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The best HP laptops

HP offers several excellent laptop lines that are tailored for professionals, traveling, and student use, and generally makes great all-purpose laptop models for those who want dependability and performance. However, picking and customizing an HP laptop can be a confusing process for newcomers, and it’s not always immediately clear what differences mark the various HP lines nor which is the best pick.

Allow us to make the choice easier with our list of the best HP laptops available in 2020, and what each model excels at.

The Best 

HP Envy 15 (2020)

Why you should buy this: HP’s 15-inch laptop has excellent upgrade options and a solid design.

Who it’s for: Buyers who want to focus on performance in a laptop that will last.

Why we picked the HP Envy 15 (2020):

HP’s Envy 15 is a masterclass in laptop performance at an affordable price, an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a desktop replacement or a laptop that can also handle the bulk of their work. The model comes with a baseline 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, and 16GB of RAM, and starts with a 256GB PCIe NVME SSD.

But one of the things that makes the Envy 15 so great is just how far you can upgrade. Those interested can improve the processor and add up to a GeForce RTX 2060 for better GPU performance, switch to 32GB of RAM, and choose up to 2TB of SSD storage. The 15.6-inch screen can also be upgraded to a touchscreen or to a 4K AMOLED touchscreen if you want the very best the display can provide.

Ports are also ready for just about anything you can throw at them, with two USB-C ports with Power Delivery support, DisplayPort 1.4, and HDM 2.0b, along with a USB-A port.

One of the few downsides we can find is that it’s a bit bulky and heavy (4.74 pounds) compared to rival laptop options, making it slightly less portable than some competition. As a desktop replacement, though, it’s difficult to find anything better for the general user.

Read our full HP Envy 15 here

The Rest

HP Spectre X360 (2020)

Why you should buy this: This compact laptop still keeps plenty of power.

Who it’s for: Professionals and students who want a more portable HP laptop that doesn’t give up too much.

Why we picked the HP Spectre X360 (2020):

The Spectre X360 received a welcome 2020 revision with a 10th-gen Intel Core it-1065G processor, and starts with 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. It makes for a great alternative to the Envy 15 if you prefer a more compact, lightweight laptop that’s easier to carry around while you’re working. Also, a webcam kill switch is now included to add more privacy (a security feature that most of HP’s new laptops also have).

Upgrade options also excel here. We particularly like the ability to switch to a 4K, AMOLED touchscreen for more visual work, and the laptop can hold up to 2TB in storage if you prefer. However, you cannot upgrade to a better Nvidia GPU on this model and are limited to Intel Iris graphics, so it’s definitely not as good for gaming and other high-end graphics as the Envy.

Ports for the model include two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections, a USB-A 3.1 port, and DisplayPort 1.4, which also skips over the HDMI port offered by the Envy for a more streamlined approach. There is a 15-inch version of the Spectre X360, but we appreciate the more portable nature of this option.

Read our comparison with the Dell XPS 13 here

HP Elite Dragonfly

Why you should buy this: The Dragonfly is a portable laptop ready for travel and data protection.

Who it’s for: Commuters, frequent fliers, those with a full schedule of business trips, and similar situations.

Why we picked the HP Elite Dragonfly:

The Dragonfly was made for travel, an ideal fit for workers who frequently commute and go on trips, or students that want an extra-light laptop for their work. It’s only around 2.2 pounds to start with but includes more performance features that some compact laptops. That includes 16GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. The 13.3-inch display offers HD resolution and a brightness limit of 400 nits — it pairs well with the spill-resistant, backlit keyboard.

However, this travel companion does have to make some compromises, and one of those is an older Intel processor than our top picks, the 8th-gen Core i5-8265U, which lacks the speed of 10th- and 11th-gen Intel chips. However, the laptop does come equipped with two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-A 3.1, and HDMI 1.4., plus an external Nano SIM slot if you are interested in adding data capabilities for your travels.

Finally, if you’re concerned about privacy, there is a version of the Dragonfly that comes with SureView, HP’s privacy filter that will help keep unwanted eyes from looking at your work. This may be an enjoyable option if you spend a lot of time working on planes or trains during transit.

Read our full HP Elite Dragonfly review here

HP Omen 17

HP Omen 17 Gaming Laptop 2020

Why you should buy this: The Omen’s large screen and performance features make it an excellent desktop replacement.

Who it’s for: Workers who need serious performance, gamers who also want an all-purpose laptop.

Why we picked the HP Omen 17:

Other buyers who are serious about getting a desktop replacement laptop may prefer a larger display over other specs, and the 17-inch FHD display of the Omen 17 certainly delivers. It can also be upgraded to a 144Hz version, or to a full 4k, 60Hz version, depending on your priorities.

Performance also impresses with the Omen 17, which starts with a Core i7-10750H processor and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and can be upgraded from there — all the way to a GeForce RTX 2080 Super if you need great graphics for your work or play.

The model also offers 16GB–32GB of RAM and a variety of SSD combination options depending on your storage preferences. There’s also one USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port with DisplayPort 1.4 compatibility, three USB-A ports, a Mini DisplayPort connection, and HDMI 2.0a.

However, the downside to such a large laptop is that it’s not the easiest to move around, with a weight that easily exceeds 7 pounds. It may be an excellent pick for more demanding work projects or even as a gaming machine, but don’t plan on moving it around too frequently.

For a look at other great gaming laptops, here are our favorites for 2020.

HP Chromebook 14

Why you should buy this: It’s an inexpensive laptop that’s perfect for portability and light work.

Who it’s for: Students, those looking for an affordable laptop option, people happy with Chrome OS.

Why we picked the HP Chromeboonk 14:

HP also produces some very solid Chromebooks, a very different option for buyers who are looking for a highly affordable laptop that’s well-suited for lighter work and easy transportation between classrooms or jobs. It offers a 14-inch HD display, and a dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor, with a battery rated for up to 13.5 hours.

There’s also 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage to work with here. Remember, a Chromebook’s goal is to provide a super-portable laptop for quick work and a reliance on Chrome OS and cloud computing. Speed and storage are secondary concerns, which is how this model is able to keep prices so low. The advantage is that HP’s approach to making durable laptops is a good fit for this sturdy model, which is ready to go be on the move for years. Bluetooth 5 is supported, but unfortunately, there’s no Wi-Fi 6 support at this time.

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