Best cheap HP laptops: Gaming, Chromebook, and more!

Best cheap HP laptops: Gaming, Chromebook, and more!

Finding a good laptop in the sea of options out there today can sometimes prove to be a bit complicated. It’s even more challenging when you’re trying to spend as little money as possible. HP makes some really great laptops, but when the budget is tight, it can be hard to find one you can actually afford. We’ve already rounded up some of the best laptops you can buy for under $600, and HP makes an appearance a couple of times. But if you’re absolutely keen on the brand, these are the best HP laptops you can get on a budget.

For this list, we’re mostly trying to stick to a budget of around $600, but we made one notable exception, which we’ll get to later. At this price point, you won’t find anything that blows you away, but there are a few options that nail the basics and offer a great overall experience. We’ve included laptops of different sizes, operating systems, and form factors. This should help you find something that fits your needs.

As you’d expect, all of the Windows laptops will be eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade this holiday season.

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Best overall: HP Pavilion x360 14

HP Pavilion x360 14 2021

Already making an appearance on our budget laptop list, the HP Pavilion x360 14 is a fantastic option on a budget. Starting with an 11th-generation Intel Core i3 and 8GB of dual-channel memory, it’s already a great option for your everyday tasks. If you can stretch your budget, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i5 with Iris Xe Graphics, double the RAM, with a couple more upgrades available. It also comes with a good supply of ports, including USB Type-C with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, HDMI 2.0, and more.

The one you might want the most is actually the display. Out of the box, it comes with a 14-inch touchscreen at 1366 x 768 resolution. This is still quite common among cheaper laptops, but the upgrade to Full HD can make a world of difference. Everything will look sharper and you’ll be able to see a bit more content on the screen. Regardless, it’s a fantastic entry-level convertible for its price.

    HP Pavilion x360 14
    The HP Pavilion x360 14 is a great all-rounder budget laptop with new Intel processors and solid connectivity options.

Best gaming laptop: HP Pavilion Gaming 15

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 laptop

We’ve quickly arrived at our exception to the $600 price point, but there’s a good reason for it. The HP Pavilion Gaming is an exceptional machine for its $699.99 asking price. Packing an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, it has six CPU cores and 12 threads, making it a very fast laptop right out of the gate. Couple that with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, and you’ll be able to use this to play most modern games at decent settings. Sure, you won’t be using ray-tracing, and the most demanding games may require you to lower some settings, but almost everything should at least be playable.

The base configuration only includes a 256GB SSD, but if you can spare an extra $70, you can double that to 512GB so you can store more games. This can be essential with some titles taking almost 200GB by themselves (we’re looking at you, Call of Duty: Warzone). You can also upgrade to a 144Hz display for $20, so you can stay under $800 and still have a great gaming experience. It’s cheaper than most laptops on our budget gaming laptops list, but you may want to check that out if you have a bit more money to spend.

    HP Pavilion Gaming 15
    The HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is a great starting point for on-the-go gaming, featuring Ryzen 5000 series CPUs and a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU.

Best 15-inch laptop: HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15 laptop

If you’re looking for a classy-looking 15-inch laptop that still gets the job done, the new HP Pavilion 15 is a pretty great choice. It’s packing AMD’s latest Ryzen processors, starting at a Ryzen 3 5300U. That’s still a quad-core, eight-thread CPU clocked at 2.6GHz, and it has six GPU cares to help with graphics tasks. You’re not going to be running intensive games on it, but older 2D titles are manageable, and day-to-day tasks won’t be a problem for this CPU. You also get 8GB of dual-channel memory as the base configuration, which is a great start.

Once again, one of the upgrades we’d recommend here is going for the Full HD display, instead of the 1366×768 panel in the base configuration. That will set you back $40, but if you can make it fit your budget, it’s a major step up. There are actually plenty of upgrades you can make here to improve your experience, including the CPU, RAM, and storage. Even at the base level though, you’re getting a solid experience here.

    HP Pavilion 15
    The HP Pavilion 15 is a premium-feeling laptop with great entry-level features, including Ryzen 5000 CPUs and a good selection of ports.

Best Chromebook: HP Chromebook x360 14

HP Chromebook x360 14 laptpop

Chromebooks are great education machines, and they’re well-known for being affordable. However, the lowest-priced Chromebooks probably won’t give you the best experience. If you want something a little more capable with a premium touch, the HP Chromebook x360 14 is one of the best you can find. It comes with an Intel Core i3-1125G4, which is a solid CPU with four cores and eight threads. That also means it includes things like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, so it’s a future-proofed machine. What’s more, it has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, which is more than enough for a Chromebook. There aren’t a lot of upgrade options, but you’re getting a solid build from the get-go.

Another highlight of this one is the Full HD touchscreen in the base configuration. Most Windows laptops at this price offer lower-resolution panels, so this is already great if you’re just looking to browse the web or enjoy some media content. On top of that, the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, another rare sight on laptops at this price. This should make it a durable PC for the children taking it to school and tossing it in a backpack. Oh, and it even has a fingerprint reader to make logging in easier.

    HP Chromebook x360 14
    The HP Chromebook x360 14 is one of the best Chromebooks you can get, featuring an 11th-gen Intel Core i3, a fingerprint reader, and high-quality display.

Best 17-inch laptop: HP Laptop 17

HP 17 Laptop

Aside from winning the award for most generic laptop name, the HP Laptop 17 is a great option if you enjoy bigger displays. It’s packing Intel’s 11th-generation Core processors, and while it starts with a Core i3, you can go as high as the Core i7 if your budget allows for it. You can even pair it with GeForce MX450 graphics if you want to be able to do some light gaming. You get 8GB of 3200MHz dual-channel memory in the base configuration, and a 1TB HDD, which is this laptop’s Achilles heel. If you can spare an extra $70, the 256GB SSD will greatly improve your experience, even if it misses out on some capacity.

The 17-inch panel starts at 1600×900 resolution, but you can upgrade to Full HD for an extra $60. Either way, the base resolution is higher than on similar 15-inch laptops, which helps accommodate the larger screen size. There’s also a touch option, but it’s not available with the Full HD panel, which is a shame. Regardless, this is a great laptop with a lot of upgrade options that let you fine-tune it to your taste and budget.

    HP 17 Laptop
    The HP 17 Laptop is a great basic laptop with solid entry-level performance and connectivity for those who need a bigger display.

Best business laptop: HP 250 G8 Notebook

HP 250 G8 laptop

Finding a good business laptop in this price range is difficult, but the HP 250 G8 is a solid entry-level choice. What contributes to the higher price tag is that business laptops like this come with Windows 10 Pro instead of the Home edition. That means you get access to features like Remote Desktop, Hyper-V, BitLocker, and Windows Defender Device Guard. These are features meant for professionals, and if you need them, you have to be willing to make some trade-offs.

In terms of specs, you get an Intel Core i3-1005G1, which is no longer Intel’s newest, but it still offers two cores and four threads, with boost speeds of up to 3.4GHz. You get 8GB of single-channel RAM and a 256GB SSD, along with a healthy supply of ports including RJ45 Ethernet. The display is 15.6 inches and it comes in a 1366×768 resolution.

    HP 250 G8 Notebook
    The HP 250 G8 Notebook covers most of the business basics and comes with Windows 10 Pro, getting you access to professional features like Remote Desktop.

These are what we consider to be the best HP laptops you can get on a budget. There’s quite a bit of variety on this list, so whatever you’re looking for, we have something for you. If you’re still exploring other options, we have more budget laptops from other brands in our budget laptop roundup. There are quite a few options out there.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.