We all eventually get there. Well, if you are a parent, that is. Yes, I mean the time when junior outgrows your old laptop and starts pestering you for a new gaming laptop.
And we all know how expensive gaming laptops can be, don’t we?
But what if I told you it’s possible to get one for as little as $450. And a very good one at that.
I’m more than happy to oblige. Let me be quick to point out that the HP Pavilion 15t is a very versatile laptop that can handle, not just your gaming, but also all your daily and more heavy tasks like video editing without breaking a sweat.
In fact, it’s fitting to call this machine an all-rounder as you can happily do what you need on it without much of a struggle.
The HP Pavilion 15t – Best Budget All-Round Laptop
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me be quick to say that the HP Pavilion 15t comes in many configurations depending on your needs and, of course, your budget. The more you power it up, the more efficient it becomes, and of course, the more demand it will place on your pocket. But if you are looking for a budget-beater, then this is it.
First, a brief overview of what you can expect from the HP Pavilion 15t.
Overview of the HP Pavilion 15t’s Specs
Because some of the specs are optional, let me start with those ones first, then we will look at the ones that are universal.
1366 x 768 Pixels (HD)
1920 x 1080 Pixels (Full HD)
Other Display Specs
IPS Display (wide viewing angles)
TN Display Tech (narrower viewing angles than IPS)
Intel Core i5-7200U 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” Dual-Core 2.5-3.1GHz 3MB cache
Intel Core i7-7500U 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" Dual-Core 2.7-3.5GHz 4MB cache
Intel HD 620 Integrated Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GT 940MX 2GB Dedicated Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GT 940MX 4GB Dedicated Video Card
System Memory (RAM)
1000GB (1TB) HDD
1000GB (1TB) HDD + 128GB SSD
1000GB (1TB) HDD + 256GB SSD
2000GB (2TB) HDD
2000GB (2TB) HDD + 128GB SSD
Non-backlit keyboard with numeric pad
Backlit keyboard with numeric pad
Multi-touch trackpad with integrated buttons
DVD Optical Drive
Speakers and Audio
1 x USB-C and 3 x USB 3.1
1 x HDMI
Media Card Reader
Yes (SD card reader)
4-Cell 41WHr Li-Ion (Up to 9 hours with HD display; Up to 7 hours and 15 minutes with FHD)
Height x Width x Depth
9 in x 9 in x 9 in
Windows 10 Home
As you can well see from the specs, the HP Pavilion 15t is really what you want it to be. And what you want it to be, it does very well. Let’s continue with our HP Pavilion 15t laptop review so that you can see for yourself.
HP Pavilion 15t Laptop Review – The Best Budget Laptop for All Your Needs
If I am to describe the HP Pavilion 15t in one word, it would be “multi-tasker”, if ever there is such a word. But that’s exactly what the HP Pavilion 15t is good at – multi-tasking. But lest I get ahead of myself, let’s take the HP Pavilion 15t laptop review step by step.
Looking at the HP Pavilion 15t, you wouldn’t pass it off as a budget laptop. It has the curves and lines in all the right places. And just passing your fingers over the black brushed aluminum chassis, lifting the cover open, you will appreciate its elegant look and feel, making you wonder at the power that is just waiting to be released as you press the power button that is strategically located on the top left, between the speaker and the keyboard.
And speaking of the keyboard, you get an option of choosing between a backlit one or a plain boring one without the lights. I guess you can tell which one I’m advocating for. No matter which keyboard you end up going for, the HP Pavilion features Chiclet-style keys that have a very good travel distance that makes typing a joy, as do the keys on the touchpad that is located below the keyboard but justified more to the left. The extra-long 4.5 x 2.3-inch touchpad offers plenty of room for your fingers to maneuver and its response is instantaneous and accurate, making it easier for you to manipulate the laptop.
A peek on the sides will reveal a very satisfying selection of ports that include a USB 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI, a 3-in-1 card reader, a Gigabyte Ethernet connection, and a power port on the right side. And on the left side, you will find an additional 2 USB 3.1 ports, a headset jack, and a secure lock slot. More than enough ports to keep you connected to all accessories, if I may say so.
As for construction, the HP Pavilion 15t is a sturdy and well-built laptop that is robust enough to take on the toughest situations you will put it through. Built from a combination of aluminum and hard plastic, this laptop is definitely durable enough to keep you going for years, and yes, it can probably survive your teen’s battering as he plays his favorite game with his friends.
When it comes to design, HP really did a great job with the Pavilion 15t. Every aspect and element of this laptop was well-thought-out. For that, I will give the HP Pavilion 15t a well-deserved 5/5 for design and build quality.
The HP Pavilion features a large 15.6-inch screen that comes either as a very responsive capacitive touch screen or a non-touch screen.
The basic screen is a non-touch panel with an impressive 1366 x 768 pixel HD resolution and can be configured to a touch-enabled screen. Your other option would be to go for the Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen which, unfortunately, lacks touch option but has the added advantage of IPS technology which allows for wide viewing angles.
The only gripe I have with the HP Pavilion 15t’s screens are the brightness, or rather, the inadequacy of the brightness. When measured for brightness, the HP Pavilion 15t fell short with a below-par score of 173 nits, which is well below the 247-nit average. That, compared to Dell’s Inspiron 15 which measured an impressive 233 nits, is quite a sad performance. That being said though, the screen won’t let you down that much as it is bright enough to show every facial feature on the characters of your favorite game, and clear enough for you to be able to see individual blades of grass as they march on to fulfill their quest.
If you get the HP Pavilion 15t for gaming purposes, make sure to get it fitted with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. Though not the best graphics card available (you are buying a budget laptop, after all), it is more than adequate for all your gaming needs as it delivers a more than sufficient average frame speed of 41 frames per second (though it does better on other games like Hitman where it notches 50 frames per second), putting it on the same level as the Asus ROG Strix GL503.
Though the HP Pavilion 15t’s screen is more than adequate for all your needs, gaming or otherwise, I feel HP could have done better on the display, and for that, the Pavilion 15t gets a 4/5 from me.
When it comes to performance, the HP Pavilion 15t definitely won’t let you down – this is a very able multi-tasker that will not suffer from lag no matter the load you place on it. This is probably one of the Pavilion 15t’s strongest points. I’ll give you a taste of the power behind it. Fitted with a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and 12GB of RAM and tested with 18 tabs open (some of them streaming from Twitch), running a full Windows Defender system scan, and watching a movie, the HP Pavilion 15t performed smoothly without any noticeable lag.
In the productivity test, the HP Pavilion 15t matched 20,000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 35 seconds which is way better than the category average time of 4 minutes and 15 seconds. It also outperformed the Dell Inspiron 15 which came in at 3 minutes and 38 seconds. Pretty impressive figures for a budget laptop if you ask me.
Whether you’re playing your favorite game, editing photos, or simply binge-watching the latest series from the Netflix stable, the HP Pavilion will certainly not let you down. This is a worthy workhorse that will certainly earn its place in your office or games room.
For its superb performance, the HP Pavilion 15t deserves a well-rounded 5/5 and that’s exactly what it gets from me.
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For most people, battery life is a big deal when it comes to portable devices – especially laptops since they are mobile offices for most of us.
How does the HP Pavilion 15t fare in this department? Remarkably well. And surprisingly so too, seeing as it is not a high-end laptop. Typically, gaming laptops have a weakness when it comes to battery life – they perform dismally. But not so with the HP Pavilion 15t. It lasted 6 hours and 27 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test which put it through some grueling paces of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi.
To put that in perspective, it fell short (only slightly) of the category average of 6 hours and 32 minutes but still outperformed the Asus ROG Strix GL503 which came in at a paltry 3 hours and 32 minutes of battery life. If that battery performance is not impressive, then I don’t know what is. For the super impressive battery life, the HP Pavilion earns another 5/5.
HP Pavilion 15t Laptop – Your Best Bet Budget Laptop
If you are looking for a budget laptop that won’t disappoint, then you are definitely looking for the HP Pavilion 15t. In all honesty, it’s your best bet for a budget laptop, whether you’re looking for a gaming laptop, video editing laptop, or just a hardy laptop to carry out your daily tasks on.
Go for it.