Spectre x360 13t
The Spectre x360 13t resembles more of a luxury item than a convertible laptop. Available in natural silver or ash silver and copper colors, the slim aluminum body looks beautiful and can take a beating without showing it. The 13.3-inch, 1440p display is responsive to touch while in tablet mode, and the keyboard and touchpad are comfortable to use while in notebook mode. The best part? Configurations start at only about $900.
Bottom-line: For the best HP laptop, you have to go with the Spectre x360 13t.
One more thing: Audio by Bang & Olufsen will blow you away the first time you pump your favorite song.
Why the HP Spectre x360 13t is the best
The Spectre x360 13t looks and acts like a laptop that costs a lot, but is actually quite affordable.
The slim profile of the Spectre x360 13t really lends itself to the laptop's overall luxury appearance. If you're sick of the standard silver finish on most laptops, choose the ash silver and copper option — it really is a stunner.
The 13.3-inch touch display has up to a 2560x1440 resolution and is bright enough to be visible outside on sunny days. Touch accuracy is great when in tablet mode, and you'll enjoy a comfortable keyboard with well-spaced keys and an enormous touchpad when in notebook mode.
There are plenty of configurations to choose from, up to a Skylake Intel Core i7-6500U processor with up to a 3.10GHz clock speed, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The battery lasts upwards of 11 hours, so you won't be stuck dead in the middle of a mobile project. With plenty of ports available, including three USB 3.0, one HDMI, one SD card reader, and one Mini DisplayPort, you'll have no problem connecting your other devices.
Configurations start at about $900 for a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and run up about $1800 for the highest-end version.
The Pavilion 15z is a low-price performer. Starting at about $260, you can get a model with a quad-core AMD E2-7110 processor with a 1.8GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 15.6-inch display with a 1366x768 resolution. If you have a light workload and intend on using your laptop primarily for web browsing, word processing, and video watching, this is a great choice for under $300. HP has a ton of configuration options, so if you want more RAM, a better processor, or even a touchscreen, you can have it — though prices will rise accordingly.
Bottom-line: For price to performance ratio, the Pavilion 15z is your best bet for a budget HP laptop.
One more thing: The pavilion 15z is available in five colors: turbo silver, white silver, cardinal red, dreamy teal, and noble blue.
BEST FOR GAMING
The GPU is arguably the most important part of your gaming laptop, and the OMEN 17 has up to an NVIDIA GTX 1070 with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM. On top of the GPU is 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with a clock speed up to 3.5GHz. This thing will run your games without a problem, and can even power VR rigs. The 17.3-inch display has a 4K resolution that is a joy to look at, and you get a full host of ports, including three USB 3.0, one Mini DisplayPort, one HDMI, and one Ethernet. This brute of a gaming laptop starts at about $1600.
Bottom-line: For the best HP gaming laptop with the latest NVIDIA 10-series GPU, go with the OMEN 17.
One more thing: Bang & Olufsen speakers will blow you away when you're gaming without headphones.
BEST FOR BUSINESS
The EliteBook 1040 was subjected to grueling military durability tests, including drops, extreme temperatures, and shocks, to ensure your laptop keeps running even in harsh conditions. Keep your work secure with a fingerprint reader and privacy shield that stops everyone but you from seeing what's on the screen. With powerful hardware configurations available — get up to a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD — and a 14-inch, 1440p touch display, you'll have no problem tackling whatever is thrown your way. Configurations start at about $1250.
Bottom-line: For the best HP laptop for the business-oriented, go with the EliteBook 1040.
One more thing: Despite its rugged build, the EliteBook 1040 weighs 3.15 pounds (1.36kg).
BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Spectre x360 15t
Photographers need a high resolution to see what they're working with, so the 15.6-inch, 4K touch display on the Spectre x360 15t only makes sense. There are plenty of configurations to choose from, but anyone who edits multimedia on a daily basis understands the importance of high performance. Within the top configuration of this convertible laptop, which starts at about $1900, is a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed up 3.1GHz, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD.
Bottom-line: For the multi-purpose HP laptop with a 4K display, go with the Spectre x360 15t.
One more thing: Get a full workday and more from the strong lithium-ion battery.