

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

The Bang & Olufsen speakers aren’t the loudest nor the crispest, but do a decent job whether you’re listening to audio, watching videos or playing games.

My advice: plug in your favourite pair of on-ear headsets for ultimate multimedia pleasure.

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Keyboard & trackpad

The keyboard is comfortable and well-spaced out. It feels familiar, with crisp travel that makes it nice to type on. It’s no ‘gaming’ keyboard, but does the job well enough.

The keyboard’s backlit so that’s a plus. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with alien green and there’s no control over colour or intensity of the backlight. Also, there are no programmable macro keys, unlike higher end gaming notebooks.

READ ALSO  HP launches new devices and printers, including sexy Spectre 13 notebook

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

The trackpad is one of better ones I’ve used on a notebook. The surface is smooth and tracking is responsive. It’s off-centre like some notebooks I’ve encountered in the market today, which is personally annoying but not a deal-breaker.

HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Battery life

Battery life isn’t shabby. Expect 4-5 hours of general daily use (or around four hours of video play). Like me, you’re likely to plug it into a socket for gaming though, so battery life isn’t such a big worry.

I’m not sure if people still do this but if you wish: you can swap out the battery easily by unlatching the unit, under the device.

Hands-on Review
Design & Build
Hardware
Software
Performance
Pricing & Value for Money
3.6 Budget gaming
Readers Rating 3.5 1 votes

You can’t deny that the HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook packs incredible value. For less than MYR3,500 you’ll be getting a well-specced mobile gaming rig that will play most of today’s games without complaint. There are some cut corners, but overall delivers where it matters without burning a hole in your pocket.

About The Author

Designer. Serial Entrepreneur. Blogger. Writer. Webhead. Tech geek. Twitter-addict. Mac advocate. Animal lover. Steve Jobs groupie. Footballer. Plays for KutipFC. Petrolhead. BMW fan. Alfisti. Chelsea FC.