HP vs Lenovo – Which Brand Makes the Best Laptops?
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When shopping for a new laptop in 2021-2022 two brands are going to feature prominently in your search results. Those are HP and Lenovo.
The laptop market continues to evolve over time as technology changes and these two brands are at the forefront. Before you make a decision, be sure you have all of the information you need to find the best laptop that meets your individual and specific needs.
This overview will offer a complete breakdown of every feature and component of both HP and Lenovo. The information and details provided here will ensure that everyone can make an informed decision before purchasing.
Laptops cost a lot of money and making a poor choice can lead to headaches down the road that are easily avoidable.
HP vs Lenovo – Overview
Prices between laptop companies have tightened up so that few brands are truly cheaper than any other. Between HP and Lenovo, Lenovo is a little bit cheaper.
When it comes to budget laptops and low-end costs, Lenovo has more options available than HP. Alternatively, HP has a few more options on the higher end of the price scale with really upscale machines with excellent specifications.
When it comes to the midrange models, both HP and Lenovo have very comparable pricing that ranges from $500 to $800 on average.
Due to HPs prevalence as a tech company rather than just a computer company, they have a little bit stronger brand recognition than Lenovo.
HP computers are often found in classrooms and businesses. HP also makes peripherals such as printers, ink, monitors, and even virtual reality sets.
Lenovo does make other gadgets than laptops but their accessories are not as widespread or well known as HP.
This dominance of a wider market gives HP the edge in terms of brand recognition but Lenovo is by no means an unknown brand.
HP and Lenovo are both very large multinational corporations and therefore both of them have pretty standard customer service offerings. Both HP and Lenovo have 24/7 phone support, online support, and remote support for certain products.
Like other large companies in today’s day and age, their customer service is hit or miss. Sometimes you get redirected to a computer or automated system and other times you can get through to a person. Neither one outshines the other for contacting their customer support desks.
In terms of warranty, Lenovo has a little bit of an edge. Lenovo offers extended warranties that can last up to three years while HP only offers standard one year warranties on most products.
If you can find a Lenovo laptop with a three year warranty, those extra two years can add a lot of value and peace of mind to your purchase.
HP wins on appearance over Lenovo. HP has a sleeker modern look to many of its products.
Lenovo, by comparison, has a very blocky and utilitarian look. Lenovo laptops are often flat black boxes. For some people, that is going to be completely fine. But in a time when people are spending more and more time on their devices, some people like having a more polished look.
HP’s laptops have a variety of different looks that often includes colors like silver and white rather than simple black. They also have metallic casing for many of their products rather than the more rugged old-school look that Lenovo keeps to for their casing.
Most of the important components for laptops are all outsourced to third party companies that overlap quite heavily. For example, graphics cards, processors, and chips are all third party components.
The companies that make these important components have well known brand names such as Intel, AMD, Foxconn, and NVIDIA. Even motherboards, batteries, and other less well known components are often simply purchased from partners rather than made in house.
That being said, both Lenovo and HP use similar and overlapping manufacturers for their components. Both feature Intel and AMD processors, both use NVIDIA for their graphics cards, both have options for DDR4 RAM chips and more.
This category is a push because the components and materials used by both HP and Lenovo are extremely similar and one does not truly shine above the other.
When it comes to options, HP wins. Lenovo has a really good core of great products that they have relied on for a long time but they do not have a ton of innovative and unique designs.
HP on the other hand has a plethora of different options including mobile workstations, advanced 2-in-1 offerings, Chromebooks, and more. Lenovo has tried to branch out a bit more recently but they still rely heavily on their basic Thinkpad and Ideapad models.
If you are looking for more flexible options, new options, and advanced options, HP has more choices for you.
Recently, HP made some serious upgrades to its gaming division that puts it ahead of Lenovo in terms of depth and quality of their gaming laptops. HP already has its own gaming division, HP Omen, which focuses solely on creating products aimed specifically at gamers and streamers.
Then, in early 2021, HP acquired HyperX another gaming company. HyperX specializes in gaming peripherals and accessories and HP is planning on integrating their suite of gaming technology into their HP Omen laptops. This combination makes HP the clear choice here.
Lenovo makes solid gaming laptops as well but they do not have the same level of detail and attention that HP has been giving to their gaming machines lately. HP’s gaming laptops are on the whole more expensive than Lenovo’s so if you are looking to game on a budget, Lenovo might have more options to fit your budget.
Tracing manufacturing for such large companies can be tricky. One laptop model might be made in China while another one could be made in Mexico.
HP and Lenovo both have factories and assembly locations in countries around the world including China, Mexico, the United States, Taiwan, and more. Most laptops and components for both HP and Lenovo are made and assembled in China.
HP claims to assemble many of their computers in the United States but most of the components are shipped in from overseas and the computers are simply put together here in order to cut down on shipping times. Some Lenovo laptops can take weeks to ship because the entire unit comes in from China.
If you are curious about the manufacturing location of specific models, more digging might be required. However, both HP and Lenovo have wide international footprints when it comes to manufacturing and assembly.
Top 6 HP vs Lenovo Laptops
Price Legend (estimates): $ = under $500 | $$ = $500-$1000 | $$$ = $1000-$1500 | $$$$ = over $1500
|RAM / Storage
|Lenovo Legion 5
|16GB / 512GB
|Windows 10 Home
|HP Pavilion x360
|8GB / 512GB
|Windows 10 Home
|HP Envy x360
|32GB / 1TB
|Windows 10 Pro
|Lenovo Flex 5
|16GB / 256GB
|HP Pavilion Gaming
|12GB / 512GB
|Windows 10 Home
|Lenovo IdeaPad 5
|12GB / 512GB
|Windows 10 Home
Top 4 HP vs Lenovo
Laptops in Detail
Best Lenovo Gaming Laptop:
Lenovo Legion 5
First up is the extremely capable Lenovo Legion 5. This is an adept gaming laptop with great specifications for a reasonable price.
You get everything you need from a gaming laptop out of this computer including a large screen, tons of RAM, a powerful processor, and a recent generation GPU. Many other midrange gaming laptops try and make do with an RTX 2060 or worse, an RTX 1650.
These are old graphics cards that won’t be able to hold up while playing the most recent games. That is why it is great to see that the latest Legion 5 includes a 3050Ti without jacking the price up by too much.
In addition, the Lenovo Legion 5 also has a backlit keyboard that is smooth to the touch and feels great on your fingers. The lighting is in classic gamer RBG lighting and looks as good as it feels.
The casing is sleek, black, and rugged in Lenovo’s typical style. The screen can fold all the way down and lie flat giving you a great range of motion. Unlike most gaming laptops, this computer actually features a decent starting battery life which is a big plus.
The biggest downside with this laptop is the weight which is over five pounds. That is pretty hefty so if you were planning on lugging this computer around a lot, you might want to consider that this is one of the heavier laptops available.
Otherwise, this computer performs as advertised and comes in at a very reasonable price perfect for anyone looking for a step up over a standard laptop or someone looking to get into gaming.
● AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor
● NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti Graphics
● 15.6” (1920×1080) FHD IPS Display
Best Day-to-Day Lenovo Laptop:
Lenovo IdeaPad 5
The Lenovo IdeaPad is Lenovo’s bread and butter. This laptop has been a solid backbone for a solid company for a very long time.
The latest iteration offers more of the same reliable performance, affordable pricing, and utilitarian focus. Upgrades to this year’s model include a fingerprint reader for added security and quick login as well as a snappy touchscreen that allows you to utilize new touch enabled apps and programs right from your laptop.
No more swapping between your phone, tablet, and computer, now you can do everything on your computer, including touch.
This laptop is powered by a fast Intel processor and comes with the latest generation of integrated graphics. You won’t be able to run many games with this setup but it will do your office and schoolwork at lightning speed.
This model also comes with an upgraded RAM capacity bringing the total up to 12GB which is a nice touch. You also have the option to customize your hard drive with the IdeaPad 5 being able to choose between a 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB solid state storage setup. The specs shown here are for the 512GB model which is the cheapest.
The drawbacks to this computer are the battery life and the integrated graphics card. The battery life is not super great, starting at 8 hours, and is quickly drained by the processor and the large screen.
The integrated graphics card is fine for day-to-day working but if you want to try and game or do any kind of rendering, editing, or modeling you are going to run into problems. Overall, this is a solid computer that continues a long tradition of Lenovo utility laptops.
● Intel Quad-Core i7-1065G7 Processor
● Intel Iris Plus Graphic Integrated
● 15.6” (1920×1080) FHD IPS Touchscreen Display
Best 2-in-1 HP Laptop:
HP Pavilion x360
If you are looking for something different then the HP Pavilion x360 should be considered. This modern 2-in-1 laptop comes with all of the latest upgrades including a fully movable 360-degree screen, a lightweight body, tons of storage, and a big bright high resolution touchscreen.
This computer will do well as a school computer, leisure laptop, or tablet killer. This setup is perfect for streaming, browsing, editing, drawing, and note-taking. The HP Pavilion x360 is very versatile.
Furthermore it is very lightweight making it perfect to bring with you to the classroom or the coffee shop. It includes Windows 10 Home with the ability to upgrade to Windows 11 when it becomes available later in 2021.
It has a very long battery life that allows you to work away from the outlet for up to twelve hours. The case is sleek and modern and looks great folded and unfolded.
There are very few downsides to the HP Pavilion x360 other than the integrated graphics. While the touchscreen is high resolution and responsive, it will struggle to run any kind of modern computer game and powerful editing tools. It will be great for drawing and writing but bad at video or photo editing.
● 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U Processor
● Intel UHD Integrated Graphics
● 14” (1920×1080) FHD Touchscreen Fully-Moveable 360 Degree Display
Best HP Gaming Laptop: HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop
The HP Pavilion Gaming edition laptop is a great entry point for prospective gamers. Even if you do not have any interest in PC games this is a great PC for anyone looking for a slight step up over standard hardware.
That starts with the graphics card with is a GTX 1650. Not the newest or most powerful card but a big upgrade from integrated graphics. The Pavilion Gaming laptop also features tons of storage, a large and sharp screen as well as a hardy case that is resistant to the dings and dents of day-to-day use.
This model is very affordable but there are also many other options in the Pavilion gaming lineup that are even more budget friendly. HP makes it easy to tweak your build to be more powerful or economical with just a few clicks.
HP’s flexible computer building design philosophy makes it so you can easily get whatever model you need. This computer will not melt any faces and won’t impress super avid gamers but for entry level shoppers this is a great computer.
The downsides to getting upgraded hardware are the weight and the battery life. Running the processor and GPU takes a lot of juice and the 8.5 hour advertised battery life will quickly degrade over time making it so you have to camp out near an outlet most of the time.
This laptop is also heavy at 5lbs making it a little bit of a chore to lug around all the time. Otherwise, this is a great example of a midrange HP gaming laptop that will serve you well for years to come.
● Intel Core i5-9300H Processor
● NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics
● 15.6” (1920×1080) FHD IPS Display
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is HP or Lenovo more Innovative?
If HP is currently more innovative than Lenovo. Lenovo has things that it does very well. That includes making solid laptops that function great for surfing the web, watching videos, and using office programs.
They have not strayed outside of the areas where they have found most of their success. That has made Lenovo safe and effective.
HP is not afraid to improvise. Every year HP comes out with new and occasionally wild laptop designs with brand new features and untested ideas. Not all of these laptops are successes but they always offer something unique and new to look at and try out.
Is HP or Lenovo better for Gaming?
HP is better for gaming. The combination of HP Omen and HyperX brings HP to a level that Lenovo simply cannot match right now.
With HP’s acquisition of HyperX, they now have a portfolio that includes some of the best gaming accessories and peripherals paired with an already solid gaming division. HP Omen laptops are currently better than most Lenovo gaming laptops overall and are some of the best gaming laptops available period.
Is HP or Lenovo better for Students?
Lenovo has better laptops for students of all levels. Lenovo has many basic models at affordable prices that are perfect for taking notes and surfing the web.
Lenovo’s laptops are often lighter, more rugged, and have basic time-tested features that hold up well today. They will get the job done and won’t break the bank.
HP also has great laptops but they can be heavy, expensive, and bulky compared to some of the Lenovo machines. If you are in a specific program or want a more advanced or dual-purpose laptop HP might be a good option but for basic school activities, Lenovo takes the cake.
Does HP or Lenovo have more Options for Laptops?
HP has more options overall. HP has a variety of different models and they also have a variety of different options within each model.
For example, many HP laptops give you the choice as to what kind of graphics card, RAM, processor, and storage options you want. Lenovo has some options like this but not to the extent that HP does.
HP also has many more options for different and advanced models. They have workstations, gaming laptops, touchscreen machines, 2-in-1 laptops, Chromebooks, and basic laptops.
Lenovo primarily has work laptops and basic laptops. If you are someone who wants a lot of options in terms of different configurations and looks HP is going to appeal to you more. If you are looking for a basic machine that is proven to work and do the job well, Lenovo excels at that.
HP laptops are better than Lenovo laptops.
When it comes to standard midrange laptops, these two companies are very similar in terms of quality but HP pulls away when it comes to better options, more innovations, better gaming laptops, and more. HP wins in most of the categories that we covered including flexibility, options, appearance, innovation, gaming, and brand recognition.
These reasons quickly add up to the conclusion that HP is simply the more well-rounded company that can offer more to more people.
Lenovo is still a great company. I had a Lenovo desktop for many years and own a budget ThinkPad that I put Linux on. Lenovo laptops are good for what they are but there simply aren’t as many upgrades, innovations, and options as HP.
Both companies are great options for your next laptop purchase but HP edges out Lenovo this time.
If you are not interested in either HP or Lenovo, you can check out our other articles and take a deep dive into the best available laptops in the market today such as our list of best laptops to play Overwatch.
Happy Laptop Shopping!