HP Pavilion Plus 14 review

An ideal performer with an incredibly lacking battery life

HP Pavilion Plus 14 review
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Laptop Mag Verdict

For students or those working from home, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 offers incredible performance thanks to its 12th-gen processor. But the short battery life makes it difficult to use when on the go.

Pros

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    High-quality performance

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    Gorgeous OLED display

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    Impressive webcam quality

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    Idk something about the keyboard i love it

Cons

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    Disappointing battery life

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    Flimsy build

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    Lacking privacy shutter

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    SO much bloatware

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The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is yet another thin-and-light laptop to join the ultraportable market. It features high-spec tech, including a 12th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB of SSD storage, and a stunning 14-inch, OLED display completes this device that weighs about three pounds. It’s the kind of system that can handle almost anything you can throw at it. For those who are environmentally conscious, you’ll love that the Pavilion Plus 14’s chassis and key switches consist of recycled metal and plastic, respectively. There seemed to be little to complain about so far — until I stumbled across one glaring flaw that will nauseate consumers who hate being tethered to outlets. The battery life, dear reader, is abysmal.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 price and configuration

At its starting configuration, the Pavilion Plus 14 is surprisingly affordable at just $799 (on sale for $599 @ HP (opens in new tab)). This gives you an Intel Core i5-1240p processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, all while running on Windows 11 Home.  While the starting configuration doesn’t include an OLED display, the 14-inch, 2240 x 1400-pixel, IPS display is still adequate. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The device we reviewed came equipped with the 14-inch, OLED 2880 x 1800-pixel display, an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and Windows 11 Pro, bringing this configuration to $1,279 ($1,079 on sale @ HP (opens in new tab)). Regardless of the specs you choose to customize, this laptop comes equipped with dual-speaker audio by Bang & Olufsen, a 5-megapixel webcam, and a fingerprint reader. 

Currently the HP Pavilion Plus 14 is only available in the Natural Silver color, though several different colors were announced at launch, so more options may be available in the future.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 design

There’s really nothing eye-catching about the HP Pavilion Plus 14. Sure, its sleek, aluminum finish with the reflective circular HP logo on the lid looks clean and professional, but that’s really about it. The standard silver chassis isn’t a fashion statement by any means. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The bottom has two long bumpers just a few shades darker than the aluminum finish. In between the two bumpers is where you’ll find the ventilation for the fans. Each side of the bottom is tapered off starting about an inch from the edge, and near the front of these, on the right and left, are where the speakers are located.

Opening her up, you’ll find that the gorgeous, 14-inch display is bordered by incredibly thin, black bezels. The top and bottom bezels are slightly thicker than the sides, with the webcam and ambient light sensor inlaid on top and another circular HP logo on the bottom. On the bottom half of the open device, the keyboard keys are the same uniform color and texture as the rest of the device, and the touchpad under that is defined by a very thin, reflective silver border. The fingerprint scanner can be found just to the right of the touchpad.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

While the portability of the laptop is nice, the lightweight design results in the device feeling rather flimsy. Even when opening and closing the laptop, there is noticeable give on the back of the screen. It feels like one wrong move could puncture the outside of the device, so try not to put it in any bags or backpacks with other odd-shaped objects even in other pockets. Or at the very least, try to keep it in its own padded sleeve. 

For a 14-inch laptop, measuring in at 12.34 x 8.83 x 0.72 inches, it’s pretty incredible just how light they managed to make this device. When placed in a bag it’s hardly noticeable thanks to it being just 3.1 pounds. Meanwhile, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 is pretty similarly sized at 12..52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches and 3.09 pounds while the MSI Prestige 14 is a breeze lighter at 12.55 x 8.46 x 0.63 inches and weighs just 2.84 pounds.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 ports

For a lightweight laptop, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 has a pleasantly surprising number of ports to get you through everyday life. 

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On the left side you can find a headphone jack, a USB-A port and an SD slot, which was a happy surprise. The right-hand side offers another USB-A port, as well as an HDMI port and two USB-C ports. 

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While it’s nice to have the two USB-C ports that can charge the laptop while simultaneously using a USB-C peripheral, it’s a bit awkward to have both on the right side, taking up precious space if you use a mouse instead of the touchpad.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 keyboard and touchpad

Due to the speakers being located on the bottom of the laptop, there’s plenty of space for the ¾ keyboard with generously spaced keys, leaving only a half inch from the keyboard to either edge. Typing on this keyboard felt so natural, I was able to accomplish 65 words per minute on 10FastFingers.com with an 88% accuracy - normally I’m lucky to get 58 words per minute with 82% accuracy on my corsair mechanical keyboard. 

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The touchpad was comfortable to use without feeling too slick, but the generous 5 x 3-inch active area required some acclimatization. I often found myself typing in the wrong area, thanks to my palm hitting the touchpad without noticing. I’m going to attribute this to user error and posture, but it was annoying enough to make note of. Windows 11 gesture shortcuts are also supported with the touchpad, but the two-finger swipe to navigate back or forward on a webpage was not one of the default motions, which struck me as a bit strange.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 display

Out of everything this device has to offer, the display might just be the cherry on top. The 14-inch, 2800 x 1880-pixel, OLED screen is stunning and makes even the smallest details pop. 

Thanks to the sharp panel, while watching the Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer, no scene turned out muddy or dim. The depth of blacks in low-light scenes was incredibly immersive and the contrast seemed to be perfectly balanced, allowing you to fully appreciate the snowy fields’ texture. On top of that, during high action scenes, such as the owlbear flinging enemies around, it was easy to pick out people from the background. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When we tested the HP Pavilion Plus 14’s display luminosity, it emanated 382 nits of brightness. In comparison, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo only hits 245 nits and the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 hits 352 nits. Even the category average hits 347 nits, which is just a touch dimmer.

Even the vividness of this display may bring a tear to your eye. On average, laptops in this category deliver an sRGB color gamut coverage of 118%, but the Pavilion Plus 14 has better reach, offering 194% of sRGB color coverage. Even on the Delta-E scale the Pavilion Plus measures just 0.29, which puts the Lenovo Yoga 9i at 0.39 to shame, though the category average has them both beat at just 0.24. The MSI Prestige comes out on top with a mere 0.2 on the Delta-E scale.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 audio

For such a thin laptop, I wasn’t holding much hope for quality audio, even if it features Bang & Olufsen tech. Ultimately, though, I was pleasantly surprised. At about half volume, the sound is pleasant and smooth, though there is a noticeable lack of bass which is nothing new. Empty Walls by Serj Tankian was still a banger, even if the baseline was practically non-existent.

Full volume is loud enough to enjoy from across the room even while doing chores, however I did notice a bit of an annoying buzz occasionally during higher notes at this volume. Such as after the soft pause in Hello My Old Heart by the Oh Hellos. “But you’ll never find the answer”, specifically the starting syllable in “answer,” was a bit harsh on my ears.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 performance and graphics

Thanks to the 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor and 16GB RAM, the Pavilion Plus 14 is a considerably strong performer — even at its price point. Even with 15 Google Chrome tabs open, 5 of which were actively playing YouTube videos, I was able to type without a hiccup in Google Docs. Even Steam opened in a flash, and FFXIV had a smooth launch even with everything playing in the background.

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Even in synthetic testing, the Pavilion Plus held up really well, scoring a 9,349 in the Geekbench 5.4 test for overall performance. This scores higher than the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 (7,150) and also the average mainstream laptops score of 5,040. If this alone wasn’t enough to convince you of how well this laptop performs, it also scores 4,040 on the 3DMark Fire Strike test, which uses physics and combined graphics to put stress on the GPU and CPU. While the MSI Prestige 14 did hit 5,162 in this test, the category average is still just 3,276 so the Pavilion Plus falls comfortably in the middle.

Unfortunately, the 1TB SSD drags in comparison to the Pavilion Plus’s competitors. With a transfer speed of 374 megabytes per second per second, it wouldn’t be considered slow, but comparing it to the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7’s 1TB SSD’s score of 1,507 or even the MSI Prestige 14’s 1 TB SSD’s 608 megabytes per second, really makes it seem weak.  

HP Pavilion Plus 14 heat

Thanks to the sizable ventilation on the bottom of the laptop, heat isn’t an issue with the Pavilion Plus. 

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After running a 1080p video for 15 minutes, the laptop hit 83.5 degrees Fahrenheit on the touchpad and 90 degrees on the G and H keys (the middle of the keyboard). Even after idling in a populated city in FFXIV for an hour, the laptop was comfortable enough to sit on my lap to get some typing done.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 battery life

We find ourselves here in the pit of despair. During the Laptop Mag battery test, which submits the device to continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits brightness, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 only lasted a measly 5 hours and 10 minutes. This doesn’t even allow for a full work day of just web browsing. In contrast, Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 was able to last 8 hours and 6 minutes and the MSI Prestige lasted a solid 10 hours and 49 minutes. Just to emphasize how poor a 5 hour battery life is, the average battery life of mainstream laptops we’ve tested is 10 hours and 31 minutes. This more than doubles the life of the Pavilion Plus 14. Streaming videos only sucks the life out of this beast faster.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 webcam

Are you still working from home or taking online classes? Perhaps you’re simply looking for a quality webcam to chat with friends and family. Either way, the Pavilion Plus 14’s webcam will get you through all these situations with quality and ease. Though it maxes out at 5 megapixels with a 4:3 ratio, you can easily switch between quality and picture ratios. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Taking photos was a fun experience because, as the lighting adjusted based on where the focus was, a pop-up reminding me about HP Enhanced Lighting persistently showed up. You know — just in case I forgot five minutes ago. Aside from that annoyance, there’s also the lack of a physical webcam shutter, which isn’t too big of a deal if you like the idea of buying fun little stickers to use instead. 

HP Pavilion Plus 14 software and warranty

Oh boy, the number of pre-installed software in the HP Pavilion Plus 14 is… let’s just call it unnecessary, to say the least. Buckle in, we’ll start out slow with the HP branded programs. 

There’s eleven of them in total, and several of them feel like they should just be included in the same app. For example, the HP Command Center, HP Documentation, HP PC Hardware Diagnostics Windows, HP Support Assistant, and HP System Event Utility all have system details tabs, and all offer similar actions. 

HP Palette is a photo app that lets you use AI to find pictures with the same people or items in them, and HP Quick Drop offers a QR code to let you quickly import photos from a mobile device, and HP Enhanced Lighting increases brightness and overlays a large white circle mimicking a ring light for taking photos. HP Documentation is just a link to HP’s documentation website and HP Smart is a printer utility app used with any HP printer.

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Aside from the large amount of HP apps, there is also an exorbitant amount of unnecessary apps pre-installed. Listing them all would take far too much of your time, so let’s just highlight a few. Amazon, Disney+, Dropbox, Express VPN, and Booking.com are a few known names that are pre-installed for unknown reasons. 

There’s a game folder with a handful of standard games like mahjong, solitaire, jigsaw, ispy, and Vegas World(?). Don’t forget the two other types of Solitaire installed that aren’t included in this games folder. An app called Omen Gaming Hub also exists as well as Wild Tangent Games. McAfee Security, Last Pass, and a plethora of Microsoft programs beyond just the standard office suite programs are just a few more of the well-known programs among the plethora of other programs included.

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That aside, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty. 

Bottom line

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 has so many positives for any user to enjoy. The stunning 14-inch 2.8k display is perfect for media consumption or digital art. Multi-taskers will love the speedy performance of the Intel Core 17 processor, even while running multiple demanding apps. And who doesn’t appreciate a comfortable keyboard? It truly has the makings of a five-star device.

Unfortunately, the dismal battery life makes working on-the-go nearly impossible, which tips the scale out of that five-star range. What use is the ultraportability of this laptop if you’re still tethered to outlets all day?  Unless you can adjust your workflow to match the short life of the HP Pavilion Plus 14, you might want to check out other ultra-portable options such as the MSI Prestige 14 Evo that offers similar performance for a similar price.