These are the best cheap HP laptops in 2021

These are the best cheap HP laptops in 2021

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, we’ve rounded up some of the best (and cheap) laptops in HP’s portfolio.

For this list, we’re mostly trying to stick to a budget of around $600, but that’s not always possible. Some of these laptops are only at price because of sales, and some still go over that number, simply because you can’t find decent laptops in a specific category at that price. These options aren’t meant to compete with the HP’s best, but there are a few cheap laptops 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.

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As a side note, all the Windows laptops on this list are either shipping with Windows 11 or they support the upgrade to the new operating system. Do keep in mind that Windows 11 is rolling out gradually, so you may not get it right away.

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Best overall: HP Pavilion x360 14

HP pavilion x360 14 on orange background

Already making an appearance on our budget laptop list, the HP Pavilion x360 14 is a fantastic laptop for anyone who wants something cheap but competent. Despite being affordable, it has a lot to offer in terms of versatility and performance.

Let’s start with the specs. The HP Pavilion x360 14 comes with Intel’s latest 11th-generation Core processors, up to a Core i7-1165G7. Right now, the best configuration in the $600 budget comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, a quad-core, eight-thread processor that can boost up to 4.2GHz. That makes this a very capable laptop already, and it even includes Iris Xe graphics. Additionally, the base model comes with 8GB of dual-channel RAM and a 256GB SSD accelerated by 16GB of Intel Optane Memory. That’s a fantastic combination to start with, and it’s going to handle day-to-day usage just fine.

The display is one area where the Pavilion x360 isn’t the best, since it starts with a standard HD (1366 x 768) panel. You can upgrade to Full HD for just $40, and we’d definitely recommend that if you can stretch your budget slightly. This is a convertible laptop, so the screen supports touch and pen input (and a pen is even included in the box), which is great to see at this price. Of course, there’s also the versatility of being able to rotate the display back to use the laptop as a tablet.

Above the display, the Pavilion x360 includes a 720p webcam, which is something you should expect with most laptops at this price point. It probably won’t be fantastic, so you might need an external webcam if meetings and online classes are important to you. The camera also doesn’t support Windows Hello, and there’s no fingerprint reader either, at least in the configurations available at writing time.

Design-wise, the Pavilion x360 14 is fairly standard for an affordable laptop. This is one area where cheaper devices often cut corners, and it won’t feel as premium as more expensive laptops. It measures 20.57mm in thickness, so it’s not particularly thin, and at 3.33lbs, while it’s not very heavy, it’s also not especially light. It’s just about what you’d expect at this price. It does come in three colors, though, so you can at least choose what suits your style the best.

There’s a good supply of ports with the Pavilion x360 14, though. It comes with one USB Type-C port with charging and display output, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. While the Type-C port supports charging, there’s also a proprietary barrel charging port, too, and that’s what’s used by default. That covers most of the needs you might have, though there’s no Thunderbolt support because this is an affordable device. But you can connect almost anything you’d want using the built-in ports.

HP makes a lot of cheap laptops, but this is easily one of the best options around. It’s got solid performance and a versatile form factor, and at first glance it doesn’t look like a laptop that cuts a lot of corners.

    The HP Pavilion x360 14 is a budget convertible with great performance and a versatile design.

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Best gaming laptop: HP Pavilion Gaming 15

HP Pavilion Gaming 15 laptop

For the gamers out there, we had to ever so slightly stretch past our $600 target, but it would be impossible to find a cheaper HP laptop that can actually give you a good gaming experience. The Pavilion Gaming 15z is discounted at writing time, making it just $629.99, which is a great deal for everything you’re getting here.

Starting with performance, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15z comes with AMD’s latest Ryzen 5000 series processors, with the base configuration including a Ryzen 5 5600H CPU (though you can upgrade to a Ryzen 7). The base configuration is a very powerful CPU already, featuring six cores, 12 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.2GHz. This is going to get you fantastic performance for games and productivity alike. On top of the powerful CPU, this laptop comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of video memory. That may not be the latest and greatest, but it’ll run most modern games just fine with some settings tweaked. Additionally, you get 8GB of RAM by default (up to 16GB) and a 256GB SSD to store your games, with upgrade options up to 1TB. All of that combined makes for a great budget gaming experience.

The display is also pretty good, being that it has Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution by default. That’s better than many other laptops in this price range, even those without discrete graphics. The base configuration does have a standard 60Hz refresh rate (which isn’t necessarily a problem), but you can upgrade to a 144Hz panel if you want a smoother gaming experience. There are also upgrade options that improve the quality and brightness of the display’s light.

Unsurprisingly, the webcam above the display is only 720p resolution, and we’ll be seeing that a lot throughout this list. It’s serviceable in a pinch, but you might want to buy an external camera if you’re using it often. The camera also doesn’t support Windows Hello, nor is there a fingerprint reader for that purpose, which is a bummer.

One thing that gaming laptops tend to use to differentiate themselves is the design, for better or worse. The HP Pavilion Gaming 15z thankfully doesn’t look overly “gamer-esque” aside from some green accents on the HP logo and keyboard, but you can opt for a version where the green is replaced with white. However, the laptop is a bit thick, measuring 23.62mm, and it starts at 4.37lbs in weight, so it’s not super light. hat’s not too surprising for a gaming laptop, especially a budget one, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The HP Pavilion Gaming 15z does come with a solid selection of ports. It includes one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports (one of which is USB 3), HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. That covers just about anything you might need, including a wired internet connection if you need the lowest possible latency for online games. For an affordable laptop like this, this is a great selection.

If you want a cheap laptop that can play most modern games without breaking the bank, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15z is one of the best choices around. With its current discounted price of $629.99, it’s a no-brainer.

    For gamers on a budget, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15z delivers a great gaming experience at an affordable price, especially if you can get it with a discount.

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Best 15-inch laptop: HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15 laptop

Want a larger laptop that’s still powerful for daily use? Are you a bigger fan of AMD processors than Intel’s? The HP Pavilion 15 might just be the right laptop for you, delivering a strong combination of performance and a cheap price. At writing time, this model starts at just $459.99, which is a fantastic deal for what yo’re getting.

First off, the HP Pavilion 15 comes with the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, starting with a Ryzen 5 5500U. These are 15W processors, not 45W models like the ones used in the gaming laptop above, but they’re still great CPUs for day-to-day use. The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U has six cores and 12 threads, and it can boost up to 4GHz when needed.  You can upgrade to a Ryzen 7 57o0U if it fits your budget, too. Additionally, the Pavilion 15 comes with 8GB of RAM by default, and a 256GB SSD for storage. You can upgrade up to 16GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD, too.

The display is one area that’s not as strong since the base configuration only includes an HD (1366 x 768) panel. That’s not uncommon for laptops at this price, but it’s not going to look the greatest on a 15.6-inch display. Since this laptop is well below the $600 budget we’re aiming for, we’d definitely recommend upgrading to a Full HD panel, which will still fit within that budget. There’s also the option to add touch support, but that’s an expensive upgrade.

As with other laptops on this list, the camera on the HP Pavilion 15 comes with 720p resolution, and it doesn’t support Windows Hello. There’s no fingerprint reader, either, and that’s par for the course so far.

The design of the Pavilion 15 is very much in line with other Pavilion laptops. It tries to look somewhat like HP’s more premium laptops, but it’s thicker and heavier than you’d expect with a premium device. That’s not to say it’s overly thick – it measures 17.78mm – and it weighs 3.86lbs, so it’s fairly portable, all things considered. It also has the benefit of coming in either silver, blue, or gold colors, so you can choose something that matches your personal preference. One other thing that’s worth mentioning is that it has a full number pad on the keyboard, making good use of the space available on a larger laptop like this.

Finally, there are the ports, and the Pavilion 15 covers most of the needs you might have. There’s a USB Type-C port that supports charging and DisplayPort, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. There’s a proprietary barrel charging port, too, which is the default charging method even though you can charge via USB Type-C. Overall, most peripherals and displays you might want to use with your laptop should work with the Pavilion 15 out of the box thanks to this selection of ports.

With its low price, solid performance, and large 15.6-inch display, the HP Pavilion 15 is a great laptop if you value a good day-to-day experience without many bells and whistles. It’s one of the best cheap HP laptops you can buy today, especially if you want something with AMD processors.

    With a 15-inch display, high-end AMD processors, and a very affordable price, the HP Pavilion 15 is a fantastic budget laptop.

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Best business laptop: HP 255 G8 Notebook

HP 250 G8 laptop

FThere aren’t a ton of cheap business laptops in HP’s lineup, and this is one category where we’re forced to stretch significantly past the $600 budget. The HP 255 G8 laptop costs around $789.99 (without discounts), and it delivers a solid experience overall. A major factor that contributes to this higher price tag is that this laptop comes with Windows 10 Pro (upgradeable to Windows 11 Pro), instead of a Home license. Pro versions of Windows include additional features like Hyper-V, Remote Desktop, and additional management capabilities for businesses.

Moving on to the hardware specs, the HP 255 G8 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, which, as we’ve mentioned, offers pretty great performance. It has six cores and 12 threads, so day-to-day use should be great on this machine. This model also comes with 16GB of RAM, ensuring a great multitasking experience, and a 256GB of SSD storage, which is a decent amount for a relatively affordable laptop. Unlike some of HP’s other laptops, this comes in a single configuration, so there isn’t much you can change about it out of the box. However, the laptop does have some upgrade options, with a removable SSD and RAM modules, so you can upgrade later on.

For the display, the HP 255 G8 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080). That’s about what you’d expect at this price, and it should be sharp enough for most use cases, while also enabling some multitasking on the large screen. Unfortunately, the webcam is still 720p, and there’s still no sign of Windows Hello support, be it via facial recognition or a fingerprint reader. This is a little harder to swallow considering the higher price tag of this laptop compared to others on this list.

In terms of the design, the HP 255 G8 is about as basic as it gets, which is what you’d expect for an affordable business laptop. It comes in a dark silver color and there’s not much in the way of flair. Like other laptops we’ve looked at so far, it’s portable enough, measuring 19.21mm in thickness and weighing 3.84lbs. That’s not bad for a 15-inch laptop, though it’s not winning awards for portability, either.

Ports are one area where business laptops tend to stand out, but the HP 255 G8 mostly sticks to the basics. There’s one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, Ethernet, HDMI 1.4b, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. That’s a solid setup, to be clear, and it covers most needs you might have. Premium business laptops do tend to include things like optional smart card readers or LTE, but that’s not the case here. It’s worth noting that some configurations can sometimes disappear and re-appear, so it is possible that additional options are available in the future.

Overall, the HP 255 G8 gets the basics right for a budget business laptop. It has a solid selection of ports, a classic subdued design, and ingredients for good day-to-day performance. If you need a cheap laptop for work, this is one of your best options.

    The HP 255 G8 is an affordable business laptop that covers your basic work needs.

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Best 17-inch laptop: HP Laptop 17

HP 17 Laptop

If you’re the kind of person who needs as big of a screen as possible at all times, the aptly named HP Laptop 17 might be for you. Aside from what’s probably the most generic name you could think of, this laptop has some strengths to it that make it a solid choice if you want a big screen.

As usual. we’ll start with performance, and this HP laptop comes with Intel’s latest 11th-generation Core processors, up to a Core i7. To stay within the budget, you’ll probably want to stick with the Core i3 model, and that includes a Core i3-1125G4, which has four cores and eight threads, and is capable of boosting up to 3.7GHz. That’s quite a bit of power already, and thanks to an ongoing sale, you can upgrade to a Core i5 with Iris Xe graphics and stay within the budget. The laptop also includes a solid 8GB of RAM by default (up to 16GB) and a 256GB SSD (upgradeable to 1TB). That’s in line with other laptops we’ve looked at.

The display is, once again, where some corners are cut. To fit the bigger 17-inch screen, the base configuration has a higher resolution (1600 x 900) compared to others on this list, but you’ll still want to upgrade to the Full HD panel. That will greatly help with the overall quality of the experience, and it will also enable much more efficient multitasking with the larger display. Since the base price is well under the budget, this is the first upgrade we’d recommend making.

Also in line with other laptops on this list, the webcam above the display is only 720p, and there’s no facial recognition support. You also don’t get a fingerprint reader with this one, so Windows Hello is off the table without external devices.

On to the design, the HP Laptop 17 is about as basic as it gets, similar to most laptops on this list. It does come in either silver or black colors if you want to choose a specific style, and it’s fairly thin for a 17-inch laptop, measuring 19.81mm in thickness. However, because of its sheer size, it’s quite heavy, starting at 5.25lbs.

Finally, we come around to the ports, and this is also similar to most other laptops on this list. One USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, a full-size SD card reader, and a proprietary barrel charging port are all here and accounted for. The extra space is unfortunately not used to accommodate any additional ports such as Ethernet.

It’s hard to say that the HP Laptop is a mind-blowing laptop in any way, but it gets the job done for a fairly low price. It’s got modern processors and specs, and the large screen may be more to your liking compared to others on this list. It’s certainly one of the best 17-inch laptops in this cheap price range.

    The HP Laptop 17 is fairly basic, but it covers most basic needs you might have and it has a large display.

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Best Chromebook: HP Chromebook x360 14

HP Chromebook x360 14 laptpop

You can’t talk about cheap laptops without bringing up Chromebooks – and we mean that in the nicest way possible. Chrome OS is a lighter and cheaper operating system, and that means the most affordable laptops are often running Google’s OS. That’s the case with the HP Chromebook x360 14c. This convertible is packing some pretty great hardware considering the base price.

Performance-wise, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is very much in line with the other laptops on this list, or at least their base configuration. You get an Intel Core i3-1125G4 processor, featuring 4 cores, 8 threads, and clock speeds up to 3.7GHz. There are no upgrade options, so this is what you’re stuck with, but frankly, this is already a great CPU for Chrome OS. You also get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for storage, rounding out a very good Chrome OS experience. It’s worth keeping in mind that Chrome OS is fairly lightweight compared to Windows, plus it relies a lot more on web-based content, so you don’t need very high-end or a ton of storage.

The display is also quite good, being a 14-inch panel with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. That’s more than sharp enough for a laptop display of this size. To add to that, this is a convertible laptop. so you can easily turn it into a tablet and use the touchscreen for whatever you need to do. The screen is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, so it should be fairly durable.

One area where the HP Chromebook x360 doesn’t surprise is the webcam, which is a 720p camera just like every other laptop on this list. Chrome OS doesn’t support IR facial recognition, so that wouldn’t be an option here, but this is the only device on this list that actually has a fingerprint reader, making it more convenient to unlock your PC and sign into your account.

The design of this laptop doesn’t do a lot that’s unique, but one advantage it has compared to every other laptop on this list is that its speakers are on the sides of the keyboard, firing up. That means sound is coming directly towards you, instead of your desk, and everything should sound a bit better this way. Aside from that, there’s nothing too interesting about it. It measures roughly 18mm in thickness, and it weighs 3.35lbs, which is about what you’d expect from a 14-inch convertible.

Coming around to the ports, the HP Chromebook x360 does a decent job. It has two USB Type-C ports that can handle charging and DisplayPort, one USB Type-A port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. The lack of HDMI does mean you’ll need an adapter if you want to connect an external display, though, and that’s something we don’t see in other laptops on this list.

At the end of the day, the HP Chromebook x360 delivers in a few key areas: For starters, it’s a convertible laptop, and a cheap one at that. Plus, that low price already includes a Full HD display, and solid specs to boot. If you’re more of a Chrome OS fan, or if you simply don’t need everything Windows does, this is fantastic value proposition with its discounted price of $479.99. It’s easily one of the best laptops in HP’s lineup if you want something cheap.

    This is a great and affordable Chromebook convertible with a Full HD display and solid all-around performance.

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These are what we consider to be the best HP laptops you can get if your priority is finding something cheap. 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

Editor 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.

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