HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop has Omen style, versatile specs, $799 starting price

While the HP Pavilion line encompasses many types of all-purpose machines, the company is branching out with a new family of gaming PCs. Gone will be the Pavilion Power line, making room for the newly announced Pavilion Gaming family. HP says the line, consisting of laptops and desktops, is for gamers who value both gaming and entertainment but don’t need the top-tier specs and customization that come with the company’s Omen devices.

The 15-inch Pavilion Gaming laptop takes design notes from existing Omen laptops but implements them in a less ostentatious way. The all-black chassis has angled edges for style and venting. HP pushed the fans to the corners of this laptop, which allows more efficient air flow thanks to the vents at the angled corners. Geometric speaker grilles similar to those on other Pavilion laptops sit above the keys, and some models have an all-aluminum keyboard area. Lights underneath the keys and behind the HP logo on the lid offer accents in either white, green, or violet, depending on the model, and each display (it supports FHD at 144Hz, FHD at 60Hz, and 4K panels) is hugged by 9.8mm bezels on the left and right sides.

While you can’t tinker with the 15-inch Pavilion Gaming laptop’s internals as much as you could with an Omen device, HP offers a number of spec options for users to build a machine that’s as powerful as they need it to be. The laptop supports 8th-gen Intel quad-core U-series and quad- or hexa-core H-series CPUs, as well as up to AMD Radeon RX 560X or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design graphics. Various models also support a combination of SSD and HDD storage options, up to 16GB of Optane memory, and up to 8GB of DDR4 RAM.

For desktop users, HP is offering the new Pavilion Gaming Desktop in two models, the 690 and the 790. Both towers look similar, with black finishes accented in the same green color present on some of the Pavilion Gaming laptop models. The differences come in size and specs: the Pavilion Gaming desktop 690 supports Intel and Ryzen processors, AMD Radeon RX 580 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB SATA hard drive (and it has slots and bays available for more memory and storage).

The 790 model supports quad- and hexa-core 8th-gen Intel CPUs, AMD Radeon RX 580 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, up to 64GB of RAM, and a slew of SSD and HDD storage options up to 3TB. The 790 model also has a few more ports than the 690 does, but both have a bunch of USB 3.1, Type-C, and HDMI ports, among others.

To go along with the Pavilion Gaming desktops, HP has come out with a 32-inch HDR display. Supporting VESA DisplayHDR 600, it can reach up to 600 nits of brightness with a contrast ratio of 6,000:1 and 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut scale. It has a 2560×1440 QHD resolution and uses AMD FreeSync technology for a 75Hz refresh rate with 5ms of response time.

HP’s introduction of the new Pavilion Gaming line echoes that of Dell’s new G Series gaming family, which was announced last week. A rebrand of the Inspiron Gaming line, the new G Series forgoes a desktop option (likely because Dell is still updating the Inspiron Gaming tower) and consists of a couple of 15- and 17-inch gaming notebooks that all support Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design graphics.

The G4 models provide the base for Dell’s new lineup, featuring enhanced graphics, 8th-gen quad-core CPUs, FHD anti-glare displays, Waves MaxxAudio Pro, and other features. The G5 and G7 laptops build upon that foundation, offering hexa-core CPU and 4K display options. Each of the four laptop models takes design inspiration from the Alienware and Inspiron families, featuring angled edges, corner vents, improved cooling systems, and various WAPS keyboard backlight colors.

Both HP and Dell want to define the differences between their casual gaming device lineups and their elite gaming lineups—not only because it may have been confusing for some users before but also to show they are dedicated to giving all types of gamers devices that fit within their tech needs and budgets. While some may feel comfortable configuring their own gaming notebook or building a tower from the ground up, a large number of casual gamers will pay for the convenience of a prebuilt machine.

The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop starts at $799 and the Pavilion Gaming Desktop starts at $549 (690 model) or $749 (790 model). All new devices will be available in either May or June of this year.

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