Expert review of the HP Pavilion 15-cs laptops (2019)
The HP Pavilion 15-cs series
The laptops in the HP Pavilion 15-cs series are 15-inch laptops that you can use for studies, work, or photo editing. They're available in the following versions:
- Processor: Core i5, Core i7
- RAM: from 8GB to 16GB
- Storage capacity: from 256GB to 1256GB
Almost completely aluminum
When you slide the HP Pavilion 15-cs0960nd out of the box, you can tell it's a solidly built laptop right away. Everything is made of silver-gray aluminum except for the bottom. As a result, the laptop feels very sturdy and reliable. The edges of the laptop are slanted. This gives the laptop a unique appearance, but makes it difficult to connect peripherals. Although the connectors are built into the chassis horizontally, the slanted edges make you think that you need to plug in the USB cables at an angle instead.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard has the same color as the laptop and is comfortable to type on. Every keystroke I make with my fingers is adeptly registered. As such, typing long reports on this keyboard isn't a problem. The only disadvantage are the arrow keys. These are very close to one another, so it's easy to accidentally hit the wrong key. The trackpad has the same quality and responds well when I slide my fingers over it. Touching it with your palm won't trigger a response.
Good battery life
When you spend long days at the office, at school, or as a freelancer in a coffee bar, you don't want your battery to run empty without an AC adapter. To test how durable the battery is, I played a video on YouTube in 4K quality. The screen was set to maximum brightness. After a little over 2.5 hours, there was 50% battery left. This is a great performance for a 15-inch laptop. You won't need your charger quickly during a long day of work or study.
This laptop has a Full HD screen with an anti-glare IPS panel. If you're sitting on a terrace enjoying a beer, you won't be bothered by sunlight reflections. You can clearly see the screen even with bright indoor lighting. But the screen looks dull and the maximum screen brightness isn't very high. When looking at it from the side, you can't see the screen very well. So there is room for improvement. The dullness is especially an issue with photo editing.
Bang & Olufsen speakers
The Pavilion has Bang & Olufsen speakers. It's not just clever marketing, as the speakers really ensure voices sound loud and clear when you're watching a series. When you sit down to relax after a long working day, your Netflix series are clearly audible thanks to the integrated speakers.
Connectors and docking options
The HP laptop has an HDMI connector, Ethernet connector, USB connector, and a headphone jack. On the right side, you'll find 2 'standard' USB connectors and a memory card reader. Two USB connectors isn't a lot. I wish I had an extra USB connector on the left side. This allows you to run a cable behind your laptop for a tidy desk.
- Since the laptop is made of sturdy aluminum, the HP has a sturdy and reliable design.
- The keyboard adeptly registers keystrokes and is suitable to type long texts.
- The battery of this laptop can make it to the end of a day of work or lectures.
- The screen looks dull and has a low brightness.
- The laptop only has 2 'normal' USB connectors, so you can only connect 2 accessories like a mouse or a hard drive.