Best HP Chromebooks for Holiday 2021

Best HP Chromebooks for Holiday 2021

If you’re looking to buy a new Chromebook, the chances are you have a few HP models on your shortlist. HP is the single largest vendor of Chromebooks worldwide, with several entries on our list of the best overall Chromebooks. With nearly fifty models available, HP certainly has no shortage of options to fit every budget. For Pro users, HP has an option in just about every Chromebook form factor. They offer clamshell laptops with lots of power, 2-in-1 machines that feature processing prowess and convertible versatility, and tablets with impressive portability.

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best HP Chromebooks for each use-case, screen size, and price point.

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Best overall: HP Elite c1030

HP elite c1030 on green

Experience superior performance bundled in an elegantly designed chassis of the HP Elite C1030 G1 Chromebook. It’s driven by the Intel Core i3-10110U processor and 8 GB of RAM for high-computing power and seamless multitasking. This computer offers 128 GB of storage capacity for data.

If you’re someone who needs a premium Chromebook with a beautiful design, look no further than the HP Elite c1030. The ultra-thin aluminum chassis with 360° design is absolutely gorgeous. Carefully crafted, the stunning micro-edge, 13.5″ diagonal, 3:2 WUXGA+ screen is nearly bezel-less and optimized for the web. In addition to the aesthetically pleasing design, this machine is also MIL-STD 810H tested for durability.

On the internal specs side of things, you get 8 GB of DDR4-2666 MHz RAM, with a 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a 10th Generation Intel Core i3 processor. For ports, you get 2 USB C ports, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, and a micro SD card slot. Speakers are crisp and loud, with a stereo setup tuned by Bang & Olufsen. All of these features are packed into a body weighing less than three pounds. If all of that isn’t enough, there’s also a fingerprint sensor for added security.

The Elite c1030 is not only a work machine, it’s also great for relaxing at home, watching Netflix or gaming. The processor inside this Chromebook is built for multi-tasking and can handle video streaming while you scroll through Twitter or Instagram using Android apps. Overall, Android gaming performance is also quite impressive. Most Chromebooks struggle with more modern Android games, but the c1030 has no lag or dropped frames when playing games like Asphalt 9.

This is a compact, small, all-metal device that’s light, and thus, unlike the grand majority of other 2-in-1 devices, is wonderful to use in tablet mode. The fingerprint reader is fast, the trackpad is awesome, and the backlit keyboard is premium. The 16:10 aspect ratio also very convenient to use for work or play.

The HP USI pen that you can buy separately attaches exceptionally well to the device, like it was made for it, unlike other USI pen/Chromebook relationships that can often be buggy. Many other 2-in-1 Chromebooks feel cheap, bulky, out of date or just plain second class in comparison to the sturdiness, lightness and premium feel of the HP Elite C1030 Chromebook. Similar premium Windows 2-in-1’s are way more expensive, and Windows isn’t the best in tablet mode. Chrome OS is much more streamlined and tablet friendly. The battery is a 51 watt, 4 cell battery, bigger than all its Chromebook 2-in-1 competitors. You can get 11.5 hours of real world heavy usage, being careful to conserve battery of course where possible.

The only downside to the Elite c1030 is the price. At north of $1,000, it’s quite expensive. Despite the high price, this is the best all-around HP Chromebook for everyday work or personal use.

    HP Elite c1030
    This is the top of the line Chromebook from HP. If you are looking for maximum performance this is the way to go.

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Best 2-in-1 value: HP x360 13c

HP X360 13C

Power through your to-do list with an Intel Core processor. Equipped with ample storage and long battery life for work and play all day. Keep it private with a webcam privacy switch that cuts off your video feed. Securely and easily log into your PC with an integrated fingerprint reader. Reduce your carbon footprint with a Chromebook that has a 75% recycled aluminum top cover and recycled materials on the keyboard, speaker, and packaging. This consumer Chromebook is solely offered at Best Buy and matches the same specs found in the HP Elite c1030 Enterprise model discussed earlier. You get a stunning 13.5 inch diagonal, WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) display, multitouch-enabled, IPS, edge-to-edge glass, micro-edge, and anti-glare Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10210U processor powers the Chromebook, with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage. HP’s fast charge technology allows you to get 50% charge in just 45 minutes. Throw in a fingerprint sensor, B&O audio, and USI pen support to top off an impressive spec sheet for a consumer device.

Uncompromised performance and productivity whether plugged in or on the go. Enjoy immersive gaming and premium streaming with up to 4K stunning resolution wherever you go. Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once. Seamlessly log in to your device in any position with the touch of your finger. Patented 3D fingerprint technology ensures secure access.

The best part about the x360 13c is the price. While it retains all of the high-end specs found on the Elite c1030, the price is much lower at $949. Considering the incredibly rich feature-set and reasonable price, this is one of the best Chromebooks with a touchscreen you can buy today. Battery life is one of the only detractors on this Chromebook, but if you typically write at an office or from home this shouldn’t be much of a problem. Otherwise, the display is fantastic and the build is incredibly durable if you plan to travel. This device also has plenty of RAM and storage to make it fairly future-proof.

Essentially, this is the same machine as the c1030, but it doesn’t have an anti-glare screen, SIM slot, or the Chrome Enterprise eligible bundle. Also, this machine is an exclusive to Best Buy in the given configuration. If you don’t need the LTE connectivity or anti-glare screen, it makes a lot of sense to go with this machine instead. Not only does it cost a lot less, you get all of the impressive performance you’d expect with that price reduction.

    HP x360 13c
    If you like the look of the HP Elite c1030 but wanted a consumer model, the x360 13c is your Chromebook. This laptop features the same specs found on the Elite c1030, including a nano-SIM slot for LTE. In addition, you'll pay about $500 less which is never a bad thing.

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Best for business: HP Pro c640

HP Pro c640 on yellow

There are a number of options for Enterprise users in the Chromebook space. The HP Pro c640 is a polished device, with good looks and security features in mind for the business professional. Similar to the c1030, this device undergoes MIL-STD 810H testing. You also get peace of mind while working on the road with a backlit keyboard that resists spills of up to 350 ml (12 oz) of water. Deter remote camera hacking with the HP Privacy Camera. Make the IT department’s life easier with the fully secure, manageable Chrome Enterprise Upgrade and Google Admin console.

The chassis is solid and built to look and feel like something an executive would feel proud to carry into a meeting. Granted, at 3.35 pounds it’s a little chunky but not to the point that it feels unwieldy when you’re packing it around the office. There’s nothing that feels flimsy on this Chromebook and that’s a good thing, but at the same time, the overall design just doesn’t feel inspired or new in any way.

Spend more time getting your work done instead of looking for an outlet with a long battery life and HP Fast Charge, which recharges the battery to 90% in 90 minutes. Enjoy greater speed and stability on crowded networks with 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 with HP Extended Range Wireless LAN, which allows greater distance from the transmission point and fast data throughput at shorter ranges.

The trackpad is about what you’d expect from a premium glass trackpad. The click is sharp and there isn’t a lot of play in the trackpad. However, like many devices, the trackpad does plunge a bit lower than you’d like at the bottom left and right sides. If you press hard enough, it wouldn’t take much for something to get lodged in the space that’s created. That’s not good on an enterprise device. Overall, the trackpad is good but I think most OEMs should take a note from Google’s playbook. The Pixelbook Go perfected the trackpad and it’s difficult to take a step back.

Charge up your Chromebook and USB-C accessories with two USB-C ports. Expand to an optional HP USB-C dock  to connect to a wired network and access USB-A accessories. Make the most of your collaboration and virtual meetings with powerful audio by B&O, and an integrated wide view angle HD camera.

Internal specs match those found on the x360 14c, but fast charging is missing. The lack of a fingerprint sensor is a curious omission for an Enterprise device, but you do get a Nano Security lock slot and the Google H1 Security Chip. With a price just north of $700, this Chromebook is likely to appeal to those that need the security features for their business. Parallels Desktop for HP Chrome Enterprise brings Windows to the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook Enterprise with simple, secure orchestration and use. Access full-featured legacy applications like Excel, PowerPoint, ERP software, and more.

    HP Pro c640 Enterprise
    HP offers a number of business-ready laptops for use with Chrome Enterprise. The Pro c640 packs a stylish look similar to c1030 with a smaller price tag and rich audio.

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Best for education: HP Pro Chromebook 11 G8 EE

HP 11 EE on orange background

If you’re a fan of HP, the Pro Chromebook 11 G8 EE is one the best HP Chromebooks out there. The relatively low cost and general durability makes this Chromebook an excellent choice for students. If you’re an educator or parent choosing a Chromebook for students, the HP 11 G8 is an excellent option. This machine has a pick and spill-resistant, full-size, chalkboard gray and pebble gray keyboard with skirt anchored keycaps. Younger students can easily use this Chromebook, with the lay-flat design and 122 cm drop-tested design for durability.

Give students a Chromebook that can survive a fall off a desk, a splash from a soda, or a tugged power cord. It resists spills and attempts to remove keys, has metal-reinforced corners, and is 122 cm drop tested — higher than most desks.

Equip yourself for school with this HP® Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition (EE). The two-core processor has a clock speed of 1.1GHz and increases to 2.8GHz with Intel Turbo Boost for responsive performance. With 4GB of RAM, this HP Chromebook 11 G8 EE laptop has an Intel Celeron N4020 processor that’s speedy and lets you open multiple windows at once. A 32GB eMMC keeps your documents and media files handy. Featuring Intel UHD (ultra-high-definition) Graphics 600, this computer displays smooth videos and games.

This Chromebook has a vibrant 11.6 inch HD (high definition) display that provides vivid visuals. Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 tech and dual-band Wi-Fi connect to other devices and the internet easily. The PC has a chalkboard gray finish that complements your smartphone and other electronics. It comes with Chrome OS 64 pre-installed for secure and intuitive browsing. This laptop has two USB Type-C 3.1 ports and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for charging and power delivery. The HP Chromebook 11A G8 EE Chromebook includes a 720p HD camera and dual stereo speakers for audio calls. A 47.36 Li-ion battery provides up to 13.5 hours of battery life.

Most education Chromebooks don’t blow anyone away with the spec sheet, and the HP 11 G8 is no exception. You get 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor that handles basic tasks with ease. Ports match those found on more premium models, and the display is sufficiently bright at a maximum of 220 nits. At under $300, this is an excellent option for student use at home or in the classroom. If you plan to buy several of these devices, HP also offers bulk discounts for individual schools or school districts as a whole.

    HP Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition
    If you're an educator looking for Chromebooks for the classroom, look no further. The HP Chromebook 11 G8 has reinforced metal corners and is 122cm drop-tested.

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Best tablet: HP Chromebook x2 11

HP brought us their first premium Chrome OS tablet with the Chromebook x2 11 earlier this summer.  This is a well designed laptop, and you can tell just by looking at it. The volume rocker and power button have a soft click and a bit of travel. You can definitely feel the mechanical action, but the buttons lean somewhat toward a softer experience. The keyboard deck is firm and key travel is exceedingly normal, in my opinion. If you’ve tried out the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 on display at Best Buy (or Apple’s infamous butterfly switches), just know the key travel is a bit healthy more than both. There is, of course, some flex; it is a detachable. Is the give too much or entirely reasonable? That’s up to each individual user really. The trackpad has a mechanical click that responds evenly across all four quadrants.

The HP Chromebook x2 11 comes with up to 8GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage. The model sold at Best Buy features 8GB RAM and 64GB eMMc storage. The configurations are a bit strange, since there are also a few models with optional LTE connectivity, sold directly from HP. For some reason, HP chose to only include 4GB of RAM in the LTE base model, which also doesn’t include the USI pen. In fact, the only model that does include the bundled USI pen is the model from Best Buy for $599.99, The higher end model with 8GB RAM/128GB storage retails for $679.99 directly from HP, it features LTE as well, but no bundled pen.

Speakers are forward facing and incorporated into the bezel. When the device is in landscape orientation (i.e. using the kickstand or in full laptop mode), the speakers are positioned in the top quarter of the left and right bezels. They’re tablet speakers but they’re fine though. Could they be better? Of course, that goes without saying.

The magnets for the detachable keyboard, kickstand, and included USI stylus are strong, very reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface tablet experience. Like Surface devices, you do have the additional option of raising up the keyboard by magnetically attaching the flap to the bottom bezel of the tablet, which will give the keyboard deck a bit of an angle, should you want that. The kickstand feels sturdy. There’s definitely a healthy bit of resistance when going through the angles. The stylus is full size, by which I mean it’s the same size as a common ballpoint pen. The stylus only attaches to the tablet along a single flat edge. Otherwise, the rest of it is rounded. As a happy surprise, HP includes two replacement tips to complement the one already installed. Be careful, though. The extra tips sit freely in the stylus box.

The HP Chromebook x2 11 will continue receiving updates through June 2029. To clear up any confusion concerning the AUE, HP does have another detachable x2 Chromebook that was released a few years ago. If you go to the Google support page, the AUE list has an HP Chromebook X2 slated to receive updates until June 2024. Presumably, that 2024 date is for the previous version of the x2. This is quite important to consider, software support is a chief consideration when selecting a new Chromebook for purchase.

    HP Chromebook x2 11
    The HP Chromebook x2 11 combines the power of Chrome OS with the portability of a traditional tablet. You can work anywhere thanks to the optional 4G LTE capability. This is the new top of the line Chrome OS tablet experience.

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Best compact: HP Chromebook x360 11 G3 EE

HP x360 11 G3 on teal

Designed for educators and students, this durable laptop is drop tested for up to 4″, is spill resistant, and features a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core processor with 4GB of LPDDR4-2400 RAM, and a dual-band 802.11ac wireless network connection to access books, tests, and more via the Google Chrome browser and G Suite applications. Integrated Intel UHD Graphics power the 11.6″ 1366 x 768 resolution IPS (In-Plane Switching) touchscreen, which has a 360° hinge for four different setup modes. They include the traditional laptop mode, a stand mode with the keyboard folded back, a flat tablet mode, and a tent mode where the computer stands on its screen edges. Use the configuration that best suits your needs.

The HP x360 11 G3 EE packs a bevy of features into a small package. Featuring an 11.6″ diagonal HD touch screen at a resolution of 1366 x 768, this Chromebook offers a bright display for any environment. In addition, there are a number of ports available for docking your Chromebook, including two USB C and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. Collaborate with others by hosting video chats using the integrated 720p webcam, built-in microphone, and stereo speakers. You can plug a wired headset into the 3.5mm connector for increased privacy or connect wireless Bluetooth headphones, speakers, and more.

Enable students to learn by typing, touching, capturing, writing, and drawing2 with 360°-adjustability into four modes, access to over 200 Android and G Suite education apps, and optional active HP Wacom EMR pen and dual cameras. Quickly stream and access textbooks, tests, and more with Intel® processors and the Chrome OS. Work continuously with a long battery life and fast recharging. Make it easy to control and manage student interactions with HP Classroom Manager.

Unleash creativity with multimedia tools that let students record, broadcast, and chat with the user-facing camera. And they can see what they’re recording onscreen and capture photos for projects with the optional world-facing 5MP 2nd camera. Annotate, solve math problems, take notes, and learn languages onscreen with integrated touch. Support natural writing and drawing with the optional digitizer and active HP Wacom EMR Pen. Reinforced USB-CTM ports on each side support USB-CTM accessories and Chromebook charging from a USB-CTM adapter. Connect to accessories with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and 3.5 mm mic and speaker ports.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of this compact Chromebook is the swivel screen with 360°-adjustability into four modes. If you want to use this machine in the classroom setting, it’s also drop-tested similar to the G8 Education Edition. While the x360 11 G3 EE is a bit more expensive than other 11.6 inch models on our list, it’s worth the price bump.

    HP Chromebook x360 11 G3 EE
    Another entry in the x360 series makes our list, this time for power in a compact design. This small 2-in-1 Chromebook gives you practical power and portability.

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Best with AMD processor: HP Chromebook 14a G5

HP 14a G5 on orange

Thus far, all of the Chromebooks on this list feature Intel processors on the inside. We certainly recognize that there are AMD fans out there, and the HP 14A G5 takes the top spot for that audience. You’ll find the AMD A4-Series APU processor here, along with 4 GB DDR4-1866 MHz RAM and 32GB eMMc storage. All the familiar USB ports are included, as well as a 180° hinge that lies completely flat. At less than 19mm thick, this is also one of the thinnest Chromebooks on this list. Add in MIL-STD 810G and IP 41 durability and you have an excellent AMD Chromebook from HP.

Deploy a sleek ChromebookTM that’s just <19mm thin and still stands up to daily wear and tear with a durable 180° hinge. It also undergoes MIL-STD 810G and IP 41 testing. Collaborate across the room and the world with an optional FHD IPS touchscreen, 180° hinge that lies completely flat, wide-angle HD webcam, dual mic, and access to Google Meetings. See clearly in dark rooms with the optional backlit keyboard. Help prevent degradation, water intrusion, and tampering with a keyboard that resists picks, minor spills, and key removal. Choose an optional backlit keyboard for easy navigation in dark settings.

The Chromebook 14A G5 runs on a dual-core AMD A4-9120C processor with integrated Radeon R4 graphics. There is 4GB of RAM and 20GB of storage free from the 32GB SSD. You also get 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years. These specifications are reasonable, unless you need to keep a lot of data locally on your laptop. It’s worth noting in passing that smartphones come with considerably more internal storage these days. The AMD processor is perfectly adequate for everyday tasks. These included having around 20 Chrome windows open in one browser with a second browser window containing three documents being worked on at various different times, plus Gmail. You sometimes have to wait for web pages to fully render, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.

You can launch more apps, quickly browse the web, and manage battery power with the latest AMD processors1, 4 GB memory, and up to 64 GB eMMC storage. Connect in large spaces with 2×2 802.11ac and MIMO wireless. Charge your device and add accessories with USB-CTM.

HP Services offer one year and 90 day limited warranty options depending on country. Batteries have a default one year limited warranty except for Long Life batteries which will have same 1 year or 3 year limited warranty as the platform. This means you can feel relaxed deploying this Chromebook in a school or work setting, you’ll get plenty of support and warranty service if there are any hardware or software issues.

    HP Chromebook 14A G5
    If you're a die-hard AMD fan, this is the best HP Chromebook for you. At under 19mm thick, this is also one of the thinnest Chromebooks out there.

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Best with MediaTek processor: HP Chromebook 11a-na0010nr EE

HP 11a on light blue

The final Chromebook on our list features a MediaTek processor. More specifically, the MediaTek MT8183 (2.0 GHz base frequency, 2 MB L2 cache, 8 cores). While MediaTek doesn’t have as loyal a following as Intel or AMD, some developers still may desire a MediaTek platform on their Chromebook for testing purposes. On the inside you’ll also find 4 GB LPDDR4-3733 MHz RAM and 32GB eMMc storage.

HP’s Chromebook 11a laptop lets you keep up from anywhere. Its compact size is light enough to grab and go. And keeps you going with a long battery life, full-size keyboard and the familiarity of Chrome OS and all your favorite Android apps. Light and compact enough to take anywhere with freedom from the outlet. A long battery life lets you disconnect from the cord while you stay connected to the world. With an anti-glare, high-definition, 11.6 inch touch display, you can stream movies and shows beautifully, with added control over 178 degrees of wide-viewing angles

The mobile-ready processor also means excellent battery life. HP advertises over 15 hours of battery life from this device, but it falls around 12.5 hours in real-world testing. If you’re looking for a comfortable typing experience on a compact device, the full size keyboard on this Chromebook offers excellent key travel. Connect with work colleagues or friends and family from home and in high quality with an HP True Vision camera, integrated dual array digital microphones, and custom-tuned dual speakers

The screen opens to 135 degrees (or 45 degrees against the tabletop). It’s slightly disappointing that it doesn’t open to a full 180, but you can work with it. Screen brightness is listed at 220 nits (on the low end), but don’t let that deter you; it gets quite bright in practice. For indoor use, it works just fine. If you work outside, you will have to find shade. The display quality is not the best, but perfectly useable. It is an IPS display, which provides better viewing angles and color rendition. The 11.6″ screen is enough real estate for watching videos and reading the news.  This is also a touch screen, which seems to work fine for tasks you’d want touch input for.

HP also included a number of useful ports on this machine. Enjoy rock-solid connections with the latest Wi-Fi 5 WLAN adapter and Bluetooth 4.2 as well as reliable external ports in the Headphone/Microphone combo and USB 2.0 Type-A and Type-C ports. The on-board speakers are a nice surprise. They are loud and clear. An audiophile might find them slightly tinny, but you can listen to music for hours using just these speakers. There is minimal distortion when cranking the volume up to maximum. Of course, there is a headphone jack and bluetooth capability as well if you want to go with headphones.

    HP Chromebook 11a 11a-na0010nr
    Perhaps you're looking for an HP Chromebook with a MediaTek processor. This is one of the only MediaTek options available, and with a sub-$200 price tag.

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Google’s Chrome OS is one of the most versatile operating systems in the world, with the ability to run on almost any piece of hardware. All of the Chromebooks on this list are excellent options, depending on your particular needs or desires. The HP Elite c1030 is incredibly powerful, placing it as our top Chromebook, and one of the top HP laptops overall. The HP Chromebook x360 14b is very impressive if you need a battery life champ. If you’re on a tight budget, both the HP Chromebook 11a-na0010nr and x360 11 G3 EE offer excellent value for $300 or less. The new HP Chromebook x2 11 is an excellent option if you need a Chrome OS tablet for working on the go. In addition to being extremely portable, it comes bundled with the USI pen and keyboard attachment for maximum value.

That’s our list—you now have the knowledge to pick the best HP Chromebook for your needs. Let us know which device you prefer in the comments section below.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.