HP Pavilion Aero 13 overview: Ultralight, ultrapowerful?

MSRP $1,000.00

“The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is as highly effective as it’s light-weight.”

Professionals

Principally stable construct high quality

Glorious efficiency

Excellent battery life

Extraordinarily light-weight

Minimalist beauty

Cons

Keyboard is somewhat tough

Lid is simply too bendable

Light-weight laptops often include compromises. Clunky efficiency and flimsy construct high quality are widespread.

HP’s new Pavilion Aero 13 makes an attempt to resolve these misconceptions. Regardless of being simply 2.18 kilos (and technically categorized as a funds laptop computer), the HP Pavilion Aero 13 is a quick, well-made, and surprisingly premium little laptop computer.

I reviewed a $1,000 midrange configuration of the Pavilion Aero 13 geared up with an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU and a contemporary 16:10 Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200) IPS show. Most consumers might be within the $750 base configuration with a Ryzen 5 5600U and half the RAM and storage.

However no matter which you decide, this isn’t your father’s budget-level Pavilion.

Design

The Pavilion Aero 13 is the primary in its line to be constructed of a magnesium-aluminum alloy all through the chassis. That makes it extraordinarily mild at simply 2.18 kilos — in truth, it’s the lightest client laptop computer HP has ever produced. The HP Envy 13 is somewhat wider and somewhat shallower, and it’s the identical thickness at zero.67 inches, nevertheless it weighs 2.88 kilos.

The previous-generation Pavilion 13 was bigger in all dimensions, zero.70 inches thick, and weighed 2.71 kilos — with out that includes an all-metal design. Clearly, the Pavilion Aero 13 stands out amongst HP’s thin-and-light 13-inch laptops.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

It additionally beats out one of the best 13-inch laptop computer round, the distinctly premium Dell XPS 13, a minimum of in weight. That laptop computer is zero.58 inches thick, weighs 2.Eight kilos, and is somewhat shallower even given its personal 16:10 show. The rationale: HP constructed a little bit of a raise into the hinge that props up the keyboard at an angle for higher typing and improved airflow, and so the Pavilion Aero 13’s chin is bigger than it seems when the lid is open. A better competitor is the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED ($1,000 with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an OLED show), which is a bit bigger in width and depth and heavier at 2.5 kilos, nevertheless it is available in at simply zero.55 inches thick.

There’s a value to that light-weight metallic alloy. Whereas the Pavilion Aero 13’s backside chassis has solely a slight little bit of give with squeeze, the lid is kind of bendable. That’s as a result of the metallic shouldn’t be solely extra pliable, nevertheless it’s additionally moderately skinny. Construct high quality is one space the place the Pavilion Aero 13 exhibits off its funds pedigree — although it’s not unhealthy by any means. Nonetheless, a extra premium laptop computer just like the XPS 13 or HP’s Spectre x360 13 provides off the impression of rock-solid rigidity that the Pavilion can’t match.

The ZenBook 13 OLED additionally has some give to it, nevertheless it’s tough to say which is extra solidly constructed with out evaluating them facet by facet. I’ll observe that the Pavilion Aero 13’s hinge is superb — you’ll be able to open the lid with one hand, and there’s solely the tiniest little bit of wobble whereas typing.

Aesthetically, the Pavilion Aero 13 has a contemporary look that’s harking back to the Envy line. It’s a minimalist design with clear strains and angles that’s accessible in 4 colours — the Pure Silver of my overview unit, Pale Rose Gold, Heat Gold, and Ceramic White. Whichever coloration scheme you choose, you’ll get a easy and engaging look with out being overbearing. It’s additionally fashionable because of the small show bezels that lead to a 90% screen-to-body ratio. The XPS 13 and Spectre x360 13 are extra standout machines, however there’s loads of room for a laptop computer that appears this good with out drawing consideration to itself.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Connectivity is blended, with a full-size HDMI 2.zero port, USB-A port, and USB-C port alongside the left-hand facet and a second USB-A port on the right-hand facet. That’s nice legacy help, however as a result of AMD chipset, there’s no Thunderbolt help. There’s additionally no SD card reader, which is disappointing. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 present wi-fi connectivity.

Efficiency

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Outfitted with an Eight-core/16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, together with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), the Pavilion Aero 13 guarantees to be fairly the performer. AMD’s chip is quicker in CPU-intensive duties than Intel’s Four-core/Eight-thread 11th-gen Core i7-1185G7, which is the highest of the road amongst Intel’s client thin-and-light processors.

These further cores matter most to anybody who will use functions like artistic software program that push the CPU significantly exhausting. Video enhancing jumps out right here, and based on our benchmarks, the Pavilion Aero 13 offers a shocking quantity of energy in such a lightweight package deal.

Aside from Apple’s M1 chip within the MacBook Professional 13, the Pavilion Aero 13 is neck and neck with different laptops geared up with the Ryzen 7 5800U, such because the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED. They swapped locations from benchmark to benchmark, with the HP main in Handbrake with a wonderful rating of beneath two minutes to encode our 420MB check video to H.265 and in Cinebench R23.

These benchmarks show how effectively a laptop computer will carry out not simply in artistic duties like video rendering and show, however in most duties that push the CPU for a extra prolonged time. It exhibits not simply processor efficiency but additionally how effectively a laptop computer’s thermal design retains the CPU working at full velocity.

The HP Pavilion Aero 13’s efficiency was spectacular throughout the board.

On the identical time, the ZenBook 13 OLED pulled forward in Geekbench 5 and the PCMark 10 Full rating, assessments that present how effectively a laptop computer will carry out in a mixture of productiveness work comparable to net searching, videoconferencing, and Workplace functions, in addition to whereas multitasking. The distinction wasn’t as nice, and so it could be truthful to name the 2 laptops evenly matched. And as you’ll be able to see within the desk beneath, each laptops trounced the Intel competitors, with quick scores that punch effectively above every laptop computer’s roughly $1,000 value. Aside from single-core scores in Cinebench R23, the Intel chips couldn’t compete. Breaking down the PCMark 10 benchmark into its Necessities, Productiveness, and Content material Creation scores confirmed the identical disparity.

Merely put, the Pavilion Aero 13 was spectacular throughout the board. In the event you’re working the CPU-intensive functions talked about above, you then’ll discover few thin-and-light laptops that may sustain. The Pavilion Aero 13 was loads fast throughout my testing, dealing with the whole lot I threw at it with out hesitation. I can strongly suggest this extremely mild laptop computer based mostly on its efficiency alone.

Geekbench (single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi)
PCMark 10
3DMark Time Spy
HP Pavilion Aero 13
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
1373/6430
112
1381/8304
5756
1212
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
1423 / 6758
124
1171 / 7824
6034
1342
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7)
1549 / 5431
204
1399 / 4585
n/a
1380
HP Spectre x360 14 (Core i7-1165G7)
1214 / 4117
236
1389 / 3941
4728
1457
Razer E book 13 (Core i7-1165G7)
1548 / 5374
210
1508 / 4519
4878
1776
MacBook Professional 13 (M1)
1707 / 7337
n/a
1487 / 7547
n/a
n/a

The Ryzen chips don’t dominate in gaming efficiency, nonetheless. The Pavilion Aero 13 achieved the bottom 3DMark Time Spy check amongst our comparability group, and it wasn’t spectacular in our check sport, Fortnite.

It hit 29 frames per second (fps) at 1080p and excessive graphics and 15 fps with epic graphics turned on. That’s about the identical as you’ll get from Intel Iris Xe built-in graphics, and never sufficient for something however older titles or newer titles with the decision and graphical element turned down.

Show

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

HP migrated the taller 16:10 side ratio downward within the Pavilion model, equipping the Pavilion Aero 13 with a 13.Three-inch 16:10 IPS panel in one among two resolutions. You may select from Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200), which my overview unit has, or QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) shows.

I used to be impressed with the show, which was so a lot better than you’ll sometimes discover on a Pavilion or different ostensibly funds laptop computer. Once more, it is a $1,000 machine, and so it’s affordable to anticipate show — and HP delivered. My subjective expertise matched my goal outcomes, which I’ll define in a second, with colours that popped with out oversaturation and appeared correct sufficient for all however probably the most discerning artistic professionals. Whereas the distinction got here in decrease than I like in its absolute quantity, black textual content nonetheless stood out on white backgrounds — necessary for anybody who works with phrases or numbers on the display.

The HP Pavilion Aero 13’s ultra-bright show holds up significantly effectively beneath direct daylight.

In keeping with my colorimeter, the Pavilion Aero 13’s show was largely a high quality premium show. It was very vibrant at 437 nits, effectively past our 300-nit threshold and near the Dell XPS 13 Full HD+ show’s 458 nits. The Asus ZenBook 13’s OLED panel put out 397 nits of brightness by comparability. Any of those shows would possibly even be usable in direct daylight, however the Pavilion Aero 13 holds up significantly effectively. The Pavilion Aero 13’s one disappointment was its distinction ratio, which got here in at simply 830:1 — beneath our 1,000:1 threshold for one of the best shows. The XPS 13 was a lot better at 1350:1, whereas the ZenBook 13 OLED loved that show expertise’s excessive distinction at 396,690:1.

The Pavilion Aero 13’s coloration saturation was common at 77% of AdobeRGB and 99% of sRGB, barely higher than the premium common. The XPS 13 got here in at 75% and 98%, whereas the ZenBook 13 OLED once more benefitted from the show expertise with a wonderful 100% of each coloration areas. The HP’s colours have been moderately correct with a DeltaE of 1.Eight (lower than 1.zero is taken into account glorious), with the XPS 13 at 1.36 and the ZenBook 13 OLED at an outstanding zero.49.

The audio wasn’t fairly as much as the identical commonplace. Quantity was too low, though there was no distortion when turned all the best way up. Mids and highs have been clear, however there was zero bass, leaving the sound a bit lifeless. It’s high-quality for system sounds and the occasional YouTube video, however you’ll need earphones or Bluetooth audio system for bingeing Netflix or listening to music.

Keyboard and touchpad

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The Pavilion Aero 13 has a keyboard that appears just like the one on the Spectre and the newest Envy laptops. It has good spacing with properly sized keycaps and the identical row of positional keys alongside the fitting facet. But it surely doesn’t use the identical mechanism that I’ve grown accustomed to. There’s good journey however with out the exact bottoming motion and clickiness that you simply get with HP’s higher-end machines.

The Spectre keyboard is my favourite amongst Home windows 10 laptops, and the Pavilion Aero 13’s doesn’t stack up. It’s higher than many funds laptops, however it is a $1,000 machine — the keyboard is a funds leftover that doesn’t belong. The Asus ZenBook 13 OLED has a greater keyboard on the identical value. I ought to point out that the Pavilion Aero 13’s keyboard is a bit loud as effectively, and it’s not backlit with out spending a $20 premium — a disappointment given the $1,000 value.

The touchpad is best — it’s 23% bigger than the earlier model’s and takes up a lot of the accessible house on the keyboard deck. It’s greater than the touchpad on the Spectre x360 13 however not as massive because the Spectre x360 14’s model. It has a easy floor and helps Microsoft’s Precision touchpad drivers, so Home windows 10 multitouch gestures have been well-supported. There’s no contact show possibility, and that’s a bummer as a result of I’m not too keen on non-touch shows — not everybody feels the identical, although, and in order that will not be a deal-breaker for many consumers.

Home windows 10 Howdy help is supplied by a fingerprint reader on the keyboard deck, and it labored high-quality. I might log in with out my password with out muss and fuss, which is all you need from the function.

Battery life

The Pavilion Aero 13 is provided with a 43 watt-hour battery, which is somewhat small for a 13-inch laptop computer. I’ve seen blended outcomes with Ryzen battery life, so even with the Full HD+ show, I wasn’t anticipating nice longevity.

I used to be largely inspired in my benchmark testing. The Pavilion Aero 13 lasted for 10.5 hours in our web-browsing check, which is a stable end result. The Dell XPS 13 Full HD+ made it to eight.5 hours, whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED achieved an astounding 15.7 hours even with its OLED show. In our video check that loops by way of a neighborhood 1080p trailer, the Pavilion Aero 13 hit simply over 10.5 hours once more, with the XPS 13 at 12 hours and the ZenBook 13 OLED at 15.5 hours. I’ve seen that, not like Intel laptops, Ryzen machines don’t at all times present as a lot of a rise from net searching to the video check.

Within the PCMark 10 Functions battery check, the Pavilion Aero 13 nearly made it to 11.5 hours, a powerful rating that’s close to the highest of our database. The XPS 13 got here in at slightly below 10 hours, and we didn’t check the ZenBook 13 OLED with this benchmark. The Pavilion Aero 13 managed simply 94 minutes within the PCMark 10 Gaming battery check, close to the underside of our database, whereas the XPS 13 nearly made it to 4 hours. This PCMark battery check, although, relies upon lots on how aggressively a laptop computer runs on battery, and so it’s possible that the HP maintained full velocity whereas the Dell throttled again through the check.

Total, the Pavilion Aero 13 achieved all-day battery life after which some. You’ll have the ability to decide up some work within the night with out plugging in, or maybe binge Netflix for just a few hours. That’s a commendable end result given the laptop computer’s mild weight, partly because of the smaller battery capability.

Our take

HP pushed just a few premium options down into the Pavilion line with the Pavilion Aero 13, whereas pumping up the worth. The all-metal chassis and 16:10 show side ratio are welcome additions and provides the Pavilion Aero 13 some justification for its $1,000 value. Its efficiency and battery life have been additionally adequate to make the worth appear affordable, even when it’s greater than we anticipate from a machine that’s speculated to be a funds possibility.

Toss within the extraordinarily light-weight nature of the Pavilion Aero 13, and you’ve got a really compelling possibility within the 13-inch house. Anybody searching for a laptop computer on this class can be proud of the Pavilion Aero 13, even contemplating midrange and premium options.

Any options?

I’ll point out the HP Envy 13 not as a result of it’s an excellent various however as a result of for a similar $1,000, you get a laptop computer with much less efficiency and an old-school 16:9 show. It factors out how aggressively HP is positioning the superior Pavilion Aero 13 in opposition to the remainder of its lineup.

The Asus ZenBook 13 OLED is a extra aggressive various that additionally prices $1,000. It runs the identical CPU however features a bigger 1TB SSD and an OLED show.

Lastly, you would go for the Dell XPS 13, which is dearer but additionally extra premium. You’ll get a greater construct high quality, a barely higher show, and a extra elegant feel and appear.

How lengthy will it final?

The Pavilion Aero 13 has a barely versatile lid, however in any other case, it’s a well-built and well-equipped laptop computer that ought to final for years of typical use. The one-year guarantee is commonplace however, as traditional, disappointing.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Pavilion Aero 13 isn’t simply — and even largely — for funds laptop computer consumers. It’s an excellent machine for anybody a 13-inch laptop computer.

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