Most of the time, yes.

Here are some quick shopping tips.

Model number suffix contains useful information

  • -c: desktops carried by Costco
  • -cl: laptops carried by Costco
  • -ms: carried by Microsoft Store specifications can be very detailed

  • You can find detailed specifications on for the majority of HP computer models by simply Googling the model number. It’s usually among the first few Google results. e.g. HP Pavilion 590-p0050 Desktop PC
  • By detailed I mean DETAILED, including frequent items of interest such as
    • The internal power supply
    • How many memory DIMM slots
    • How many M.2 slots
    • Chipset
    • Whether the SSD is M.2 or SATA, NVMe or SATA
  • For desktops, the specification page will include a link to the specification page of the particular motherboard used in that desktop, which provides even more useful information and photos for those looking to upgrade internal components.

But not always. specifications can be wrong and misleading.

Example 1:

HP Pavilion 590-p0057c does NOT come with an SSD but lists a 256GB SSD:

hp 590-p0057c no 256GB ssd

Example 2:

Incorrect and inconsistent specifications regarding Core i5+/i7+ platform

The i5+/i7+ platform is the marketing term for i5/i7 processors bundled with Intel Optane cache. From a performance perspective, the Intel Optane cache is similar to a small SSD. From a technical implementation perspective, the Intel Optane is obviously different from a computer that uses an SSD as a boot drive, just like how Apple’s Fusion Drive is not a standalone SSD paired with a standalone HDD.

HP can (and probably should) use the i5+/i7+ marketing term created by Intel, or still call the Optane memory an SSD. To me either is fine as long as the naming is consistent across products. But HP is not consistent.

HP Pavilion 590-p0050 and 590-p0086 both use the Core i5+/i7+ platform, pairing an 8th-gen Core i5/i7 processor with 16GB Optane memory. Architecturally they should be similar. However, makes them look like very different products.

wrong optane specs 1wrong optane specs 2

This makes it very confusing for consumers shopping for HP products.

And I have several more examples.

While you can argue the average consumer is not reading specifications (and simply buys whatever model they happen to like at the local Best Buy), the messy specifications signals a larger problem at HP. Whoever is producing these specification pages at HP either does not understand the technology, or does not care enough about the job to make sure that every piece of information is accurate. I also wrote about how buggy the HP Support Assistant software is. These problems have existed for a long time and nobody at HP seems to care about their customers’ shopping experience or user experience. HP may be content with its market share in the short run, but if these problems are not fixed, they will backfire sooner or later.