HP has four lines of consumer laptops: Spectre, Envy, Pavilion and the plainly named HP Laptop. Available in 14-, 15- and 17-inch sizes, the entry-level HP Laptop line focuses mainly on delivering the best performance possible for less money. The bodies are plastic, they have few ports, and when it comes to extra features and conveniences, there really aren't any. That's completely understandable (up to a point, anyway); prices start just below $500 and can drop to half that when on sale.
The low prices extend to the 17.3-inch size, too, so you can get a larger display in a portable, reasonably slim body with good performance for home office tasks, entertainment and just general computing. Battery life was all right also at nearly 9 hours in our tests. Plus, HP offers many configuration options so you can balance price and performance to match your needs. (If you need help figuring out your needs, check out our complete guide to buying a budget laptop.)
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- Good performance, battery life
- Many configuration options
- Starts under $500
- USB-C port can't be used for power or display output
- No option to add a backlit keyboard
HP sells multiple customizable versions of the Laptop 17 with Intel or AMD processors. I recommend the 17z-cp100 if your budget allows it. Although the model I tested was preconfigured for $650, the build-to-order 17z-cp100 gives you a chance to tweak it with the same higher-end components to better fit your budget. However, if you want access to all the components HP offers for the Laptop 17, look atthe 17z-cp000 for AMD processors or 17t-cn000 for Intel chips. HP also has a customizable Laptop 17 available in the UK starting at £480. HP Australia doesn't sell the 17-inch size, but the 14- and 15-inch models are available starting at AU$649.
HP Laptop 17
|Price as reviewed||$650|
|Display size/resolution||17-inch 1,920x1,080 display|
|CPU||2.3GHz AMD Ryzen 55625U|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM|
|Graphics||512MB Intergrated AMD Radeon Graphics|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Ports||USB-C (5Gbps), USB-A (x2, 5Gbps), HDMI 1.4b, combo audio jack|
|Networking||MediaTek Wi-Fi 6 MT7921 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.2 combo|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
Again, HP makes a lot of component combinations available. Along with Intel or AMD processors, it can be configured with 8, 12 or 16 gigabytes of memory; up to a 1TB solid-state drive or a combination of a 1TB hard drive and an SSD; a 1,920x1,080-pixel display or a 1,600x900 display with or without touch; and a choice of Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) or faster Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). HP also gives you a choice of body colors including white, silver, blue and gold, although the options vary by configuration.
What's disappointing is HP doesn't offer the option to upgrade the keyboard to one with backlighting. The HP Laptop 17's keyboard feels fine with a tactile pop to the keys, and the large white key legends stand out on the black keys of my review unit. The keyboards are color matched to the body (the white body has white keys), and lighter colors have black legends. However, none of the configurations come with a backlit keyboard. That's not unusual given the low starting price. But it's also not unusual to offer backlighting as an upgrade.
Along that line, while the HP Laptop 17 has an OK port assortment for its price, it's missing a couple of connections you might be looking for. There is no SD or microSD card slot. There is no Ethernet jack. And, although there is an HDMI out for an external display, the laptop's USB-C port does not support a second display. The USB-C port can also not be used for powering or charging the laptop; it uses a power adapter with a barrel connector instead.
If a backlit keyboard and a better port assortment are important to you, consider moving up to the Pavilion line. Unfortunately, HP doesn't currently sell a 17-inch Pavilion laptop. The big screen of the Laptop 17 is definitely a plus for the price.
Backed by good processing performance and battery life, the HP Laptop 17 is a good deal. Its size isn't ideal for frequent travel, but it's also not extraordinarily heavy like old 17-inch models. Also, because HP used slimmer bezels around the display, I was able to fit the Laptop 17 into a backpack made for 16-inch laptops.
What's nice about the 17-inch size is that it's enough space to work comfortably with multiple windows side by side. The HDMI out can be used with an external monitor for when you do want more room, but you also might find that you don't need it. The size and price also make it a good choice for a family computer. It takes up less room than a full desktop setup, it's potentially less expensive, and it can easily be moved around the house. Again, the HP Laptop 17 lets you get the best performance possible for less money. You'll still want to wait for a sale, though.
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|HP Laptop 17||Windows 11 Home; 2.3GHz AMD Ryzen 5625U; 8GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM; 512GB Intergrated AMD Radeon Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|HP Pavilion 14||Windows 11 Home; 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-1235U; 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i||Windows 11 Home; 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-1235U; 16GB DDR4 4,266MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|
|Dell Inspiron 14 7420 2-in-1||Windows 11 Home; 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-1255U; 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|
|Acer Aspire 5 A515-57||Windows 11 Home; 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-1235U; 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD|
Best Laptops for 2022
A selection of the best laptops you can buy right now.
- Most universally useful: MacBook Air M2
- Best budget laptop: HP Pavilion Aero 13
- Best Chromebook:Acer Chromebook Spin 714
- Best budget gaming laptop: HP Victus 16
See the full list of best laptops for 2022.