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[Review] HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d: Powerful & Affordable at Last!

HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d: review
Pros
  • Full HD 15.6-inch display
  • Green backlit keyboard
  • AMD Ryzen 5 hexa-core CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce 1650 GTX
Cons
  • The panel is not IPS
  • 256GB storage
The HP Pavilion 15 lineup is one of the best computing solutions you'll find on the market these days if your goal is to acquire a laptop to play games and perform power-hungry tasks at maximum speed. 

We've recently talked in depth about the Asus A15 TUF506IV-AS76 and now it's time to tackle the HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d, a far more modest approach to the gaming segment that has managed to accrue quite a following - and impressive reviews - amongst those looking for a powerful gaming PC below the 1000 dollar-mark. Now let's get on with this review to find out if this model has what it takes to become your next gaming beast or if it's doomed to fall short.



Index


HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d Technical Specifications


Make modelHP Pavilion 15-ec1073d
Dimensions14.1 x 10.8 x 0.92 inches
Weight4.36 pounds
PanelLED | TN | 15.6 inch
ResolutionFull HD (1920 x 1080 píxeles)
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 4600H (6 cores up to 4.00 GHz)
RAM8GB (DDR4)
Graphic ControllerNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4 GB)
Storage256 GB (SSD)
Drums52.5 Wh | 4 cells | Li-Po
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5 
Bluetooth 5.0 
RJ-45 
USB-A (x2) 
USB-C 
HDMI 2.0 
Audio combo connector 
SD card reader 
HD webcam 
Digital microphone


Who's it for?


The 15-ec1073d was designed to meet the needs of the most demanding gamers looking to enjoy the latest AAA titles with the fluidity and graphic quality that an entry-level gaming laptop can deliver. 

In addition, its 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 processor and fast SSD drive allow you to work with the most demanding software in the fields of design, multimedia editing, programming front and back-end, without having to deal with any lags in the system. 

Ultimately, it's an excellent laptop for both gamers and non gamers, delivering enough brut power to handle itself well with pretty much anything you throw its way.  Suitable for students, professionals and everything in between. 

Design

HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d: gaming laptop with AMD Ryzen 5 processor, SSD disk and GeForce GTX 1650 graphics
Aesthetically this laptop is defined by a chassis that is not only elegant but also resiliant whilst delivering a good grip and quality build. The shadow black color predominates practically on the entire body of the laptop only to be interrupted by green details both in the HP logo as well as the keyboard. 

Its 0.92-inch profile and weight of 4.36 pounds place it within the average for gaming notebooks of the firm, and its dual ventilation system ensures proper dissipation of the heat generated by the internal components, keeping the equipment under reasonable temperatures. Sure enough it's not the lightest or most portable of laptops but that's a given when working with gaming rigs. 

Keyboard and Trackpad

The work area houses a full-sized QWERTY keyboard with a comfortable key travel distance designed to deliver maximum accuracy, ready for office editing and gaming sessions. It's also backlit but to make things interesting the backlight is green instead of your standard red greenlight for gaming notebooks. 

Likewise, the trackpad is quite spacious and comfortable, though we always recommend getting a dedicated gaming mouse for the best possible gaming experience.

Display

When it comes down to gaming, the laptop display is definietly a high-priority that's often overlooked by manufacturers. On that point the HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d has a 15.6-inch LED screen, whose best features are found in its Full HD resolution and thin side beels, in order to deliver a more immersive and, above all, realistic gaming experience.

And although its viewing angles are not very wide, its TN technology ensures a faster response in relation to IPS panels; while its matte surface and 220-nit gloss translate to correct viewing even in outdoor environments. 

That said, we generally preffer IPS panels because of its more generous viewing angles though it's quite irrelevant in any case if you're planning to use this laptop with an external gaming monitor like the Asus VG278Q we reviewed a couple of weeks prior. 

Moving onto the key components. The HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d packs a powerful hexa-core processor signed by AMD, the Ryzen 4600H to be more specific. This particular CPU packs 12 threads and has a 7nm architecture with a maximum clock-speed of 4.0 GHz and a base speed of 3.0 GHz. 

It's a very good processor. However, when you couple it with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM memory and a 256 GB SSD storage unit you've got yourself a formula for a blazing fast laptop that can handle just about anything you throw in its direction. More on upgrading these features later on in this review. 

Specifically with this set of specs - as assured by its buyers - you will be able to experience more fluid and productive work sessions under the most varied tasks, including virtualization, 3D CAD modeling, graphic design, programming, photo, and video editing, and, of course, the typical computing tasks such as streaming movies, editing documents and the likes.

The HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d implements the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics controller, containing 4 GB of dedicated memory to allow you to enjoy video games of various genres, including some recently launched titles.

Specifically, this graphics card is optimized to run the stealth action game Hitman 3 (64 fps - FHD), the first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (61 fps - HD), and the quintessential soccer simulator. , FIFA 21 (77 fps - 4K). 

Ark, minecraft, fortnite and red dead redemption are other titles that the 15-ec1073d is ready to take on, though we would recommend upping the RAM for the most hardcore players out there.

Ports and Connectivity

To stay connected and productive wherever you go, this notebook features Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless adapters, an RJ-45 network port, and a reversible USB-C input with data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps.

Likewise, it incorporates 2 USB-A inputs for peripherals, an HDMI 2.0 output for external monitors, a multi-format SD slot, a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones, and a webcam with HD resolution for video calls.

Speaker-wise there's a pair of stereo speakers signed by Bang & Olufsen, whose discreet quality can easily be optimized by connecting an external solution, be it specialized headphones or external speakers. If that's what you're going for these days you can buy some pretty awesome bluetooth speakers below the 50-dollar mark. 

Autonomy

As for the battery life we've got a 52.5 Wh lithium polymer battery that, according to the official information provided by the manufacturer, offers a duration of just over 8 hours of mixed use, that is, office automation and navigation tasks with reduced brightness. 

As a good 6 hours rule of thumb we typically suggest assuming actual battery life will be roughly 30% below advertised numbers, so a good 6 hours under mixed usage seems just about right. In any case, even 5 hours is quite generous when it comes to gaming laptops. 


Can the RAM / Storage be upgraded?

Memory-wise, it should be said that this model incorporates 2 slots to allow a maximum expansion up to 32 GB of memory. Would definietly recommend upgrading for at least another 8 GB of RAM if you're planning to use this for gaming or serious multitasking. This is the module you need to buy if that's what your planning to do. 

When it comes down to upgrading the storage on this laptop you have the possibility of adding another storage unit. 

In this case we would definietly urge you to at least consider implementing another 500 GB SSD unit. They are quite affordable these days and if you have several games or just an extensive media library then you won't be disapointed you chose to go in that direction. 

Bottom line: is the HP Pavilion 15-ec1073d worth buying?

In closing this review, we've got to admit that HP has really delivered on this gaming laptop. Sure enough we would've liked to see an IPS panel instead of a TN panel and some extra RAM right off the bat would've been a nice touch. 

However, ultimately, this is the perfect gaming laptop for those who are looking to get a powerful desktop replacement and not break the bank while they're at it. Also, the user has the option to add more RAM or Storage as we pointed out earlier so that's really not an issue in most cases.

Having said that, if you're in the market for an affordable gaming laptop and you have already discarded other interesting options such as the similarly priced but arguably better speced Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-59KS then you're not going to be disapointed. 

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