HP's Pavilion laptops go (nearly) full metal for back to school season

It's that time of year again where students return from their Easter or Spring Breaks, and HP appears well equipped for people heading back to school with a completely refreshed line of Pavilion laptops: both standard and in x360, 2-in-1 laptop variants – and that come with metallic chassis. 

Both versions of the updated laptops bring brand new features to the line, namely fast-charging and a new approach to "pre-installed" apps, or bloatware. HP claims that its fast charge tech can bring a Pavilion from an empty battery to 90% in under 90 minutes. 

Bloatware, on the other hand, is now handled by something called "HP JumpStart". This tool leaves fewer pre-installed apps on new HP devices, but allows the user to then install a selection of apps a la carte that would otherwise just be slapped onto the desktop.

What's inside, and when can I get one?

HP is pricing its Pavilion line of straight student-focused laptops in a strange way this time, with the 14-inch model starting at $699 (about £560, AU$920). This model comes packing a Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 processor, 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, but is also the most changed of the three sized models, with screen bezels that are 51% smaller left to right and 19% smaller top to bottom. This model also drops the optical drive slot, reducing thickness from 22mm to 19mm. 

Meanwhile, the Pavilion 15 and 17 come with less impressive base specs, including AMD A12 processors and only 8GB of RAM for $599 (about £480, AU$790) and $629 (about £500, AU$830), respectively. Both have optional optical drive upgrades as well as optional IR webcams for Windows 10 secure login via Windows Hello.

From there, you can upgrade every model with up to the latest Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 CPUs while adding discrete (entry-level) graphics from both Nvidia Geforce and AMD Radeon. Meanwhile, storage is upgradable to a 512GB SSD plus 2TB hard drive on the larger Pavilion 15 and 17. All models are up for sale right now.

The x360 Pavilion variants come in 11.6, 14 and 15.6-inch screen sizes, and are surprisingly lower-priced than their standard clamshell cousins, going for $349 (about £280, AU$460), $449 (about £360, AU$590) and $579 (about £460, AU$760) respectively to start.

All of these Pavilion x360 models come supporting Kaby Lake Intel Core processors, up to 512GB of solid-state storage and your choice of Nvidia or AMD graphics (entry-level). These are also now available to buy.

Both versions of HP's Pavilion laptops come in a variety of colors, with the standard lot getting more colorful options like "opulent blue." Plus, both types of Pavilion come in some variety of metal framing and offer tons of screen options from resolution (HD to FHD) to panel type (TN and IPS).

HP rates the straight Pavilion line for up to 10 hours of battery life, while the x360 versions can apparently last up to 12 hours. We'll be sure to put that to the test should we be able to give these new daily drivers the full gamut of TechRadar testing.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.