Don’t have lots of spare money however want a brand new laptop computer? You may not want something tremendous highly effective – you’ll largely be accessing the online, creating and modifying some easy paperwork, and watching some YouTube and Netflix. If that’s you, then calm down: You possibly can decide up a Chromebook that ought to serve you properly.
The HP Chromebook 14 begins inexpensively at $270 for an AMD A4-9210 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and an HD (1,366 x 768) decision 14-inch show. HP despatched us the higher-end model with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show that’s $330 at Walmart.
Sure, that’s proper: That is the primary Chromebook powered by AMD. Not solely is it a really cheap laptop computer, but it surely’s additionally pretty distinctive. Does that give it sufficient of a bonus to be price investing your very restricted finances?
It’s plastic and never terribly thrilling, however that’s okay
Let’s get this out of the best way proper up entrance: The HP Chromebook 14 is product of plastic. I is available in one in all three colour schemes, Snow White, Chalkboard Grey, and Ink Blue. And that’s simply wonderful. Ours was the Ink Blue colour, and it was very conservatively enticing. That’s one other method of claiming it’s not an thrilling design and doesn’t stand out, but it surely gained’t embarrass you both with low cost bling if you pull it out in a coffeehouse.
Mark Coppock/Digital Developments
There’s additionally nothing improper with plastic in relation to sturdiness. Sure, there’s a little bit flexing within the keyboard tray, and possibly a bit greater than we noticed within the Acer Chromebook 514 with its all-aluminum chassis, but it surely’s not egregious. The lid and chassis backside are inflexible sufficient. It isn’t constructed like a tank — just like the Lenovo Yoga C930 for instance – but it surely additionally prices round one-fifth as a lot cash. Your $329 goes a great distance.
Like many finances laptops, the HP Chromebook 14 doesn’t even fake to hitch the tiny bezel motion. Its bezels are massive and in cost, that means that it’s not essentially the most fashionable look. It’s not thick at zero.72, though that’s not as skinny because the Acer Chromebook 514, which is zero.67 inches and weighs three.5 kilos in comparison with the Chromebook 514’s three.09 kilos.
There’s sufficient journey on the Chromebook 14’s keyboard, however the keys really feel a bit mushy of their bottoming motion.
The Chromebook 14 is fanless and stays silent throughout use. It does get a contact heat when the processor and GPU are being burdened.
Connectivity is sweet for a Chromebook, with two USB-C three.1 ports for charging and energy, two USB-A three.zero ports, and a microSD card reader. A dual-band radio gives 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth four.2 wi-fi connectivity.
The touchpad is ok, however the keyboard’s a bit mushy
We do like exact keyboards, the place the important thing mechanism has loads of journey and a pleasant springy click on and doesn’t require an excessive amount of stress to have interaction. The HP Chromebook 14’s island keyboard with black chiclet keys misses out on two of these standards. There’s sufficient journey, however the keys really feel a bit mushy of their bottoming motion. We preferred the Acer Chromebook 514’s keyboard a lot better – and it’s backlit, not like the HP Chromebook 14’s keys — as we did the keyboard on the costlier HP Chromebook x2.
Mark Coppock/Digital Developments
The laptop computer’s touchpad is in HP’s normal broad format to suit the show, and we discovered its floor supplied loads of tactile suggestions and was exact for scrolling and swiping. The standard Chrome OS multitouch gestures had been supported and fairly correct and responsive. It’s nearly as good as any we’ve used outdoors of a MacBook.
Lastly, HP Chromebook 14 helps a contact show, which is good to see on such a finances machine. It’s excellent for scrolling lengthy net pages and tapping the occasional button.
The show didn’t knock us out
The HP Chromebook 14 has a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show, which is nice to see in such a finances laptop computer. You possibly can drop all the way down to $270 in value if you happen to’re prepared to stay with an HD (1,280 x 720) decision, however we don’t advocate it. The Acer Chromebook 514 additionally has a Full HD show, but it surely’s additionally costlier ($500 as we reviewed it).
Mark Coppock/Digital Developments
In fact, the decision is only one facet of a show’s efficiency. Colours, distinction, and brightness additionally matter, and whereas we are able to’t topic Chromebooks to our colorimeter for goal outcomes, our subjective impressions had been clear. The HP Chromebook 14’s show doesn’t punch outdoors of its value bracket.
Colours had been muted and distinction was missing, which when mixed with a comparatively low brightness that struggled with shiny ambient lighting resulted in a show that was merely acceptable for productiveness use. Surprisingly, Netflix video was fairly good, which hints that the show’s gamma is spot on. The Full HD decision is especially useful right here.
The Chromebook 14 is among the first Chrome OS machines to be powered by AMD.
The audio was respectable sufficient, albeit there’s not a ton of quantity. We might watch Netflix by ourselves, and the expertise was simply wonderful, however making an attempt to serve up TV and flicks to a gaggle can be a little bit of a problem. There wasn’t any distortion after we turned the quantity up all the best way, although, which is a plus. Simply hold your favourite headphones helpful if you happen to actually wish to rock out.
A mean CPU means common efficiency
The Chromebook 14 is among the first Chrome OS machines to be powered by AMD. There’s an AMD Stoney Ridge A4-9210 inside, which is a dual-core chip that competes with Intel’s Pentium CPUs at this value level.
Mark Coppock/Digital Developments
In keeping with our (extra restricted) suite of benchmark checks, the AMD processor couldn’t sustain with Intel’s equal. In Geekbench four, the HP Chromebook 14 scored 1,151 within the single-core check and a pair of,232 within the multi-core check. This compares to the Acer Chromebook 514 with its Pentium N4200 at 1,556 and four,837, respectively. The AMD CPU was slower even than the Intel Celeron 3965Y within the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 at 2,107 and three,646.
The ends in the online benchmark, Speedometer 2.zero, was a little bit extra evenly matched. The Chromebook 14 scored 27.9 in comparison with the Acer Chromebook 514 at 24.2, making the AMD mannequin barely sooner. The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, nonetheless, scored a 43.2, demonstrating that there’s extra to this benchmark than simply the CPU.
Sadly, battery life isn’t amongst this Chromebook’s strengths.
The HP Chromebook 14 equips 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage. That’s ample for Chrome OS, and we discovered the laptop computer to be speedy sufficient for all our normal Chromebook duties.
The AMD A4 chip additionally comes with Radeon R4 graphics, that are theoretically sooner than Intel’s built-in graphics at this degree of CPU. We don’t have any customary benchmarks to check towards, however we did run some video games, comparable to Asphalt eight, and the Chromebook 14 stored up properly. It felt barely slower than the HP Chromebook x2 with the Intel HD Graphics 615, however the efficiency held up.
You’ll get a full day at work or faculty with out plugging in
The HP Chromebook 14 comes with 47 watt-hours of battery capability, which must be enough for Chrome OS and a Full HD show. Usually talking, Google’s platform is much less power-hungry than Home windows or MacOS, and so we had been to see how environment friendly is AMD’s A4 processor.
Sadly, battery life isn’t amongst this Chromebook’s strengths. It carried out as anticipated in our most demanding Basemark net benchmark check, lasing for nearly 5 hours and roughly matching the Acer Chromebook 514. That falls behind the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 however meets or exceed the remainder of our comparability group.
In our net looking check, although, the HP Chromebook 14 lasted for under a little bit greater than seven hours, which is properly behind the Acer Chromebook 514’s 11.5 hours and the HP Chromebook x2’s 9 and a half hours. And in our video looping check that performs a Full HD Avengers trailer, the HP Chromebook 14 couldn’t make it to seven hours, once more behind the Acer Chromebook 514’s 11.5 hours and the HP Chromebook x2’s virtually 10 hours.
Briefly, the Chromebook 14 will wrestle to get you thru a full day’s work or faculty. You’ll possible need to hold your charger helpful if you must spend the whole day away from your private home or workplace.
The HP Chromebook 14 is a finances laptop computer that gives loads of sturdiness, conservative if considerably uninteresting beauty, and respectable sufficient efficiency for the same old Chrome OS productiveness duties. It holds its personal in graphics because of AMD’s Radeon R4 GPU, however its battery life is disappointing.
Is there a greater different?
The primary challenger is the Acer Chromebook 514, which is barely costlier at $350 for an Intel Celeron N3350, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage. It has a barely higher show and higher battery life with an all-aluminum chassis that’s extra sturdy and enticing.
You possibly can additionally step up a bit in value and dimension and contemplate the Acer Chromebook Spin 15. That’s $450 for a Pentium N4200, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage, and it’s additionally a 2-in-1 and makes a fantastic Netflix binging machine.
In case your finances can deal with much more of an funding and you’ll step as much as a 15-inch laptop computer, then the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 is an effective possibility. It is available in at $540 with an Eighth-gen quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, which runs Chrome OS in a short time certainly, and it’s well-built and enticing with a show that’s no worse than the Chromebook 14’s (however not a lot better, both).
How lengthy will it final?
The Chromebook 14 possibly be product of plastic, however that’s not a foul factor for long-term sturdiness. And the parts ought to sustain with Chrome OS with none issues. The guarantee is the same old one-year period, and at this value level, that’s to be anticipated.
Must you purchase it?
No. You don’t need to spend way more cash to get a laptop computer that’s extra enticing and lasts longer on a cost.