HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) review – crippled by 35W processors

HP releases an updated Pavilion Gaming 15 laptop a bit late to make a big impact. But you never know as this series is generally the entry point for gamers on the mobile front. However, looking at the listings of the device, especially those units, equipped with an RTX 3050/RTX 3050 Ti, we see a surprisingly high price.

Here is the moment to say that the Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) comes with a Tiger Lake H35 processor inside. It is inferior to the H45 counterparts when it comes to gaming, due to the low core count (4 cores and 8 threads). And the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti are only coming with 60W of TGP.

With that said, HP has a lot to make up with battery life and build quality. And the latter is highly unlikely since this machine shares the same plastic body we’ve seen for two years in a row.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-pavilion-gaming-15-15-dk0000-dk1000/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) review – crippled by 35W processors - Specs

  • BOE080D
  • Color accuracy  5.1  2.6
  • LGD05FE
  • Color accuracy  2.8  1.2
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD + up to 2000GB HDD
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro
  • Battery
  • 52.5Wh, 3-cell, 52Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • - x - x 23.4 mm (0.00" x 0.00" x 0.92")
  • Weight
  • 2.23 kg (4.9 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 3x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD 720p
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Digital dual-array microphones
  • Speakers
  • Optical drive

All HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, you will find some paper manuals and a 200W power adapter. It is good that they have not limited the power input. As we saw with the IdeaPad Pro (16″), this can make a difference.


Design and construction

As we said, this laptop comes in a plastic outfit. It is pretty much the same body, we saw in 2019. Unfortunately, the build quality is not great. The material is soft with the base being flexy, and the keyboard – bendy. This machine has a profile of 23.4mm and weighs 2.23 kilos – pretty average for a gaming device.

Interestingly, the lid can be opened with a single hand. Unfortunately, the hinges are placed in the middle of the base, which results in a very unstable structure. In addition to that, the lid is super flexy, and it bounces when you pop it open. On the bright side, there is an HD Web camera above the matte display.

Then, we move to the keyboard. It represents a familiar unit with green printing and backlight. In addition, it features a NumberPad section, while the “Up” and “Down” Arrow keys are half-sized. Ultimately, there is decent key travel, and rather clicky feedback, making it a good unit for typing. Above it, you’ll see a weirdly-shaped grill, acting as a speaker cutout.

And below the keyboard, there is the touchpad. It is a plastic unit with average gliding and decent tracking.

If you look at the bottom panel you will see the ventilation grill. On the back, there are two vents, which act as heat exhaust.


Ports

The left side of the device houses an HDMI 2.0 connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, a LAN port, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port with DisplayPort 1.4 output, and an SD card reader. Then, on the right, you get the charging plug, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and an audio jack.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To open this device, you need to undo 7 Phillips-head screws, holding the bottom panel in place. Then, pry it with a plastic tool and remove it from the chassis.

The battery inside has a capacity of 52.5Wh. It lasted us for 8 hours of Web browsing, or more than 6 hours of video playback. To take the battery out of the device, you need to undo 4 Phillips-head screws. Then, unplug the connector from the motherboard.

Here, we see a classic setup. There are two SODIMM slots for memory upgrades. And for the storage, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, and a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay. In our case, there is a SATA device present. If you want to switch it for a larger or a faster drive, you need to undo three Phillips-head screws.

In terms of cooling, there are two heat pipes, shared between the CPU and the GPU. Additionally, there is one heat pipe for the graphics memory, and one for the voltage regulation.


Display quality

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) comes with a Full HD IPS panel, model number BOE080D. Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

The viewing angles are good. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 285 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 273 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6920K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 70% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.11 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1260:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display is limited just to 90% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 37 ms – very slow panel.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000)’s panel uses PWM for all brightness levels, except the maximum. In addition, the pulsations have a low frequency, and a low fill coefficient when the luminance is not high. This induces fatigue to the eyes during long gaming or working sessions.


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) configurations with 15.6″ BOE080D (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000)’s speakers are not great. The sound has deviations across the entire frequency spectrum, while the maximum volume is really low.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-pavilion-15.6-inch-gaming-laptop-pc-15-dk2000/2100372084

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s 52.5Wh battery lasts for 7 hours and 58 minutes of Web browsing, or 6 hours and 24 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

This version of the device comes with Tiger Lake-H35 processors, like the Core i5-11300H, and the Core i7-11370H.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

And for graphics, you get to choose from the GTX 1650, RTX 3050 (60W), and RTX 3050 Ti (60W).

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk0000, dk1000, dk2000) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

Metro Exodus Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
Average FPS 100 fps 45 fps 21 fps

Borderlands 3 Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
Average fps 89 fps 62 fps 46 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) Full HD, Lowest (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings)
Average 124 fps 82 fps 72 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings)
Average fps 79 fps 72 fps 63 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-11370H (35W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) 4.09 GHz (B+24%) @ 94°C @ 63W 4.01 GHz (B+22%) @ 91°C @ 61W 3.55 GHz (B+8%) @ 79°C @ 44W
ASUS VivoBook Pro 16X OLED (N7600) 4.01 GHz (B+22%) @ 95°C @ 61W 3.81 GHz (B+15%) @ 95°C @ 53W 3.80 GHz (B+15%) @ 95°C @ 49W
ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 UX564 3.66 GHz (B+11%) @ 92°C @ 43W 3.47 GHz (B+5%) @ 91°C @ 38W 3.39 GHz (B+3%) @ 92°C @ 34W
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE (PT314-51s) 3.97 GHz (B+20%) @ 95°C @ 64W 4.03 GHz (B+22%) @ 97°C @ 63W 3.87 GHz (B+17%) @ 93°C @ 50W
ASUS TUF Dash F15 (FX516) 4.01 GHz (B+22%) @ 78°C @ 64W 4.00 GHz (B+21%) @ 82°C @ 64W 3.96 GHz (B+20%) @ 90°C @ 60W

Here, you can see that HP prefers a bit lower temperature to higher clock speed. Of course, this is when it comes to long sustained loads.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max fan)
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000) 1613 MHz @ 65°C @ 60W 1576 MHz @ 73°C @ 60W
MSI Sword 15 1633 MHz @ 73°C @ 60W 1605 MHz @ 79°C @ 60W 1644 MHz @ 69°C @ 60W
Dell XPS 15 9510 1187 MHz @ 74°C @ 40W 1293 MHz @ 75°C @ 44W
Dell G15 5511 1882 MHz @ 71°C @ 88W 1878 MHz @ 72°C @ 89W
Dell G15 5515 1857 MHz @ 76°C @ 80W 1850 MHz @ 77°C @ 80W
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-57) 1616 MHz @ 70°C @ 66W 1607 MHz @ 72°C @ 65W 1632 MHz @ 69°C @ 66W
MSI Katana GF76 1619 MHz @ 76°C @ 60W 1594 MHz @ 82°C @ 60W 1632 MHz @ 70°C @ 60W

Ultimately, the same can be said about the graphics performance. Other than that, the Pavilion Gaming 15 bodes well against the MSI Sword 15. However, the MSI offers the opportunity to manually boost the fans, while the HP lacks such an option.

Gaming comfort

On the bright side, the laptop isn’t too loud, while the warmest spot on the keyboard was right in the middle, and around 45°C.


Verdict

When it comes to the visuals, HP definitely takes a different approach from the rest of the field. Instead of the usual Black and Red combination, it pairs the dark color of the body with bright green surrounding the logo, and the same green color printed on the keyboard.

However, the build quality is questionable, and we really want to see HP improving this device in 2022. Actually, this is one of the points where the laptop falls behind the competition in this segment. Thankfully, the battery life is decent with 8 hours of Web browsing, or 6 hours and a half of video playback.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (15-dk2000)’s IPS panel (BOE080D) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a good contrast ratio. It also covers 90% of the sRGB color gamut. Unfortunately, it uses aggressive, low-frequency PWM for all brightness levels (except for the maximum). On the other hand, our Health-Guard profile completely resolves the issue. What it can’t do, however, is to make the pixel response time faster. Yep, this gaming laptop is equipped with a super slow panel.

On the other hand, the I/O is pretty good, and although you don’t get a Thunderbolt 4 connector, the USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) offers a DisplayPort 1.4 output. In addition to that, there are three fast USB Type-A ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI 2.0 connector, and a LAN port.

The same can be said for the internal ports, where you get access to two SODIMM slots for memory expansion, an M.2 PCIe x4 slot for SSDs, and a 2.5-inch drive bay for SATA storage.

At the end of the day, HP didn’t choose the best CPUs for gaming. The quad-core Tiger Lake-H35 chips can bottleneck even the RTX 3050 Ti. A better offering, in this case, would be the MSI Sword 15, or the Lenovo Legion 5i (15″, 2021). Both of which surprisingly come at a better price.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-pavilion-gaming-15-15-dk0000-dk1000/

Pros

  • Adequate price
  • Good keyboard with decent travel, big arrows, and a backlight
  • Decent cooling solution
  • Covers 91% of sRGB (BOE080D)
  • Feature-packed I/O (includes an SD card slot)


Cons

  • Lacks Thunderbolt connectivity
  • Build quality could have been better
  • 35W CPUs are not the best for gaming
  • Uses aggressive PWM fixed by our Health-Guard profile (BOE080D)
  • Slow pixel response time (BOE080D)

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