HP TECH TAKES
Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Best HP Touch Screen Laptops
December 27, 2018
Consumer touch screen technology is relatively new for computers, but there are already a variety of intuitive options on the market. For home and office use, HP’s laptop lines boast a range of touch-enabled laptops at varying price points. Whether you want to use touch for specific tasks or you’re shifting more of your routine to this format, there are plenty of options and advantages to consider.
Touch screen hardware is designed to accommodate your style of work and use. It can improve a relatively traditional workspace, help you break out of those traditional limitations altogether, or just find the perfect balance. Thanks to HP®, you have choices between conventional form factors, 2-in-1 laptops, and detachable laptop models that are all designed to help you save both at checkout and over time.
Let’s start out by talking about when you may find the greatest advantage from touch screen technology, because a good touch-enabled laptop should add comfort and value to your daily routine - even if you aren’t a daily user.
When should you consider a touch screen laptop?
While touch screen laptops often suggest collaborative or specialist uses, there are plenty of reasons to prefer them over a typical configuration.
One of the biggest potential advantages is saved space. Depending on how much you favor touch interactions or how much your routine centers on it, you can at least cut out your mouse and maybe even skip the keyboard with detachable models.
This can provide a big boost to real estate on your desk or workspace since it reduces the number of cables and can help you avoid the occasionally finicky nature of wireless hardware. It also reduces the need for cleaning or maintenance, because you’ll simply have less hardware exposed to wear and the accumulation of particulates.
If you’re particularly tired of seeing gunk around your mechanical keyboard keys and USB mouse, nothing will take care of that better than cutting out the keyboard and mouse altogether and embracing touch-based computing.
Without all that extra hardware, the other big gain is portability. Move around with a single, discrete device and then try to do the same with a wired setup and you’ll see what we mean.
Many of HPs best large and small touch screen laptop variants also feature adaptive hinges and 2-in-1 functionality, allowing users to operate them essentially like a super-powered tablet.
Are there any potential drawbacks to touch screen laptops vs non-touch?
While touch screen displays offer a more intuitive computing experience, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. For now, visually impaired users will face some of the biggest obstacles for touch computing.
Also, given its sensitivity, some users will probably prefer a customized setup that may take some time to get used to. More generally, touch is probably not ideal for users who don’t want to have to handle their notebook directly for interactions.
Optional Corning Gorilla Glass for durability and regular use
While they’re totally safe for regular use, it’s normal to have some anxiety about the potential for cracks with a touch screen. And if you think your routine is active enough to make you worry about exposing your laptop to these types of issues, consider additional laptop warranty protections and laptop upgrades.
To enjoy the most durable display protection, you’ll definitely want to add optional protective screens like Corning® Gorilla® Glass. This glass from the industry’s leader provides an ultrathin display barrier that’s been chemically treated to provide greater resilience.
Accessible touch computing with HP®
A touch screen laptop display is often still thought of as a premium feature, but the spectrum for quality and price has expanded in every direction. For consumers, this generally means two things: first, more bang for your buck when shopping for high-end devices, and second, a cheaper point of entry at the lower end.
If you’re looking for an affordable notebook that has a touch screen and a unique suite of optimizations for the web, you’re in luck with both the HP Chromebook and HP Stream. These two innovative laptop families leverage the cloud to keep performance high and your costs at checkout low.
The efficient and affordable Chromebook from HP and Google
The HP Chromebook is a compact and efficient laptop with two optional form factors featuring either an 11-inch or 14-inch diagonal display. It also boasts a high degree of portability compared to just about anything else on the market.
Where other dimensions are concerned, the 11-inch model is a featherweight that starts well below 3 lbs and measures only 18.4 mm thick. The 14-inch model is even thinner at only 17.8 mm, and it weighs just a pound more.
Powered by an Intel® Celeron® processor with integrated graphics and 8GB of LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM, it’s also ideal for school. Even more so thanks to a dynamic education edition (EE) tailored to students and teachers, with up to 12 hours of battery life, a Corning Gorilla Glass display barrier to reduce wear, and a co-molded industrial rubber exterior for extra protection.
This edition is also available in a convertible format with the HP Chromebook G1 x360 11-inch laptop, which boasts a strong hinge and a range of adaptive user modes.
Hybrid web-optimization with the Education-Edition HP Stream notebook
For students, the HP Stream Pro G4 11-inch notebook is another standout touch screen device, and its price and perks hold up well compared to other lines. Blending the HP Chromebook’s web and storage optimization but with a traditional OS, the HP Stream starts off with an Intel Celeron N3450 processor featuring integrated Intel HD Graphics 500.
With the HP Stream, HP® has worked to reduce the cost and the device’s hardware strain by shifting its primary storage to the cloud with Microsoft® OneDrive. If you don’t want to depend entirely on the cloud, you won’t have to thanks to 128GB of eMMC internal storage that offers near-SSD levels of efficiency. Even better, you’ll work with the boost of Microsoft’s sophisticated Windows 10 Pro 64.
Versatility with the HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop
For a strong, mid-range entry into HP convertible laptop lines, the HP Pavilion x360 15-inch laptop is affordable but still features great specs and portability. The primary advantage of a convertible like this is its flexibility, which is why HP® put extra attention into the durable geared hinges to support different work styles and comfortable 360-degree use.
Four different modes of use
This device’s versatility starts out with its traditional laptop orientation, which has the keyboard in front and the display angled to your comfort. At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, is its full conversion to tablet mode, where you’re mostly working with your touch screen display with an HP stylus pen for interactions.
In between these two modes are different configurations that allow you to hide your keyboard in various ways based on your use.
For slideshows and presentations, for example, you can easily steeple the display and keyboard for a comfortable view. You can also stabilize your setup by resting the keyboard upside down for streaming.
Hardware and features
There’s more to the HP Pavilion x360 than that, though, because it offers competitive features starting with the latest quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core™ i5 processor and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620.
It also ships with 6GB of DDR4-2400 SDRAM and a 1TB HDD, though there’s room for two if you choose to upgrade. It’s environmentally friendly, too, and has the ENERGY STAR® seal of approval.
It’s no slouch for multimedia, either, thanks to dual HP speaker banks, HP Audio Boost, and tuning by the experts at Bang & Olufsen Play.
This is a highly portable convertible. It weighs less than 5 lbs and has a long-lasting battery that supports up to 9 hours and 15 minutes of regular use or 8 hours 45 minutes streaming - all on a single charge.
Premium touch screen computing with the HP Spectre x360
Looking for a little more processing power or hardware capacity, but still favor the convenience and flexibility of a convertible model? The next step up is the HP Spectre x360 line with its versatile size and hardware configurations. These laptops also feature perks like Bang & Olufsen quad-speakers and the power of Windows 10 Pro 64, in addition to other premium options you can customize.
Affordability with the 13-inch HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop
The line opens with the compact HP Spectre x360 13-inch laptop, which has an accessible price and comfortable 13.3-inch touch display. It also includes an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB of LPDDR3-2133 SDRAM, and an upgrade to efficient SSD storage with 256GB to start.
You can choose between Full High Definition (FHD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays, but bear in mind the choice will factor into your battery life. An FHD display will get up to 16 hours and 45 minutes of battery life, while the UHD provides more than 10 hours. Both configurations are ENERGY STAR certified.
At less than the 3 lbs and with enough power to outpace even the longest workday, this HP Spectre is a strong option when convenience is a real priority.
Boost your display space with the 15-inch HP Spectre x360 laptop
If you want a top-of-the-line model with extra screen real estate, consider the HP Spectre x360 15-inch laptop.
Its base specs include an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and powerful Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics, so it’s prepared for complex and visually demanding tasks.
It also includes 16GB of DDR4-2400 SDRAM and 1TB of efficient PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD storage. Even with all that power, it still weighs less than 5 lbs. It sports a stylish dark ash silver finish, too, so it looks as good as it performs.
The leather-clad 13-inch HP Spectre Folio laptop
When a high degree of craftsmanship, comfort, and performance is your absolute priority, HP offers touch functionality on one of its most high-end laptop designs, the HP Spectre Folio line.
Designed for comfort and style, the HP Spectre Folio 13-inch leather laptop weighs just over 3 lbs and is finished with 100% genuine leather that makes taking this device on-the-go even easier.
Comfort won’t cost you on performance, however. The HP Spectre Folio ships with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of LPDDR3-1866 SDRAM, and 256GB of highly efficient PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. It also comes standard with Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the display in addition to quad-speakers by Bang & Olufsen for solid audio.
Performance HP ZBook workstation laptops for engineers and animators
With the HP ZBook line, you’ll find a slew of touch screen laptops tailor-made specifically for artists, engineers, and designers - anyone whose routine depends on huge amounts of data and complex visuals.
The HP ZBook G5 15-inch mobile workstation starts with a high-speed Intel Xeon® processor and both Intel UHD Graphics 630 alongside a powerful NVIDIA Quadro® P600 graphics cards. It also packs 16GB of DDR4-2666 SDRAM, two extra SODIMM slots, and a long-life battery to help keep you mobile.
Looking for a detachable laptop version?
Within the HP ZBook series, there are several detachable options to choose from including the HP ZBook G4 x2 detachable laptop workstation.
It’s not strictly a convertible, but this HP ZBook allows for a keyboard-free tablet mode and even features extra display support in case you want to take full advantage of the wireless keyboard.
Its specs include an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA Quadro M620 graphics in addition to 16GB of DDR4-2133 SDRAM and 512GB of super-responsive HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SED SSD storage. This HP ZBook features its own high-capacity battery for extended use, too.
Comfort and ease of use with HP touch screen laptops
With such a range of options, HP® offers touch-enabled laptop models to suit just about any need, from casual to complex routines with everything in between.
Whether you’re a student with a small range of tasks or a professional engineer with a to-do list that seems to make itself, touch screen displays are more convenient and more powerful than ever.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.