HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) Review
The gaming scene has led to the diversification of laptops and the vast improvements in their components. But since not every user is a gamer and gaming machines could not completely satisfy the demand for laptop, a solution had to be sort out. Enter the ultraportables, a different breed of laptops and that consisted of great specifications while being portable and powerful. Ultraportables were lighter (unlike gaming rigs), fast and more compatible with the daily computing needs of the casual user. For this article, we take you through the HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) review, an ultraportable with much promise.
The Pavilion Power is one of the few devices, among a host of others(monitors, a Chromebook 2-in-1, and desktop), that HP refreshed after Intel released their 8th Gen Core processors. It is meant for the price sensitive users looking for a powerful laptop on a budget.
- Great lightweight and stylish design
- Plenty of screen estate to work with
- Full HD display
- Long and reliable battery
- Comfortable keyboard
- Decent gaming performance thanks to Nvidia GTX 1050
- Dull and dim display
- Weak audio system
- Slow SSD
The HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) is a solid gaming performer fit for entry-level gaming. Thanks to the modern Quad-core i5-7300HQ processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 card the Pavilion Power is a powerhouse capable of handling visually demanding apps and software. Plus you get a good battery to go along with. Its only caveat is the lackluster display and slow Solid State Drive. Even so, it shows much promise than its predecessor HP Pavilion Power 15t.
HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) Specs
Specifications[ hide ]
Audio And Video
Design and Features
From a single glance, the novelty of the HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) can be seen in its all black exterior and case. The HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) is an evolution of the Pavilion 15t and the Pavilion 15z from the series. But our unit, Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr), is a considerable improvement over the rest in terms of aesthetics and rigidity. Its edges and corners are sharper, stronger and more defined which helps minimize any flexes. The base is made of brushed aluminum while the case which we thought is a good touch of originality. Speaking of originality, the lid has a unique design such that on opening the laptop, it lifts the base a few inches up for improved air circulation.
At 15-inches, the HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) is clearly a wide laptop sharing its ranks with other notebooks across the board. The Acer Aspire VX15, Lenovo Legion Y520, and the Samsung Odyssey are good examples. In terms of weight and size, its predecessor the Pavilion 15t is similar even while they both have slight differences in chassis design.
Moving on to the display, the HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) comes with a Full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution IPS screen. However, this is not the only configuration on the table. HP included three types of displays on the Pavilion 15 Power series: Matte 1080p IPS, glossy 1080p IPS touchscreen, and matte 4K UHD IPS. While we noted one of the caveats to be a dull screen, this display did prove to be slightly brighter than its Pavilion 15t predecessor. Still, in terms of contrast levels and response time, the two models remain the same. Of course, the only exception is if you went for the 4K option which would definitely be different (better contrast levels).
Owing to the 230 cd/m2) brightness (a good starting point would have been at least 300 cd/m2)), outdoor visibility on our unit is average at best. The screen’s backlight is overwhelmed by direct sunlight which minimizes its use outside. That applies to brightly lit rooms which also cause the screen to appear washed out. On the bright side, thanks to the IPS display, viewing angles are remarkable. Also, there’s no glare owing to the matte display that comes with this configuration.
There’s a healthy set of ports on this HP Pavilion Power laptop, some of which were on the Pavilion Power 15t. The noticeable additions include a USB Type-C Gen-1 port which we had wished for on the predecessor. Thank you, HP. While impressive, they seem to have opted not to include a Thunderbolt port leaving it only for the premium Sceptre and Omen Series of notebooks. Still, even with the USB Type-C, users can have additional connectivity options and future-proof ports.
All the ports are well positioned and easily accessible something that we seldom see on other modern laptops. The right side houses a USB 3.0 port, USB Type-C port, HDMI, a 3-in-1 card reader, Gigabyte Ethernet, and power port. Meanwhile, the left side reveals some extra USB 3.0 ports, a headset jack, and a security lock slot. Furthermore, the HP Pavilion Power ships with Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11.ac Wi-Fi, and one year warranty.
Manufacturers often turn to one of two processor for their notebook gaming laptops. The two most common processors, in this case, are i5-7300HQ Processor and the Core i7-7700HQ processor for their good performance and efficiency. HP opted to go for the i5-7300HQ Processor for its budget gaming notebook advantages. The processor stacks up against the Core i7-7700HQ for being more a Quad-Core that’s more affordable (but lacks Hyperthreading). As a result, it has powerful performance and keeps up with your multitasking demands to an extent. It’s great for executing office tasks, web browsing, handling multimedia and to an extent rendering. The chip has a base clock speed of 2.5GHz and boosts up to 3.5GHz on Turbo. Sporting four cores and eight threads, this is a strong pick that will carry the Pavilion Power from point A to Point B without much delay in everyday tasks.
In other spheres, the HP Pavilion Power goes toe-to-toe with its competition. I’m talking about having ample RAM (12GB DDR4 SDRAM) and storage. For storage, it offers a fast and responsive 1TB 5400RPM mechanical hard disk and solid state drive. That being the case, the storage should go along way towards serving data hogs looking to store movies, multimedia, apps, and software.
Decent Gaming Performance
What makes the Pavilion Power a capable gaming laptop in nothing else but the Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU with 4 GB VRAM. The graphics card might be on Nvidia’s 10 Series Pascal GPUs lower tier of performance cards, but it is well suitable to handle gaming at modest settings. That means it can’t compete with high-end GPUs like Nvidia 1060, 1070 or 1080. The 1080Ti still holds the title for the fastest graphics card in the market by a significant margin.
For most gaming laptops, you typically expect the compromise to be battery life because of the huge power consumption of the graphics card, processor and more often than not heat emission. The 70Wh battery is larger than in capacity compared to Samsung Odyssey’s 43 Wh and HP Pavilion 15t’s 63 Wh. So you can expect a longer run time in that regard. On our battery test which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi, the battery lasted slightly below 6 hours and 26 minutes.
Comparatively, it is somewhat lower than the mainstream average of 6 hours 31 minutes. Also, HP battery life isn’t strong enough to beat the Dell Inspiron 15 7000’s 7 hours 5 minutes. The Inspiron battery remains the gold standard for battery life in entry-level gaming laptops and budget gaming laptops.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The chiclet keyboard is also top of the line for its tier. All individual keys are backlit and their illumination controlled by a function key. For enthusiasts looking for RGB lighting, this might be the one gripe they’d have to contend with. But for regular users, it’s a no frills keyboard fit for ordinary tasks. The keys are smooth with an excellent click, short strokes, decent key travel, and clear pressure points. The keyboard flexes marginally but nothing too much to be annoying. Overall, keys are comfortable to type on.
The trackpad is not just a pretty face either. The provides plenty of space to type on, navigate and perform gestures. The Synaptics software makes three-finger swipes and two-finger scrolls possible and thanks to the responsiveness, the results are accurate and almost instantaneous. Dragging the cursor across the screen is easy as the glide is pretty smooth.
At under $1500, the price of the HP Pavilion Power (15-cb010nr) is decent and under the ceiling, we’ve placed for entry-level and budget gaming laptops. It comes with a bunch of worthy features – a great display that has plenty of screen estate to work with. And it is Full HD so streaming 1080p Youtube videos will be a walk in the park. Also, fast processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card so that it offers same solid gaming performance at medium settings. Finally, a comfortable full-sized keyboard, great laptop design and 6hour lasting battery for shoppers who don’t necessarily need double digit battery life.
The only caveat one might have to deal with is the dull screen (which should be a problem if you’re one to set outdoors in the sun and brightly lit rooms) and slow SSD.
The former cannot be helped much but as far as slow Solid state drive goes, there’s one M.2 2280 slot under the hood for NVMe compatible storage. That means if you want to add an SSD in the future, you can do so and find a faster working one while at that. All these sum up as a fine value for mainstream buyers looking to get into gaming.