HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr Laptop Review

Image shows the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop display and keyboard

The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr is an attractive and affordable gaming laptop. It strikes a good balance between price and performance thanks to its Intel 8th Gen i7-8750H processor, 16GB RAM, and Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics. If you’re planning on running a few games, you’ll be pleased to know it can tear through Middle-earth: Shadow of War like a knife through Beorn’s honey cake. We also loved its long battery life, thick chassis and loudspeakers.

Pros

  • Stellar design
  • Great performance for daily productivity
  • 8th Gen 8750H processor
  • Plenty of storage (HDD and SSD)
  • Sufficient ports
  • Good battery life
  • Decent Audio

Cons

  • Dim and dull display
  • Chunky
  • Plastic chassis

We’ve all probably heard of HP because it ranks high among major laptop brands. HP is well known for its stellar designs, impressive innovations, and top-notch value and selection. In this review, we take you through HP’s new offering, the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop, HP’s new benchmark among its gaming laptop lineup. From a single glance, you’ll notice the outstanding matte case and black finish. The design resembles HP Omen 15 laptop with a few tweaks such as green accents and backlit keyboard. The full plastic built laptop packs heavy on the inside and should give you the gaming experience of a lifetime. Join us as we dig deeper to find out how it stacks against other rival laptops in its category.

 Buy the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr at Amazon

HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr Specs

Display 15.6 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
Processor Intel 8th Gen i7-8750H processor
RAM16GB RAM
Storage128GB SSD and 1TB HDD
Graphics CardNVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 4GB
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Dimensions10.01 x 14.4 x 1 inches
Weight5 pounds
Networking802.11 AC

Design and Features

The design on the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr is overall what most people will love. The design has sharper corners than rounded ones and the matte-aluminum-like surface gives off a much classier impression. It’s an effort by HP in trying to emulate a metallic case, but the chassis is all plastic. As a result, it does come with flexes. Ideally, there’s no creaking on the case, just minimal warping as you open the lid. I wouldn’t say it’s anything too much to get you worried, so take a breath.

The display opens to a maximum of only 130 degrees which we thought was pleasantly plenty. There’s very minimal branding apart from the HP logo at the bottom of the bezel once you open the lid and hood, right at the center of the chassis. The HP logo is well accented with green highlights just as the keyboard and the ports. We loved the fact that the design is subtle and doesn’t immediately scream gamer.

Opening the HP Pavilion 15 reveals two small hinges, which almost make the slim-bezel display look like it’s floating. Combine that with comfortable a keyboard with green accents and backlighting and you’ve got yourself a stylish looking gamer laptop.

Dimensions

Sitting at 10 x 14.4 x 1 inch and 5 pounds, the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr isn’t guilty of being the thinnest among its competition. In this category, the Lenovo Legion Y520 is the heaviest, weighing 5.6 pounds; the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 is the thickest, measuring 1.1 inches and our unit falls stack right in between these two at 1 inch thick. The one flaw that the HP Pavilion 15 shares with the HP Omen 15 is its thick, chunky plastic build. The HP Omen 15 weighs 5.4 pounds and measures 14.2 x 10.4 x 1.0 inches (they both have 1.0-inch thickness)HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 as our Editor’s Choice for low-to-moderate printing volume systems.​

This unit also comes with a 720P webcam situated at the center of the top bezel. Images are clear, colors a bit off but ultimately, it gets work done. The webcam is a great feature and it’ll come in handy when you need to Skype call friends and family.

Display

The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr flaunts a 15.6-inch display that runs natively at 1920 x 1080 resolution. The screen works with an IPS panel, has anti-glare and is WLED-backlit. It’s not a touchscreen display although you can find a touchscreen unit available in the configuration list. The In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen ensures the screen has wide viewing angles which is great for watching movies with family after dinner.

The contrast and black levels are decent for a mid-range laptop. Moving on, the brightness is a bit on the lower side. The display works perfectly well but don’t attempt using it under direct sunlight or brightly lit room. The brightness level, although not mentioned in HP’s page, is definitely below the 247-nit entry-level-gaming-laptop average. That said, the brightness should show every facial feature on the characters of your favorite movie or game (because the display is sharp). What you will most certainly miss is the sharp colors on images as this display won’t show colors at their best.

Connectivity

Fortunately, there are plenty of ports on this system. The left side houses 2 USB 3.0 ports, a Kensington lock, and Full-sized SD card slot. The SD card slot is really helpful here as it is great for content creation and one does not have to carry a dongle around. You simply plug in the SD card and upload all your data or multimedia into the machine.Image shows the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop right hand side ports

The right side has a bulk of other ports including an AC Power slot, and a single USB Type-C port. The USB Type-C does not support Thunderbolt but you can upgrade to the more elegant and pricier HP Omen 15. Moving on, the right side also houses a USB 3.0 port and a Full-size HDMI port.The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop left side ports

Performance

If you’re looking for a budget gaming laptop, the market is slowly filling with affordable gaming laptops. The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr just joined the ranks of affordable gaming laptops and shares this category with the likes of Dell’s G3 gaming laptop, Razer Blade and MSI GS65 Stealth. In our test, the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr destroyed every task we threw at it, only slowing down when we overzealously loaded more than a handful of tabs in the background while trying to play Grand Theft Audio V. The HP Pavilion gaming laptop performed admirably in other productivity tasks as well. And that’s all owing to the Coffee Lake H processor inside.

Tucked nice and warm under the keyboard is the Core i7-8750H processor. The processor is a high-end processor with six cores. It comes with a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz and a turbo speed of 4.1 GHz (4 GHz with 4 cores, 3.9 GHz with 6 cores) and can execute up to twelve threads simultaneously thanks to Hyper-Threading. Thanks to the extra cores, the system is great for demanding applications and games.

To be precise, the i7-8750H is faster in situations that need constant heavy processing such as exporting videos from a video editing program or maybe some CPU-heavy games. It handles light computing tasks such as web browsing and MS. Office without breaking a sweat.

Memory and storage

A larger RAM enables greater and faster multitasking potential which means with 16GB memory, the HP Pavilion is a swift and efficient multitasker. It should be capable of running demanding applications and games. Overall, while more RAM doesn’t make your processor faster, it does make it harder for it to get bogged down. You should be able to run word processing, checking emails, browsing the internet, and playing Solitaire and other AAA titles (Fallout 4, Witcher 3, and DOOM). If you want to game heavily, you can always upgrade the memory to as far as 32GB.

The Solid-state drive storage is speedy meaning you won’t have to wait long for the system to boot. Since the operating system (Windows 10) is installed on the SSD space, booting takes just a few seconds and loading programs and software is swift. The extra 1TB mechanical storage option is also great as it allows you to install more data, games, multimedia, and music.

Gaming Performance

The HP Pavilion 15’s NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics with 4GB GDDR5 memory runs like a charm. Considering GTX 1050Ti is the best budget and value card made to handle games at Full HD, it plays games maintaining high frame rates at high settings. First, the card brings to the table extra ports including a single HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI connector. The ports are reliable for connecting to an external monitor should you decide to connect on in the future.

On gaming runs, the GTX 1050Ti managed 65.5fps at Ultra settings and Full HD resolution on Dirt Rally. We tried a tougher cookie game; Shadow of Mordor, at maximum setting and Full HD resolution managed an average output of 58.3fps, which is playable without having to make any changes to graphics settings. Our final test was on Hitman, and the GTX 1050Ti managed a respectable 43 fps but dropping the settings to very high things significantly improved to 65.2 fps. Overall, the GTX 1050Ti is a beast in gaming and power consumption. You won’t find a more powerful card at its price point that’s quieter and smaller. But what we loved most is that it will handle games at Full HD resolutions at Medium and High settings which is more than respectable for this laptop.

Decent and Comfortable Keyboard

The keyboard setting is spacious and the build quality great. I have no real complaints about the keyboard itself or the touchpad. The palm rest is soft and keys are comfortable to type on considering there well evenly spaced positions. When fully pressed you can feel the somewhat mushy feel it might not sit well with others, but that’s a matter of opinion and preference. If I were to nitpick though, the keys do have lower travel than we’d like.

The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop keyboard

Further south of the keyboard is the touchpad. It’s a relatively averagely sized touchpad that is smooth to the touch with no discrete buttons as some touchpads have. Windows 10 gestures work very well with two-finger scrolling and three-finger tab switching working awesomely.

Good Battery life

The Pavilion Power has a 52Wh battery. On the battery rundown test, we took the system for a spin browsing the web on Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. Consequently, it lasted 6 hours 34 minutes after continuous browsing. With such a battery, the HP Pavilion gaming laptop beats the gaming-laptop stereotype of short battery life. 6 hours battery life should be useful for traveling and using the laptop while on the road.

SpeakersThe Bang & Olufsen speakers on the dash

HP recruited Bang & Olufsen speakers to provide the audio for this laptop. And the results, surprisingly decent and well-balanced speakers. The speakers are located on the dash, just north of the keyboard or below the display. They take up a good amount of space on the deck and because of their location the audio is loud and clear. Overall, the sound spectrum is even and you can use the speaker for listening to music or watching your favorite movies/videos.

Out Final Take

The HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr is a mid-range gaming laptop with a sleek, thick body. It is a potent gamer thanks to a strong support set of features assembled together at a reasonable and affordable price. You get a fast 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of memory, 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage and finally an Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card. With all these, it promises nothing short of the best gaming grunts and long battery life. Expect the utmost best frame rates of 60Hz at high settings. If you crave for muscular high-frame-rate performance, the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr is a superb choice. It receives our Editor’s Choice title for affordable gaming laptops amid stiff competition. For users looking for higher-end gaming laptops on a budget, the HP Omen 15-dc00030nr laptop is a worthy alternative.

Buy the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr laptop at Amazon

About Liam Weisman

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets

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