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How to Choose the Best HP Laptop

How to Choose the Best HP Laptop

Tom Gerencer
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Finding the best HP laptop for your needs can be a serious challenge. You face so many mouth-watering options for price, processors, RAM, 2-in-1s, pens, hard drives, and screens.
You can go back and forth like a toy duck in a shooting gallery until a simple question about dinner feels like a quadratic equation. What’s the best budget laptop? The best overall choice? The best 2-in-1?
The forest of names, model numbers, and form-factors can give you a case of the Hansel-and-Gretels. No fear. Here come the fast facts to find a new HP laptop that clicks with your habits and budget.

What is the best HP laptop for your type of use?

In minutes, you’ll have an Iron Man’s-eye view of what divides an HP EliteBook from an HP ENVY and an HP Spectre from an HP ZBook G5. Better still, you’ll know which HP laptop fits your hard-working, hard-playing life.
Bear in mind - the machines on our list aren’t just the best HP laptops. Many are widely regarded by independent reviewers as the gold standards for all laptops.
Want to do due diligence on that? When you search Google for HP laptop reviews or “best overall laptop,” just wait to see how many Yahtzees pop up. As the decades have gone by, HP® has listened to users and pulled out the design stops to deliver an A-grade computing experience in every price range.
When hunting for the best HP computer, reviews can help. But by the time you finish the 10th one, the 1st has faded from memory. This list of the top HP laptops puts all the facts at your fingertips, from the best overall laptop to the best HP laptop for business. We’ve also included links to some of our full reviews of the most eye-catching models available.

Best overall laptop from HP

1. HP EliteBook 840 G6 laptop

Why is the HP EliteBook 840 G6 the best overall choice? Because it’s the Build-a-Bear of laptops in a slim 0.7-inch, 3+ lb frame. This fully customizable computing beast is what you make it, from a deal-sealing business laptop to an entertainment module that plays Fortnite and streams media with the best. The secret sauce is the choose-your-own-adventure specs list.
Are you a Photoshop professional or data science number-cruncher? Bootstrap your HP EliteBook with up to a data-splitting 64GB of RAM. That’s a staggering 8 times the typical laptop memory size. Are you more of an office superhero? Scale it back to as low as 4GB and save your cash for a 4K display and an HD TripleMic Webcam for serious video conferencing.
You can also add a dedicated AMD Radeon™ RX 550 graphics card to give your baby-Yoda moments extra visual appeal. Choose just about any hard drive size and style you like, and take your pick of keyboards and fingerprint readers. Want to know more about the best HP laptop hands-down? Check out our full HP EliteBook review.
Additional specs:
  • Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 processors
  • Windows 10 Pro OS
  • ENERGY STAR® certified
  • Up to a 2TB SSD (solid-state drive)
  • 3 Thunderbolt™ and USB 3.1 ports, HDMI, and docking connector

Best HP laptop for business

2. HP ENVY 13t laptop

The HP ENVY 13t has been redesigned from the metric screws up to create a CEO-worthy office computing experience. At 2.59 lbs and 0.57 inches thick, it’s one of the slimmest, lightest laptops on the market. But don’t let the size fool you. You can load it with up to 1TB of SSD storage and 16GB of memory for building your empire brick by digital brick.
The HP ENVY 13t’s available edge-to-edge 4K display doesn’t miss a trick for photo editing or heavy design jobs either. Shield it from harm with Absolute Home & Office theft protection to track and recover it if somebody tries the ol’ 5-finger discount [1].
You’ll dock easily with multiple USB 3.1 and Type-C™ ports, and you’ll get this new HP laptop’s battery from zero to 50% in just 45 minutes with HP Fast Charge.
This device is also one of the top-rated HP laptops from independent reviewers. If you’re a business pro, don’t miss the complete HP ENVY review.
Additional specs:
  • Available high-end NVIDIA® GeForce® MX250 graphics
  • Natural Silver or Pale Gold styling
  • HP Wide Vision HD Camera and dual-array mic
  • Optional Microsoft Office 2019 Professional
  • Great price

Midrange superstar

3. HP ProBook 450 G6 15.6-inch business ultrabook

Where does the HP ProBook 450 G6 laptop fit into the list of the best HP computers? It’s got most of the high-flying specs of the HP EliteBook in a slightly thicker 0.75-inch chassis and at a lower price point. It’s the best HP laptop for small business users thanks to an optional roomy 15.6-inch Full High Definition (FHD) screen and an available 32GB of RAM.
The HP ProBook comes with the coveted HP Premium spill-resistant keyboard and multi-touch gesture support for next-level productivity. To geek out to the latest Marvel or Overwatch offering with enhanced clarity, trick it out with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX250. You’ll get 3.5-times faster graphics processing than integrated graphics.
Small business owners should put the full HP ProBook review first in their reading list.
Additional specs:
  • Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • Windows 10 Pro OS
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Up to a 1TB SSD
  • Available HD webcam and fingerprint reader
  • 4 USB 3.1, Type-C, and 2.0 ports
  • Great price

Best 2-in-1 laptop

4. HP Spectre x360 13t touch laptop

If you’re looking for the best 2-in-1 laptop for business, meet your new favorite machine. The HP Spectre x360 13t packs an ocean of cool into a smartphone-thin 0.57-inch chassis at less than 3 lbs.
Yet this vanishingly-skinny workhorse can deliver up to a 2TB SSD, a full-size island-style keyboard that’s a dream to type on, and a 4K edge-to-edge display. That’s arguably the best HP laptop screen going.
If you expected all that in a 2-in-1 that can tent, stand, or morph into a tablet, call Dr. Strange, because you’ve got the gift. Grab an optional HP Pen for sketching, rocking Photoshop, or note-taking with pen-on-paper feel. If you thirst for the most usable office 2-in-1 that disappears into a messenger bag or backpack, make a B2B-line for the complete HP Spectre review.
Additional specs:
  • Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • Absolute Home & Office theft protection
  • 16GB of RAM
  • FHD infrared (IR) Camera and Dual array microphone
  • Bang & Olufsen audio
  • 3 USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt ports
  • Great price
  • One of the top-rated HP laptops from independent reviewers

Slim & stylish boardroom sidekick

5. HP Spectre Folio 13t laptop

Next up on our list of best HP laptops, the HP Spectre Folio locks in our reputation for bold, practical innovation. This notebook’s why-didn’t-I-think-of-that design puts up to 19 hours of battery life and a crisp 4K micro-edge display in a 0.6-inch, 3.3-lb body. But its best-of-breed feature is the all-leather housing in your choice of cognac brown or Bordeaux burgundy.
No mere conversation piece, the HP Spectre Folio can leverage a showstopping 2TB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors to maximize your ROI.
Its Bang & Olufsen quad speakers with HP Audio Boost make collaboration and conferencing an in-the-black experience. Want the big picture on this top HP laptops contender? See the HP Spectre Folio review.
Additional specs:
  • Available Windows 10 Pro operating system
  • Absolute Home & Office theft protection
  • Full-size island-style keyboard with ample travel
  • HP Wide Vision FHD IR camera
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • 3 USB Type-C and Thunderbolt ports
  • One of the top-rated HP laptops from independent reviewers

Best budget laptop

6. HP Chromebook 14

If you’re in the market for the best budget laptop in HP’s lineup, take a hard look at the HP Chromebook 14. This modest superhero hides 4GB of RAM and a 2.4 GHz Dual-Core AMD processor in its 0.72-inch profile.
You’ll binge-watch The Mandalorian in comfort with its Bang & Olufsen dual speakers, and video conference like Reed Hastings with an HP TrueVision HD camera and microphone.
The best part? The HP Chromebook 14 can be had for the price of a shady deal on a used laptop in a gas-station parking lot. Except it’s brand-spanking-new. Plus, you’ll stay charged with up to 9 hours of battery life, and dock like a pro with 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports.
To get the full lowdown on this best HP laptop for the finance-savvy, see our full HP Chromebook review.
Additional specs:
  • Chrome OS
  • Integrated AMD Radeon R4 Graphics
  • 14-inch High Definition (HD) anti-glare display
  • 32GB hard drive
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Full-size island-style keyboard
  • One of the lowest prices for a new HP laptop

Best budget Windows laptop

7. HP Stream 11 laptop

What’s an HP Stream laptop? This is something new and cool. For the easy price point of a Chromebook, you can get a Windows budget laptop with 4GB of RAM and an 11.6-inch anti-glare HD display. Its full stereo speaker setup will blow you away while rocking Spotify or Netflix.
The HP Stream 11’s candy-colored chassis belies its inner power. This sturdy little surprise is just 2.5 lbs and slightly over a half-inch thick, so you won’t mind toting it around town to work in coffee shops. Its front-facing webcam will set you up for long Skype sessions with loved ones. Want to see other best budget laptops from HP? Check out our budget laptops guide.
Additional specs:
  • Intel Atom™ x5 E8000 processor
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 400
  • 32GB hard drive
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • One of the lowest prices for a new HP laptop

Best HP laptop for gaming

8. HP OMEN 17t laptop

The HP OMEN 17t is a serious contender on any list of best gaming laptops. Choose up to a 9th Generation Intel Core i9 processor with blistering 4.8 GHz speeds to rock Overwatch or Dota 2 like a champ. Equip your new HP laptop with your choice of NVIDIA graphics cards, like the hush-inducing GeForce RTX 2080 with G-SYNC for desktop-level performance at championship framerates.
NVIDIA’s Turing™ architecture pulls in artificial intelligence, programmable shading, and real-time ray tracing to make reflections and shadows pop like pulse grenades. The HP OMEN’s ultra-thin design at just 27 mm means you can dock it or carry it anywhere.
An available 4K screen and Tempest cooling technology will keep you icy in a steady barrage of husklings and zappers. For the full walkthrough, see our review of the best HP OMEN laptops for gamers.
Additional specs:
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • 17.3-inch FHD display
  • Up to 1TB SSD
  • Absolute Home & Office theft protection
  • Fast Charge equipped
  • 4 USB 3.1 ports

Most powerful workstation laptop

9. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 laptop

Power users who need the best overall laptop from HP should take a good look at the HP ZBook Studio x360 G5. It can take on serious file sizes, data sets, and processing jobs without breaking a sweat. Customize it with up to an Intel Xeon E-2186M processor, the 6-core data science juggernaut with a 50% power boost over predecessors.
Want other envy-inducing specs? What about a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro P2000 graphics card to crunch 3D CAD jobs? Or 64GB of Blender-busting RAM? You’ll have the oomph of a desktop with up to 5TB of SSD, which is enough to store detailed 3D Death Star plans.
At just 0.74 inches at its thickest point, you won’t feel like you’re schlepping a desktop around. Plus it’s got the life-friendly x360 form factor for collaboration tent mode. Or pop it into tablet mode when your muse gets you fired up.
Additional specs:
  • Windows 10 Pro operating system
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • HD Webcam
  • HP Bang & Olufsen quad stereo speakers
  • Optional fingerprint reader
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life
  • One of the top HP laptops when price is no issue

Biggest bang for the buck

10. HP Pavilion laptop

No list of best HP laptops can sneak past without a nod to the flagship HP Pavilion. The beauty of this versatile budget-pleaser comes in at near-Chromebook prices and puts a smorgasbord of options at your fingertips.
Go for an x360 variant to try the popular 2-in-1 form factor, or stick with a traditional laptop setup if that’s more your style.
The HP Pavilion may surprise you with available Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and up to 2TB of SSD - or about 1,000 hours of HD movies. It’s got optional Bang & Olufsen audio for potlucks with friends and remote meetings with office allies.
Long-lasting batteries will let you work your Excel magic for up to 10 hours at a stretch. To see more of this stunner at a rock-bottom price, check out the full HP Pavilion review.
Additional specs:
  • Windows 10 Home 64 operating system
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Backlit keyboard for low-light work sessions
  • Starts at 25 mm thin and 3 lbs
  • 2 USB 3 ports; 1 USB 2 port

Conclusion

The top HP laptops in this list bring a treasure chest of features for every style of user. Whether you’re a budget warrior, boardroom pro, gamer, or binge-viewing comfort-lover, you’ll find plenty to excite you in the new HP laptop lineup.
From the best budget laptop (the HP Chromebook 14) to the best HP laptop for business (the HP ENVY 13t), it’s no shock that our offerings are the gold standard for the best overall laptops on the shelf.
About the Author: Tom Gerencer is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tom is an ASJA journalist, career expert at Zety.com, and a regular contributor to Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. His work is featured in The Boston Globe, Costco Connection, FastCompany, and many more.

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