HP TECH TAKES /...

Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Explore our products
The 5 Best HP 13-inch Laptops

The 5 Best HP 13-inch Laptops

Dwight Pavlovic
|
For most users, buying a new 13-inch laptop means that you’re looking for a compact, highly mobile PC; one that offers a strong combination of both performance and portability features. As a result, finding the best 13-inch laptop usually centers on a few particular features, not just the hardware.
It’s important to research the characteristics that allow for easy travel and mobility, like weight, dimensions, battery life, energy efficiency, and connectivity. Your unique needs may also come into play, including whether you plan to use your new laptop for gaming, work, school, or something else altogether.
There are several HP laptop series with 13-inch display options in a range of prices and performance. In this article, we’ll focus on the following five laptops:
1. HP Chromebook 13 G1 laptop
2. HP ENVY 13t laptop
3. HP ProBook 430 G6 customizable notebook PC
4. HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 customizable notebook PC
5. HP Spectre x360 13-inch laptop
With top options from several of HP’s most recognizable brands, you’ll find a range of standouts to consider based on your needs. They include streamlined devices that vie for the title of best 13-inch laptop under $600, and also touch-enabled models built for collaboration and versatility in your workspace.
These highly compact devices won’t bog you down on the road or eat up space on your desk or in your office, and most of them meet the industry’s current Ultrabook standard for performance and size.

Built for versatility with convertible options

The compact design of most 13-inch laptops makes them ideal for 2-in-1 convertible layouts. Designed to offer the performance and reliability of a PC in a more adaptable configuration, 2-in-1 configurations allow you to use your device as a traditional laptop or as a tablet. Simply fold the keyboard back and use your device like a high-powered tablet with long battery life and the perk of more powerful hardware.
These laptops often have a strong hinge and robust touch screen display, allowing you to easily adapt to whatever life or work throws at you. Whether it’s cramped travel conditions, a non-conventional office setup, or the specific needs of a new project, convertibility provides a viable alternative to the standard laptop layout.
You’ll be able to identify HP’s 2-in-1 convertible laptops by the “x360” designation in their full product name, and with so many variants available it should be easy to find the best 13-inch 2-in-1 laptop for you.

The 5 best HP 13-inch laptops

1. HP Chromebook 13 G1 laptop

The first entry in our list is the HP Chromebook 13 G1 and it’s among the most affordable 13-inch laptops on the market. It also has a unique operating system that makes it more adaptable to an increasingly wireless world.
Whether it’s a complement to a home desktop setup or a regular handheld device, students and professionals alike will find a robust device designed to make your routine more efficient. Let’s start with an introduction to the HP Chromebook’s Chrome OS and how you can get the most out of this technology.
Meet the Chrome OS
The growing world of Chromebook PCs is intended as a platform for Google’s efficient, primarily web-based Chrome OS. Making use of improvements to wireless technology, it uses a built-in combination of Intel® Dual Band Wireless WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 to maintain a seamless connection to the web and any networked devices you use regularly.
Over its iterations, Chrome OS has evolved from a more utilitarian loadout into an increasingly frequent alternative to more expensive native operating systems. Plus, if you’re familiar with Google’s Chrome browser, you will already be acquainted with the basics of the new OS.
How it works
Using a combination of web applications and onboard hardware, the functional difference between a native OS and the Chrome OS is negligible for most users. As long as you have access to the internet, you can take care of anything you need without many of the limitations you my encounter with a conventional onboard operating system.
However, you don’t need to worry about any unexpected outages with your internet connection. With an HP Chromebook, you won’t be too restricted on light tasks if you’ve temporarily lost access to your connection. Chrome Apps work more and more like conventional computer programs with convenient features like offline access becoming standard.
The HP Chromebook is also equipped with two of the latest USB Type-C™ 3.1 ports, so you’re ready for some of the tech world’s biggest changes to come.
While the HP Chromebook 13 G1 is a great contender for the best budget 13-inch laptop, it’s also a strong option for most shoppers in just about any price range. By shifting more of its primary functions to the web, the HP Chromebook manages to offer lowers prices and a more efficient device overall thanks to long-lasting battery life and an ENERGY STAR® seal of approval. Even better, it weighs less than 3 lbs and measures just half an inch thick.

2. HP ENVY 13t laptop

The popular HP ENVY 13t laptop comes with loads of customization options and a great starting price. It also has a striking all-aluminum body that guarantees comfortable use and storage while contributing to an overall lighter and thinner device. The first customizable feature you’ll have to consider is which exterior finish you prefer - natural silver or pale gold.
Options for 4K, discrete graphics, and deep SSD storage
At the heart of this HP ENVY laptop is the 8th Generation Intel Core™ i7 processor, with your choice of either integrated or discrete graphics and up to 16GB of RAM. You can opt for the Intel UHD Graphics 620 and save some money, or choose the more powerful, discrete NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 graphics card and extra memory to support gaming or design work. To keep things moving smoothly, you’ll enjoy up to 1TB of responsive SSD storage.
Optimized for easy touch functionality, you’ll also choose between Full High Definition (FHD) and 4K display configurations. There’s even an optional Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ screen for added durability and protection.
With robust quad speakers and tuning from Bang & Olufsen, the HP ENVY 13t is a great starting option for anyone who values an immersive multimedia experience. Also, when you consider the option to include discrete graphics, this laptop is definitely a great candidate for the best 13-inch gaming laptop.
Lightweight and long battery life
For all its performance features, this laptop is still very portable. It weighs just 2.71 lbs and measures barely over half an inch thick, so it’s always easy to slip under an arm or into your carry case. Those specs make it our lightest entry and a potential best lightweight 13-inch laptop for many shoppers. Also, you’ll find up to 14 hours of battery life with an FHD display and as much as 10 hours and 30 minutes with 4K.
With an affordable price point, a strong balance of hardware and portability, and options to customize performance, this HP ENVY laptop is ideal if you’re looking for the best 13-inch laptop under $1,000.

3. HP ProBook 430 G6 notebook PC

At a slightly higher starting price, the HP ProBook 430 G6 customizable notebook PC is a performance business laptop designed with great hardware specs. It all starts with the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620, and powerful Intel Turbo Boost technology.
Work seamlessly with up to 32GB of RAM and SSD storage
In addition to the latest processor and a range of storage options, the HP ProBook 430 G6 offers one of its key advantages in the form of high RAM capacity. If you work with large programs or multiple programs at once, choosing the full 32GB of available RAM will guarantee the smoothest possible experience.
Alongside a powerful memory loadout, you’ll find a range of storage options including up to 1TB with optional Intel Optane™ 16GB PCIe NVMe 3D XPoint™ SSD. This feature ensures that it gets top marks for memory in its price range.
Highly portable and boosted security
The HP ProBook 430 G6 is at the front of the pack for battery life and efficiency because it provides up to 14 hours in many configurations. Plus, the HP Fast Charge technology delivers up to 50% of battery life restored in just 30 minutes, while the ENERGY STAR seal promises efficiency from the starting model. It’s also designed for easy travel at just 3.28 lbs and 12.15 x 9.09 x 0.71 inches, so it won’t bog you down on-the-go.
The level of security features available can impact your view on portability, because travelling with sensitive materials on an unsecured laptop can be a liability. To keep you covered, you can configure the HP ProBook 430 G6 with both a fingerprint reader and facial recognition software in addition to standard protections.

4. HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 customizable notebook PC

The HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 customizable notebook PC takes us into HP’s performance 2-in-1 convertible range with a ton of customization options. Start off with an i5 or i7 processor and integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, plus as much as 1TB of responsive SSD storage. You then have your choice of FHD or high-res Ultra High Definition (UHD) display with options for Corning Gorilla Glass and a WACOM AES smart pen.
Convertible for varied use
Convertible laptops support several specific work modes, with laptop and tablet being the most recognizable. But thanks to the strong hinge, you can essentially use it in whatever way feels most comfortable. There’s a presentation mode for when you need to show off your work, conference mode for when you need to talk through a project with your team, and other modes that help provide you with the best option for your situation.
As portable as you need it to be
When it comes to portability, the HP EliteBook x360 excels with a maximum 16 hours and 30 minutes of battery life, stretching the concept of an “all-day battery” to its limit. It also has the reassurance of ENERGY STAR certification and the advantage of HP’s speedy Fast Charge feature.
Like the other models in this guide, this laptop is also super light and slim at 2.82 lbs and measuring just 12.48 x 8.6 x 0.59 inches. It also has options for hardened security with Windows Hello access system, fingerprint authentication, and facial recognition. All of these features are wrapped up in an easy-to-handle aluminum unibody frame with diamond-cut accents and three USB 3.1 ports, including 1 USB Type-C™ with Thunderbolt™.

5. HP Spectre x360 13-inch laptop

The HP Spectre x360 13-inch laptop tops our list and when you consider its popularity and 2-in-1 features, that shouldn’t be too surprising. This moderately-priced laptop is built around an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and Intel Turbo Boost Technology. It’s also one of the smallest models in our list, measuring just 12.04 x 8.56 x 0.53 inches and weighing only 2.78 lbs.
Robust specs for RAM, storage, and beyond
This HP Spectre features 16GB of RAM and 512GB of high-efficiency PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD storage, so you don’t have to worry about lag even when your workload gets out of control. It’s also more energy efficient than the competition, boasting ENERGY STAR certification and a Silver EPEAT® rating.
With performance specs and the unique range of 2-in-1 features, the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best 13-inch laptops for video editing, design, and similar applications. While it’s not designated as a dedicated gaming laptop, it’s just as up to that task compared to equivalent models in the HP ENVY and HP EliteBook series.
Try the leather-clad HP Spectre Folio Edition
If you like the sound of HP Spectre x360 and its 2-in-1 design, the new Folio Edition offers many of the same perks in a durable, 100% genuine leather exterior. For the most powerful configuration, the HP Spectre Folio 13 also has touch features, the latest hardware, and built-in 4G LTE. You’ll find a familiar range of premium security perks with either model, including facial recognition and an integrated fingerprint reader.

The right 13-inch laptop for home or business

With the latest designs and specs, HP® offers one of the best 13-inch PC laptop selections on the market today. You’ll find a deep variety of incredibly portable options boasting high-resolution displays, hardened security, dedicated graphics, and convertible features.
If you’re looking for more options, HP® has a large but manageable variety of home and business laptops with a 13-inch screen. Check out the full selection if you need a different price or loadout, and don’t forget that most of the convertible and touch screen models are also available in a traditional design.
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.

Popular HP 13-inch Laptops

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.