HP TECH TAKES
Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
HP Laptop Buying Guide
December 1, 2018
There are so many laptop choices on the market today that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Thankfully, the reality of having so many options assures shoppers that there is a perfect choice available for your unique and important needs.
Whether you want a laptop for entertainment, college, or your new business, there is an HP laptop model designed just for you. Answer your own thoughts of “what laptop should I buy?” by using our handy buying guide for laptops.
Do you think a powerful gaming experience needs to be done on a desktop? Think again. These powerful notebook computers are designed for the gamer on-the-go. Lose nothing and gain freedom with HP OMEN gaming laptops.
1. HP OMEN 15-inch gaming laptop
The amazing NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 graphics with Max-Q design options and up to 32GB4 DDR4 RAM really sets this laptop apart, and you can see every graphic detail on the truly portable 15-inch screen. Skip the jitter and freezing of lesser laptops, thanks to the best in Intel® Core™ processors.
While the HP OMEN 15t gaming laptop comes standard with all the ports to accommodate your favorite accessories or VR headset, you’ll also get a great experience through the Bang & Olufsen on-case speakers. Store all your games, files, and strategy guides with 1TB of HDD storage.
2. HP OMEN 17-inch gaming laptop
Want everything we mentioned above, but on a bigger screen? Get all the greatness of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics on 17 inches of amazing action-packed scenes.
Like the HP OMEN 15t, the HP OMEN 17t gaming laptop offers single-panel access to easily upgrade your RAM, SSD and HDD whenever you feel like taking your gameplay to the next level.
Both of these laptops are making a name for HP® as a gaming industry power player.
Whether you compete in tournaments abroad or just want to move from your bedroom to the family room, your games can go everywhere you go with the HP OMEN gaming laptop series.
When portable and affordable are at the top of your requirement list, there’s no better choice than an HP notebook. Some of them are incredibly light and small, making them a good choice for traveling and transporting to and from class. Take a look at the highlights from the HP® lineup that are built with your budget in mind.
1. HP Chromebook
When you need a smaller, lighter notebook that works without a lot of unnecessary extras, consider the very affordable HP Chromebook family. The 11-inch HP Chromebook model runs on a trusted Intel Celeron processor, offering all the power you need to browse the web, email, create documents, and connect on social media.
This model runs on the Chrome OS, so you aren’t paying for additional licensed software to do your daily tasks. This streamlined operating system also means you won’t be waiting long from startup to productivity as you’ll access all your favorite Google and Android apps in no time. You also get more than 11 hours of laptop battery life.
Looking for a slightly larger screen? Get more from your web experience with the 14-inch HP Chromebook model. It’s the perfect laptop for students, casual users, and anyone who spends most of their computing time on the web and using Google apps like YouTube, Gmail, and Google Docs.
2. HP Stream laptop
A model that’s similar in size and capability to the HP Chromebook is the HP Stream 11-inch laptop. This model uses a simplified Windows Home operating system in S mode, so you can browse the web securely wherever you have a WiFi connection. Office 365 Personal is included, so you can create documents and store your personal files safely in the cloud.
The portability of this laptop is superb. Boasting slim design and a bold blue color, it’s a uniquely equipped solution for your on-the-go web needs and also offers more than 12 hours of battery life. This laptop is best suited for those who primarily use the internet on their computers. If you use social media, video chat, web research, and cloud-based apps, this is a perfect, budget-friendly laptop choice.
3. HP Notebook
When you need more computing power than a Celeron processor can provide, the 15-inch HP Notebook really delivers. It boasts a dual core 5th Generation Intel Core i3 processor, so you have less lag and can get more things done. Play and work are equally rewarding thanks to the rich High Definition (HD) display that shows your favorite movies and photos with the brilliance they deserve.
The HP Fast Charge battery gets you from no power to working again in less time, and it provides more than 8 hours of productivity between charges. The 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage are more than adequate for enjoying your favorite files, movies, and more.
This notebook is a good choice for students and anyone needing access to multimedia files. Create, communicate, and browse the web with a slightly more compact screen than the HP Stream and HP Chromebooks.
4. HP 14z laptop
Another modestly priced option, this HP 14-inch laptop has a compact screen but offers big fun thanks to its full-sized keyboard and modern color options that make it a joy to use and show off to others.
Choose from jet black, natural silver, pale gold, smoke gray, scarlet red, twilight blue, or snow white when buying this laptop. You can also expand your computing capabilities with an array of graphics cards, processing chips, and onboard storage. You can even get up to 1TB storage for all of your most precious files.
Pick this device if you want all the goodies of an entry-level laptop, plus extra upgrade options for more memory, storage, and display. It’s a dream for those who want to customize and buy exactly what they want.
If you have big, bold computing requirements, a desktop may be a tempting choice. Fortunately, today’s HP laptops have just as much to offer as a stationary tower, even giving you access to wireless networking options and collaboration features that traditional desktop computers just don’t provide. Check out the powerful solutions available in this section of our laptop guide.
1. HP EliteBook workstation
Advancing in your career requires innovation, flexibility, and the ability to go wherever new challenges take you. The HP EliteBook series is here to help with the best of business-class computing features to move you along. The entire line offers sleek, durable, and secure laptops that run on Windows Pro and incorporate the latest in security features to protect your most sensitive business data.
Choose something as minimalist as the 12.5-inch screen, or go bold with models measuring bigger than 15 inches in brilliant HD display options. The entire HP EliteBook line comes with impressive management and networking features, too, so you can feel like you’re at the office - even when you’re not.
If you need to get serious work done on the road, there is an HP EliteBook for your needs. With a range of processing, memory, and display options, you can get the gold standard of security and efficiency in the design you love most.
2. HP ZBook Studio workstation
Another incredible performer is the entire line of HP ZBook Studio laptops. From the convertible HP ZBook Studio x360 to the detachable HP ZBook Studio x2, there is an option for anyone who wants to create high-quality artistic work or refine projects to be their absolute best.
Creative professionals will adore the touch screen that lets you scroll or zoom with one hand and sketch with the other. An incredible array of ports lets you add your choice of accessories, transfer files, share screens, and more. All laptops in this family also come with the option for up to 10TB of hard drive storage space.
Photographers, video editors, artists, and designers have many choices for a laptop that helps them excel at their job. Only the HP ZBook Studio workstation line has so many ways to do it in amazing, real-time processing speeds. If you’re looking to spend less time waiting for renders, with brand partnerships with tools like Wacom, this is the line for you.
For those who aren’t sure what to look for in a laptop, it may help to compare it to devices you’re already familiar with using. Are you a tablet fan? Do you adore your smartphone? Would you like to use your laptop in the same manner?
Convertible laptops are popular among users who like using their gadgets for everything. Check out our top picks for 360-degree versatility in a laptop you can take everywhere.
1. HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop
There are almost a dozen options in the HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop line, and each boasts some pretty incredible perks. For one, they easily fold from laptop to tablet and back again. Also, with an amazing, precision touch screen, you can create almost anything, including detailed graphics with a compatible pen and Windows Ink software.
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models offer brilliant display effects and are ideal for the tasks creative professionals do most: 4K video editing, inking and 3D rendering, and photo editing.
Battery life ranges from 13 hours to more than 16 hours, too, making it a must-have for doing work both in and away from the office. Incredible cooling power, a vast array of external ports, durable screen materials, and an amazing ability to stay cool are just a sampling of the things that the HP Spectre x360 laptops do best.
Perfect for anyone in the creative professions, the line is designed to do more, faster, and with incredible responsiveness. Plus, you’ll see your work look its absolute best with the amazing 4K display.
2. HP ENVY x360 convertible laptop
If you don’t need quite as much power, the HP ENVY x360 convertible laptop line will do just as nicely. These models are made to run on today’s most impressive consumer processors, the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor being the most popular and capable choice.
With a screen size choice between 13 and 15 inches, as well as a variety of memory and graphics options, it’s a customizable way to get just what you need from a convertible laptop and at a price that works with your budget.
If you're wavering between buying a mid-priced laptop and a tablet with adequate storage, go for the HP ENVY x360 laptop. With up to 1TB of storage available, you can’t find a better choice for tablet lovers.
3. HP ENVY x2 detachable laptop
Not quite a convertible laptop, the HP ENVY x2 detachable laptop is more of a 2-in-1 product combining the portability of a laptop with the reliability of notebook. The touch screen display can completely detach from the case and keyboard to provide a versatile experience for browsing, drawing, chatting, and more.
With an integrated Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ x16 LTE modem, you can also access the internet anywhere there’s a 4G LTE connection available - no more being limited by WiFi. Something else unique to this model is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8358 platform that lets you connect in seconds and use all of your favorite Windows applications, too.
Whether you choose to use it as a laptop or a tablet, it’s one of the most portable of all the HP laptops available. If you travel outside WiFi networks and want a tablet to meet your business or leisure needs, there’s no match for the HP ENVY x2 series. It’s great for taking on trips or for when you simply want to do more from home.
Why it pays to be curious
If the process of buying a laptop computer has you confused, you’re not alone. Many buyers put off getting a new laptop because they are so comfortable with the products they’ve been using for years.
But avoiding some of the new product perks that have hit the market recently means you may be missing out on amazing opportunities to connect, create, and produce. Don’t be afraid to explore entirely new product features you aren’t sure about. The possibilities may surprise and inspire you.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.