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HP Pavilion x360 14 (2019) review

DT Recommended Product

HP Pavilion x360 14 (2019)

Score Details

“The HP Pavilion x360 14’s performance and build quality are top-notch for the price.”

  • Attractive build quality
  • Keyboard is great to type on
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Great value
  • Screen is bland and muted
  • Battery life is disappointing

Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on a new laptop, and the new HP Pavilion x360 14 is a prime example of a budget laptop that aspires for more.

The version I received sports an 8th-gen quad-core processor, though a model with 10th-gen processors is also now available. You can get the affordable model I reviewed at Best Buy for $560 with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SATA solid-state drive (SSD).

That’s an attractive price, no doubt. But can a laptop this cheap possibly offer everything you need?

A design that feels like it should cost more

The Pavilion x360 comes in silver, but aluminum it is not. You’ll need to jump to one of the laptop’s expensive cousins, such as the expensive Spectre x360 13 if you want to avoid plastic.

The lid gives a little under pressure, as does the keyboard deck. It’s nothing egregious, though, especially given that you’ll be spending less than half the money. That doesn’t mean the Pavilion is flimsy or cheap-feeling, though. It’s robust enough that you’ll be confident slinging it around.

The hinge, always important on a 360-degree convertible that can morph between clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes, is stiff enough to keep the display steady but smooth enough when revolving.

The Pavilion x360 is an attractive laptop as well, coming in a huge variety of colors including Natural Silver, Mineral Silver, Warm Gold, Cloud Blue, and Pale Gold. Whew, that’s a lot. There’s either a $10 or $15 upcharge for all but Natural Silver, but whichever color you select is attractive with just enough chrome and the right angles to be familiar to HP fans. It’s not a gem-cut Spectre, or even the modern Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition, but half the price, you might not care.

Still, I wouldn’t quite call the Pavilion sleek. The side bezels are reasonably thin, and the top bezel isn’t huge — but man, that chin beneath the display is massive. Meanwhile, the Pavilion x360 is a bit chunky at 0.8 inches thick and 3.49 pounds.

Budget laptops are often well-appointed with ports, and the Pavilion x360 is no exception.

That’s pretty heavy for a 14-inch laptop constructed of plastic. The all-metal Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 mentioned above comes in at 0.63 inches and 3.08 pounds. The Pavilion x360’s weight is most concerning when you’re using it as a tablet, of course. All that is common with laptops at this price range, so I wasn’t too surprised.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that budget laptops are often well-appointed with ports. The Pavilion x360 is no exception, coming with a nice selection, including a USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port and audio jack on the left-hand side. The right-hand side is packed with another USB-A port, a full-size HDMI port, a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, and a full-size SD card reader. There’s no Thunderbolt 3 support, but that’s to be expected at this price point.

Near-premium input options

I’m a writer. No matter how great a laptop looks or how well it’s built, the keyboard has to be useable. Fortunately, the Pavilion x360 inherited a very similar keyboard to its Spectre cousins. It’s a familiar island style, with keycaps that match the system color and lettering that’s light but still legible. The mechanism is a bit shallower and not quite as crisp as the Spectre keyboard — my personal favorite — but it’s better than most other budget laptops I’ve used. That’s a real plus in this machine’s favor.

The touchpad is plenty wide but a little short; there’s plenty of room on the keyboard for a larger touchpad. Fortunately, HP has moved to Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers in its latest laptops, including the 2019 Envy 13 that I liked quite a bit. Unlike HP’s older laptops using Synaptics drivers, the Pavilion x360’s touchpad is very precise and reliable.

The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is a bonus that doesn’t appear on many budget laptops.

The Pavilion x360’s touch display is responsive, another area where you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference from a more expensive premium laptop. My review unit didn’t include an HP Active Pen, but if you configure a 10th-gen version at HP.com, then the pen is in the box. Accordingly, I didn’t get a chance to test it.

Finally, Windows 10 Hello password-less login is provided by a fingerprint reader located conveniently on the keyboard deck, to the right of the touchpad and out of the way. It works well, and it’s a bonus that you don’t find on many budget laptops.

Performance is par for the course

As I indicated in the introduction, my review unit used an Intel 8th-gen Whiskey Lake Core i5-8265U. According to our benchmarks, the Pavilion 360 performed as expected. For example, in the Geekbench 4 synthetic benchmark, the HP achieved roughly equivalent scores to the vastly more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 with the same CPU.

In our more real-world Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the Pavilion x360 finished in just over five minutes, 16 seconds faster than the Lenovo.

In other words, this 2-in-1 is plenty fast for the typical productivity worker. You won’t want to use the Pavilion x360 for video editing or high-end photo editing, but for Office apps, web browsing, content consumption, and the like, you’ll be fine.

Note that the Pavilion x360 is now available at HP.com with Intel’s latest 10th-gen CPUs. For example, a model with a Core i5-10210U and Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display is on sale for $630, including an active pen that’s not in the box from Best Buy.Of course, you’ll also be ordering your Pavilion x360 with an Intel 10th-gen Ice Lake Core i5, and that’s likely to be faster. Note that you can upgrade to a faster PCIe SSD from the 128GB SATA SSD included in my review unit. It’s not a speedy drive, but it’s fast enough for productivity work.

One thing you won’t want to do with the Pavilion x360 is to play modern games. The Intel UHD 620 graphics won’t keep up.

Battery life is a letdown

So far, so good, at least at these prices. But what about battery life? If you want a laptop that will keep you working away from a plug, does the Pavilion x360 qualify?

I ran our usual suite of battery tests, and unfortunately, this is a 2-in-1 that doesn’t impress with its longevity. When browsing the web, the Pavilion 360 lasted for six and a half hours compared to the budget-oriented Acer Aspire 5 at nine hours with it 15.6-inch display. And when looping our test Avengers trailer, the HP lasted for under eleven hours compared to the Acer at 13 hours.

Battery life isn’t the Pavilion x360’s strength.

In our most demanding Basemark web benchmark test, the Pavilion x360 barely made it past two hours while the Aspire 5 lasted for an hour and forty minutes longer.

Clearly, battery life isn’t the Pavilion x360’s strength, at least when configured with the 8th-gen Core i5. That could improve with 10th-gen chips, but in any event, you won’t get a full day’s work out of the 2-in-1.

A budget price, a budget display

One component that often takes a hit in budget systems is the display, and the Pavilion x360 is a case in point. Five years ago, a Full HD display like this one would have been average. Today, it’s mediocre.

Specifically, the colors are muted. At just 62 percent of sRGB and 48 percent of AdobeRGB, you’re missing a chunk of your colors, and the accuracy is off as well. Contrast is also below average, at a 670:1 contrast ratio, and brightness is 262 nits, below our 300 nit threshold.

Don’t misunderstand me — this isn’t a bad display by any means, but you can get a better display, even on other budget laptops. The Aspire 5 is a great example — it has similar colors, but its higher contrast makes so productivity tasks involving black text on a white background more pleasant.

That’s the story here: The Pavilion x360’s display is just okay for productivity work, and its gamma at 2.4 is close enough to the perfect 2.2 that consuming media is a decent experience. I’ll note that audio is a strength, with plenty of volume and no distortion when cranked up. The Pavilion x360 isn’t punching above its weight in this category, but it’s not embarrassing itself either.

Our take

The HP Pavilion x360 14 is a fine budget 2-in-1, especially when purchased from HP.com with a 1oth-gen CPU. It’s built well, it looks good, and it offers excellent input options and solid connectivity. Battery life is disappointing, and so if you don’t want to carry a charger around with you, then this isn’t your best choice. But for anyone else, you really can’t find much better for the money.

Are there are any alternatives?

You could collect all your loose change and skip your morning latte for a while, go for the more expensive Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition. You’ll enjoy an all-metal build and a bit more of a luxury feel, though at that price, you open yourself up to a world of great options, including the Spectre x360 or XPS 13 2-in-1.

If you want to stay in budget, you could opt for a larger display and grab an Acer Aspire 5 and enjoy much better battery life.

How long will it last?

The Pavilion x360 is an all-plastic laptop, but that doesn’t mean it feels cheap. You’ll get your money out of this laptop, although as usual, the industry-standard 1-year warranty leaves us wanting more.

Should you buy it?

Yes. It’s far from perfect, but the HP Pavilion x360 14 is an affordable and attractive option for people looking at this price point.


Galaxy Note 20 gets first update with performance improvements, bug fixes

The two phones are slated to begin shipping on August 21.What you need to knowSamsung has released the first software

Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.