HP Pavilion x360 – 14-ba253cl
HP Pavilion x360 – 14-ba253cl HD touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop , Intel® Core™ i5-8250U (1.6 GHz/3.4 GHz),
8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, USB-C, HDMI, Windows 10
I’ll say it upfront, this isn’t an exciting laptop.
As the title suggests, it’s simply a stolid performer that can get the job done.
It does have a few bells and whistles that make it more than the average workhorse laptop,
however, and if that’s the kind of laptop that appeals to you, read on!
Build and Design: 6.5/10
The laptop is bog-standard as far as design goes, with the only thing that stands out is the 360-degree hinge.
The body is made of plastic and metal, the 14-inch screen is surrounded by fairly large bezels and the laptop I received was a silvery grey.
The laptop seems quite thick since the display is almost as thick as the body. Put it beside a regular laptop, however, and you’ll realize that thickness is deceptive.
At around 1.7 kg, the laptop is on the lighter side, however, this also means that it’s too heavy to be used in its tablet mode.
Speaking of modes, being a convertible, you can position the display as you like. The hinge does wobble a bit, but it’s strong enough to prop up the display or the laptop in any configuration.
Keyboard, Trackpad, and Touch: 7/10
The keyboard was a bit softer than I’m used to, but it responded well and I never missed a keystroke.
The backlight was good and adequately bright.
The touchpad was also very good and very responsive.
Regular Windows 10 gestures such as the three-finger swipe and notification menu gestures worked well.
Touchscreen response was equally good and I have no complaints on that front either.
The bundled pen was a nice inclusion and the screen responded fast enough to pen input.
There was some lag to the input, but that’s to be expected from a screen in this price range.
Running on 7th generation Intel CPUs, the HP Pavilion x360 – 14-ba253cl isn’t exactly cutting edge tech.
The device is available in several variants that offer a choice of Intel Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs.
The version I received for testing included an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, 8 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSHD (5,400 rpm).
The lack of an SSD is disappointing, especially at this price.
A nice touch is the inclusion of the Nvidia GeForce 940 MX GPU.
The 940 MX isn’t particularly powerful, but it’s more powerful than the onboard graphics chip and should allow for some light gaming.
I’d opt for a lower capacity SSD over a high capacity hard disk (HDD) any day owing to the massive performance boost that an SSD gives.
The port selection includes an SD card slot, 1x HDMI 1.4, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-C and 1x 3.5 mm combo jack.
The screen is a 14-inch FHD unit with support for touch input.
HP includes an ‘Active Pen’ in the package, which supports 1,024 pressure levels.
Doodling with the pen was fun, but the laptop’s weight made it a bit uncomfortable for use simply as a tablet.
The speakers are branded B&O Play.
A 720p webcam and dual-band Wi-Fi support round out the package.
Coming to the display, we see a 14-inch FHD unit in a 16:9 aspect ratio. In everyday use, I found the display to be adequately bright, if a little dull.
Colors also seemed a bit muted.
On testing the display, our Spyder 3 unit indicated that color gamut was a mere 60 percent, much lower than the 80+ average we were expecting.
Measured brightness came in at around 186-200 cd/m2, which is quite decent.
This is certainly not the most color-accurate of displays, but it gets the job done, which is the whole point of a display in this category.
Whenever I test a laptop that opts for an HDD over an SSD, I expect it to be slow and a bit sluggish to respond.
Unfortunately, that is exactly the experience I had with the HP Pavilion x360-14-ba253cl.
To be fair to HP, I’d like to point out that few companies provide SSDs in their mid-range and budget offerings.
I think it’s also fair to add that most of us would prefer more storage space to faster storage.