If you're planning to keep this on a desk most of the time, the Pavilion has a satisfactory port selection for your peripherals. On the right is power, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1 -- both for data only -- HDMI 1.4 out, Ethernet and a combo headphone/mic jack. Two more USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1 ports are on the left with an SD card slot. Those are all just a notch below what you'd find on something like the Dell G5, which has a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, HDMI 2.0 out and Gigabit Ethernet.
Lastly, while HP talks up the B&O-tuned speakers on this system, they're nothing to get too excited about. You'll want external speakers or afor movies, music and gaming.
Gaming high and low
The Pavilion was able to hold its own against similarly priced and configured gaming laptops. Older games such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided were playable on high settings with the 1050 Ti, but needed a drop to medium to make them enjoyable. For the newer Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 I set them to medium/normal to keep gameplay smooth throughout. Sessions of Fortnite were definitely playable, though, as was Overwatch, all at its native 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution with high detail settings.
The dual fans try their best to keep the Pavilion cool. You can definitely hear them working, that's for sure. Just keep it off your lap and on a hard surface when you're stressing the system.
Battery life is also on par with the competition, coming in at just over 5 hours. And that's on our streaming video test, so don't expect that for gaming. Basically, if you're going out for the day, you'll probably want to bring the power supply and you'll certainly want it if you're gaming.
Well-rounded at a reasonable price
As its name somewhat implies, the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop is a straightforward, no-nonsense laptop for PC gaming and whatever else you need to get done. Other gaming laptops in this range can feel cheap and plasticky, but that's not the case here and its subtle gamer design is more appealing for everyday use. Gaming performance is strong, too, for what you're paying.
|HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2HGz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD|
|Dell G5 15 (5587)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2HGz Intel Core i7-8750H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion Y530||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD|
|Acer Nitro 5||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics; 1TB HDD|
|Razer Blade 15||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2HGz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 2060 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD|