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.
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, Intel Core i7-1355U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/256GB SSD/15.6-inch 1080p display, $599.99 ($400 off at HP)
- HP Envy Laptop 17t, Intel Core i7-1260P CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/512GB SSD/17.3-inch 1080p display, $789.99 ($500 off at HP)
- HP Pavilion Aero Laptop, AMD Ryzen 5 7535U CPU/AMD Radeon graphics/8GB RAM/256GB SSD/13.3-inch 1200p display, $499.99 ($430 off at HP)
- HP Pavilion Plus Laptop, Intel Core i5-13500H CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/256GB SSD/14-inch 1400p display, $599.99 ($250 off at HP)
My top pick: The HP Pavlion Laptop 15t offers reliable performance at a reasonable price. This thing is rocking a 1080p display, 16GB of memory, and a powerful Intel Core i7-1355U CPU. For just $599.99, 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.
- HP Omen Transcend Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD/16-inch 1200p display, $1,199.99 ($500 off at HP)
- OMEN Gaming Laptop 16t, Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/16.1-inch 1080p display, $1,199.99 ($300 off at HP)
My top pick: If you consider yourself a casual gamer on a strict budget, the HP Omen Transcend gaming laptop is the one to pick. This laptop should zip right through most games on medium to high graphics thanks to the Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU. The 16-inch display also features a refresh rate of 165Hz, which means you can expect smooth visuals.
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 Chromebook 15a, Intel Pentium Silver N6000 CPU/UHD graphics/8GB RAM/64GB eMMC/15.6-inch 1080p display, $319.99 ($80 off at HP)
- HP Chromebook x360, Intel Pentium Silver Silver N6000 CPU/UHD graphics/8GB RAM/128GB eMMC/14-inch 768p touch display, $329.99 ($160 off at HP)
- HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, Intel Core i3-1215U CPU/UHD graphics/8GB RAM/128GB SSD/13.5-inch 1504p touch display, $999 ($150 off at HP)
My top pick: Out of all the deals above, the best bang is the first option, the HP Chromebook 15a. The Intel Pentium Silver N6000 isn’t the fastest CPU we’ve ever played around with, but it’s good enough for everyday tasks like responding to email and researching topics. Plus, the 1080p display is plenty sharp for watching your favorite Netflix shows and YouTube channels.
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.
- HP Spectre x360, Intel Core i7-13700H CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/512GB SSD/16-inch 1920p touch display, $1,099.99 ($600 off at HP)
- HP Pavilion x360 Convertible, Intel Core i5-1235U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/8GB RAM/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 768p touch display, $499.99 ($300 off at HP)
- HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop 15z, AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU/AMD Radeon graphics/8GB RAM/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 1080p touch display, $549.99 ($350 off at HP)
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. It lives at the top of the bulleted list above. According to HP, the touch display has a maximum brightness of 400 nits and a sharp resolution of 3072×1920, which is impressive given the price and hardware. This machine also comes with an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen.
Best back-to-school content creation laptop deals
If you’re studying to become a photo editor or graphic designer, you’ll need a powerful laptop with a good screen and plenty of storage. For content creation laptops, we always recommend ones with discrete graphics, which is important for editing (trust me you definitely want more oomph in the graphics department). We found a great deal on a laptop with a beastly RTX 4070 GPU inside.
- HP Omen Laptop 17, Intel Core i7-13700HX CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/17.3-inch 1440p display, $,1,549.99 ($400 at HP)
My top pick: Sure, if you want to get technical, the HP Omen Laptop 17 is a straight-up gaming rig. However, given the powerful components inside, it’s actually perfect for content creation. The RTX 4070 GPU is more than capable of handling photo or video editing tasks as well as running modern titles on the High or Ultra graphics preset. The display is also quite spacious at 17.3-inches, which is important for getting those minute details just right.
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.