Finding the best laptop for entertainment can mean different things to different people. You may be a gamer who enjoys playing all the latest titles. Or you may be focused on streaming audio, watching movies, and keeping up with the latest binge-worthy show.
Your usage aside, the same thing holds true for everyone: you want the best multimedia performance possible at the most budget-friendly price. When you take your downtime seriously, it’s important to find an entertainment laptop that can deliver what you need, when you need it.
Whether that’s a big, high-resolution display or the most powerful hardware, HP® makes it easy with the HP Pavilion laptop series
. These are three of the best models available today:
- HP Pavilion x360 laptop
- HP Pavilion 15 laptop
- HP Pavilion gaming laptop
When choosing from these laptops, you’ll find a number of different hardware options and price points to consider. In this article we’ll focus on performance and features as we identify the best HP laptops for entertainment. Plus, we’ll keep budgets in mind so that anyone can find the right device, whether you’re a solo gamer or searching for new laptops for your family.
How to find the best entertainment laptop
Every PC isn’t necessarily suited for streaming, music, or gaming. These activities often require their own unique specs and features to run properly. For example, a laptop used primarily for gaming has much different needs than one used for streaming or music.
What features should I focus on?
Graphics are a good point to consider. While a gamer needs to spend more time thinking about integrated vs discrete graphics cards, an audiophile will want to focus on speakers, sound, and ports for connecting their favorite peripherals.
On the other hand, devoted streamers can worry less about needing a powerful dedicated graphics cards. PCs with integrated graphics are generally more affordable and efficient for this type of routine. If streaming is your main media habit, you should focus more on the display resolution and audio quality.
Let’s take a look at which of the specific features and characteristics you should be watching out for.
1. Display size and resolution
A larger display with a higher screen resolution is the bedrock for a versatile entertainment laptop. With more and more content designed for high-res displays, a larger screen with Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K capabilities can make sure you’re getting the most out of your leisure time. Streaming video, web surfing, and of course gaming all receive a boost from a quality display.
2. Audio and speakers
Like the display, audio is extremely important. After all, you can’t properly enjoy a movie if you can’t hear what’s happening. By the same token, music will sound better and richer on higher quality speakers.
This all applies to gaming as well. Your experience almost always depends on sound as you engage with your environment or other players. If audio is a priority, you should generally look for the highest-quality options and even multi-speaker configurations.
3. Storage and memory
When you’re configuring your new laptop, always make sure that you’re getting enough RAM and storage to keep up with your routine. For example, if you’re using bigger programs and files, choose at least 8GB of RAM along with more than the minimum storage capacity.
4. Discrete vs integrated graphics card
A discrete graphics card can offer a performance boost, but it’s often a less important feature than RAM when it comes to seamless computing. It’s also less important for gamers who aren’t playing the latest, most demanding titles. Online gamers, in particular, can often get away with more affordable setups compared to those running the most visually-demanding games
5. Secondary considerations
Based on your environment and routine, remember to think about size and portability. Larger devices with better displays and discrete graphics can be a bigger power drain compared to more streamlined configurations. They also often weigh more, so make sure you know exactly what you need when it comes to performance vs portability.
What to expect from an HP Pavilion laptop
With years of reliable quality, the HP Pavilion line is one of its most popular and recognizable available. It features a variety of powerful laptops that balance top-notch features with affordable prices. They’re also compact, affordable, and boast fantastic hardware options with room to customize in several configurations.
Good options for any budget or routine
Whichever variant you have in mind, an HP Pavilion is a great place to start shopping for an affordable entertainment laptop. Let’s now take a look at the line’s three main models and what makes them some of the best and most versatile devices on the market.
1. HP Pavilion x360 laptop
Our first entry is the HP Pavilion x360
, a convertible laptop model that’s highly portable and has your choice of 14-inch or 15-inch display. The strong hinge makes the convertible options easier than ever to use. Plus if you choose the touch-enabled micro-edge Full High Definition (FHD) display, you’ll enjoy what we think is the best HP Pavilion touch screen laptop.
Ultra-portable with tablet and laptop modes
Weighing a manageable 4.24 lbs and measuring only 0.78 inches thick, the HP Pavilion x360 is super-compact and comfortable to use in any format. There’s the traditional laptop option for typing and getting work done, but you can also fold the keyboard back and turn it into a high-powered tablet.
And with up to 10 hours and 45 minutes of battery life and a variety of ports, the HP Pavilion x360 ranks highly as one of the best laptops for entertainment purposes.
Strong specs and efficient solid-state drives
You’ll have some different hardware options depending on the screen size you choose. For the most performance, you can choose up to an 8th Generation Intel Core™ i7 processor, as much as 2TB HDD and 512GB of SSD storage, and up to 16GB of RAM. For a combination of good specs and pricing, the HP Pavilion x360 15t laptop
perfectly balances a big display with performance.
High multimedia performance
The HP Pavilion x360’s high-definition display boasts a 1920 x 1080 native resolution. It’s powered by your choice of integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 or 630 or the higher-performance NVIDIA® GeForce® MX25 graphics card. With enough RAM and storage, you can turn this into a streamlined gaming laptop. Even with its powerful display and hardware, it’s still certified by ENERGY STAR® and has an EPEAT® Silver rating.
2. HP Pavilion 15 laptop
For a robust laptop with a traditional layout, the HP Pavilion 15 laptop
has a big display for streaming and tons of customization options to make it your own. It’s also compact and has numerous optional add-ons like touch screen functionality to make it a jack-of-all-trades model that’s ideal as a family, work, or home computer.
Surprisingly thin and light
It’s designed as a standard laptop, but the HP Pavilion 15’s measurements are similar to its convertible cousin, weighing in at 4.27 lbs and measuring just 0.7 inches thick. With a complete set of ports and up to 7 hours and 45 minutes of battery life, it also has enough power to keep you going.
Great options for hardware
The top configurations are either the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, or the AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700U processor with AMD Radeon™ Vega 10 Graphics. For storage and memory, there’s room for up to 1TB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM. With those specs, you’ll have no trouble with gaming or crunching data sets.
Packed with features
The HP Pavilion 15 packs a superb audio setup with tuning by B&O Play and dual speakers featuring HP Audio Boost. That’s on top of other notable features like a full bank of connection ports, FHD display options, and superior environmental ratings from ENERGY STAR and EPEAT.
There are also color customization options with some models, including several different finishes. Choose from mineral silver, fog blue, warm gold, or ceramic white with natural silver to make your HP Pavilion your own.
3. HP Pavilion gaming laptop
The HP Pavilion gaming laptop
offers some serious specs along with its own distinctive style. You’ll find a slick display of your choice up to 17.3 inches, excellent hardware, and audio tuning by B&O Play. Plus, because of the more intense requirements that come with gaming, you know you’ll be well prepared to handle bigger files and software as well.
Processor and specs
For specs, you’ll have several configurations and price points to consider. There are powerful processor options that go up to the 9th Generation Intel Core i7 with Intel Turbo Boost technology. You can also get as much as 16GB RAM and choose from several HDD or SSD storage options up to 1TB. Plus, there are add-ons like 16GB Intel Optane memory for next-level response times.
Distinctive color options and built-in LED lighting
To help set this laptop apart from the rest, you’ll find a shadow black finish with three options to finish off the color profile: acid green, ghost white, and ultra violet. You’re also guaranteed a unique look and a big boost when gaming in low-light environments thanks to built-in LED lighting and matching accents.
Choosing the right HP Pavilion for your lifestyle
With strong options all along the budget and performance spectrum, finding the right HP Pavilion for your needs has never been easier. Just pick the model that best syncs up with your routine. To summarize, here are a few of the key characteristics you should focus on during your search:
- Display size and resolution
- Audio and speaker configuration
- Discrete vs. integrated graphics
- Portability features
Whether you’re focused on power or price, the HP Pavilion laptop family has plenty of stellar options to consider.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.