HP hopes to attract gamers on a budget with new laptops and desktops

Nobody has to tell us that PC gaming is hot, we already know that and have for a long, long time. It looks like HP has received the memo as well. The company is launching several new relatively affordable gaming products, including new laptops, desktops, and a 32-inch HDR display.

HP is hardly new to gaming, of course, though it typically leaves that sector to its Omen line. Today, however, it's rolling out a Pavilion Gaming category that is intended to attract mainstream gamers, which HP says accounts for 62 percent of a market that is growing.

"By listening to gamers and understanding their needs, HP is building an industry-leading gaming ecosystem that appeals to all segments of the market," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "With HP Pavilion Gaming, casual gamers get the best of both worlds—powerful game play on a boldly designed device that’s versatile enough to meet their everyday PC needs."

HP's timing is pretty good too, with RAM prices still running high and graphics cards in short supply.

To kick things off, HP this month will be rolling out its Pavilion Gaming 690 and 790 desktops. Starting at $549, the Pavilion Gaming 690 is the least expensive entry and comes configured with an AMD Ryzen 2200G processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It can also be configured with up to a 6-core Intel 8th generation Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, larger HDD and NVMe SSD storage options, and a Radeon RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. Those options will obviously cost more.

The Pavilion Gaming 790 is a larger, more powerful desktop. Buyers have the option of decking it out with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and up to a GeForce GTX 1080 graphic card. Pricing starts at $649 for a tamer configuration.

Buyers will be able to configure a purchase a Pavilion Gaming 690 starting April 15, and a Pavilion Gaming 790 starting April 30 on its websites. Retailers will also carry the 790, but starting June 3.

The new Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 is, as the model name suggests, a 15.6-inch laptop with a variety of panel options. They include a pair of 1080p options, one with a 144Hz refresh rate and the other with a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 4K display option (60Hz).

Pricing starts at $799, which gets you a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD accelerated with 16GB Intel Optane memory, and a Radeon RX 560X GPU.

For those who are willing to spend more, burlier setups will be available, including up to a 6-core chip from Intel, larger HDDs and NVMe SSD options, and a GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q.

The keyboard deck is made from aluminum, but is not mechanical, However, users can choose between three backlight colors—Ghost White, Acid Green, and Ultraviolet.  You'll be able to order one starting May 27.

Finally, the Pavilion Gaming 32 HDR is a new 32-inch monitor with a 2560x1440 resolution, 75Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync support.

It has a peak brightness of 600 nits and boasts VESA's DisplayHDR 600 certification, which slots into the middle tier of VESA's recent certification program between DisplayHDR 400 and DisplayHDR 1000. It also has a 6,000:1 contrast ratio.

HP has set the MSRP for its monitor at $449, with availability expected on May 11.

Overall it's a decent lineup. We still prefer going the build-it-yourself route, but there's certainly a market for prebuilt machines, especially in the current climate.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).