The HP Pavilion 14-dv0603na 14 is a thin, lightweight device that has made a name for itself in recent times. It is one of the most popular mid-range laptops on the market right now and was recently first on our list of the best laptops for students. Is it, however, a good option for the average shopper? Continue reading this detailed HP Pavilion 14 review to find out.
HP Pavilion 14-DV0603NA 14: Overview
HP Laptops come in a variety of configurations to choose from, but we reviewed the HP Pavilion 14-dv0511sa model for this piece. The laptop goes for about $500 and runs Windows 10. It also includes a Full HD touchscreen which brings us to the conclusion that the laptop promises high-end computing at a low cost.
Is it, however, genuinely effective? To put it to the test, we spent some time putting the HP Pavilion 14-dv0511sa through its paces. Here’s what we found out:
• There’s no doubt about it: this is a very attractive laptop.
The silver-white aluminium casing has a thin (17mm) premium feel, but a big 325 x 215mm surface area, giving it the sleek and streamlined style HP has been known for. Additionally, while the Pavilion 14 has a large 14-inch touchscreen, the bezels around it are small (just 6mm on the edges). This makes everything feel compact. The laptop is also relatively light and portable, weighing only 1.41kg, making it a suitable choice for travel and commuting.
• Its chiclet keyboard is a bit of a mystery.
Although it has a large surface area (290 x 102mm), there is no number pad, thus the keys are slightly larger than we’re used to. The way the characters are printed amplifies this effect, making them appear large (even though they aren’t).
While this made typing a little awkward at first, we rapidly got used to it, and we were less likely to press the wrong keys as a result. Except for one thing: placing the delete key next to the power button is a recipe for disaster.
Meanwhile, the touchpad is amply scaled at 73 x 115mm and performed admirably in practice. Keep in mind that, unlike most Windows machines, what’s characterized as a ‘right-click’ on a Chromebook is actually a two-finger click. The touchpad also includes a fingerprint scanner located to the right which works with Windows Hello.
• The Pavilion 14 has a 14-inch LED display with 1080p Full HD resolution.
In practice, we found it to be rather enjoyable. It’s a nice size for opening many windows and stacking them side by side, allowing you to accomplish more tasks in less time. It also works as well as a touchscreen in terms of responsiveness and accuracy. Better yet, the screen produces bright and clear images for TV and movies, with deep blacks and precise colour reproduction.
We were actually able to enjoy watching movies even in bright daylight thanks to the brightness level and anti-glare coating. Moreover, you could use the IPS panel to binge all your favourite shows comfortably from almost any viewing angle. We have to state here that if you’re interested in 4k content, you should be willing to spend extra since there are better screen resolutions. Nevertheless, we found the visual quality of the Pavilion 14 to be more than adequate for this screen size (and the price).
• Here’s the best part: the audio is incredible.
Normally, a laptop at this budget would have a tinny sound that would force you to purchase extra speakers. However, the Pavilion 14 comes with a Bang & Olufsen dual speaker system that is just incredible. (They’ve even imprinted a B&O logo on the laptop itself, which is unique.)
The Pavilion 14’s sound has a purity that rivals cannot match, with deep tones and crystal clear trebles, and it also allows you to ratchet up the volume. On most mid-range computers, you must either turn the volume up to maximum or use headphones to truly enjoy a movie. However, with Pavilion 14, we discovered that roughly 50% was more than enough. To enjoy our favourite jams on Spotify, we increased the volume a notch and filled many rooms of the house with melody.
• Performance and Pricing
The 14-dv0511sa review unit we received has 256GB SSD storage, 8GB RAM, and an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor. While these aren’t the most stunning specifications available in a laptop, they do represent good value for money.
In practice, we discovered that the laptop could readily handle common tasks like web browsing, Microsoft Office document editing, and video and audio streaming. If you want to conduct resource-intensive applications like Photoshop or video editing, we recommend upgrading to the version with the more powerful Core i5 processor, which is, as expected, is a bit more expensive.
However, we discovered numerous retailers who had this variant at discounted rates (at the time of writing this review), making it worth the buy. It only goes to show how important it is to keep an eye out for the best offers, which you can find on this page’s auto-updating price widget and in our constantly updated laptop specials section.
• The Pavilion 14’s battery life is adequate, if not exceptional.
According to Hp, normal use will last more than eight hours, which sounds about right based on our experience with the device. That should get you through a regular working day of reading emails, browsing social media, conducting web-based research, and editing documents if you’re ever without a charger.
The HP Pavilion 14’s battery lasted an incredible eight hours and 43 minutes while we played a downloaded Netflix movie on repeat at standard brightness levels. All we can say is this: That isn’t bad at all!
• The Pavilion 14 also performs admirably when it comes to connectivity.
The laptop includes an HDMI cable, slots for a power cable a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and a MicroSD slot on its right and a USB-A connection and a 3.5mm audio jack on the left. While the HDMI cable may seem a little out of date these days, you never know when you’ll need it. We found it particularly useful as the sole means to stream Sky Go material to our smart TV (the Sky Go app isn’t compatible with Chromecast, unfortunately).
Final Verdict: Is the HP Pavilion 14 Worth Buying?
Should you buy the HP Pavilion 14 when looking for a mid-range Windows laptop? Well, there isn’t a single compelling feature that stands out for the laptop. However, numerous minor arguments add up to a compelling argument.
The sleek, lighter design is the most obvious reason. That may appear superficial, but if you want to look impressive in a meeting, this is the way to go. Another feature is the lovely HD display, which, when combined with the excellent Bang & Olufsen acoustics, makes this a fantastic entertainment centre.
Because of its broad connectivity, you can use it with a range of monitors, smartphones, universal chargers, headphones and TVs. The battery life is adequate. With a great processor, the Pavilion 14 does a nice job of letting you use Windows 10 without annoying quirks or bloatware getting in the way.
In a nutshell, this is a stylish, efficient laptop that gets out of your way and lets you do what you want. Work, listening to music, watching movies, name it. For its price, it doesn’t get better than this. Worth the buy? Definitely!