Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review

HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE: The always-connected ease of LTE broadband lifts HP’s good-looking, affordable 14-inch Pavilion x360 convertible notebook.

Once we analyzed the HP Pavilion x360 14 some 13 months before, we griped that its $699.99 price bought you only 128GB of solid-state storage.

Not merely has HP fixed that using a 256GB drive, but this year’s version has a SIM card slot for LTE portable broadband, keeping you connected when there’s no Wi-Fi hotspot around.

Those improvements aside, the Pavilion remains a likable option among 14-inch convertible notebooks.  It’s a bit heavy and a little poky in performance evaluations compared to the Editors’ Choice Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14, but the convenience of LTE will draw its fair share of buyers.

In 0.74 by 12.8 by 8.7 inches, the HP can be a hair thinner than last year’s version, however at 3.55 pounds it is slightly obese –the Lenovo Flex and Acer Spin 3 are 3.3 lbs each, along with the LG Gram 14 2-in-1 is a feathery 2.53 pounds.

You’ll probably hold the Pavilion in your lap rather than in your palms in tablet mode. (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

HP continues to play with contrasting colours in a means that sets its systems besides run-of-the-mill notebooks.

A dim, brushed-metal computer keyboard and palm rest offset the convertible’s silver end.  There is a chrome HP logo centered in the lid.  Concave edges assist you open the laptop with one hand.

The system bolsters its 256GB NVMe SSD with 16GB of Intel Optane Memory.  It includes 8GB of RAM and a quad-core, 1.0GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1 chip, in addition to a 14-inch touch display with full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution.

Two hinges let you fold the display into laptop, tablet, tent, and easel configurations.  The screen wobbles a bit when tapped in notebook mode, and there is some bend if you grasp the screen corners or press on the keyboard .

You’ll discover a USB 3.2 Type-A interface and an audio jack on the Pavilion’s left side.  (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

Sound and Selfies

The webcam offers ordinary 720p resolution but better-than-average color and clarity.  In its picture, it was simple to observe the fine pattern of my shirt and unruly strands of my hair.

Sound in the top-firing speakers is a bit hollow or boomy together with the volume cranked up.  At more moderate amounts, though, it is quite good, predictably short on bass but with clear highs and midtones and readily distinguished overlapping paths.

The screen is not very vibrant –colours exist but do not pop.  The signature overlay’s glass gives it a mirror-like sheen that could reflect room lighting, but contrast is white and decent backgrounds are really white.  (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

Screen viewability outdoors are going to be a challenge; I could wish for a few additional brightness.  (HP rates the display at 250 nits, though a sunnier 400-nit panel is an option.)  That said, the off-center viewing angles are all wide on my test unit’s display, and nice details seem sharp.

It seems like I have spent my reviewing career complaining about HP notebooks’ arrangement of the cursor arrow keys in a row, together with half-height up and down arrows sandwiched between full-size left and right, in place of the correct inverted T.

If you can get beyond that, the keyboard layout is fine, with dedicated Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys and Ctrl and Delete within their proper opposite corners.  Typing feel is shallow but eloquent.

The good-size, buttonless touchpad pops and slides smoothly.  Right and left clicks require just the correct quantity of pressure, and scrolling and gestures are precise. (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

The Windows 10 Home program preload includes a McAfee LiveSafe trial and Dropbox, Booking.com, and ExpressVPN promotions.  HP backs the convertible using a one-year warranty.

Performance Testing: Outrun by Ryzens

I contrasted the Pavilion’s performance numbers to those of four other convertibles.   It is possible to see their fundamental specs at the table below.

Productivity and Media Tests

PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic operation suites developed from the PC benchmark experts at UL (formerly Futuremark).  The PCMark 10 evaluation we run simulates distinct real-world productivity and content-creation workflows.

We use it to evaluate overall system performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet wrestling, web surfing, and videoconferencing.

PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a storage subtest that we utilize to assess the speed of this machine’s boot drive.  The two yield a proprietary numerical score; greater numbers are better.  (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

The Pavilion was just a whisker short of the 4,000 points which we believe excellent in PCMark 10.  It combined the other SSD-based convertibles in breezing through PCMark 8 storage subtest, cementing its status as a solid productivity partner.

Next is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to make use of all available processor cores and threads.  Cinebench worries the CPU rather than the GPU to render a intricate image.  The result is a proprietary score indicating a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads.

Cinebench is often a good predictor of our Handbrake video editing benchmark, where we put a stopwatch on systems since they transcode a brief picture from 4K resolution down to 1080p.

The AMD Ryzen 5-powered IdeaPad and Envy dominated these occasions, while the Pavilion landed in the back of the bunch.  It is fine for regular spreadsheets but unlikely to be mistaken for a workstation-style networking editing or rendering machine.

 Using an early 2018 launch of this Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we employ a collection of 10 complicated filters and effects to some standard JPEG test image.

We time every surgery and accumulate the total (lower times are better).  The Photoshop test emphasizes the CPU, storage subsystem, and RAM, but it can also make the most of the majority of GPUs to hasten the process of employing filters.

The Pavilion and Spin 3 trailed here, too, even though they’ll just keep you waiting an additional few seconds per Photoshop filter or editing operation.  Occasional image touch-ups will be fine.  The Ryzen 4000-series-based laptops once more set the speed.

Pictures Tests

3DMark steps comparative graphics muscle by rendering sequences of highly detailed, gaming-style 3D images that highlight particles and lighting.  We run two distinct 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike.

Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is much more suited to notebooks and midsize PCs, while Fire Strike is more demanding and allows high-end PCs and gaming rigs strut their stuff. (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

The Ryzens and their incorporated Radeon graphics solutions led the systems with Intel UHD integrated graphics, but even they’re crushed by gambling laptops with dedicated GPUs.

Next up is another synthetic graphics evaluation, this time from Unigine Corp..  Much like 3DMark, the Superposition test renders and pans via a thorough 3D scene, this one left in the Unigine engine, for a second opinion on the system’s graphical prowess.

We present two Superposition outcomes, run in the 720p Low and 1080p High presets and reported in frames per second (fps), signaling how smooth the scene appears in motion.

This gaming simulation defeated the laptops just as 3DMark did and just as real games would.  Again, these machines aren’t intended for gamers.

You might eke out some decent play with the Radeons at 720p and low preferences, but even that is a stretch for anything beyond casual matches.

After completely recharging the laptop, we set up the machine in power-save mode (as opposed to balanced or high performance mode) where available and also make a few other battery-conserving tweaks in prep for our unplugged video rundown test.  (We also turn off Wi-Fi, putting the notebook into airplane mode.)

In this evaluation, we loop a movie –a locally saved 720p file of the Blender Foundation brief film Tears of Steel–with screen brightness set at 50 percent and quantity at 100 percent until the machine stops. (Best HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Review)

The Pavilion will get you through a full workday on a fee, even if its runtime is a couple of hours short of that which we prefer to see in this type of system.

A Solid-Enough Option in a Crowded Field

The Pavilion x360 14 LTE doesn’t have the star wattage of HP’s Spectre or Elite Dragonfly portables, but it’s a lot more cheap, and this year’s inclusion of broadband helps it remain competitive in a bustling market segment.

If it were marginally lighter and slightly quicker, it would be an Editors’ Choice competition, but as is, it’s plenty to recommend it, especially if you need a budget option that can work away from Wi-Fi.

PROS

  • Above-average audio and webcam
  • Three USB ports, HDMI jack, and full-size SD card slot

CONS

  • A bit hefty
  • Tepid 1.0GHz processor

HP Pavilion x360 14 LTE (2020) Specs

  • Laptop Class : Convertible 2-in-1
  • Processor : Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • Processor :  Speed 1 GHz
  • RAM : (as Tested) 8 GB
  • Boot Drive Type : SSD
  • Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested) : 256 GB
  • Screen Size : 14 inches
  • Native Display Resolution : 1920 by 1080
  • Touch Screen : Yes
  • Panel Technology: IPS
  • Variable Refresh Support: None
  • Screen Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Graphics Processor : Intel UHD Graphics
  • Wireless Networking: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
  • Dimensions (HWD) : 0.74 by 12.8 by 8.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.55 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes): 9:40

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