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HP is a broad electronics company that produces computers printers and other devices. While the company is best known for high quality printers, their offering of laptop computers hasn’t been on par in recent years. It fell three places in its overall rankings, and it now hovers just above Toshiba in terms of quality and reliability. Overall, the company’s direction seems to be focusing more on fancy and stylish looks rather than internal quality and durability.

Quality and Selection

HP provides a fairly broad range of laptops and prices. The majority of the company’s machines are suitable for work, business or school. A few have powerful enough specifications to work as gaming rigs or video editors, although their style does not scream “gamer” in the way dedicated brands like ROG or Alienware do. The company does offer a flashy new line of elite professional looking machine in its very expensive Spectre line of laptops. These silver and gold trimmed models represent a new level of professional style and bling that no other company can match. However, specifications wise, a consumer is definitely paying for appearance because their hardware is not really worth the price.

HP also doesn’t shy away from a hefty lineup of touchscreen, reversible and tablet-like laptop designs, and they tend to offer more laptops that blur the lines between computer and tablet compared to most companies. This furthers their focus as a company that is building general machines for work and school and less so for gaming and other purposes.

Design and Appearance

Recent years has seen HP focus on the appearance of their laptops to the possible detriment of quality. Their machines are definitely good looking in general. They tend to have a sleek and rounded appearance and favor lighter colors like grey, white or silver. Their regular models look professional without being over the top.

That idea is turned on its head when it comes to their recent Spectre line of products. These machines look fit for the boardroom and perfect in the hands of an elite professional like a lawyer or executive. They go out of the way to look flashy in a style different from other brands, featuring reddish gold trim and illuminated keys. They have taken a heads up from common gaming machines and transformed them into something suited for a more mature consumer. This is refreshing, and it definitely serves to set the brand apart—at least in terms of aesthetics.

Tech Support and Warranty

HP has taken a tumble on this front compared to 2016. Once a very strong brand, HP seems to be suffering from a customer service training crisis. Consumers have reported receiving inaccurate or overly complex information and solutions to many basic problems both with phone and chat support. HP responded directly to these complaints with promises to provide better training to support staff, but evidence of these efforts has yet to be seen.

The company does make up slightly in terms of warranty. Warranty terms are fairly good compared to the competition. HP offers a 1-year warranty on all of their products and does not charge for return shipping for repairs covered under the warranty. Also important, the warranty is not voided when the RAM or hard drive memory is upgraded. This is a big plus for laptop users who traditionally have to deal with voiding the warranty any time they open the case.

Final Verdict

HP has some catching up to do in terms of the quality and support of its products. It needs to overcome same major customer service issues that have plagued it recently and focus on providing machines that are both of good quality and bold and stylish in appearance. Only time will tell if HP is able to return to its former standing, or if its focus on style and the expense of quality and innovation will leave it forever trailing its competitors in the laptop market.