On Tuesday, HP launched a new line of lightweight consumer laptops called the Pavilion Aero 13.
The newest addition to HP’s affordable home-targeted lineup sports a powerful AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPU and a 2.5k resolution display at a 16:10 aspect ratio (2560×1600) and 400 nits of brightness. It weighs less than 1 kg (2.2 lb).
AMD gets a chance to shine
Most of the concrete specifications for the Aero 13 lineup are still missing—all we know aside from the display specs and weight is that the Aero 13 begins at $749, and its maximum CPU spec is Ryzen 7 5800. We’re still waiting for details on what CPU will be in that $749 system, as well as how much RAM and storage to expect.
Somewhat unusually for inexpensive laptop lines, the Pavilion Aero 13 is an AMD-only device. According to HP’s initial press release, there will be no Intel options on either the higher or lower end of the line.
AMD Senior Vice President Saeid Moshkelani, commenting on AMD’s collaboration with HP to produce the Aero 13, said that “the HP Pavilion Aero 13 is an AMD-exclusive, powered by our highly efficient AMD ‘Zen 3’ core architecture to deliver impressive performance and battery life.”
This is in sharp contrast to most competitors in the “small and cheap, but good” laptop space, such as 2020 editions of Acer’s Swift 3—an inexpensive laptop that offered a blazing-fast Ryzen 7 4700U, but only in select and frequently difficult-to-find configurations. The majority of Swift 3 laptops we’ve seen for sale offer much less compelling Intel CPUs.
We look forward to the AMD exclusivity on the Aero 13 giving consumers an easier time to find what they want—and giving AMD a better chance to get consumers’ attention.
Good looks, light weight, Windows 11 compatibility
Aero 13 will be the first Pavilion laptop to feature a full magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis and four-sided narrow bezel. It will be offered in four colors—Pale Rose Gold, Warm Gold, Ceramic White, and Natural Silver—with a sustainability-focused design. HP is using post-consumer recycled and ocean-bound plastics, as well as water-based paint (reducing VOC emissions). The Aero is also part of HP Planet Partners—a program designed to streamline and uplift resale, recycling, and reuse efforts.
That high-end chassis, which is similar to the one found in LG’s ultra-lightweight Gram lineup, contributes to the Aero 13’s startlingly low <1 kg (2.1 lb) projected weight. By comparison, the 2020 Dell XPS 13 and 2019 HP Elite Dragonfly we tested both weighed about 1.2 kg (2.5 lb).
The Aero 13’s display is also a standout in the inexpensive laptop world—HP only lists a single spec, at 400 nits of brightness (daylight bright), with 16:10 aspect ratio, 100 percent sRGB palette, and 2560×1600 resolution. Combined with the newer, thinner bezels offering a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, we expect this laptop to look a lot higher-end than its price tag would suggest. HP doesn’t specify the GPU directly, but we broadly expect this lineup to run on Radeon-integrated GPUs only.
We also know that the Aero 13 will offer Wi-Fi 6 networking—though we don’t know which chipset—and that it will offer “up to 10.5 hours of battery life,” although the latter statistic is meaningless without context. (OEMs typically assume significant amounts of idle and even suspended time in battery-life estimates.)
HP expects the Aero 13 to be upgradeable to Windows 11 later this year—not exactly a surprise in a 2021-era laptop but nice to see as an explicit call-out nonetheless.
The bottom line
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Pavilion Aero 13—what its lower-end Ryzen CPU will be, how it will be priced in higher-end configurations, how much RAM and storage it will offer, and how its battery will perform in the real world, to name a few issues—but we already know enough to be excited about testing one when they become available.
The new model’s all-Ryzen lineup should reduce consumer confusion significantly, and the price tag will put high-end features such as its extreme light weight and bright, high-res display in reach of consumers with budget constraints.
Pavilion Aero 13 laptops are expected to be available from HP’s website in July and from “select US retailers” later in the fall.