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Grow Your Business Technology

Best HP Work Laptops (2017)

HP hewlett packard
Credit: Shutterstock

HP’s extensive lineup of business laptops includes everything from lightweight travel companions to beefy workstations. The company’s business-class systems (which fall under the Elite, ZBook and ProBook lines) offer extra durability credentials and security that’s tough enough to please corporate IT departments. And the Spectre line of premium consumer notebooks shouldn’t be overlooked; it includes some of the slickest notebooks on the market. Here are our top choices for every budget.

Best Overall
BUY
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  • Price
    $1,899 (starts at $1,249)
  • CPU
    2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U
  • RAM
    16GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    13.3 inches, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    9:17
Best Budget Laptop
BUY
Read Review
  • Price
    $1,059.99 (starts at $989)
  • CPU
    3.1GHz Intel Core i5-7200U
  • RAM
    8GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    13.3 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    10:06
Best Workstation
BUY
Read Review
  • Price
    $3,510 (starts at $2078)
  • CPU
    Intel Xeon 1535M
  • RAM
    32GB
  • Display Size & Resolution
    15.6 inches, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Battery Life Tested
    4:30

HP is a reliable business-focused laptop brand. Many entrepreneurs outfit their small businesses with HP laptops because they're relatively affordable and highly customizable. When selecting the best laptops for small businesses, we considered not only the laptop model, but also the configuration. Many of the HP laptops listed here can be purchased for less money, but in general we recommend paying a slightly higher price for significantly improved performance. These are our top choices and their recommended configurations.  

HP EliteBook x360 G2  

 

 

 

The HP EliteBook x360 G2 offers business users powerful performance in a gorgeous package. As the name implies, the x360 is a convertible laptop with a 360-degree hinge, so you can fold it and use it as a tablet, type on it like a traditional laptop, or position it in a V-display configuration 

This top-of-the-line HP features a touch screen, a stylus (included in the box), two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, smart-card reader, microSD card slot, Thunderbolt 3, Kensington lock slot and HDMI output. The HP EliteBook x360 G2 also has some unique business features on the keyboard, like a key that allows you to answer and end Skype for Business calls and a separate key that acts as a shortcut to your Outlook calendar. The only downside to this machine is the display, which has decent resolution but isn't very bright.  

HP Spectre x360  

 

 

 

Another 2-in-1, the HP Spectre x360 delivers the functionality of a tablet and a laptop at a great price point. With its 10 hours of battery life, light weight (just 2.8 pounds) and glossy HD display, the HP Spectre x360 is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to purchase an HP machine on a budget. The starting configuration is under $1,000, but it comes with a Windows 10 Home operating system, and upgrading by just $70 will get you Windows 10 Pro.  

Unlike many other 2-in-1 machines, this affordable hybrid comes with an Active pen at no additional charge, so you can keep costs low and functionality robust. Of course, you can upgrade everything from the ports to the CPU, but for the most bang for your buck, stick with the entry-level model with the inexpensive Windows 10 Pro upgrade.  

HP ZBook Studio G4  

laptop Credit: purch

Workstation laptops are intended primarily for use in a workspace, like a home office. While you can travel with workstation-style laptops, designs like these are typically characterized by powerful processors, relatively heavy frames and unimpressive battery life. That said, the HP ZBook Studio G4 offers seriously powerful processing and graphics at a great price, so if you want an HP workstation, this is the one to purchase.  

The HP ZBook Studio G4 we've listed here comes loaded with a beefy Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of RAM and Nvidia Quado M1200 graphics. Plus, you get a comfy keyboard, a vibrant 15.6-inch display and a durable design.

Read Full Review

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Every laptop on this list has been fully reviewed on our sister site, BusinessNewsDaily.com. We use precise, repeatable testing procedures to evaluate products and help our readers make informed buying decisions. Our methods include industry-standard synthetic benchmark tests, including the Geekbench 3 performance test, and the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test. We also use a variety of in-house tests to assess each laptop’s battery life, file transfer speed and more.

For more information on how we evaluate laptops, check out our testing guide.

What you need to know before buying a HP laptop

You get a wide variety of security, durability and manageability options across HP’s laptop lineup. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from the brand.

HP offers work-ready laptops in four distinct lines. Here’s a quick breakdown

  • Spectre: The Spectre line includes a range of premium consumer notebooks that are known for their stylish looks, powerful performance and slim, portable designs. They generally lack the business-class durability and secure manageability options that you’ll find on HP’s business-class lines, however.
  • Elite: The Elite line offers ultraportable laptop computers with business-class security options – including hardware encryption, secure manageability and biometric authentication. Plus, these laptops have tough designs that are tested to survive drops, dings, dust, humidity and more.
  • ZBook: If you need more power, look to the ZBook line. These workstation-class laptops offer heavy-duty performance with the same security and durability credentials as the Elite line. They’re generally larger and heavier than Elite laptops, though.
  • ProBook: The ProBook line is made for workers on a budget. These systems offer business-class security and durability, but they’re generally bulkier and heavier, and are usually made of less premium materials like plastic.

HP’s business laptops offer a variety of security features.

  • Encryption: All of HP’s business laptops are outfitted with a Trusted Platform Module, which allows for hardware-based encryption that’s enabled by default.
  • Biometric security: Some HP laptops offer biometric authentication, which allows you unlock your computer using your body. In most cases that means a fingerprint reader. But a few HP laptops – including the Elite x2 – also have cameras that can authenticate your identity by recognizing your face.
  • Lock slot: A physical lock slot is provided on most HP laptops, letting you secure your device to your desk with a cable to deter thieves.

Many of HP’s business laptops offer special manageability tools.

  • VPro: Larger companies will want to look for HP laptops with secure manageability options via Intel VPro technology. VPro is a remote management platform baked right into higher-end Intel processors, giving you – or your IT team -- access to laptops at the hardware level. With VPro you can run software and group policy updates, even when a system has been powered down. The ability to manage a powered-down system also helps when you need to locate the system, restrict access to it, or wipe it clean if it's been lost or stolen.
  • Deployment: HP provides a number of migration and deployment services at a variety of price points. For starters, HP can pre-load company images onto new PCs straight from the factory. Additionally, system images and data can be migrated to your new PCs remotely, to limit workday disruptions. And if you need some additional hand-holding, HP’s on-site services include delivery of new PCs, as well as on-site image installation and full data migration services.
Mona Bushnell

Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based Staff Writer for Tom’s IT Pro and Business News Daily. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and has previously worked as an IT Technician, a Copywriter, a Software Administrator, a Scheduling Manager and an Editorial Writer. Mona began freelance writing full-time in 2014 and joined the Purch team in 2017.