The 7 Best HP Laptops of 2021

We've got the short list on the must-own machines from this company

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

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The Rundown
"The 2-in-1 HP Envy x360 combines a sleek design, powerful performance, an da gorgeous screen into a lightweight and portable design."
Best Balanced:
HP Envy 17t at Best Buy
"Well-built laptop that makes few compromises on its specs."
"Provides ample space for multitasking and watching videos."
"Touchscreen that flips back 360 degrees, it also has the flexibility of a tablet."
"The HP x360 2-in-1 Chromebook will appeal to anyone looking for a streamlined Chrome experience."
Best for Gaming:
HP Omen 17t at Amazon
"HP’s Omen line of gaming PCs have grown a reputation for their graphical horsepower and their attractively affordable price points."
Best Portable:
HP Elite DragonFly at HP
"Ideal for professionals who frequently travel for business."

The best HP laptops offer power, flexibility, and portability, and come in a wide range of different styles built to fit nearly every niche. HP laptops stand out from the crowd with their slick good looks but also pack serious hardware under the surface. Most run Windows 10 operating systems, but there are also some devices available from HP that run Google's Chrome OS, which offers a simpler and more streamlined experience.

Of course, many folks will want to shop around and compare a wide range of laptop brands before purchasing, but whether you’re a gamer, a creator, or just need a laptop for business or school, there’s an HP laptop here that will almost certainly work for you.

Here, our best HP laptops to get.

Best Overall: HP Envy x360 13

What We Like
  • Thin, light, and attractive design

  • Crisp 1080p screen

  • Solid spec configurations and performance

  • Reasonable price

What We Don't Like
  • Graphics can't handle gaming or more intensive tasks

The HP Envy x360 comes in two models, a 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch version. Regardless of which one you get, the 2-in-1 convertible laptop boasts a sleek, attractive design that's very lightweight and easy to carry around. The screen is an attractive 1080p panel, which is more than sufficient for a 13.3-inch display. If you want a 4K screen, a good alternative is the more costly HP Spectre x360 15t.

There are several configuration options, including an Intel Core i5 processor or AMD Ryzen 7 processor, and options for 8GB/16GB RAM and 128GB/512GB SSD storage. The specs are good enough to handle multimedia, browsing, productivity, and most day-to-day computing tasks. The AMD Radeon graphics won't be able to handle gaming or photo and video editing, but that's to be expected. For a powerful, lightweight, and portable notebook, this is one of the best HP laptops you can get.

Best Balanced: HP Envy 17t

HP Envy 17t Touch
What We Like
  • Excellent performance

  • Extensive battery life

  • Robust form factor

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • A bit heavy

The HP Envy 17t is a well-rounded machine with a big screen and slick looks that is available at an attractive price point. It’s not a cutting edge machine, but unless you’re playing graphically intensive games or editing 4K video, it should more than suffice for most uses.

The Envy 17t features a huge (for a laptop) 17.3” touchscreen display that, while it makes this laptop bulkier, also lends itself to productivity by offering greater screen real estate and a bigger, better keyboard. This is a workstation laptop that can function in place of a desktop computer. It also comes with powerful built-in speakers, which make it ideal for media consumption.

On the downside, that big screen has a disappointingly low resolution for its size, with only 1080p resolution, and battery life could be better. However, it is a very quick machine that is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7, 12 GB of RAM, and a low powered Nvidia GeForce MX250. Though it doesn’t include an SSD, the Envy 17t uses 16GB of Intel Optane memory to speed up the performance of its spacious 1 TB HDD. Overall, the HP Envy 17t will appeal to just about everyone as a useful jack-of-all-trades laptop.

"The body of the device itself feels very substantial and premium, aided in part by its sheer weight." — Jonno Hill, Product Tester

Best Budget: HP Pavilion 14" HD Notebook

HP Pavilion 14-Inch HD Notebook
What We Like
  • High-quality build

  • Compact

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Backlight bleeds

  • Keyboard could feel a bit better

The HP Pavilion 14” Notebook is an excellent laptop that provides great value for anyone shopping on a tight budget. It’s not a powerful machine, but it will get the job done as a capable laptop for college or business use. It features a great looking 14 inch 1080p IPS display that’s small enough to be portable, but large enough to be functional. It’s also good for streaming shows, as it features impressive built-in speakers.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 7th gen intel core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD paired with a 1 TB HDD. This combination offers both performance and expansive storage, and the Pavilion 14 is a capable, if not particularly powerful laptop. The only major caveats of this PC are its less than excellent trackpad and some packaged bloatware, but overall it’s a solid choice for anyone who needs a portable and functional laptop.

The Pavilion 14 includes an excellent sound system from Bang and Olufson that produces audio that is not only impressively loud but provides good quality throughout its volume range.

Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6" 4K Ultra HD TouchScreen Laptop

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 15.6" 4K Ultra HD TouchScreen Laptop
4.6
What We Like
  • Striking angular design

  • Excellent performance

  • Beautiful display

  • Great keyboard

What We Don't Like
  • A bit heavy to use as a tablet

  • Noisy and hot when running under load

When our tester Jeremy Laukkonen reviewed the last generation of the HP Spectre x360 he raved about its spectacular design, powerful components, and top-notch display. The latest model builds on its predecessor’s rock-solid foundation with a brand new cutting edge Intel 11th generation Core i7 and its built-in Iris Xe graphics. It also features a small but fast 256 GB SSD for storage, and a 15.6-inch 4K touch screen that is bright and rich in detail, as well as touch-sensitive and capable of transforming into a tablet. 16GB RAM backs up its formidable processing capabilities.

On the downside, packing all this power in a razor-thin laptop means making it one dense brick of electronics, and the Spectre x360 is no lightweight. Furthermore, this compact design impacts the laptops ability to cool itself, which means that under load it gets loud and hot. However, these are minor caveats when the performance and design of this beautiful ultrabook are taken into account.

"We’ve tested a few HP laptops that bore the Bang and Olufsen moniker, and this is the best we’ve heard so far."Jeremy Laukkonen, Product Tester

Best Chromebook: HP Chromebook x360 (2020 Model)

HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
What We Like
  • Streamlined Chrome operating system

  • Affordably priced

  • Excellent battery life

  • Convertible 2-in-1 design

What We Don't Like
  • Not very powerful

  • Very small storage capacity

  • Chrome OS is limiting

Not everyone needs a full Windows 10 desktop PC, and despite its drawbacks and limitations, Google Chrome offers an attractive alternative. Browsing the web and using basic programs is a superior experience than on comparably priced Windows-based laptops. The HP x360 2-in-1 Chromebook will appeal to anyone looking for a streamlined Chrome experience.

It features a large but portable 1080p 14-inch screen with touch screen capability and can transform into a tablet by flipping inside out. On the surface, it may seem underpowered with only a 10th generation i3 to power it, but this processor is easily able to keep up with the light demands of Chrome, and 8GB of RAM enables you to open up a pile of browser tabs without the laptop slowing down.

Another great advantage of Chrome and this low powered hardware in battery life, as well as better built in security. However, don’t plan to store a ton of data on this machine, as it only includes 64 GB of solid-state memory. Keep in mind, though, that this is designed as an internet-connected device, so theoretically you would be storing most of your data in the cloud anyway.

Best for Gaming: HP Omen 17t

What We Like
  • Powerful gaming performance

  • 144-hertz display

  • Good value for money

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky design

HP’s Omen line of gaming PCs have grown a reputation for their graphical horsepower and their attractively affordable price points. The Omen 17t carries on this legacy of excellence by providing both performance and good value for money.

Packed within its 17-inch form factor are a 10th generation Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. The Omen 17t is capable of pushing the limits of its high 144-hertz refresh rate and 1080p display. A 512GB SSD provides plenty of storage and slashes game load times while speeding up navigation and improving your day to day computing needs no matter how extreme or mundane they may be.

The downside to packing all this into a laptop is that the Omen 17t is a bit of a chunky thing to carry around. However, in this price range such a compromise should be expected, and overall the HP Omen 17 is a formidable gaming laptop.

Best Portable: HP Elite DragonFly

HP Elite Firefly Laptop
What We Like
  • Tiny and ultra-portable

  • Excellent design

  • Great display

  • Fantastic keyboard

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Dated processor

The HP Elite Dragonfly is a truly eye-catching laptop that comes with a price to match its stellar looks and design. This is not a cheap PC, but if you value the ultra-portable premium experience it provides, then that high cost may well be worth it. There’s no denying that this thing is impressive to behold. It’s more than superficial beauty as well, as it features a top-notch 13.3” 1080p display and a keyboard other laptops can only dream of. Add in the option for cellular connectivity and the Dragonfly becomes the ideal machine for traveling professionals.

It’s not all joy and sunshine though; bizarrely for such an expensive laptop, the Dragonfly only features an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, but that’s not a serious problem given that this is not a machine built for gaming or graphics-intensive tasks. You also get 16GB of RAM and a blazing fast but kind of small 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

For most people, the HP Elite Dragonfly is probably not a great value, but its professional looks and superior build quality are ideal for professionals who frequently travel for business.

Final Verdict

Our top choice for those in search of an HP laptop is the HP Envy x360. If you're a traveler, student, or office worker, this 2-in-1 lightweight laptops packs plenty of power in a svelte design to meet your day-to-day computing needs. For a more powerful option, especially when it comes to graphics, we like the HP Envy 17t. It's a bit bigger and bulkier, but the extra-large screen gives you plenty of room for spreadsheets, multimedia, and even some photo editing.

How We Tested

When testing the best HP laptops, our team of trusted experts puts each model through a series of benchmarks using free tools like Cinebench and 3Dmark to stress test the Processor and GPU. Apart from bench tests in a closed environment, our experts spend upwards of 10 hours using each model, taking note of the form factor, stress under load, and the number of ports available for connectivity.

About Our Trusted Experts

Andy Zahn has worked with Lifewire testing and reviewing laptops and other tech since 2019. Andy has always possessed a passion for computers and has built several desktop PCs himself. Andy has a deep fascination with computers and loves nothing more than keeping up with the cutting edge of technology.

Meredith Popolo has written for PCMag.com, Geek.com, ThinkWithGoogle.com, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. She is passionate about consumer technology and how it can streamline our daily lives.

Jonno Hill has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. Previously, he wrote for PCMag, and he has extensive experience covering laptops, desktops, gaming hardware, and home audio. He reviewed the HP Envy 17t and praised its power, photo and video editing potential.

Jeremy Laukkonen is Lifewire's tech generalist. With a background in automative publication and technology, Jeremy has reviewed a wide array of products, from laptops, tablets, and PCs, to soundbars and speakers. He liked testing the HP Spectre x360 15t and praised its beautiful display and superior audio quality.

What to Look for in an HP Laptop

Windows Vs. Chrome OS - Most HP laptops come equipped with Windows, but the brand also makes some great Chromebook options. If you need to run any Windows apps for work or if you want to game on your laptop, stick with Windows. If you plan to use your laptop primarily for email, surfing the Web, and basic word processing, consider a Chromebook.

Thunderbolt 3 - Some HP models come equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports, which are completely compatible with USB-C cables and devices but offer much faster transfer speeds.

Gaming performance - If you want an all-purpose laptop that can handle some gaming, look for a Pavilion with a decent graphics card. If you’re serious about gaming, check out the HP Omen line.

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