Yes, it is possible that your Wifi problems have to do with the kind of Wifi capabilities and set-up of the (HP) laptop. As I recall, there are several Wifi protocols, all identified with some arcane numbering system. Older systems do not support the newer protocols, and if there is a mismatch with the capabilities of your router, that may lead to issues.
But AFAIK if you do not have extreme needs, you normally need not be bothered with tthe precise protocol.
More importantly are (a) the frequency and (b) the channel.
The frequence is either 2.4 or 5 Ghz. 5 Ghz is faster (of course) but doesn’t have the reach of 2.4. 5 GHz apparently only works in a direcet line of sight or only with slight obstacles. Routers often support 2.4 and 5 simultaneously and allow the receiver to choose either one. My Macbook picks automatically which one is available, I think. If the HP did not support or choose one of those, that may partly explain the issues.
Secondly, wifi operates on a channel. If your neighbour happens to use Wifi on the same channel, you will have terrible reccption, so you should try to use different channels. Google around for better explanation here.
It is possible that the HP laptop was defective or some setting was incorrecft, thereby restricting its recception capabilities. I have found no issues with my Macbook in a fairly complex environment, but YMMV. Haven’t heard specific complaints about Wifi, but there have been complaints about BlueTooth I think (I don’t use that myself).
Also some reading of someone having other Internet issues (but this may not relate to your case): I upgraded to 1 Gbps fiber internet connection and only get 300 Mbps on Wi-Fi. | by Mneleventhirty | Jan, 2021 | Medium