First a warning: This is not a gaming laptop. Yes you can game on it, sort of, but if you’re eyeing up the back to school deals that are starting to surface with gaming in mind, then you probably want to hold off for a laptop that packs some serious polygon pushing silicon. This ain’t it.
What this HP Pavilion machine is however, is a decent deal that features the latest 10th gen Intel architecture. You’re looking at an Intel Core i7 1065G7 (that’s a 10nm Ice Lake chip ladies and gentlemen), with 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, and the kind of weird and wonderful storage subsystem that you can only get from an Intel machine—512GB Intel SSD and 32GB of Intel Optane memory.
All good so far. The chassis is a bit uninspiring, but it will get the job done. Where some of you will probably turn away is when it comes to the screen. The 15.6-inch display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768 (yeah, I’ve checked, it’s still definitely 2020), but you can drop an extra $130 on it to jump up to a 1080p IPS panel.
If you’re in the market for torturing yourself, then you’ll be delighted to discover that you can ‘upgrade’ to Nvidia MX250 graphics for just $70 for the 2GB version, or $170 for the 4GB spin (making for the most expensive 2GB of RAM in recent memory). This won’t transform it into a portable gaming powerhouse, and we wouldn’t recommend such an upgrade (hey you should be focusing on your school work), but it’s an option.
Overall, if you can cope with the display, this is a decent little laptop that ticks a lot of the more important boxes (RAM, CPU, storage). And yes, if you absolutely must, then you could just about get away with the odd game or two. Of course, there’s always cloud gaming platforms (GeForce Now and Google Stadia), which should be totally doable on this laptop.
It’s worth noting that HP has a lot of other laptops in it’s Back to School deals, so if you are in the market for a new machine, then it’s worth having a look around.