Lately, HP's efforts at wooing gamers looking for portable power have been mostly limited to the company's high-end Omen lineup. The PC maker is going after the big group of folks that want a slim laptop with gaming capabilities for less than a couple grand with its refreshed Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15. In typical HP fashion, buyers have tons of options for the Gaming 15. Shoppers get multiple choices for processor sub-family, discrete graphics cards, display type, plus the usual variations in memory and storage capacity.
The Gaming 15's processor choices all hail from Intel's eighth-generation Core family, but buyers can select from lower-power U-series models or hard-hitting H-series varieties. HP didn't name any specific CPU models, but it did say six-core silicon would be available. The machine has an M.2 slot and a 2.5" bay for storage devices, ready to be filled with just a 2-TB hard drive, a 256-GB SSD by itself, or dual-storage options that come with both. HP will also offer Core i+ configurations with a hard drive and a 16-GB Intel Optane Memory device.
As for the gaming-specific hardware, the screen is always a 15.6" unit, but buyers get to pick from 1920×1080 panels that refresh at either 60 or 144 Hz, or a 3840×2160 version that changes 60 times per second. The pixel panel gets marching orders from cards including AMD's Radeon RX 560X and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q. HP says the speakers mounted to the keyboard deck surface were designed in conjunction with audio specialist Bang & Olufsen.
Onlookers will be able to pick out players that dropped the extra scratch for the faster H-series versions of the Pavillion Gaming Laptop 15 thanks to an aluminum-finished keyboard deck and "acid green," "ghost white," or "ultraviolet" keyboard lighting and I/O labels. Gaming 15s with U-series chips get a black plastic keyboard trim and white embellishments. The keyboard backlight is optional on these models.
HP's Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 will go on sale on May 27. Prices start at $799 for the base model, though the manufacturer didn't say what hardware buyers would get for that amount.