Skip to main content

Best HP laptops in 2021

HP Spectre x360 14
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

HP makes some of our favorite laptops, but with so many models, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. From the premium Spectre line to the Omen gaming rigs, we've reviewed countless HP laptops. Below is a list of the best HP laptops in each category. 

If you've settled on a business laptop, be sure to read our best HP EliteBook guide or our more general best business laptops rankings. Some of HP's best laptops are portable devices. For a broader selection, see our best 13-inch laptops page. 

HP entered 2021 having recently released the excellent Spectre x360 14 and showcased several compelling new products at CES 2021, including the Envy 14 and Elite Folio. The company is also releasing a fleet of Chromebooks highlighted by the Elite c1030 Chromebook Enterprise.

What are the best HP laptops?

HP makes a lot of great laptops, but we really like the Envy x360 and Envy 13. They might not be the best laptop in the lineup, but they offer the best value. For $799, you get a premium aluminum design and fast performance in a portable package. The 13.3-inch, 1080p display is plenty bright and vivid and the keyboard is among the best out there. 

If you can spend a bit more, the Spectre x360 13 and Spectre x360 14 are better laptops. The Spectre x360 13 and 14 have an even fancier design and their flexible chassis converts into a tablet. Best of all, the battery life is epic. Similarly, the Elite Dragonfly, built for business users, is a sexy laptop with a razor-thin design and a gorgeous display. 

Business users who need more power than the Elite Dragonfly should opt for the ZBook Create G7, a slim workstation with epic specs. Gamers should consider the Omen 15, a powerful gaming rig with tons of performance at a good price. 

HP Envy 13 (2021) review

The HP Envy 13 is the best laptop for under $1,000, offering similar benefits to the Spectre at a lower price. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

1. HP Envy 13 (2021)

The best 13-inch laptop for the money

Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p
Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding performance+1080p display is bright and vivid+Stylish and compact aluminum design+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No IR camera-Plastic touchpad

The HP Envy 13 is the best laptop for under $1,000 and one of the best 13-inch laptops on the market. While it still has a plastic touchpad, the Envy 13 is a fantastic value if you want the best laptop for less than four figures. What makes this such a great deal is its entirely aluminum design and the excellent 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs. 

In our testing, we found that an Envy 13 with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 delivers fast performance for almost any task. This specific Envy costs just $900 and can outmuscle laptops that cost well over $1,000. Moreover, the Envy 13 has a bright, vivid 13.3-inch display and a comfortable keyboard. 

There is very little we don't like about the Envy 13. If you can get over the lack of an IR camera (there is a fingerprint sensor), then it is the ultimate money-saving laptop.

See our HP Envy 13 (2021) review

The HP Envy x360 13 is the best laptop for under $1,000, offering similar benefits to the Spectre at a lower price.

The HP Envy x360 13 is the best laptop for under $1,000, offering similar benefits to the Spectre at a lower price. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. HP Envy x360 13 (2020)

The best 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p
Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding performance+1080p display is bright and vivid+Stylish and compact aluminum design+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No IR camera

The HP Envy x360 13 is the best laptop for under $1,000 and the best HP laptop on the market. While it doesn't come with a stylus, the Envy is a 2-in-1 so you can flip it into tent or tablet mode. What makes this such a fantastic value is its aluminum design and Herculian AMD Ryzen processors. 

In our testing, we found that an Envy x360 13 with a Ryzen 5 4500U CPU can outperform laptops with 10th Gen Intel chips. This specific Envy costs just $800 and can outmuscle laptops that cost well over $1,000, including the exorbitant MacBook Pro. Moreover, the Envy x360 13 has a bright, vivid 13.3-inch display and a comfortable keyboard. 

There is very little we don't like about the Envy x360. If you can get over the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port and IR camera, then it is the ultimate money-saving laptop.

Also getting an honorable mention is the Envy x360 15. It has many of the same qualities as this 13-inch model but gets you a larger display. We wish it included a stylus but that feature is also lacking on the Envy x360 13.

See our HP Envy x360 13 (2020) review

HP Spectre x360 14

Offering beauty and brawn, the HP Spectre x360 14 is the best 2-in-1 laptop.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. HP Spectre x360 14

The best HP 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
Display: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixels IPS or 3K2K OLED
Size: 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Striking, luxurious design+Gorgeous OLED and FHD display options+Long battery life+Comfortable keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Unwieldy as a tablet

The Spectre x360 14 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Newly released for 2021, the 13.5-inch model builds upon its predecessors but adds useful new features including a 3:2 aspect ratio display and 11th Gen Intel CPUs with Iris Xe graphics. Highlights of this laptop include a stunning design, bright and vivid 1920 x 1280-pixel IPS and 3K2K OLED display options, epic 12+ hour battery life and fast overall performance. 

Add to that a generously sized touchpad that is silky to the touch as well as a comfortable (albeit shallow) keyboard, excellent security options (fingerprint sensor and facial recognition) and a good selection of ports, and well, it's easy to see why we like this laptop so much. 

We recommend buying the Spectre x360 14 over the Envy 13 if you have the money, especially if you need the flexible design. In fact, the Spectre x360 14 is the best HP laptop if you want a convertible notebook. Sure, it has a few faults, but those are easily forgotten once you get this beauty in your hands. 

See our HP Spectre x360 14 review

HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7

A convertible laptop from HP, the EliteBook x360 1040 G7 is the best laptop for business.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7

The best HP business laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-10810U
GPU: Intel UHD
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Display: 14-inch, 1080p
Size: 12.6 x 8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Epic battery life+Attractive, slim design+Good 1080p display+Fast CPU performance
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

HP's EliteBook x360 1040 G7 is among the best business laptops money can buy. This stunning laptop has a gorgeous chassis that flaunts a flexible hinge, allowing the x360 1040 G7 to convert from a laptop into a tablet.

It's one of a few rare notebooks that seemingly has no downsides. Along with that stylus chassis, you get a bright and vivid 14-inch display. But the EliteBook x360 1040 G7's greatness doesn't stop there. The laptop also has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, fast performance and a host of security features, including an IR camera, a fingerprint sensor and MIL-SPEC-810 rated durability. The 10th Gen Intel CPUs, while lacking graphical oomph, are powerful, and the battery lasts for longer than 11 hours on a charge. 

For these reasons, the EliteBook x360 1040 is the best HP laptop for business users. 

See our full HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7 review 

HP Spectre x360 13 (2021)

Offering beauty and brawn, the HP Spectre x360 13 is among the best 13-inch laptops.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. HP Spectre x360 13

The best for creators

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p IPS touchscreen
Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Luxurious design+Sturdy, compact chassis+Bright 1080p display+Fast performance
Reasons to avoid
-Terrible webcam-Small touchpad

If I had to choose between the Spectre x360 14 and Spectre x360 13, I'd buy the 14-inch model. But when you factor in the extra cost (almost $400 at the time of writing) of the larger version, I start leaning toward the Spectre x360 13. Like the Spectre 14, this 13-inch version has a bright display, a comfortable keyboard, epic battery life, and one of the most striking designs we've ever seen on a laptop. 

It brings with it 11th Gen Intel CPUs for speedy performance and the included IR camera and fingerprint sensor mean you never have to use a password again. And while it may not include a stylus, the Spectre x360 13 is reasonably priced for a premium convertible laptop that can transform into a tablet. 

See our HP Spectre x360 13 review.

hpchromebookx2

Students and teachers should consider the Chromebook x2, a high-end detachable that runs Chrome OS.

6. HP Chromebook x2

The best HP Chromebook

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3-7Y30
GPU: Intel Core m3-7Y30
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Display: 12.3-inch, 2400 x 1600-pixel
Size: 11.5 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 3.1 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Bright, high-res display+All-day battery life+Comfortable typing experience
Reasons to avoid
-A bit heavier than other convertibles-Thick bezels

If you're willing to pay a premium for your next Chromebook, the HP Chromebook x2 will definitely satisfy. We love the attractive white lid and a vibrant 12.3-inch touchscreen, and the nearly 9 hours of battery life beats most Windows-powered 2-in-1s. 

Other highlights include a bundled pen for taking notes and full Google Play compatibility for downloading Android apps. We just this 3.2-pound machine were a little lighter.

See our full HP Chromebook x2 review.

HP Omen 15 (2021)

HP has something for gamers, too; The Omen 15 is a powerful gaming laptop with a bright display.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

7. HP Omen 15 (2021)

The best HP gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 15-inch, 4K 60Hz
Size: 14.09 x 9.44 x 0.89 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous 4K panel+Good audio+Excellent video performance and rendering+Strong overall performance
Reasons to avoid
-Terrible battery life

HP's Omen 15 is a lovely demon with a sultry 15-inch, 4K UHD panel that’s bright, crystal clear, and dancing with vivacious warm colors. On the inside, its Omen heart is powered by a powerful Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and capable Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super with Max-Q of 8GB VRAM. 

With its simple yet sexy styling, the Omen 15 is an attractive option you should take a serious look at, but keep in mind, it weighs over 5 pounds and the battery life is not the best.

See our HP Omen 15 (2021) Review.

ZBook Create G7

Business users who need raw power should get the zBook Create G7, HP's best workstation.  (Image credit: Future)

8. HP ZBook Create G7

The best HP workstation

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i9-10885H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 Max-Q GPU
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 2TB
Display: 15.6-inch, 4K touchscreen
Size: 13.9 x 9.25 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous color-accurate display+Fast performance +Durable chassis+Excellent keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey -Gets warm

Armed with an Intel Core i9 processor and an Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, this workstation is ready to take on all challengers. Wrapped in a sleek, svelte chassis, the laptop is easy on the eyes, but thanks to MIL-SPEC certification, it can take a bump or two. Plus, you’ve got a captivating 4K OLED touch panel that serves up breathtaking picture quality. 

At $4,559, HP ZBook Create G7 is pricey, but you’re getting premium performance, so it’s money well-spent production pros. Still, for all the money you’re forking out, I would prefer a brighter display and the battery life could definitely be longer. 

See our full ZBook Create G7 review.

EliteBook 840 G7

Whether you're a business user or an IT admin buying an entire fleet, the EliteBook 840 G7 is a go-to laptop.  (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

9. HP EliteBook 840 G7

The best mainstream business laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-10810U CPU
GPU: UHD graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1080p
Size: 12.74 x 8.45 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Sleek aluminum chassis+Fast performance+Comfortable keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Weak graphics-Top configs are expensive

The EliteBook 840 G7 is one classy-looking business notebook. But it's more than just looks. It offers 9 hours and 23 minutes of battery life, an awesome keyboard, and, when you need it, a SureView privacy display to keep strangers from checking out your screen. 

There are also plenty of ports so you can ditch the dongles and top-firing speakers sound surprisingly good. Yes, the webcam isn't the best but that's nothing an external solution can't fix. Cheaper than most premium business laptops, the EliteBook 840 G5 comes with a 10th Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 64GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD.

See our full HP EliteBook 840 G7 review.

HP Elite Folio

The HP Elite Folio uses a unique pull-forward mechanism, making it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for artists. (Image credit: Future)

10. HP Elite Folio

The best convertible laptop

Specifications
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2
GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 690
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixels
Size: 11.75 x 9.03 x 0.63 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Innovative easel mode+Incredible battery life+Clicky keyboard+Compact and lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-App incompatibility-Middling performance

The HP Elite Folio is packed with innovative, solution-solving tech — not gimmicks — that substantiates its $2,000 price tag. It also gives the Energizer Bunny a run for its money; it lasted a jaw-dropping 16 hours and 21 minutes on a charge.

Not only does the Elite Folio have the endurance of an Olympic champion, but it breaks records like one, too. The Elite Folio is the world’s first business convertible with a spectacular pull-forward mechanism. The feature lets you transform the display into a digital easel so you can get your Bob Ross on. The Elite Folio comes with an awesome stylus — a plus for users who have an affinity for digital note-taking and doodling.

See our full HP Elite Folio review.

Choosing the Right HP Laptop

As one of the top laptop brands, HP has a laptop for every occasion, from premium business laptops to budget-friendly Chromebooks. That extensive selection might make it tough to decide which laptop is right for you, so here's a handy guide to the various model lines offered by HP.

Spectre: Premium, lightweight designs that offer portable power and beautiful displays are hallmarks of HP's best model line.

Envy: If attractive design, vibrant displays and premium audio are your focus, HP's line of Envy laptops has style to spare.

Elite Dragonfly: HP's new premium business laptop, the Elite Dragonfly series sports a stunning, premium design that's both durable and lightweight. Expect the latest, top-of-the-line features and components, along with a sky-high price to match.

EliteBook: HP's business laptops, with IT support, strong performance and premium designs. For better portability, the thin-and-light EliteBook Folio is the name to look for. If you go with this line, be sure to check out our 5 essential accessories for EliteBooks.

ProBook: For business-capable laptops without the premium price tag, the ProBook line delivers no-nonsense designs and performance for everyday office productivity.

ZBook: For professionals needing workstation-class performance, HP's ZBooks offer all the power you need, along with robust security and rugged designs.

Notebook: If HP's "Notebook" line sounds generic, that's because it is, but these simple designs offer everyday performance that won't break the bank.

Pavilion: For a happy medium between the bland, budget-friendly "Notebook" line and HP's premium Envy laptops, look no further than the affordably-priced Pavilion. These mid-range laptops come in all shapes and sizes, but all offer decent performance with solid feature sets.

Omen: HP's gaming brand, Omen laptops have a bit more pizazz and a lot more graphics power, delivering a decent gaming experience for (relatively) reasonable prices.

Stream: For a Chromebook-style laptop that still offers WIndows, check out HP's brightly colored, ultra-budget Stream laptops.

Chromebooks: Ranging from $200-500, the HP Chromebook line offers Google's Chrome OS in several well-made laptops.

How we test HP laptops

We put HP laptops through extensive benchmark testing -- both synthetic and real-world -- before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and system heat.

We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of a laptop's display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests. 

To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution. 

We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average (8 hours and 36 minutes) to be a good result. Of course, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.