Best HP laptops 2018: the top HP laptops we’ve seen and tested

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HP has been rebuilding its reputation over the last few years, and this has been done through the best HP laptops – the same mobile workhorses thought to be dead just a few years ago. However, thanks to the advent of Windows 10 and convertible laptops that aren’t worthless, the best HP laptops continue to get better over time. In the span of just a couple years, HP has transformed into a company that concentrates on design flair rather than cheapness, which makes the best HP laptops some of the best laptops for college students.

In some ways, this means the reintroduction of its increasingly popular ‘privacy filter,’ called Sure,View, to an ever-expanding range of devices. In others, it means strapping laptops with beautiful gold trimmings that we’re used to on HP’s high-end products, like the HP Spectre line of Ultrabooks and 2-in-1 laptops. To help you find the best HP laptop for your needs, we went ahead and picked out the 5 best HP laptops you can buy today.   

1. HP Spectre x360

The perfect hybird laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: : Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Long battery life with quick charging
Keyboard has strong tactile feedback
Gets expensive quickly

The best HP laptops are going to balance design flare with raw power, and there is no better example of this over the years than the HP Spectre line of laptops. The 2018 Spectre x360 features perfectly slim bezels and is lightweight enough to comfortably use it in tablet mode. As a regular notebook, you’ll have trouble finding a better keyboard, brighter display or more powerful components – especially considering its size. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 

2. HP Spectre 13

The thinnest Ultrabook

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Impossibly thin and light
Top-notch looks
Light on ports
Second-rate trackpad

This might just be one of the most beautiful laptops we’ve ever seen. The ceramic white finish is complemented by a two-prong, glossy hinge design that’s absolutely irresistible. That’s all fine and dandy, but in terms of power it’s a winner, too. In fact, it leverages the might of 8th-generation Intel Kaby Lake R processors perfectly.

Read the full review: HP Spectre 13 

3. HP Pavilion 15

The all-around best laptop for school

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 - Ryzen 5 or 8th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics or Intel UHD 620 Graphics | RAM: 4 –16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) – HD (1,920 x 1,080) touch | Storage: 16GB Intel Optane Drive – 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD

Affordably priced for students
Extremely customizable
HD only screen to start

What it lacks in performance prowess, the HP Pavilion 15 makes up for in finesse. It’s one of the few remaining AMD-based laptops HP is still making, but the Ryzen chips on display here are nothing to shake a stick at – and will be enticing for anyone on a budget. It’s affordable, but don’t think it’s cheap. The HP Pavilion 15 is a rare example of a laptop that knows how to strike a balance, making it a fantastic value proposition, and one of the best laptops for students

4. HP Chromebook 14 G5

HP’s most affordable laptop

CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 – N3450 | Graphics: : Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 4 – 8 GB | Screen: 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) – HD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 16 – 64GB eMMC

Long battery life
Large screen real estate
Fully plastic build

Nobody wants to break open their piggy bank for a laptop, which is why devices like the HP chromebook 14 G5 exist at all. It’s an economical Chromebook that never feels cheap which is a distinction that Chromebooks wear like a badge of honor. This Chromebook in particular boasts a sleek aesthetic and passable performance, especially when you spec it out. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best HP laptops for anyone on a budget. 

5. HP Omen X

The ultimate gaming laptop

CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: : Nvidia GTX 1070 – 1080 | RAM: 12 – 32GB RAM | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 120Hz – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD; 1TB HDD

Top-end gaming specs
Designed for overclocking
Short battery life

The best gaming laptops have a shaky reputation for their lack of upgradeability, making them more disposable than a gaming desktop by nature. Luckily, HP has subverted this issue by adding plenty of essential features that most gaming laptops lack. For instance, you can overclock the Omen X, which just means free performance – which will keep it at the top of the stack longer than competitors. For gamers, the HP Omen X is the best HP laptop on the market. 

  • Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article

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