I think the Pavilion Aero 13 is a very good machine, with a solid thin-and-light body and performance that punches well above its weight. For some people, the 5800U running the show is enough of a reason to buy one of these that everything else is broadly immaterial. Do I wish it was priced a little more aggressively? Yes, because I could forgive the learning curve with the keyboard if it was a hundred bucks cheaper. Despite the keyboard and sound, though, it’s a good machine for folks who want a little bit of everything.
If I were shopping for a device under $800, the base Pavilion Aero 13 is what I’d buy. The main things I see as compromises are the chassis quality, the bad audio, and the lack of backlit keyboard for the base price. If those are issues for you, you can improve upon them for a similar price (depending on discounts) if you go for an Envy instead.
The Pavilion Aero 13 is all about portability, display quality, and processor performance for an affordable price. The huge weight savings alone make it worth considering over last year's model especially for travelers and students.
Hands on: The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is ultralight at under a kilogram, it has a lot of power that doesn’t break the bank, it has a great display with FHD+ and QHD+ options, and it feels premium. I’m really excited to spend more time with it.