Quick look at HP’s new powerful and affordable Pavilion 17

As we continue with HP’s new notebook lineup for this year, we hit the more affordable Pavilion laptops this time. A lot has been changed compared to the old generation Pavilions – from looks to hardware. Also, the new Pavilion laptops will now offer a wider range of configurations and, of course, will cover the entry-level up to upper mid-range market segments. Here are the most noticeable changes in this year’s Pavilion 17 laptop.

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Design

There are a few apparent visual changes compared to last year’s model but HP has stayed true to the Pavilion design language. With more interesting patterns and refined details, the HP Pavilion 17 has matured enough to appeal to most users.

The majority of the notebook is covered in metallic silver-colored plastic that feels nice – not cheap at all – but despite the choice of materials, you can definitely feel the weight. At around 3.1 kg, the machine isn’t the lightest we’ve used but then again, we are using the touch-enabled variant so the standard configuration will have a decreased weight for sure.


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Opening the notebook reveals several things we liked and didn’t like so much. For starters, the screen is heavy and has thick upper and lower bezels but besides its massive dimensions, the new hinges appear to hold it pretty steady during normal use. Wobbling occurs, however, when you touch the display and unfortunately, it’s inevitable because of the 17.3-inch diagonal. Also, the number of users who will go for the touch-enabled variant will supposedly be really low due to several reasons, which we will talk about in the full review.


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Let’s continue with the keyboard, touchpad and the interior design. The latter is largely different from what we’ve seen. HP is now using the same silky-smooth finish on the plastic around the keyboard tray but with interesting patterns to go along with. It stands out sharp, elegant and somehow different than most 17-inchers at this price. We definitely like the finishing touches on some elements. The keyboard feels a bit shallow and will take some time to adjust but unfortunately, the touchpad is the same as the one we saw in other HP models, like the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming, carrying the same drawbacks – stiff and a bit inaccurate at times. The latter isn’t as prominent, though.

Hardware

As we said earlier, the Pavilion lineup takes shifts direction and the Pavilion 17 is here to prove it. Upgrading the whole hardware, the notebook’s base configuration is priced at $900 and offers more than decent hardware suitable for multimedia and gaming as well. We’ve got a choice between Intel’s Core i5-6300HQ and Core i7-6700HQ processors paired with up to 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5) GPU. That’s fairly decent hardware for the asking price when you consider that other notebooks like Lenovo Y700 (17-inch), Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition, and ASUS ROG GL752VW sell for a lot more.

The list continues with the support for one 2.5-inch HDD (1 TB or 2TB) and an M.2 SSD slot – enough for your OS and files. Screen options are three – Full HD IPS panel with touch panel or without and a 17.3-inch UHD IPS display with 3840 x 2160 resolution. So if you ever need to, you can configure your Pavilion 17 to become a beefy multimedia station. The battery on this thing is also pretty big – 62Wh but we remain skeptical of how it will fare against other 17-inchers considering the big IPS panel and all that power-hungry hardware.

Specs sheet

The specs sheet may vary depending on your region.

CPU Intel Core i5-6300HQ (2.30 – 3.20 GHz, 6MB cache) / Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.60 – 3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAM up to 16GB (2x 8192MB) DDR4-2133
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5)
HDD/SSD 1TB HDD @7200 rpm / 2TB HDD @5400 rpm (+ optional M.2 SSD)
Display 17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel, glossy / 17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS touch panel, glossy / 17.3-inch Ultra HD (3840×2160) IPS panel, glossy
Optical Drive SuperMulti DVD burner
Connectivity Intel® 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo
Other features
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • SD card reader
  • LAN port
  • 3.5 mm audio combo jack
  • keyboard LED backlight
  • Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers
Battery 6-cell, 62Wh
Thickness 32 mm (1.26″) touch version / 29.7 mm (1.17″) non-touch version
Weight 3.110 kg (6.86 lbs) touch version / 2.75 kg (6.06 lbs) non-touch version

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