Review on HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200
- RESOLUTION & PANEL — 23.8-inch Full HD monitor (1920 x 1080p at 60 Hz) with 16:9 aspect ratio and an anti-glare matte IPS LED-backlit panel (2 million pixels, 16.7 million colors)
- RESPONSE TIME — 5ms with overdrive for a smooth picture that looks crisp and fluid without motion blur
|Price history for HP VH240a 23.8-Inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor with Built-In Speakers and VESA Mounting, Rotating Portrait & Landscape, Tilt, and HDMI & VGA Ports (1KL30AA) - Black|
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The Review on HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200
Pros Low price Strong six-core Ryzen processor Good battery life Cons Decent 1080p gaming performance, but 144Hz screen is wasted Insufficient 256GB of storage Impressive screen and sound
When we reviewed the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 in December 2019, we found it to be on the wrong side of the $1,000 line for budget gaming laptops for $1,249.99. Its successor in the same chassis, the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200, is on the right for $789.99 even with a faster AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and display with a 144Hz refresh rate for esports gamers (a 60Hz model is even cheaper at $699.99). Unfortunately, it has a slightly slower GPU and storage is limited, so while the 15z-ec200 deserves the look of gamers with thin wallets, it outshines the slightly less expensive Acer Nitro 5 or slightly more expensive (and Editors’ Choice award) non-winning ) MSI Bravo 15. Unchanged styling, rearranged ports
Both the 60Hz and 144Hz displays are 15.6-inch non-touch panels with Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution supported by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. The Pavilion features a six-core, 3.3GHz (4.2GHz turbo) Ryzen 5 5600H processor and 8GB of memory; upgrades to 12GB or 16GB are $40 or $80 respectively, while an eight-core Ryzen 7 5800H adds $120. The laptopThe 256GB NVMe solid-state drive is too small to hold many of today’s games. You can boost it with a 1TB hard drive for $90 or replace it with a 512GB or 1TB SSD for $70 or $140, respectively.
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 left hook (Photo: Molly Flores)
Diagonal cutouts below the screen add a bit of visual flair when the laptop is open; the bezels on either side of the screen are slim, although the top and bottom bezels are larger. As a pavilion, the 15z-ec200 bears HP’s circular consumer logo in place of the stylized four slashes of luxury business and Specter models. The keyboard is backlit, but all in green instead of the multi-zone or million RGB colors of enthusiast gaming rigs; future Windows Hello users will be disappointed to find neither a fingerprint reader nor a webcam for facial recognition. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 rear view (Photo: Molly Flores)
The black plastic pavilion measures 0.93 by 14.2 by 10.1 inches, roughly equivalent to the Bravo 15 (0.85 by 14.1 by 10 inches) and Dell G3 15 (0.85 by 14.4 by 10 inches). It weighs 4.4 pounds, a few ounces more than the MSI (4.1 pounds) but less than the Dell (5.2 pounds). There’s quite a bit of flex when you grab the corners of the screen or press down on the keyboard.
As an AMD machine, the HP does not have a Thunderbolt port, but otherwise offers decent connectivity. The only ports on the left edge are a retro USB 2.0 port and the power jack. On the right are USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports, an HDMI video output, an Ethernet port, an audio jack and an SD card slot. A Realtek card offers Wi-Fi 6 and wireless Bluetooth. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 left ports (Photo: Molly Flores) HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 right ports (Photo: Molly Flores) A less than dynamic display
It may offer a 144Hz rather than the usual 60Hz refresh rate, but the Pavilion display still comes across as an economical panel – it’s not very bright and colors are dull, looking muted or faded rather than vibrant or popping. White backgrounds are a bit dingy and the contrast is mediocre, although fine details and the edges of letters are fairly sharp rather than pixelated and the viewing angles are wide. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 front view (Photo: Molly Flores)
The keyboard is comfortable and quiet rather than snappy; it provides a numeric keypad with small Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys above, though the cursor arrows are arranged in HP’s perpetually awkward row, with hard-to-hit, half-height up and arrows stacked down between full-size left and right, instead of the correct inverted T. The buttonless touchpad glides and taps smoothly, but clicks stiffly.
The speaker grille above the keyboard produces a clear but not very loud sound; bass is minimal and you can only vaguely distinguish overlapping tracks. B&O Audio Control software offers music, movie and voice presets and an equalizer with pop, rock, classical, dance and other modes, most of which sound like you’ve thrown a blanket over the speakers. The 720p webcam takes soft focus shots with a lot of noise or noise. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 keyboard (Photo: Molly Flores)
HP supports the Pavilion Gaming Laptop with a one-year warranty and loads the Windows 10 . prior to Home system with trial versions of Dropbox, LastPass and McAfee and several utilities, including HP QuickDrop to transfer files from your smartphone and HP CoolSense to adjust performance and fan settings to prevent the system from toasting your lap. Omen Gaming Hub allows you to monitor system stats and optimize network traffic. Performance Tests: A Budget Gaming Throwdown
For our benchmark charts, I compared the Pavilion 15z-ec200 to four other gaming under $1,0001,000 laptops-the aforementioned Dell G3 15, MSI Bravo 15 and Acer Nitro 5 (our 2020 test unit; we haven’t seen the new 2021 Nitro 5 models yet) plus the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i. You can see their basic specifications in the table below. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop Comparison Chart 15z-ec200 Productivity and Media Tests
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic performance suites developed by the PC benchmark specialists at UL (formerly Futuremark). The PCMark 10 test we run simulates several real-world productivity and content creation workflows. We use it to assess overall system performance for office-oriented tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, and video conferencing. PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a storage subtest that we use to assess system startup disk speed. Both yield their own numerical score; higher numbers are better. (See more about how we test laptops.) HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 PCMark
All five notebooks passed the 4,000 point mark, indicating excellent productivity in PCMark 10, with HP and MSI leading the way; they may not set framerate records while gaming, but they are aces at Microsoft Office and Google Docs. PCMark 8’s storage exercise is pie for today’s fast SSDs.
Next up is Maxon’s CPU-cracking Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to make use of all available processor cores and threads. Cinebench emphasizes the CPU rather than the GPU to display a complex image. The result is a proprietary score that indicates whether a PC is suitable for processor-intensive workloads. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 Cinebench
Cinebench is often a good predictor of our Handbrake video editing benchmark, in which we put a stopwatch on systems as they transcode a short movie from 4K resolution to 1080p. It’s also a tough test for multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs; lower times are better. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 Handbrake
The Bravo finished up front, but the Pavilion wasn’t far behind, showing off processing performance that a few years ago largely belonged to mobile workstations. Equipping it with the eight-core Ryzen 7 would be overkill.
We also run a custom Adobe Photoshop image editing benchmark. Using an early 2018 release of the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we apply a series of 10 complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG test image. We time and add every edit up the total (lower times are better). The Photoshop test highlights the CPU, storage subsystem, and RAM, but it can also take advantage of most GPUs to speed up up the process of applying filters. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 Photoshop
The 15z-ec200 took the gold medal and completed the job in a quick time. Serious image editors will probably want a higher quality 4K display, but the HP is a great choice for managing a photo collection. Graphics tests
3DMark measures relative graphics power by displaying sequences of highly detailed gaming-style 3D graphics that emphasize particles and lighting. We run two different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike. Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is more suited to laptops and midrange PCs, while Fire Strike is more demanding and lets high-end PCs and gaming rigs do their job. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200 3DMark
Wrap up Review on HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15z-ec200
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