Best HP laptops for creators: ZBook, Omen, and Envy


HP is one of the most popular laptop manufacturers in the world, and for good reason. The company makes some of the best laptops you can buy today, and it’s got a wide-ranging portfolio, so whether you want a business laptop or a gaming laptop, it has something for you. So what if you’re a creative professional or content creator? Well, we’ve rounded up the best HP laptops for creators in case that’s what you’re looking for.

The term “creator” can be very broad, but generally, it includes tasks that require a lot of computing power. Image and video editing, music production, or programming are some examples. All the laptops on this list – to varying degrees – have a solid amount of power to back them up so you can use them for all kinds of creative workloads. How much power you need is mostly up to you, and if you’re in this market, you probably have an idea of what to look for. With that out of the way, let’s get right into the list.

Best overall: HP Envy 16

If you want something a bit cheaper but potentially even more powerful, the HP Envy 16 might be for you. This laptop comes with up to an Intel Core i9-12900H processor along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, delivering plenty of power for content creation without being overly expensive. With this setup, you’re going to be able to edit videos and do all kinds of creative workloads without a problem. You can also get it with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD, so you have more than enough memory for your projects as well as space to store them.

Along with those powerful specs, the HP Envy 16 comes with a 16-inch display and a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is great for productivity. The display comes in Quad HD+ (2560 x 1600) resolution and it has a 120Hz refresh rate, so everything from animations to games look that much smoother on this screen. You can also add touch support, if you want it. Above the display, there’s a 5MP webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition. HP makes some fantastic webcams for its high-end laptops, and this is no exception.

The HP Envy 16 also benefits from a very capable supply of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. You should be able to connect any and all peripherals relatively easily with this setup, plus you can quickly import media using the microSD card reader.

Design-wise, the HP Envy 16 is premium, but somewhat basic with its typical silver colorway, which you may like or dislike. It’s not a light laptop, either, thanks to those powerful specs, and it starts at 5.12lbs. It should still be somewhat portable, but you probably don’t want to carry it around all day.

All in all, the HP Envy 16 offers a fantastic balance of performance, a great display, and affordability. It does come at the expense of some portability, but that’s true of almost every laptop here.

Best convertible: HP Spectre x360 16

Anyone looking for a premium convertible with high-end performance will find a fantastic product in the HP Spectre x360 16. It’s not the most powerful laptop around, but it blends a stunning and versatile design with some very capable specs to make for an excellent machine for creators. It starts with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, which is the ideal choice if you want a machine with a bigger focus on CPU performance. If you want more GPU power, you can also opt for an Intel Core it-1260P processor paired with Intel Arc A370M graphics, which will accelerate your content creation workloads like video editing and rendering. The laptop also comes with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.

Something else that’s absolutely fantastic about this laptop is the display, which is a 16-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The base model is an IPS panel with 3K resolution, but you can also get a stunning OLED panel with Ultra HD+ resolution for an even better visual experience. Of course, since it’s a convertible, it supports touch and pen input, and the display can rotate 360 degrees so you can use it as a tablet. Above that display, there’s also a very good 5MP webcam with Windows Hello facial recgnition, one of the best you can find on any laptop.

Design-wise, the HP Spectre x360 has a cool dual-tone look, mixing a mostly black chassis with subtle “pale brass” accents for a premium feel that’s bound to get some attention. Being made of aluminum and relatively large to boot, this is a somewhat heavy laptop, starting at 4.45lbs, but it’s still portable and you can certainly take it anywhere you want.

As for ports, it comes with two Thunderbolt 4 connections, one USB Type-A port, HDMI 2.1, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. That’s quite a bit of variety, and more than you’ll find in most premium laptops, so it’s a solid setup right out of the gate.

The HP Spectre x360 16 isn’t exactly cheap, but considering some of the laptops we’ll be seeing later on, it’s certainly one of the best laptops you can get as a creator.

Best gaming laptop: Omen 17

If you’re not only a content creator but also a gamer, the Omen 17 from HP might be the laptop for you. For starters, it delivers on the performance front with up to an insanely powerful Intel Core i9-12900HX, with 16 cores and 24 threads. You can pair that with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, which is going to breeze through all kinds of modern games and demanding creative workloads. Additionally, up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB SSD give you all you need to have a very good experience with gaming and work.

The display is also great for gaming. It’s a 17.3-inch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it comes in Quad HD resolution, so it’s pretty sharp all things considered. That’s combined with a 165Hz refresh rate, so your games run as smoothly as possible and make use of the powerful GPU inside the laptop. Of course, the large screen and high resolution also make for a great work machine. Unfortunately, it only comes with a 720p webcam and no Windows Hello support, which is typical of HP gaming laptops.

On the design front, the Omen 17 is one of the sleekest gaming laptops around, with an all-black chassis that’s only highlighted by the blue Omen logo on the lid. There isn’t much in the way of RGB lighting, except on the keyboard, but even then, it’s fairly subdued since the light is only visible through the key labels. Speaking of the keyboard, the laptop has the arrow keys clearly separated from the rest of the keys, so you get a more comfortable experience in games that use them. Being that it’s a big gaming laptop, this is a very heavy machine, coming in at 6.17lbs.

That large chassis makes way for quite a few ports, including one Thunderbolt 4 connection, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. There really isn’t a lot more you could ask for here, and this is a stellar selection.

If you’re looking for a lot of power and you have money to spend, the Omen 17 is a great choice. It’s actually not as expensive as some of the laptops we’ll be seeing later, so it’s definitely worth considering.

Best workstation: HP ZBook Studio G9

HP ZBook lineup of laptops is tailor-made for content creators and creative professionals. The HP ZBook Studio G9 is the best traditional workstation in terms specs while keeping a somewhat slim and lightweight profile. It’s powered by up to an Intel Core i9-12900H and an Nvidia RTX A5500 GPU, which is Nvidia’s most powerful professional GPU. Indeed, this card is optimized for work rather than gaming, so it’s ideal if you’re a creative professional and you work with very complex tasks like 3D rendering or artificial intelligence. Additionally, you can configure it with up to 32GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD so you have plenty of performance and space for all your files.

The display on this model is a 16-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio and it comes in a few variants. The base model is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) panel, and you can configure it with an HP SUre View Reflect privacy screen in case you want to keep sensitive information away from prying eyes when you’re working in public. You can also opt for the Ultra HD+ model which is much sharper, with options for either a touchscreen or a smoother 120Hz refresh rate. Sadly, the laptop only has a 720p camera, but it does support Windows Hello facial recognition.

The design of HP’s ZBook workstations is similar across the board, featuring a silver chassis without much in the way of flair, which you might prefer. Despite being powerful machine, the HP ZBook Studio also starts at just 3.81lbs of weight, which is impressive for a 16-inch workstation. Of course, that’s without discrete graphics, so the weight will definitely go up depending on your configuration.

Workstations typically have a solid supply of ports, but the ZBook Studio actually doesn’t have a ton of variety. You get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one standard USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. It’s missing things like HDMI or Ethernet, so it may not be ideal for everyone, but it’s not too surprising they’re not available considering this is a fairly compact laptop for what it offers.

The downside with this model, as with most workstations, is that it’s incredibly expensive. It officially starts at over $4,000, so you might want to keep an eye out for inevitable discounts.

Best lightweight mobile workstation: HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9

Not everyone wants to lug around a heavy laptop for the sake of performance, so if you don’t have very demanding workloads and you want something you can use on the go, the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 is for you. If you want more CPU performance, you can go with Intel P-series processors up to a Core i7-1280P, but if you favor the GPU, you can combine Intel’s U15 processors (up to a COre i7-1265U) with up to an Nvidia RTX A500 graphics card. Naturally, this isn’t as powerful as other GPUs on this list, but you can still configure it with up to a whopping 64GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for a great experience in a more portable package.

As the name suggests, the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 comes with a 14-inch display and it has a 16:10 aspect ratio. The base model comes in Full HD+ resolution with options for touch support or a built-in privacy screen for when you’re working in public. You can also upgrade to a sharper Quad HD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate if you want a better viewing experience. A benefit of this laptop over some of the larger workstations is the webcam, since you still get that high-quality 5MP camera HP laptops are known for. Windows Hello facial recognition isn’t a standard feature, but it is available as an option.

Some of the shortcomings in terms of power are compensated by the fact that this is the lightest laptop on this list, starting at just 3.26lbs. It’s a very portable machine you can use and take anywhere. Like other Z workstations, it has a clean design so it’s perfect for an office environment.

As for ports, the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 comes with two Thunderbolt 4 connections, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0b, and a headphone jack. There’s also an optional Smart Card reader if you need it. Surprisingly, this is a very robust selection of ports for such a small laptop, so you’re ready to connect any peripherals you might need. This is also one of the few laptops here with cellular support – either 4G LTE or 5G – so you can stay connected to the internet from anywhere.

As usual with workstations, the HP ZBook Firefly 14 G9 is a bit expensive, especially if you want a build-to-order configuration. You can try to save some money by looking at some of the presets HP offers, though, or check if there’s an ongoing sale, which tends to happen fairly often with devices like these.

Best workstation with a 16:9 display: HP ZBook Power G9

Are you not fond of the trend of having taller 16:10 displays? The HP ZBook Power G9 is still here to cater to fans of wider screens, and it doesn’t compromise on performance. It’s powered by up to an Intel Core i9-12900HK, which can be paired with Nvidia RTX A2000 graphics for very strong performance in all kinds of creative workloads. You can also configure it with up to 64GB of RAM and a whopping 8TB of SSD storage across two M.2 slots, so you’re not missing out on much here.

The display is a 15.6-inch panel, and as we’ve mentioned, it comes in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is a bit more traditional than the 16:10 displays we’ve seen so far. The base model comes in Full HD resolution, with options for a brighter display and touch support. You can also upgrade to an Ultra HD panel if you want a sharper screen, and that also gets you a Full HD webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition. Otherwise, the webcam is only 720p and Windows Hello support is optional.

In terms of design, the ZBook Power G9 is very much in line with other HP Z workstations with its clean and simple design. It starts at 4.25lbs of weight, which is fairly light for a workstation, but that configuration doesn’t include discrete graphics, so it will get significantly heavier depending on what you want.

Rounding things out with ports, you get one Thunderbolt 4 port, three USB Type-A ports, RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI, a headphone jack, and an optional Smart Card reader. There’s quite a bit of variety here, so most of your peripherals should work out of the box.

Once again, this is a fairly expensive machine, particularly if you want a build-to-order configuration. However, many of the preset configurations tend to be discounted, which makes this a much more appealing machine.

Best for power: HP ZBook Fury 16 G9

If you’re okay with throwing portability out of the window for the sake of performance, then the HP ZBook Fury may be what you’re looking for. This beast of a laptop is powered by up to an Intel COre i9-12950HX vPro CPU with 55W and 16 cores, which is already a lot of power. On top of that, you can pair it with up to an Nvidia RTX A5500 workstation GPU with 16GB of memory, which, as we’ve mentioned, is the most powerful in Nvidia’s lineup. And to top it all off, up to a massive 128GB of RAM across four slots, along with four M.2 slots for a total of 12TB of storage. That’s more than you’ll probably ever need, but the option is there.

Turning to the display, it’s a 16-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and it starts with Full HD+ resolution with options for touch support or a privacy screen if you plan on working in public. You can also get the Ultra HD+ OLED panel if you want the best viewing experience possible, and that also includes touch support. There’s even a 5MP webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition support, and you start to see this is basically a laptop that has it all.

That applies to the ports, too, with two Thunderbolt 4 ports available, in addition to two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort 2.0, RJ45 Ethernet, a headphone jack, a full-size SD card reader, and an optional Smart Card reader. It really has everything – including optional cellular connectivity with your choice of 4G LTE or 5G support. This is pretty much the ultimate laptop.

Of course, that comes at a cost. First, there’s the weight. This laptop starts at 5.27lbs, but keep in mind a lot of things are optional – the discrete GPU, RAM and storage upgrades, or the Ultra HD+ display, for example. This machine will definitely get very heavy with upgrades, and it’s over one inch thick, too.

The other cost is, well, the cost. This laptop officially starts at over $3,000, and depending on upgrades, it can cost well over $7,000 if you want to go all the way. Of course, it’s also upgradeable in terms of RAM and storage, so you can also start more modestly and invest in upgrades later.

Best budget gaming laptop: HP Victus 15

Finding a decently powerful laptop for cheap isn’t easy, but the HP Victus 15 is a fantastic option if you want to dip your toes into content creation or gaming. This machine comes with up to an Intel Core i7-12700H, though it starts with a cheaper Core i5, which is still fairly fast. You can also get it with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, which can help boost some creative workloads and handle most modern games. Obviously, it won’t be as fast as other laptops on this list, but this is a very cheap machine in comparison. You can also get the laptop with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

The display is less impressive than other models we’ve looked at so far, but it’s still serviceable for basic use. It’s a 15.6-inch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it comes in Full HD resolution across the board. You can upgrade to a higher refresh rate if you want to focus a bit more on gaming, though. As usual for HP’s gaming laptops, the camera is only 720p and there’s no Windows Hello support, which is unfortunate.

The design of the HP Victus 15 is actually pretty nice. It comes in three colors to choose from – black, white, or blue – and the design overall is very clean without much to make it stand out in a bad way. However, it is a fairly heavy laptop for the specs, coming in at 5.06lbs for the starting weight. That’s not unexpected with a cheaper device like this, though.

Finally, in terms of ports, we’re looking at one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD media card reader. While the USB ports are relatively slow by modern standards, this is a very capable setup and you should be able to use all your peripherals with it.

All in all, those looking for a cheaper machine that can handle some creative workloads will definitely find something to like here. It’s one of the best HP laptops for creators in this price range.

And those are what we’d consider the best laptops HP makes for creators. Because the company has such a wide range of offerings, there are still quite a few options available even in this niche of the market. Personally speaking, I’d probably choose HP Spectre x360 16 out of this list, simply because I love convertibles. If you want more performance in a relatively portable package, though, the Envy 16 is probably the best value you can get.

If you’re looking for laptops in a more affordable price range, maybe check out the best cheap gaming laptops to see some other machines that can handle gaming and content creation without breaking the bank. Or, if you want more general-purpose machines, check out the best HP laptops you can buy today.