In addition to new Envy ultrabooks and fauxtrabooks, HP's mainstream Pavilion laptops have also gotten an update. While these midprice systems are not as exciting as the ultrabooks and high-end Envy models, there are a couple of noteworthy twists, and one promising new system.
All the new Pavilions fall under a new HP design philosophy called HP Mosaic, which is apparently a follow-up (but not a replacement) to the last HP design philosophy we heard about, called Muse (materials, usability, sensory appeal, and experience).
The company says: "The Mosaic design fuses together the multifaceted elements of Muse, including rich colors, premium materials, and purposeful shapes, to form one comprehensive design language that spans the consumer notebook portfolio. Similar to a mosaic art piece, each HP notebook series represents a small piece of the canvas that, when combined, builds into a beautiful picture of the HP product family."
What that all means in practical terms is that the new Pavilion laptops have gotten a bit of a makeover, with a slightly tapered chassis and brushed-style lid design, and an angle built into the bottom of the lid, right above the hinge, which HP calls the "infinity waterfall edge."
HP Pavilion dv4, dv6, and dv7
These midsize to desktop replacement laptops are the most mainstream machines HP makes, roughly comparable with Dell's Insprion series.
The new dv6 and dv7 (the dv6 is a 15.6-inch laptop; we can discuss the logic of HP's product names another time) both have metal finishes, whereas the 14-inch dv4 is plastic, but comes in black licorice, linen white, and carmine red.
All three have the Beats Audio subsystem, originally found only on HP's high-end Envy laptops, but now available in a wider array of products. In this case, the speaker bar is integrated into the display, which seems better than putting it on the front edge, where your palms may block the sound. Discrete Nvidia GPUs are available as an option.
The dv6 and dv7 have a black metallic finish.
HP Pavilion g6 and g7
We liked HP's low-cost G-series laptops even before they were slightly upgraded to join the Pavilion family last year.
Compared with the Pavilion and Envy lines, these are bulkier, plastic-feeling laptops, with a touch pad stamped right into the wrist rest and lacking high-end extras such as backlit keyboards and SSD or hybrid hard drives.
The two redesigned models are the Pavilion g6 (again, as in 15.6 inches), and g7. Both will be available in ruby red, linen white, sparkling black, winter blue, and bright purple.
HP Pavilion m6
The only brand-new addition to the Pavilion line, the new m6 is what we'd call a fauxtrabook: close to a thin ultrabook, but either not quite there, or lacking Intel's trademarked ultrabook sticker for other reasons.
It's a slim 15.6-inch laptop with Beats Audio and a subwoofer, and available with both Intel and AMD processors. The body is part aluminum, and both backlit keyboards and discrete graphics are available as options.
The look is closer to the new HP Envy laptops than the other Pavilions, with an island-style touch pad floating on the wrist rest. Side by side with the Pavilion dv6, it's a much nicer-looking system, and it's priced much closer to the Envy laptops (so much so that there's bound to be some overlap).
The HP Pavilion dv4, dv6, and dv7 will be available June 20, with the dv4 and dv6 starting at $549 and the dv7 at $799. The HP Pavilion g6 and g7 are coming July 25, at $449 and $499. The Pavilion m6, while subject to change, is expected to be available through retailers such as Best Buy, starting in June, for $699 and up.