Fortunately, there are lots of different brands and models of laptops available out there in the market that you can choose from. However, all of these brands and models may be usable for a college student but may not be useful for them.
If you are looking for a sturdy laptop that comes with fairly decent specs and a performance level, and, most importantly, that is affordable for a college student, then you should surely focus on the laptops manufactured by Hewlett Packard, commonly known as HP laptops.
These HP laptops are designed to go and work anywhere and can be used by anyone, including college students.
Irrespective of the type of course you want to follow in your college, these laptops will prove to be much more useful, rather than being only usable. See the difference?
The HP laptop will not only allow you to do your basic works but also prove to be one of the best platforms for entertainment and gaming, of course, depending on the model you choose according to your affordability.
Fortunately for the college students, HP typically focuses on the designs of their laptops and maintains a proven track record.
Their products are not over the top or simple copies of other laptop brands. It is the distinct elegance that draws every college student towards their laptops.
Add to that, the value in return that their laptops provide to the college students is second to none, even for the HP certified refurbished laptops.
The things that you should look for while choosing a HP laptop for college students include the battery life, multitasking abilities and features, storage options, processing power, weight, design, portability, number of ports and types, upgradability, graphics cards and all other internal peripherals.
With so much to consider, it is really a difficult task to choose a specific HP laptop for a college student.
Here in this article, you will find some of the best HP laptops for college students. These are from different price ranges.
Read it and go through the buying guide in the end to decide which laptop is the right one for you to buy.
HP Laptops for College Students Price
Benefits of Using HP Laptop for College Students
The strongest reason for you to go for an HP laptop for your college studies is that they are one of the largest computer manufacturing companies in the world.
This means that their products will come with a distinct style, grace, functionality and repertoire, and there is absolutely no doubt about that.
Now, going by the statistics, HP stands second to Lenovo but only by a small margin.
On the other hand, HP laptops are more suited for daily use by anyone. Therefore, if you are a college student and looking for the right laptop for your studies, as well as for a bit of playing, then a HP laptop is the one that you should go for.
Apart from the high and obvious performance to dollar ratio, which is the prime concern of the college students, these laptops also meet one of the major requirements of the college students – a unique style statement.
These are the laptops that every college student will be proud to own and use.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for College Students
The minimum system requirement in a HP laptop for college students may vary according to the type of the device and the use you want to put it to.
Still, it is better for college students to go for an HP laptop with the recommended specs as mentioned below because the computing needs may alter during the course of your study.
It will also offer a much better performance and help you to finish your projects and assignments in a timely fashion.
Minimum system requirements: 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor or higher | 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD or 1 TB SATA Hard Drive | Integrated Intel HD graphics or better | 14 inches screen | 1280 x 720 pixels or higher screen resolution | 8 hours of battery life
Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger combo storage | Dedicated Nvidia Quadro P 600 or higher GTX graphics chip | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | 10 hours of battery life or more
5 Best HP Laptops for College Students 2021:
1. HP ZBook 15v G5 Mobile Workstation – Best Overall
Bottom Line: This system is best overall in this list of HP laptops for college students and is equipped with an 8th generation Intel i7 processor with six efficient cores. It is good enough to provide all support to both graphics and non-graphics activities with its fairly large combo storage and fast DDR4 RAM.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB HDD plus 256 GB PCIe SSD combo
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Hexa-Core Intel i7 8750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: NVIDIA Quadro P600
- The design of the laptop is good.
- The device works and runs well.
- The SSD and HDD combo storage are very useful.
- The screen of this laptop is not touch sensitive.
- The Ethernet cord is difficult to remove.
- Nearing 5 pounds, this laptop is slightly heavy.
The 8th generation Intel core processor of this system comes with six cores that enables faster processing of data for college students at a base clock speed of 2.20 GHz which can go as high as 4.10 GHz using the Turbo Boost technology enabling the users to make the best of this processor with 9 MB cache.
The NVIDIA Quadro graphics card is also quite powerful and capable with its 4 GB capacity and GDDR5 VRAM property. The images on the full HD, touchscreen, glossy display delivered are therefore more vivid.
The laptop comes with a lot connectivity options that includes one Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports, one 1.2 DisplayPort through the Thunderbolt port, , SD/SDHC/SDXC option, one HDMI 2.0 port, and one 1/8″ or 3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo jack.
There is also one 10/100/1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet connectivity along with wi-fi 5 dual band 2.4 and 5 GHz, and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection.
In addition to that, the laptop design also includes a standard backlit keyboard that comes with a separate numeric keypad, fingerprint options, Kensington lock slot, two integrated speakers and one integrated microphone.
2. HP Pavilion Power – Runner Up
Bottom Line: With just one generation lower CPU but a higher dedicated graphics processing unit, this HP laptop for college students is good enough to be considered the runner up of this list. The adequate amount of storage, good speakers, sensitive keypad, long battery life and others will meet all the needs.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB Hard Drive plus 128 GB solid-state drive
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i7 7700HQ
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- The Bang & Olufsen speakers built in the system produce clear sound.
- The keypad is quite responsive and accurate adding to the comfort level.
- There are enough ports in the device to accommodate a lot of external devices and peripherals.
- The firmware is locked to Windows 10 only.
- The images taken and produced by the webcam are a bit blurry.
- The SD card reader seems to have slow transfer speeds.
It will not be exaggerating even an iota if it is said that this is one of the best HP laptops for college students.
You will get all the power you need from the Intel Quad Core i7 7700HQ processor operating at a speed of 2.8 GHz and up to 3.8 GHz, from the DDR4 SDRAM, from the storage combination of SSD and HDD and, of course, from the fast NVIDIA GeForce graphics card of the GTX series.
The display, the built-in webcam, the long battery life of more than 10 hours, all makes this laptop the most efficient and useful device for the college students. It is the features and elements of this computer that makes multitasking so easy for the college students.
Using this as your efficient learning tool you can make the best of the graphics card to go through the tutorials and videos and make some of the best presentations and projects for your college.
This discrete graphics, the processor and all other components of the laptop will support some of the most graphics and power intensive programs. You can run these on this laptop without any issues.
The 15.6-inch backlit display delivers the images in high resolution to make it brighter and more colorful. All the glare and the gloss will be cut down significantly by the anti-glare and IPS technology of the display.
Not even the strongest of ambient lights will affect your viewing the screen for long hours at a stretch.
Thanks to the 16 GB of RAM along with the SSD and HDD combo, you can run all necessary programs and apps on this machine at a much faster rate and most smoothly.
You will also get a lot of connectivity options in this device that includes a USB Type C port and also an SD card reader.
In short, this is the laptop that is useful for different types of users apart from the college students. Check out HP Pavilion Power Review.
3. HP Notebook 15-ay011n – Value for Money
Bottom Line: Those college students who are looking for an HP laptop on budget would find this efficient learning tool to be just the right match for better performance and higher value for money. Though an HDD, the storage space offered is adequate and the CPU and graphics card are also the right fit.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB HDD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: 6th generation Intel Core i5 6200U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520
- The resolution of the screen makes images clearer and sharper.
- The system comes with a lot of storage.
- The battery life is above average.
- The touchpad is stiff and needs additional force to operate.
- The Up and Down arrow keys are too small causing inconvenience.
- The storage is HDD but an SSD would have increased its speed.
The laptop is powered with all useful features, hardware components and software that will allow any user, including the college students, to do more.
The device will allow you to handle all your daily computing needs, your college projects and do a lot of typing most comfortably.
This affordable laptop comes with an Intel Core i5 processor of the 6th generation that allows you to multitask.
The processor will work within a base clock frequency range of 2.3 GHz and up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost technology, enough to support all your college assignment needs.
The large hard drive space allows you to store a lot of files whether you work or play on the laptop.
You can trust on the battery life of the laptop that will last for about 7 to 8 hours even under heavy workload allowing you to do all your work in your college, or office, depending on where and how you use the system.
The full HD display will deliver crisper and sharper images, thanks to the Intel HD graphics card.
This means that you can look at the photos and webpages and even the videos in detail. The SVA antiglare and WLED backlit property of the display makes it all the more useful and beautiful.
The manufacturer has made over 200 tests to ensure that the laptop is more reliable and powerful to ensure that it does not let down any user when they make their last-minute projects or make a spontaneous presentation.
The memory as well as the operating system of the system will help you to stay more productive when you want to use newer and better ideas to get your job done.
The useful addition of this laptop is the DVD writer which most of the laptops these days have taken off from their design.
This laptop is quite light and portable to carry between classes and practical labs the whole day in your backpack.
The exceptional audio system with DTS Studio Sound feature as well as the advanced HD camera ensures a more vivid and immersive experience while you watch movies, play, work or listen to music.
4. HP Pavilion X360 – Versatile Touchscreen 2-in-1 Convertible
Bottom Line: The college students looking for style, elegance, and performance in an HP laptop will get it all from this versatile touchscreen 2-in-1 convertible, at a fair price. The multitouch facility of this display will allow taking notes on it directly and offer a clear view on this IPS panel due to the wide view angle of it.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Quad Core i5 1035G1
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Integrated
- The laptop is extremely light in weight and most portable.
- The PCIe SSD makes the laptop perform much faster.
- The fingerprint reader provides faster and secure login.
- The display could be a bit better.
- The system may become hot.
- Battery will not last the whole day.
This laptop comes with a full HD touchscreen, the fast 10th generation Core i5 processor that can perform at a high speed of up to 3.60 GHz, and enough RAM and SSD storage that boots up the system and apps quickly.
The processor here is unique and makes this an ultra-low voltage platform operating at a low speed of 1.0 GHz.
The quad core processor ensures an eight-way processing which provides the maximum power to the system, more than you will need.
In addition to that, there is also a webcam that will help you a lot to attend online classes and video lectures.
You need not worry about call or connection drops due to the fast 802.11ac wireless network communications.
With the Bluetooth connectivity, you can also add other devices such as speakers and headphones wirelessly.
If you want a larger screen than the one that comes with the device you can connect the system to a larger external monitor using the HDMI port.
The fingerprint reader along with the Windows 10 operating system will take care of the security aspect, an essential feature needed in a laptop that will be used by the college students.
The display allows you to tap, touch, and glide with its multitouch facility.
It comes with wide viewing angles and IPS technology and the WLED backlit feature makes it more energy efficient saving the battery power significantly.
The system allows you to make the most of the operating system with its 64-bit architecture by multitasking as you need and save all your work in the 256 GB PCIe SSD plus 16 GB Intel Optane memory are pretty fast.
The laptop comes with 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity and a lot of ports that includes one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port to transfer data at 5 Gbps signaling rate, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port that you can use for transferring data only, one HDMI 1.4 port, one AC smart pin and one headphone/microphone combo jack.
Apart from the Start Menu, the operating system also comes with newer and better features such as Microsoft Edge Web browser that will allow you to markup the web pages on the screen.
5. HP Pavilion 14 HD Notebook – Durable and Consistent Performance
Bottom Line: This HP laptop for college students is quite durable in its built to last for many years to come. Add to that, the 7th generation Intel i5 CPU, good enough integrated GPU, faster RAM, an energy efficient and decent screen helps it deliver a consistent performance, in spite of a bit slower hard drive.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 1 TB SATA hard drive
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i5 7200U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
- The system provides a lot of storage space.
- The build of the laptop is solid and durable.
- The backlit keyboard ensures easy and comfortable typing.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- At 4.8 pounds the system is a bit heavier in comparison to others in similar range.
- The Serial ATA hard drive is quite slow.
This HP device is also one of the best that can be used by the college students. You will get everything that you want in a laptop in this system that will allow you to do all your work in quick time.
There is an HD display that comes with SVA BrightView technology, and is WLED backlit which makes it more energy efficient.
You will get enough memory operating at 2400 MHz and a lot of storage in the Serial ATA-600 hard drive that has a rotational speed of 5400 rpm ensuring faster access to the stored files.
The system comes with a 7th generation Intel quad core processor to provide more power and speed in processing the data.
Things to Look for Before Buying HP Laptop for a College Student
Typically, all of the laptops made by HP are known for their strong build quality and versatility.
However, even if you do not focus on these aspects of the laptops, there are other finer details that you should pay attention to.
These include ergonomic design of the keyboard, the responsiveness of the trackpad, a decent value, and its productivity.
Well, here are a few major factors that you should consider while buying a HP laptop for your college use, though this is applicable to other brands as well.
The computers of today do not help you only in crunching some numbers and doing some simple calculations. Gone are those primitive days.
The computers of today, especially the laptops, should have all the features and elements in it to support a wide range of software.
This is a very important factor to consider because different courses followed in the colleges will have varied requirements.
Ideally, the laptop should come with all typical office packages and as for the software, the Office 365 suite of Microsoft is one of the best and is also free for the students. Google Docs suite is also free and can be considered.
However, you should find out from the IT department of your college about the specific software requirement and always comply with them.
Audio and video support
There will be a lot of online classes, and even exams, held in 2020 and beyond in schools and colleges due to the Corona pandemic.
It will be much better and easier to run or attend video lectures and engage in group discussions right from your home.
The quality and resolution of the webcam should be quite good, preferably not less than 720p, so that there is no juddering, lagging or interruption in video signals and screen tears.
Same applies for the audio. A set of good stereo speakers is always welcome and will come very handy in these situations, and even during playing games or watching movies on your HP laptop.
Most of the HP laptops come with advanced audio boosting technologies that provide a more immersive audio experience.
Unless you have an endless amount of money to spend, which as a college student is highly improbable, you should also keep an eye on the price of the laptop.
Remember, there are different specs and features available in the HP laptops and the higher these are, more will be the cost.
Therefore, stick to the basics so that the laptop supports all those things that you need to do on it.
Research well and do not rush your decision. This will prevent you from overspending.
The screen size and weight
Also, you should consider the specs in the laptop and choose the best suitable HP model according to your need. First, the screen size.
The size of the screen is important as larger the screen size, more will be the weight. This will become a burden for you when you need to carry the laptop to your college, day in and day out.
A screen within 13 to 14 inches with a decent resolution of 1080p is good enough for a college student. It will support all the computing needs as well as allow them to play some basic games.
As for the weight, anything less than 5 pounds is feasible to carry around the whole day in the backpack.
You will need to do a lot of typing on the laptop for your projects and research papers. Therefore, the laptop you choose should come with a comfortable keyboard, preferably backlit.
The keys should not be shallow and have a decent key travel, feedback and feel.
Ideally, most of the keyboards of the laptops will not come with a dedicated number keypad to fit it in the small chassis of the laptop.
If you want a full-size keyboard and do not want to spend a few hundred dollars more on a larger sized laptop, you will be better off if you buy a standalone keyboard.
You must also make sure that the laptop comes with enough ports and slots to allow you to connect several other external devices.
Ideally, USB Type C and Type A ports are indispensable these days, and if it comes with a Thunderbolt 3 and Ethernet RJ45, it will be a plus for you. Once again, your affordability will matter in making the final choice.
Depending on the type of work you want to do on the laptop and the requirements of your college course, you should determine the amount of power you need in your HP laptop.
You can choose from a wide selection of processors, both budget and premium.
You can choose a processor that will optimize the performance of the laptop by paying more for it like the latest 10th generation core CPUs of Intel, codenamed ‘Ice Lake’ and ‘Comet Lake.’
On the other hand, you may also choose one from the budget category that is power efficient and favor the battery more than the processing power.
Ideally, an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU will give you the highest value in return in both the aspects of power and battery life.
Since you will be in college during the whole day and even late in the afternoon, it is better to choose a HP laptop that comes with an ‘all day’ battery life.
This will ensure that you will not need to charge your system every alternate hour or a couple of hours.
Though most of the laptops today come with higher battery life and quality, you will get enough value and power both if you choose a laptop that comes with a battery life of around 10 hours.
However, at this juncture you must remember that the life of the battery will largely depend on the CPU and other hardware components in the system as well as your usage.
You will need to work on and store quite a lot of files and projects in your laptop.
Therefore, make sure that the system comes with adequate storage capacity. Ideally, a storage of 128 GB or 256 GB is best suitable for college students, but you can go for the higher specs, if you can afford it.
As for the type of storage, always try to go for an SSD variant rather than HDD, even if it costs a few dollars more.
This is because the SSDs are faster, will reduce boot up times, increase the performance level and keep the temperature of the system relatively low.
Is a Chromebook from HP good for college students to use?
If you are on a budget or are a discerning buyer, you can go for a HP 2-in-1 Chromebook. Just make sure that you consider the screen size and resolution when you buy and find out whether or not it will get too hot. If those are well taken care of, then a Chromebook can be best for taking notes, checking mails, and browsing the web.
What is the best budget laptop in the HP listing for college students?
Since there are many HP laptops that are affordable, it is really hard to pick up only one out of them as the best laptop. One specific model may have a lower RAM while another may have a lower storage. There can be differences in the core count of the processors as well. However, all budget laptops will allow you to do anything you want on it except playing high-end games.
Should college students always buy HP laptops installed with Windows 10 S Mode?
Not necessarily. Ideally, the Windows 10 S mode is the best operating system for learning. However, this student-centric OS is a locked down version so that it can prevent inadvertent downloading of malware. It is compatible with any app in the Windows Store but will not allow using any third-party Windows programs. For that you will have to unlock it for a fee.
Is warranty an important factor for choosing an HP laptop for college students?
It is better to have a laptop that comes with a warranty because it is highly likely that your system will be subject to rough handling and multiple users. Almost all HP laptops come with a warranty for one year which you can also extend for a fee. It is better to have one of these as well because it will prove to be worthy in the long run.