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The best HP laptops to buy in 2021: Consumer, business, gaming, and more
Settling on the best HP laptop is no simple task. The company has a ton of products and more customizable configurations than you can count. Never fear! We have looked into the best laptops HP offers, and there are some superb options across all product lines in 2021. To get a better handle on what’s good and what you need to know, we’ll explain the branding and pick the best HP laptops you can buy right now.
HP branding explained
For the mainstream market, the Spectre brand represents HP’s top-of-the-line premium family for a premium price. The Envy family is a step-down, offering premium devices at an affordable price. From there, you move into the Pavilion line for HP’s general audience, followed by the no-brand HP Laptop series, Stream devices targeting kids, and Chromebooks rounding out the budget devices.
On the business end, the EliteBook 1000 “elite” series resides at the top of HP’s laptop list, followed by the EliteBook 800 and EliteBook 700 models. The ProBook 600 series is the next step down for “pros” without sacrificing enterprise-grade security along with the ProBook 400 family, 200 Series, and Chromebooks for businesses on a budget. The ZBook brand is HP’s workstation-class laptop family, while the Omen range is for gaming in higher-performance devices focused on speed.
Now that you know what HP offers let’s take a look at the best HP laptops you can currently buy.
The best HP laptops:
Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new HP laptops launch.
1. Spectre x360 13 — 2-in-1 laptop for personal use (2021)
The HP family has several 2-in-1 laptops, but the latest Spectre x360 13 is probably the best you can get for personal use. This 13.3-inch laptop has been polished even further without sacrificing materials or footprint. There’s now a brand new processor in the quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7, meaning Wi-Fi 6. The Spectre x360 13t touch gives you a crisp 4K AMOLED display. The Spectre has also received Intel’s new Iris Xe graphics to match the processor. Your storage options kick off with 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCle NVMe SSD.
The laptop also sports numerous ports. You will find one USB Type-A port, a microSD card reader, two USB-C readers, and a display port. The power supply itself is also USB-C, which means the laptop supports fast charging. At 2.87 pounds, it hasn’t lost any weight, while the high-end finish means it’s not the cheapest. The lowest spec model now starts at $1.299.99, and high-end configurations will get to $1,899.99.
There is a 15-inch model, too, if you’re craving more screen, but it costs a bit more in all configurations.
2. HP Envy 17t — traditional laptop for personal use
The HP Envy 17t is based on a 17.3-inch IPS display with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, with the choice between a regular screen and a touchscreen still possible. In 2021, the refreshed HP Envy 17t has new 11th generation Intel Core processors, with Intel’s Iris Xe graphics and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. The screen bezels are a little smaller too, which is a nice touch.
You’ll now get a 512GB SSD with 12GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM, as well as an extra 32GB of optane memory. Other goodies thrown into this clamshell laptop include three USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 4 option, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, and Bluetooth 5.0.
The HP Envy 17t measures 0.76 inches thick and weighs 6.02 pounds, which is thankfully trimmed down. At 17-inches, it has a rare size and packs your full number pad in an old-school laptop format.
3. HP Chromebook x360 14 — Chromebook for personal use
Even in 2021, this guy is hard to beat. The HP Chromebook x360 14 is slim and portable. It sports the same 360-hinge as other HP models, which allows you to fold the Chromebook into a notebook or use it as a tablet. One major difference is that the Chromebook x360 14 comes with much thinner side bezels than its predecessors.
It sports a 14-inch Full HD IPS display and is powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-10110U processor. You’ve got 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — both plenty for a Chromebook. The HP Chromebook x360 14 offers a headphone jack, two USB-C ports, and a microSD slot that supports SDHC and SDXC when it comes to ports. HP went with a three-cell 60WHr unit for the battery, which promises up to 13 hours of use on a single charge.
The Chromebook x360 14 is a great everyday notebook that you can use on the go and one of the best laptops HP has to offer. However, it can be a bit tricky to track down at some retailers.
4. Omen X 2S — premium gaming laptop
The latest Omen X 2S laptop has a variety of new features and is a total spec powerhouse. HP’s biggest addition is the second 6-inch 1080p touchscreen located above the keyboard. It allows you to display many useful apps like Discord, Spotify, and others, while gaming. The main display is a 15.6-inch anti-glare IPS panel with a Full HD, 4K, or 4K 240Hz resolution. You can get the Omen X 2S with either 16, 24, or 32GB of RAM, while the storage ranges from 256GB to 2TB. The laptop is powered by Intel’s 9th gen processors — i7 and i9, as well as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2070, both of which have dedicated 8GB GPU RAM.
The Omen x 2S also sports many ports, including an HMDI 2.0, one USB-C port, and three USB-A ports. Unfortunately, like most gaming laptops, it’s on the heavier side at 5.24 lb. It’s also far from cheap, with a starting price of $1,699.99, and if you go for the top specs in every department, it can reach more than $3,000. We should also note that the keyboard layout is not ideal, thanks to the addition of the touchscreen.
HP has discontinued its Omen X 2S at this point, so your days of buying are numbered. It’s still available at Adorama, but it may not stick around long.
5. Omen 15 — redesigned premium gaming laptop
HP revamped its Omen 15 laptop with an all-around facelift treatment. It’s adopted a sleeker, more traditional form-factor that screams everyday performance rather than a gaming rig. The Omen 15 sticks with a Full HD 15.6-inch IPS display and a 144Hz refresh rate. If you take a peek under the hood, you’ll find two very different versions of the Omen 15 — a Ryzen version and an Intel one. The button below will take you to a version that packs an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU as well as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Backing up the main hardware, you have a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM.
Like previous generations, the Omen 15 is packed with ports. It’s equipped with three USB-A options, an HDMI, and a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port. It also boasts 12.5-hours of battery life with its six-cell battery and fast charging with the Thunderbolt 3 port. Unfortunately, the Omen 15 falls victim to a few of the same flaws as the Omen X 2S. The four-zone RGB keyboard should offer plenty enough customization, and it’s back to a natural position with the second display out of the way.
6. Omen 17 — largest premium gaming laptop
A quick look at the Omen 17, and you’ll see shades of the previous Omen 15. The angular design and classic Omen logo still decorate the exterior, and the 17.3-inch display offers the most real estate you’ll find on an HP machine. The larger Omen’s 17.3-inch display is a familiar Full HD IPS unit, and it comes with a standard 144Hz refresh rate. You’ll only find Intel configurations of this high-end gaming rig, though HP may introduce Ryzen hardware with the next refresh.
While you might expect a few extra ports from the added real estate, the Omen 17 is equipped with the same USB-A and USB-C setup as the previous Omen 15. It does rock a large four-cell 70Wh battery with fast charging, and you’ll probably spend almost all of your time plugged in — the machine manages just six hours of battery on a good day. It’s also one heavy machine at 6.43 pounds, but that’s unsurprising given the size.
7. HP Pavilion Gaming 15 — budget gaming laptop
HP’s budget-friendly gaming laptop is finally accessible in the US. With a 60Hz refresh rate and a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD resolution, you should have no problem keeping up with your favorite games. Also, the display is IPS which will make the colors pop even more.
This version of the Pavilion 15 packs an Intel Core i5-11300H and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 3050ti with 4GB of VRAM to keep performance up and cost down. B&O crafted the audio, selecting a unique geometric speaker much like the one you’ll find on an Envy laptop. It helps to round out the gaming aesthetic — especially when placed next to a backlit keyboard that glows in Acid Green. Along the sides, you’ll find two SuperSpeed USB-A ports and a SuperSpeed USB-C option, as well as an RJ-45 port and HDMI opening.
HP fit the 15-inch display into a 4.92-pound shell. At just 0.92 inches thick, you should have no problem stashing the budget-friendly gaming rig in a backpack for fun on the go. The three-cell 52.5Wh battery supports fast charging, and you should manage around 10-and-a-half hours of battery life.
8. HP Elite Dragonfly — all-in-one premium business laptop
If you are looking for an ultra-thin business laptop, look no further than the HP Elite Dragonfly. The newest addition to the Elite family, this laptop combines a stylish, premium design with great specs for productivity on the go. Like most HP laptops, the Elite Dragonfly is highly customizable with several configurations. Its 13.3-inch display comes in Full HD or 4K resolutions, all with varying degrees of max brightness. RAM can be either 8 or 16GB, while storage ranges from 128GB to 2TB. The available processors are Intel’s 8th gen chips, though the upcoming Elite Dragonfly Max promises to bring the processing power into 2021 for good.
Other great features include various ports, including a headphone jack, a nano-SIM slot, two USB-C connectors, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector. Like many new HP laptops, there are a host of security and privacy features as well. The HP Elite Dragonfly also has a great battery life of up to 13 hours that frequent fliers will appreciate.
9. EliteBook 830 G8 — traditional business laptop
You can configure this traditional laptop with numerous 11th-generation Intel Core i7 chips, all with Intel’s Iris Xe graphics. Memory spans from 4GB to a whopping 64GB, while storage relies on SSDs ranging from 128GB to 2TB. Other ingredients thrown onto the menu include one Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one HDMI port, wired networking, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, a nano-SIM card slot, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 5 connectivity. Powering this device is a 56Wh battery.
10. HP Pro c640 Chromebook — Chromebook for business use
If you want to escape Windows altogether, HP’s Chromebooks are a cheap solution as well. The Pro c640 is among the largest Chromebooks HP offers for business based on a 14-inch display and a 10th-gen Intel Core i3 processor. Configurations include a 14-inch SVA panel with a 1,366 x 768 resolution or a Full HD IPS, and you can also choose between a regular and a touchscreen. System memory ranges from 4GB to 16GB, and storage spans from 32GB to 128GB.
This Chromebook includes two USB-C ports, two USB-A options, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a microSD card slot. You’ll also find Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, an HD webcam, and a 60Wh battery.
11. HP ZBook Firefly — workstation business laptop
Businesses wanting the power of a desktop workstation in a still-portable form factor may want to consider the ZBook Firefly. The ZBook Firefly provides a 15.6-inch display with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Under the hood, the hardware is potent, featuring an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 1165G7. Also included is Intel’s best integrated graphics solution, Iris Xe. It’s stronger than typical integrated graphics, meaning it’ll take on business workloads like a champ while just sipping on battery power.
The workstation provides plenty of connectivity, including two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports (40Gbps). Security features include a fingerprint scanner and an IR camera.
Finally, this workstation measures less than an inch thick, uses a 56Wh battery and weighs 3.74 pounds.
This concludes our latest broadcast of the best HP laptops you can buy right now. Keep tuning in for an updated list as newer models we’ve seen announced finally hit the streets.