Laptops are perhaps the most useful electronic devices for day-to-day use after smartphones. They might even surpass smartphones in some ways because of their importance in the workplace in many ways. HP is a stalwart laptop brand that’s been around since the initial days of the PC revolution. On the other hand, Asus is a relatively new brand that has nonetheless made some waves thanks to a highly diverse and influential product line. Who would come out on top if we compare these brands head to head? Read on to find out!
HP Brand Overview
Established in 1939, HP is widely recognized as a technological pioneer, and it was one of the first companies to set up shop in Silicon Valley. However, the company was relatively late to the party when it came to laptops. Entering the laptop niche in the mid-2000s, HP quickly capitalized on its prestigious history as a purveyor of semiconductors and business machines to become a highly popular laptop brand. It has faced financial difficulties recently and sold off a majority of its shares to Tsinghua Unigroup in 2015.
Asus Brand Overview
Asus was founded by former Acer employees in 1989, and it has managed to surpass Acer in many regards. It was the first company to challenge America’s dominance in the computer hardware industry, eventually becoming an Original Equipment Manufacturer in its own right. Asus’s consumer-facing products include smartphones and the like, but its laptops remain its most popular offering. Asus is particularly notable for its innovations after making its name by fixing problems that Intel had in their motherboard. Their laptops often use cutting-edge technology for this reason, and they offer multiple machines for a wide variety of users.
The Showdown: Asus vs HP
Each of these brands offers an extensive array of machines, but we will be generalizing their product line and scoring them based on how their laptops usually tend to be. These scores will be split into five categories: Specs, Build Quality, Value for Money, Customer Support, and Innovativeness. Without further ado, here are our findings:
Generally speaking, more expensive laptops have better components. HP and Asus have high-end laptops with cutting-edge innards, but Asus might have the edge here because their lower-end laptops generally have better specs. Asus also does better in the battery department, with some of their laptops offering eight celled variants instead of the normal three cells.
Asus is an OEM and a laptop manufacturer, so they are bound to have better components since they’re the ones supplying them to several other laptop manufacturers. Overall, HP doesn’t do badly here, but Asus wins by a hair.
Gamers often focus on this aspect above all else, and they have great options to choose from with each of these brands. HP has some of the heaviest specs that make it an ideal choice for well-off gamers if you can afford it. For example, the HP Omen 15 offers an eye-popping 64GB RAM, 2TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB) Max-Q, which is perfect if you have a couple thousand dollars lying around.
Asus manages to hold its own, especially for budget shoppers. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to pour into their gaming hobby, and Asus provides excellent specs for a relatively low price. The Asus TUF costs only $200 more than an HP Pavilion laptop, but its specs are miles ahead. Meanwhile, Asus’ flagship gaming laptop, the ROG Mothership GZ700, offers monstrous specs for wealthy enthusiasts, and it has innovative features, too, which we will get into later.
HP – 8/10
Asus – 9/10
Build Quality and Design
This is an area where each brand starts to diverge. HP is generally the showier of the two, so if you want beautiful laptops, they’re your best bet. They also get points for offering aesthetically pleasing designs at low price points, which doesn’t seem to be a priority for Asus, at least in their midrange lineup. What Asus lacks in attractiveness, however, it makes up for in durability. You can buy a very sturdy laptop from Asus at quite a reasonable price. Business users often prefer good-looking laptops from HP, whereas frequent travelers would be better off with Asus.
Based on these factors, we feel that Asus might be better for first-time buyers especially. They offer more practical options due to their durability, and students, in particular, would benefit from purchasing an Asus machine. The chaos of campus life and the general irresponsibility of youth makes it necessary to buy a device that can take a few hits, and Asus is a better option from that angle.
That said, HP is no slouch. They offer gorgeous-looking machines, but they’re not exactly fragile. Even though they’re not as durable as Asus machines, they can still withstand a bit of rough use. Also, Asus’s midrange laptops are not as sturdy as their more expensive ones, so we would call this round a tie.
HP – 8/10
Asus – 8/10
Value for Money
On the surface, it seems like HP might win in this category thanks to some of their laptops being phenomenally affordable. However, the lower you go in HP’s price range, the poorer the quality gets. HP’s budget laptops can sometimes be downright awful, with many breaking down rather quickly due to their poor build quality. Remember, we aren’t just comparing prices; we’re comparing value for money. While Asus’s laptops tend to fall into a somewhat narrower price range, they also generally provide much higher quality.
The cheapest Asus and HP laptops have a price difference of around $50-$100, but Asus’s products offer significantly better specs. HP has some laptops meant for people on a very tight budget, and While Asus doesn’t have anything quite that affordable, they still provide much better value for money due to their better specs overall.
On the higher end side of things, though, both of these brands are comparably good. They both offer premium machines and price them accordingly. However, Asus’s Zephyrus S17 might be superior to HP’s most expensive laptop, the Omen X2S, so while the former doesn’t offer as many cheap models as the latter, they have more to explore on the more expensive end of the spectrum. That’s notable because Asus’s premium laptops offer great value for money. In contrast, HP’s cheap laptops are mostly just placeholders that you might use temporarily until you can afford a quality computer.
HP – 7/10
Asus – 9/10
This factor needs a lot more attention. Many laptop manufacturers sell laptops with preinstalled programs, and while many of these programs are necessary, some are not, and they slow your computer down significantly. HP is particularly guilty of this, with its various software, including JumpStart, Assistant, and Audio Switch.
JumpStart is essentially a welcome screen that seems designed for people that have never used a laptop before; Assistant provides product information that you can easily find online, and we’re not entirely sure what Audio Switch does apart from acting as an additional audio driver. None of these preinstalled programs appear to do anything useful, but they take up space on your hard drive regardless.
Also, HP laptops often come with preinstalled games like Candy Crush Saga. Some might enjoy these games, but, oddly, they come with the computer when one can easily install them if they want, and a majority of users might not even know they’re there.
While Asus laptops have their fair share of bloatware, they tend to be less obstructive in that regard. Asus bloatware includes FancyStart, Splendid Video Enhancement, and USB Charger Plus. Splendid Video Enhancement is a rare example of preinstalled software that some might find helpful. It allows you to edit photos, and while it might not be as good as premium software, it comes free with your laptop, so casual editors might appreciate it. FancyStart and USB Charger Plus don’t offer anything valuable, though.
This is not as big of a factor as the rest, so we’re rating these brands out of 5 in this regard.
HP – 0/5
Asus – 2/5
HP is a highly established brand, but they often struggle to innovate. On the other hand, Asus is widely known for its frequent innovations, with many of its laptops incorporating unique features that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, the Asus ROG Mothership GZ700 comes with a detachable keyboard which many gamers would enjoy.
Asus has also pioneered vapor chamber technology for improved cooling and has innovated a new type of touchpad called the ScreenPad. While not all of their innovations pan out, Asus keeps trying to experiment and add new things to their machines, whereas HP appears to be stuck in the same old model with very few innovations to speak of. HP is great for standard devices, but Asus has a broader range of innovative options to choose from.
HP – 5/10
Asus – 8/10
There’s nothing wrong with buying an HP laptop. In fact, some of them offer top-of-the-line performance, and their budget line is excellent for people that are strapped for cash. However, Asus’s more expansive variety of gaming laptops with often superior specs, its more robust average build quality as well as its general culture of innovation has helped it come out on top.
While both Asus and HP offer laptops at comparable prices, Asus usually offers better specs for the price. Overall, HP seems set in its ways, focusing on style over substance while Asus constantly tries to find the next big feature. That’s what sets these brands apart. Here are their final scores:
HP – 28/45
Asus – 36/45
ASUS WINS IT!