HP’s Spectre x360 lineup offers some of the best-looking convertibles on the market, though the price puts it out of reach of many people who are looking for a reliable everyday PC for less than $1,000. With the 14-inch Pavilion x360, you don’t get the same design or features, but for hundreds less it makes a strong argument in its own right. I used it for about a week to see whether or not it will make the right choice for your next device.
Budget 14-inch convertible
Bottom line: The convertible Pavilion x360 14 brings a superb keyboard, touchpad with Precision drivers, and strong performance wrapped up in a handsome chassis available in five different color combinations.
- Precision touchpad and comfy backlit keyboard
- Loud, full audio
- Elegant convertible design
- Strong performance with up to 10th Gen Intel CPUs
- Affordable price
- Battery won’t last through a workday
- Slow SATA SSD
- Display color could be better
HP Pavilion x360 14 at a glance
HP provided Windows Central with a review unit of the 14-inch convertible Pavilion x360. This exact model has inside an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U “Whiskey Lake” processor (CPU), 8GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, and a 128GB M.2 SATA solid-state drive (SSD). The 14-inch touch display has a 1920×1080 (FHD) resolution and works with an active pen (not included).
This exact model, with warm gold finish, is available at Best Buy for about $600, which is not a bad price at all for what you’re getting.
If you visit HP, you’ll also be able to find far more configuration options, including models with 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options and discrete NVIDIA graphics starting at about $400. Unless you prefer 8th Gen Intel CPUs, HP will provide a better buying experience with far more configurations available.
Compared to 2018 Pavilion x360 models, refreshed 2019 models have a bunch of new color options with matching outer shell and interior, thinner bezel along the top and sides of the display, and, finally, Precision drivers for the touchpad instead of Synaptics.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the exact specs in our review model.
Intel Core i5-8265U
Up to 3.90GHz
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Storage||128GB M.2 SATA SSD|
Touch, IPS, glossy
|Ports||Two USB-A 3.1
SD card reader
Bang & Olufsen
HP Audio Boost
802.11ac (1 x 1)
|Dimensions||12.7 x 8.77 x 0.8 inches
(322.6mm x 222.8mm x 20.3mm)
|Weight||From 3.49 pounds (1.58kg)|
HP Pavilion x360 14 design and features
Part of the Pavilion x360’s refresh is a bunch of new color options, with inside palm rest that matches the outer shell. In this case, warm gold is matched with luxurious gold, and along with the black bezel around the display, it makes for a rather pretty look that suggests a far more expensive laptop. The edges of the lid and main chassis sort of angle inwards for an hourglass figure, and there’s a wedge taper toward the front of the device to make it look thinner than it really is.
Dual silver hinges with a shiny finish allow the lid to rotate around for tent, stand, and tablet modes, and they’re smooth and sturdy. A Pavilion logo on the back edge adds a bit of flair when in tablet or tent mode. The Pavilion x360 isn’t as thin or light as other, more premium convertible options, but at about 3.5 pounds (1.58kg), it can be easily carried around with you.
The Pavilion x360 has an elegant design that suggests a far higher price, backed up by strong performance and robust audio.
The left side of the laptop includes USB-A 3.1, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Kensington Nano lock slot for some extra security. There’s also an exhaust vent and a power button that sticks out a bit. It does have a relatively heavy action to it so it won’t immediately power down the laptop if your hand brushes against it in tablet mode.
The right edge has another USB-A 3.1 port, USB-C 3.1, HDMI, an SD card reader, and a barrel charging port. It’s a generous port selection, especially for a budget device, and you shouldn’t have any issues connecting your accessories. The USB-C port can be used to connect to a docking station more powerful than options that work with USB-A.
Along the top of the keyboard is a textured grate that hides dual Bang & Olufsen speakers. Audio is impressive, especially for a budget laptop, and you shouldn’t have any trouble consuming media — music, TV, movies, podcasts — with this laptop. Sound is unmuffled thanks to the top-firing orientation, it gets loud without distorting, and it’s full and clear. In tablet mode, the speaker does point away from you, but I was still able to hear clearly.
To the right of the touchpad, just below the keyboard, is a fingerprint reader for secure logins through Windows Hello. It worked quickly and accurately each time I used it, and it doesn’t get in the way of your right hand’s palm when typing. There’s no IR camera included for facial recognition, but a front-facing 720p camera sits above the display. It offers a better picture than many other laptops we’ve tested that cost more money.
HP Pavilion x360 14 display
The Pavilion x360 tops out at a 1920×1080 (FHD) resolution for its 14-inch touch display, meaning you’ll have to make a step up to something like HP’s Spectre x360 line for a higher resolution. There’s also a 768p (HD) option for the Pavilion if you’re on a tight budget, but we recommend not going any lower than 1080p, which is what we tested here. This laptop is compatible with an N-Trig active pen, though one is not included and you’ll have to pick one up separately.
The touch display has a glossy finish to it that does make it sometimes hard to fight glare in a well-lit room, and it would be nice to have brightness crank up another 50 nits. However, the IPS panel offers wide viewing angles for times you might want to share your screen. I tested color reproduction and got back 65% sRGB and 49% AdobeRGB, both results that could be far better but not exactly unexpected at this price.
The bezel is considerably thinner than older Pavilion x360 models, but there’s still a thick chin along the bottom and a thicker bezel along the top compared to the sides. It’s a bit unbalanced, but there’s space to hold on without activating the touch function when in tablet mode.
HP Pavilion x360 14 keyboard and touchpad
HP has sunk the keyboard into the main chassis to keep the keys in line with the rest of the body, preventing keys from rubbing against the flat display when closed. It looks good, and the keyboard is outstanding. The chiclet keys are adequately spaced, there’s a ton of travel and smooth actuation, and three-stage backlight helps with working in the dark. I love the font HP used here, and I’m glad they chose to keep the color uniform with the rest of the inner body. If you type a lot, you shouldn’t have any issue.
One of the biggest complaints we’ve had with HP laptops over the years was the use of Synaptics touchpad drivers instead of Microsoft Precision drivers. That’s changed with the Pavilion x360, and I couldn’t be happier. The touchpad isn’t as large as it could be (it’s certainly wide enough), but it tracks precisely and offers access to all Windows 10 gestures to boost productivity. A shiny bevel around the touchpad gives it a bit of extra flair.
HP Pavilion x360 14 performance and battery
The 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8565U CPU in the review unit is enough to handle everyday computing, and you can now opt for 10th Gen Intel chips for extra performance and better battery life. Along with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, you’ll be able to cut through a day’s productivity with ease, and an optional NVIDIA MX250 dedicated GPU with 2GB of VRAM adds a bit of gaming or editing potential.
Storage options are a bit wonky but not out of the ordinary for a budget laptop. Up to a 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD) coupled with a 256GB SATA SSD is available, or you can go with up to a sole 256GB PCIe SSD for extra performance. Our review unit is using a rather small 128GB SATA SSD that doesn’t put up great numbers, though it is faster than a SATA HDD.
As for battery life, running regular productivity apps interspersed with some video streaming saw between six and seven hours before needing a charge. That’s not quite enough to get through a workday without having to haul your charger along with you, though a model with 10th Gen Intel CPU would no doubt get some extra life.
I ran some synthetic benchmarks to see how the Pavilion x360 stacks up against other laptops we’ve tested.
Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)
|Device||CPU||Single core||Multi core|
|HP Pavilion x360 14||i5-8565U||4,049||12,074|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||i5-8565U||4,387||12,833|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T490||i7-8565U||5,431||15,608|
|Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1||i7-8665U||5,469||15,800|
|Huawei MateBook 14||i7-8565U||5,327||17,522|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X390||i7-8565U||5,472||18,059|
|MSI PS63 Modern||i7-8565U||4,909||14,466|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro||i7-8565U||5,192||16,757|
|LG gram 14 2-in-1||i7-8565U||4,829||13,889|
|HP Pavilion x360 14||3,558|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||3,468|
|Chuwi LapBook Plus||961|
CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)
|HP Pavilion x360 14||537.8 MB/s||195.4 MB/s|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||1,604.1 MB/s||851.4 MB/s|
|Chuwi AeroBook||530.1 MB/s||476.2 MB/s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T490s||3,060.7 MB/s||1,542.3 MB/s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T490||3,254.8 MB/s||2,954.9 MB/s|
|Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1||3,110 MB/s||2,825 MB/s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X390||3,024 MB/s||1,563.2 MB/s|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro||3,0416 MB/s||2,779 MB/s|
|HP Spectre x360 13t||3,085 MB/s||1,182 MB/s|
|LG gram 14 2-in-1||558.1 MB/s||523.1 MB/s|
|Lenovo Yoga C930||2,596.2 MB/s||806 MB/s|
The SATA M.2 SSD doesn’t put up great numbers, but you can opt for a PCIe M.2 SSD for faster read and write speeds.
Should you buy HP’s Pavilion x360 14?
Considering the bargain price and the jump to 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs in models available straight from HP, the Pavilion x360 14 is easy to recommend to anyone who needs an affordable daily driver. The battery won’t quite last through a workday, at least with older 8th Gen Intel CPUs, and the display could be more colorful and brighter to help combat glare off the glossy finish, but those are easy tradeoffs.
The convertible chassis, available in five different color combinations, gives the laptop a premium look, and there’s a decent port selection for your accessories. The backlit keyboard is extremely comfortable, the touchpad uses Precision drivers, and the convertible action is smooth thanks to a dual-hinge setup.
The maximum 256GB size for an M.2 PCIe SSD might not be enough for some, but you can upgrade to something far speedier after purchase. And if you plan on using the laptop for movies and TV watching, the speakers are far above what you’d usually find in a laptop this price. If the Pavilion x360 isn’t quite what you’re looking for, be sure to check out our collection of the best laptops for less than $600.
Budget 14-inch convertible
Great laptop for media and productivity
The Pavilion x360’s combination of robust audio, comfortable keyboard, and Precision touchpad make it a well-rounded device, and it has the performance required to be your daily driver.
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