Much to the chagrin of students everywhere in the United States, back-to-school season is in full swing. Whether you’re shopping for an elementary student or a college freshman, the number-one item on your list is (most likely) a good laptop. HP produces some of the most lightweight and portable laptops around, as well as some powerful gaming machines.
Fortunately, HP is holding its back-to-school sale right now, where you can save up to 67 percent off of specific laptops. There’s no better time than now to dive in and take advantage of those scrumptious deals. We’ve applied all our laptop expertise to hand-pick the very best machines and discounts from HP’s offerings.
Looking for the best of the best? Check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best laptops available today.
Best back-to-school everyday laptop deals
Sometimes all you need is a basic laptop for day-to-day tasks like writing papers and doing research on the web. If your college major doesn’t require a very powerful system (hey, English majors!), then you should pick up one of these everyday HP laptops listed below.
- HP Pavilion Laptop 15t-eg300, Intel Core i7-1355U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 1080p display, $599.99 ($400 off at HP)
- HP Laptop 17-cn3097nr, Intel Core i7-1355U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD/17.3-inch 1080 display, $679.99 ($240 off at HP)
- HP Envy Laptop 16t-h1000, Intel Core i5-13500H CPU/Intel Arc A370M Graphics/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/16-inch 1600p display, $999.99 ($350 off at HP)
- HP Laptop 15z-fc000, AMD Athlon Silver 7120U CPU/AMD Radeon graphics/8GB RAM/128GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 768p display, $279.99 ($180 off at HP)
My top pick: The HP Laptop 17-cn3097nr offers good processing performance for the price. You’re getting an Intel Core i7-1355U CPU as well as a perfectly capable 1080p display. For just $649.99, that’s a very good buy.
Best back-to-school gaming laptop deals
Many students often moonlight as serious (sometimes competitive) gamers when they leave the classroom (myself included when I was in school). That’s why it’s always important to take hobbies into account when shopping around for a student, whether they’re in high school or college.
- Victus HP Gaming Laptop 15z-fb000, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU/AMD Radeon RX 6500M graphics/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 1080p display, $649.99 ($250 off at HP)
- Victus HP Gaming Laptop 16t-r000, Intel Core i5-13500H CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/16.1-inch 1080p display, $799.99 ($350 off at HP)
- OMEN HP Gaming Laptop 16z-xf000, AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/16.1-inch 1080p display, $1,149.99 ($420 off at HP)
My top pick: If you’re looking for a powerful gaming laptop, the OMEN HP Gaming Laptop 16z-xf000 is worth considering. It’s rocking an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU and a spacious 16.1-inch 1080p display. In other words, you shouldn’t have any problem running most modern games on the High or Ultra graphics preset.
Best back-to-school Chromebook deals
Here at PCWorld, we have some serious Chromebook fans on staff (hi). It’s easy to see why, as Chromebook battery life is crazy long and they’re largely virus-free. Although they’ve been popular in the education market for quite some time, they’ve gotten powerful enough to attract mainstream appeal.
- HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, Intel Core i5-1245U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/8GB RAM/128GB PCIe NVMe SSD/13.5-inch 1504p touch display, $1,199 ($320 off at HP)
- HP Chromebook 14a-na1047nr, Intel Celeron N4500 CPU/Intel UHD graphics/4GB RAM/32GB eMMC/14-inch 768p display, $209.99 ($80 off at HP)
My top pick: The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is one swanky machine. Not only is it super sleek and sophisticated-looking, but it’s also decently powerful. It’s packing an Intel Core i5-1245U CPU, Intel UHD graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of PCIe NVMe. That’s enough power for day-to-day tasks or binging your favorite Netflix show.
Best back-to-school 2-in-1 deals
If portability is at the top of your priority list, these machines are for you. Most older students will likely take their laptop to classes with them, so it’s important to travel light, and 2-in-1 laptops are your best bet. Convertibles make such versatile machines because you can swing the screen around 360 degrees.
My top pick: If you’re in the market for a convertible laptop with a really nice display, the HP Spectre x360 is one hot ticket. According to HP, the touch display has a maximum brightness of 400 nits and a resolution of 1920×1280, which is impressive given the price and hardware. It also comes with an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen.
When does the HP back-to-school sale begin?
The HP back-to-school sale has been going since July, but you’ll start seeing quite a few steeper discounts from August onward. In some cases, you can save up to 67 percent on specific devices and products. You can even earn an additional 20 percent off on HyperX and Poly accessories when you buy them with a PC or monitor. Make sure you check out HP’s back-to-school sale landing page, where you can navigate to whichever category you desire.
When does the HP back-to-school sale end?
HP doesn’t specify when the sale will end, but we suspect sometime in September when the school year is in full-swing. That’s why we’d recommend hopping on this bandwagon sooner rather than later, as the end of August will be here before you know it. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, it helps to be as prepared as possible before the school year begins. Trust me, you don’t want to be scrambling to buy a laptop the last-minute.
Window machines vs. Chromebooks
Ah, my favorite debate of all time. When it comes to Windows machines and Chromebooks and which one is better than the other, it really just boils down to personal preference and lifestyle. Some (like me) prefer the Chrome ecosystem, where everything is in one place in the cloud. That said, if you need something more powerful for gaming or content creation, or need the ability to install traditional desktop programs, you should probably spring for a Windows machine.