written by: Craig Patel•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/2/2010
Two great companies with products suited to specific needs. What are the ideal uses for laptops from these heavy weights, and will one brand be a clear favorite?
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So you're debating between Lenovo and HP. First off, they are both great laptop companies. You're in a situation where you really can't lose. It's a win, win situation...for you. Unfortunately for these laptop brands there has to be a loser. It's Lenovo vs HP, my two favorite laptop brands battling it out.
Who will land on top - let's find out...
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Lenovo vs HP: Reliability
Both of these laptop are incredibly reliable. It's a worry free experience (for the most part) with these laptops.
HP:Hewlett Packard laptops are brilliant. Seriously - they are the epitome of reliability. I will elaborate on this more later, but, HP laptops are generally strong entertainment laptops. Entertainment laptops take a ton of work day in and day out. Why is that? "Entertaining" programs on the computer such as games, video players, chatting programs, etc. make your laptops work harder than other apps.
So, back to reliability; if your laptop has to work extra hard it has to be extra reliable. Despite running all these tough programs my HP laptop runs like brand new; and this is two years since I bought it. I rarely experience system crashes. My HP laptop runs efficiently and smoothly.
As far as hardware reliability the HP is also as solid as a rock. HP laptops can withstand routine wear and tear. I throw my HP laptop around like a football, OK - maybe that's a slight exaggeration; but seriously, tossing your laptop on the bed after a long day or getting it a little wet from that sudden rain shower while you were on your patio won't kill it. HP's can withstand physical damage.
Bottom Line: Even after using an HP for multiple years it runs like brand new. These laptops are solid from day one and stay that way over time.
Lenovo: Lenovo makes reliable laptops too. However, it's harder to tell how these laptop perform in comparison to HPs because they are primarily used as business laptops (more in the next section). Business programs such as Microsoft Office, emailing, etc., put less stress on a laptop than entertainment programs. However there are certain business programs like computer graphics, video editing etc., that do put on a significant amount of pressure on a laptop's system. Under these tough circumstances the Lenovo has performed exceptionally well. Even after using my Lenovo for hours on end it doesn't crash. It still runs quickly even after owning it for three years.
Now on the hardware end Lenovo isn't as great as HP. I always am a little more gentle with my Lenovo. I don't toss it around because in the past when I did this well...let's just say there were a lot of repairs.
However with that being said Lenovo takes strides every year to improve their flaws. Lenovo, knowing that reliability was one of customers biggest concerns, came out and revamped their ThinkPad models for reliability. The new models contain new features like spill resistant keyboards for added durability. So although Lenovo laptops are not generally as reliable as consumers would like, it's nice to see Lenovo taking steps to improve their laptops durability.
So because HPs are generally known to take more stress than Lenovos, and they still maintain reliability, I have to give HP the edge here. HP also is more sturdy as far as design and structure (a good thing for us clumsy, rough people). If I had to bet on which would last longer I'd definitely go with HP. Now with that being said, I still strongly believe Lenovos are reliable and you can count on them. Lenovo is constantly working on improving their weaknesses. So maybe today Lenovo is weaker in the durability category but within a couple years they may lead the industry in that area.
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Lenovo vs HP: Primary Uses
HP: HP laptops are generally known as entertainment laptops; they also can be excellent business laptops. HP packs in a ton of entertainment features. Their webcam software, HP Media Smart Webcam, is regarded by many as one of the favorite webcam software. HP's media smart program is a favorite program of mine because of its simplicity and organizational helpfulness. These are just a few of the excellent entertainment features HP adds to their laptops.
As far as business features, HP doesn't focus as much on these. You can still be productive with your emailing and Microsoft Office programs. You can also easily use other business programs like computer graphics, PDF editing etc. However, HP did not include extra business features found in other laptops, like presentation helpers.
Lenovo: Lenovo is definitely more of a business laptop. They include business features like extra portability, increased battery life, presentation help, etc. As far as comparing Lenovo to HP; HP may either be a little behind in these areas or Lenovo may be a little ahead. I like to think it's a little of both.
HP doesn't focus on these features the way Lenovo does. Each year Lenovo improves their laptops' battery life. Their laptops are always amongst the top during battery life tests. The Lenovo ThinkPad X60s was tested recently and it had a battery life of 8 hours and 16 minutes, number one out of "marathon laptops" according to cnet.com. Aside from battery life Lenovo also focuses a lot on portability. Having a laptop that's light in weight can really help when you're carrying it around from meeting to meeting.
Entertainment Laptops: HP has the edge because of its signature entertainment features.
Business Laptops: Lenovo has the edge because of its focus on helpful business features.
Well Rounded, Versatile Laptop:
HP is not quite up to speed with Lenovo on the business end but it comes close. You can still get all your work done easily and efficiently, but you just might have to lug a couple extra pounds around and make sure not to forget your laptop charger at home.
On the entertainment spectrum, HP beats Lenovo by a lot. This gives HP a big edge. It's not really close here. HP is the best laptop brand for entertainment laptops. They have exclusive features which set them apart.
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Like I said before; HP and Lenovo are both great. You can't go wrong with either brand.
I think HP has the edge because it's more well rounded and beats Lenovo in both the reliability and usage categories.
However if you're going to be using a laptop strictly for business purposes then get a Lenovo. They are the best in that regard.