HP’s Pavilion Plus 14 is an interesting animal. The Pavilion line has traditionally included the company’s budget computers, which have been a solid step down from its higher-end Envy and Spectre models. Lately, however, HP has been releasing Pavilions here and there that are solidly in the midrange zone, with their major draw being light weight rather than competitive pricing.
The new Pavilion Plus is in that camp. It’s both the thinnest Pavilion ever released and the first one to include an OLED screen. The $999.99 (currently $819.99) model that I have, with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 2.8K 90Hz OLED display, is a step up from the $600 Pavilions I’m used to seeing on shelves. This certainly isn’t a budget laptop anymore.
While the Pavilion Plus 14 is not the hands-down best laptop one can buy for $999 (a price point where the M1 MacBook Air also hangs out), and there are some odd flaws left over from its budget roots, it offers a combination of portability, power, and conferencing features that is hard to find below $1,000.
Here are my four favorite things about the Pavilion Plus 14, as well as my two major concerns.
My favorite thing about the Pavilion Plus 14 is carrying it around. It’s only 3.09 pounds, making it super easy to haul with one arm. I put this in my backpack and felt like I was carrying nothing. A few times, I was even worried that I might have forgotten it. It’s over a full pound lighter than the higher-end Envy x360 15. Carrying it around with two other laptops (which is a thing I often have to do for my job) is no problem. I haven’t gotten to say that about too many laptops with Intel H-series chips in them this year.
I put this in my backpack and felt like I was carrying nothing
The one caveat to this is that the 90W USB-C adapter is oddly large for an ultraportable. I recently reviewed an HP Victus gaming laptop, and the Plus’ charger is close to the same size.
This is the second area where the Pavilion Plus really stands out. The 14-inch OLED display is great. It’s 16:10, with a crisp 2880 x 1800 resolution (a higher resolution than the MacBook Air), and the 90Hz refresh rate delivers a noticeably smoother scroll than you’ll find on many laptops at this price point. Deep blacks and bright whites provide excellent contrast that I noticed even while I was just doing boring work in Google Docs and such. It was also quite bright (which is not always a given with OLEDs), reaching 420 nits in my testing. That beats the M1 MacBook Air’s 400 nits of rated brightness and is plenty for most laptop use cases.