The best HP laptop
Your office is everywhere if you're a laptop user -- coffee shops, dorms, or co-working spaces. That's why it's time to take your workspace to the next level with a new HP laptop.
HP embraces its reputation for tough construction in printers and hardware and brings it to the table with its laptops. Cutting-edge and durable, HP laptops are beloved by commuters and students who need heavy-duty models to keep up with their changing environments. They're also appreciated by tech-savvy multitaskers, who need advanced features, such as convertible touchscreens and quality built-in webcams.
If it's time to upgrade your office on the go, take a look at the following buying guide on HP laptops. We're including our favorite model, the HP Envy x360 15-inch Convertible Laptop, which is ideal for the creative who needs more than one medium.
Considerations when choosing HP laptops
Traditional laptop: Affordable and user-friendly, their input modes are limited to a mouse and keyboard, which keeps operation streamlined and familiar. With no touch-based features, the overall functionality may seem somewhat limited for those used to tablets and smartphones.
Two-in-ones: These laptops are equipped with touchscreens and operate in tablet mode for easy navigation. They're ideal for creative and design work, and are compatible with a stylus. However, given their advanced features, two-in-ones are far more expensive. As durable as HP builds them, these laptops are still more delicate than traditional ones.
Battery standby and usage time are drastically different, so when comparing HP laptops, look for both these numbers. Standby time refers to how long the battery will last when the laptop is not in use. Usage time refers to how long your battery will last while the laptop is in use. These times can also expressed as mixed use, a number that represents the average of both standby and usage times.
As attractive as a large screen is, it will cause the battery to deplete more quickly. Some of the longest-lasting batteries in HP laptops are seen in their smaller models, such as the 13" to 15" ones.
Battery replacement capability
There are some HP laptops whose batteries can be replaced, though it's a feature being phased out market-wide. It's definitely a perk, as it's a quick fix to address charging issues, which are inescapable after a couple years of use. For the most part, expect to find newer and upcoming HP models without this capability -- which means battery issues could mean replacing the entire laptop sooner than expected.
Windows vs. Chrome OS
HP laptops have either Windows or Chrome as their operating system. Compare both before assuming you're going with one or the other. Since their basic features and perks are completely different, your research may surprise you, as you could end up choosing the opposite operating system.
Microsoft Windows: Windows is familiar and comfortable for most users and is used throughout homes and businesses worldwide. Windows 10 is equipped with a robust set of features, including Cortana and a new streamlined user experience. However, Microsoft doesn't always have great software updates, and some will slow down your system or cause crashes.
Google Chrome OS: Chrome is often installed on budget-priced HP laptops, as it's less expensive to license. It's ideal if you're savvy with web browsers, since it mostly runs on web-based applications or browser extensions. On the downside, Chrome has a bit of a learning curve for users who aren't tech-savvy, so while it makes a laptop more affordable, it can be frustrating to learn.
Budget-friendly models are priced below $450, but they won't come with disc drives or a large memory. Mid-range HP laptops cost between $450 and $600 and are far more reliable and have overall better battery life. Premium HP laptops cost closer to $800 and are well-equipped with touchscreen features, faster processors, and better long-term performance.
Q. What do I do if I want to use a CD or DVD in my HP laptop, but it doesn't come with an optical disc drive?
A. Since your HP laptop is equipped with USB ports, you can just use an external optical disc drive that way. Another option is to transfer files from your disc to a PC, then onto a thumb drive.
Q. Is it worth getting a built-in webcam on my HP laptop?
A. It might be more cost effective than buying one separately, so consider your laptop as more of an overall investment in this case. On the other hand, if you need top-quality camera capabilities, you'll probably end up purchasing a premium webcam anyway.
HP laptops we recommend
Best of the best: HP Envy x360 15-inch Convertible Laptop
Our take: Laptop designed for the creative mind who needs expanded functionality and features.
What we like: Foldable design and touchscreen. Impressive battery life. Ryzen 5 2500U processor, Quad-Core, 8GB memory.
What we dislike: Hefty price, so make sure you're going to use the expanded functions.
Best bang for your buck: HP Chromebook, Intel Celeron N3060
Our take: Ideal for commuters and students given its durable construction.
What we like: Touchscreen and anti-glare WLED-backlit display. 16GB memory and dual-core processor.
What we dislike: Doesn't come with a hard drive and need to buy external disc drive.
Choice 3: HP 15.6" HD WLED Backlit Display Laptop
Our take: Genuine workhorse designed for demanding everyday use.
What we like: Bluetooth-enabled and webcam with microphone. 560GB hard drive and supports Windows 10.
What we dislike: Some reliability issues with crashing and slowing with software updates.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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