The HP Chromebook 14 will put your doubts about Chromebooks as viable laptop alternatives to rest. This Chromebook is evidence that ChromeOS-powered devices have a place, despite the fact that many consumers prefer Windows or Apple notebooks.
In fact, you might opt to make the switch given the Chromebook 14’s features and consistent performance. This incredibly economical computer is more than capable of handling your basic computing needs, including getting you online, checking your email, performing some simple tasks, and binge-watching Netflix. The addition of a fantastic keyboard, a superb trackpad, and a stunning 14-inch screen results in a device that provides far more value than just its inexpensive price.
The HP Chromebook isn’t exactly a high-end computer, but it is nonetheless a sleek, well-designed piece of technology. The thickest part of the tapering enclosure is 0.7 inches (approximately 18mm) thick. It’s also pretty light, weighing in at 3.74 pounds (1.7 kilograms), though not as little as the 13.3-inch, 2.97-pound Toshiba Chromebook 2. But, the larger screen that comes with the added weight makes up for it, and the Chromebook 14 doesn’t feel at all heavy in your hands.
As the entire case is made of plastic, it does flex and creak slightly as you move the screen or lift it up with one hand. The case doesn’t have any exposed screws, which is a plus because you won’t have to worry about a loose screen unexpectedly coming out.
Oh. It’s also blue. Very blue. like the color of a pool. Although the blue color, known as Sky Blue by HP, looks cool, not everyone will like it. Although it turns our Chromebook 14 review device into the PC equivalent of a Smurf, a white keyboard and lid balance off the intense blue. Depending on your preference for 1980s cartoons, you may find that to be excellent or awful.
Plenty of ports
There are plenty of inputs available on the Chromebook 14. An HDMI-out port, a security lock slot, a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot are all located on the left edge. There are two USB 2.0 ports and a power connector on the right side. Although it would be ideal if all three USB ports could support USB 3.0, most users will have more than enough connectivity.
Stellar keyboard and trackpad
I have high standards for keyboards because I’m a writer, so I was pleasantly impressed by the Chromebook 14’s typing experience. The keyboard has clicky keys and a lot of key travel, so it feels responsive.
The keyboard doesn’t feel mushy at all during usual use, but it does slightly flex when I press down hard on it. My complaint is that there isn’t a separate Caps Lock key; instead, the Search key must be used while holding down the alt key. Although it’s not a significant deal, it makes it harder to hurriedly tweet in all caps.
The trackpad is also quite good. There is lots of room to move about in this wide, open area. There is no need to hunt for the left- and right-click buttons because the entire touchpad functions as a button.
The button itself clicks into place with a nice sound, but the closer you get to the keyboard, the firmer it becomes. You’ll feel perfectly at home using the Chromebook 14 if you’re used to the trackpad on, for example, a MacBook Air.
The 14-inch Chromebook will remain charged all day long. On our battery test, the laptop performed admirably for 9 hours and 18 minutes (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness). That edges out the Chromebook average (9:10) and the Acer Chromebook 15 (9:07), and crushes the Chromebook C523NA (6:30) and the AMD version of the Chromebook 14 (6:23).
The 720p webcam on the Chromebook 14 catches a fair amount of detail, but an external webcam will have more vibrant colors. In a selfie I took in our dimly lit office, I could make out individual hairs in my beard.
However, my face looked so pale that I could have filled in as a zombie cast member in the Walking Dead. Also, my black shirt was so dark and lacking in detail that it looked as though the paint bucket tool had been used to fill it in with color.
Only the underside of the Chromebook 14 reached concerning temperatures after we watched a 15-minute, full-screen trailer on YouTube. Peaking at 108 degrees Fahrenheit, the bottom panel breached our 95-degree comfort threshold.
If you want a cheap Chromebook for doing routine things like browsing the web, sending emails, or watching YouTube videos, the Chromebook 14 is a reasonable option. Even while this Intel version has more power than the little AMD counterpart, it still performs poorly compared to laptops of the same price. Yet, with a 1080p display, a good battery life, and a stylish design.