With top picks for gaming, business, and more, which is the best HP laptop for you? - 9 minutes read
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Whether you're budgeting or looking to splurge, you're bound to find the perfect fit among the vast selection of HP laptops. Let us help you find it.
A good, dependable laptop is pretty much a must-have for anyone these days, especially with distance learning and work-from-home opportunities becoming more of the norm. The convenience of being able to set up and get down to business wherever there may be WiFi is completely unmatched. And sure, we all have smartphones that are basically tiny computers stashed in our pockets. But the power and precision of a laptop with a full keyboard, ample storage, and a dedicated processor just makes it so much easier to work, study, play games, stream entertainment, create art, and so much more.
So whether you're shopping for a new laptop for work, school, or play (or, more likely, a combination of all of the above), we've got you covered with a wide range of stellar laptop options from HP. From your simple and affordable Chromebook laptops to high-end choices with more graphical and processing power than your most demanding video game could ever dream of, there's sure to be the perfect pick for your wants and needs. But all the technical talk can get a little overwhelming and it can definitely make it difficult to figure out exactly what your wants and needs are. So before we jump into our top HP laptop picks below, let's take an in-depth look at all the little things that add up to the perfect laptop for you.
One of the leading laptop brands on the market, HP offers a wide variety of laptops to fit a whole range of needs. Obviously, this is great, but it can also be super overwhelming. Like, what the heck is the difference between an HP Envy and an HP Pavillion laptop? Or what about the HP Elitebook versus the HP Probook? It's just ... a lot. But on the bright side, we've got your back with a quick rundown of what some of HP's most popular laptops have to offer.
Beyond all the different types of HP laptops, you'll also want to consider the inner components that make them (and any other laptop) what they are:
CPU: The central processing unit — also known as the processor — is basically the brains behind your laptop. It runs the whole show as it is in constant communication with every other working part of the machine, and it also determines how fast your computer can run. If you're just planning to use your laptop for simple things like email, browsing the web, and writing papers, then you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest processor. But if you plan to run heavy-duty software, such as that for games or video editing, then you'll need something more powerful to ensure a smooth and speedy experience.
GPU: The graphics processing unit — also known as the graphics card — is sort of like the beauty to the CPU's brains. The better the GPU, the better things will look on your laptop, especially when it comes to rendering high-quality video games.
RAM: Random-access memory (or simply, system memory) is another strong determinant of how well your laptop runs. It essentially provides short-term storage for applications that are currently running so that you can access the info you need quickly. If you tend to do a lot of multi-tasking, you won't want to skimp too much here. And if you plan on running big programs for creative work or gaming, you probably won't want to dip below 8GB of RAM.
Storage: Besides the amount of storage space, you're also likely to be faced with a choice between a hard drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD storage). While HDDs can offer a larger storage capacity, they also tend to have poorer performances. If you want the best of both worlds — high storage and high performance — you could opt for a laptop with a dual-storage approach. Also, consider the abundance of cloud storage options when deciding how much storage space you actually need. Depending on your intended usage and the types of files you'll need to save, you may or may not need to splurge on the highest-tier on-board storage option.
Display: Your GPU is only as good as your display, so make sure you're opting for a screen with at least 1080p resolution to enjoy the best views. Depending on how often you may travel with your laptop, you may also want to consider the size of your laptop. While a typical gaming laptop is 15 inches or larger, you can find more portable options as small as 11 inches as long as you don't need a whole lot of power. Finally, consider whether or not you want a laptop with a touchscreen surface. These can come in handy for artistic endeavors and note-taking, but may just be a cool but mostly unused feature for a lot of users.
HP offers a variety of high-quality gaming laptops that are powerful enough to handle the most popular (and most epic) games, including Fortnite, World of Warcraft, and The Witcher. In fact, they don't just handle them; they deliver gameplay that's so smooth on displays that are so vivid, that you'll easily become immersed in your favorite fantasy worlds. HP has even dedicated an entire lineup — the Omen series of laptops — to gaming, and they're available in different sizes to fit gamers' needs. These impressive laptops have top-notch specs, like NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards, Intel Core i7 processors, and a minimum of 8GB RAM to keep everything running (as opposed to skipping). And not only are they powerful, but they're impressively portable, too.
HP also has a series of Pavilion laptops dedicated to gaming. Their specs are a little below top-notch, which makes their price point a little bit cheaper, but they're definitely worth a look if you're a gamer looking for budget laptop deals.
It's also worth mentioning that HP's line of ZBooks has the power necessary for gaming as well. The series is designed for creative professionals, such as designers, videographers, and engineers, so you know their specs are top of the line and, in many cases, beyond what a casual gamer would need. This makes these laptops much more expensive than HP gaming laptops. But, if you happen to be a gamer who needs one of those powerhouses for your own line of work, it should be noted that the ZBook can definitely help you play just as hard as you work, even though they're not necessarily designed to be (or marketed as) gaming laptops, per se.
HP also offers a wide variety of 2-in-1 laptops, though they don't all belong to one specific line. Rather, there are convertible versions of many of HP's top laptop styles, such as the Spectre, Envy, EliteBook, Pavilion, and Chromebook. You'll know the convertible styles when you see them because they all have "x360" in their name, a reference to the fact that their screen can flip a full 360 degrees backward to turn itself into a touch screen tablet. Because there are so many different models that offer convertibility, HP makes it easier than ever to enjoy the convenience and adaptability of a 2-in-1 laptop, regardless of your required specs. From $300 convertible Chromebooks all the way up to nearly $3,000 EliteBooks, they've got a 2-in-1 to fit both your needs and your budget.
HP offers a vast array of affordable Chromebook laptops starting as low as $250, if all you really need is the bare bones. For those who just need to browse the internet, answer some emails, and do a little word processing, an entry-level Chromebook is the perfect fit. That said, HP does offer scaled-up Chromebooks up to the $700 range, as well as customizable Chromebooks well over $1,000. These have more powerful processors, more RAM for multitasking, and more storage, but you definitely don't need to splurge on all that if you truly are just looking for a simple laptop.
One thing that all of HP's Chromebooks have in common, however, is that they all run on Google's Chrome operating system. The OS is centered around the Chrome browser app, web-based processes, and Google Play apps, so there isn't a lot of junk inside to take up all your storage space. That's a definite plus, but the system is very minimalistic, so if that's not your thing, you might want to opt for a Windows-based HP notebook-style laptop instead.
So which components are the most important to consider when searching for the best HP laptop? Well, that all depends on how you intend to use it.
Gaming: If you plan to do a lot of or creative work, you'll need an equally heavy-duty CPU and GPU to handle that software, and a good amount of RAM to run it all smoothly. However, if you just need something simple to get work done while on the road, then size, weight, and portability will certainly play a larger role in your choice.
Battery life: Another major component to consider is battery life. If you’ll mostly be using the laptop near an outlet at home, then the amount of time the battery lasts while unplugged isn’t a huge deal-breaker either way. But if you intend to use your laptop away from home, such as in the office or the classroom, you’ll probably want to consider how long you can go without having to plug it in, just for the sake of convenience.
Ports: Beyond what's on the inside and how long it runs, you might also consider the available ports on your laptop of choice. For example, if you need to plug-in accessories, such as a microphone, mouse, or thumb drive, then you'll want to make sure your laptop has enough USB ports to get the job done. You might also consider a laptop with a microSD card reader if you dabble in an audio-visual field like photography or videography, as well as a large amount of onboard storage for all those large files.
Now that you know pretty much everything about choosing a laptop, here our favorite HP laptops to fit just about every need, from gamers to business professionals to young students earning the privilege of having their very first Chromebook.
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