HP Chromebook 15 evaluate: The bread and butter laptop computer
“HP’s Chromebook 15 punches method above its worth, providing nice efficiency for affordable.”
Strong construct high quality for the worth
Sturdy Chrome OS efficiency
Good battery life
Contact show is a plus
Keyboard has an uncomfortable bounce
Quick CPU can kill the battery shortly
Whenever you spend beneath $500 on a laptop computer, your expectations needs to be low. There would possibly some plastic right here and there, efficiency would possibly undergo, and the show may not be the most effective. However some Chromebooks can do wonders with comparatively modest elements. The HP Chromebook 15 has such ambitions.
HP supplied a $469 configuration (solely accessible via Wal-Mart) that options an Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. Does this the sub-$500 Chromebook add as much as one thing greater than the sum of its elements?
A small contact could make a huge impact on how a product comes throughout. Take the ceramic-like end on the Chromebook 15’s aluminum lid — it provides somewhat panache to what in any other case can be a moderately boring aesthetic. It even contrasts properly in opposition to the metallic blue of the remainder of the chassis.
The laptop computer appears to be like prefer it prices greater than it does, and that’s precisely what you need from a finances machine. Word that HP says this can be a “micro-edge” show, however whereas the aspect bezels are skinny sufficient, thte high and backside bezels aren’t as much as trendy requirements.
The construct high quality can also be good, with the lid bending simply barely to strain and the sandblasted aluminum keyboard deck displaying just a bit little bit of flexing. The plastic backside of the chassis is inflexible sufficient, and general the Chromebook 15 looks like a high quality product. In comparison with another bigger Chromebooks in the identical worth vary — say, the HP Chromebook 14 and the Acer Chromebook 15 — the Chromebook 15 is each better-built and higher wanting.
The Chromebook 15 can also be comparatively well-connected, offering just about the usual quantity and kinds of ports for comparable Chrome OS laptops. Two USB-C three.1 ports help charging, knowledge, and show, together with a USB-A three.1 port and a microSD card slot.
You’ll want a dongle to connect an exterior show, which is a bummer, however in any other case, HP has you coated. As with all Chromebooks that we’re conscious of, there’s no Thunderbolt three help. Wi-fi connectivity consists of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth four.2, each of that are behind the occasions however will nonetheless present for first rate wi-fi efficiency.
Core processors are a welcome addition
The following merchandise on a finances laptop computer purchaser’s record is probably going its efficiency. Right here, the Chromebook 15 has a trick up its sleeve. Effectively, not a trick, precisely, however moderately an normally quick CPU in Intel’s Eighth-gen Core i3-8130U CPU. Perhaps in the future that shall be extra of a regular for budget-oriented Chromebooks, however for now, the HP has a definite benefit over different low-cost choices that run with a lot slower Intel Pentium and Celeron processors.
The processor offers the Chromebook greater than sufficient energy to maintain the overwhelming majority of Chrome OS customers joyful, and that features the 4GB of RAM which is sufficient for all however probably the most aggressive multitaskers. The Chromebook 15 remained snappy regardless of what number of Chrome tabs and Android apps I had operating within the background. That’s one thing new for such a Chromebook this low-cost.
Peruse the market, and also you’ll discover plenty of Chrome OS laptops, like Acer’s Chromebook 15, that also use the aforementioned Intel Pentium and Celeron CPUs. These present satisfactory efficiency for a lot of customers, however you’re extra prone to run into lag and hesitation.
That runs counter to what Chrome OS is all about, which is meant to be fast and streamlined on laptops that don’t value 1000’s of — that makes the HP Chromebook 15 nicely value the additional $70 or so over the Acer, after which some.
If efficiency issues to you, then the Chromebook 15 deserves a particular place in your quick record.
The Speedometer 2.zero net benchmark confirmed my suspicions. The HP Chromebook 15 scored a robust 93.eight. That’s on the higher finish of our database, a spot that’s dominated by Intel Core processors.
Slower Chromebooks with Pentium and Celeron processors have a tendency to attain lower than half as quick. HP’s Chromebook 14 with an AMD A4 CPU scored a paltry 24.2. Ouch. It’s the identical story in Geekbench four, the place the HP Chromebook 15 was faster than most Chromebooks — and even rivaled some Home windows 10 laptops operating Y-series CPUs.
If efficiency issues to you, then the Chromebook 15 deserves a particular place in your quick record. The laptop computer is prone to cruise via your workflow with out skipping a beat, and that’s value its weight in gold.
The Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show was equally good, offering sufficient brightness for working in an workplace or a classroom (however not sufficient to beat shiny mild sources just like the solar). I can’t check Chrome OS shows with my colorimeter, however the colours have been vibrant sufficient for common searching and media consumption. In the event you rely on extremely correct colours on your work, you’ll seemingly must look elsewhere.
Distinction was adequate that black textual content on a white background stood out, which is important to me as a author, and the show’s gamma appeared near the right 2.2 — Netflix video was neither too shiny nor too darkish.
Compared to different finances Chromebooks just like the HP Chromebook 14 and Acer Chromebook 15, I discovered the show superior and a pleasure to make use of. You’ll should step up in worth to one thing like the brand new Google Pixelbook Go that’s a few hundred extra in order for you a significantly better show.
In reality, Netflix binging is kind of satisfying on the HP Chromebook 15 — so long as I plugged in some headphones. The build-in audio system have been high-quality, however the bass was missing (as traditional in laptop computer audio methods) and there was some distortion at larger volumes. Use the audio system for system sounds and the occasional sport or YouTube video, however have your favourite headphones helpful for TV exhibits, films, and music.
Lengthy-lasting, so long as you don’t stress the CPU
Chrome OS exhibits promise by its very nature as a light-weight working system. Usually, Chromebooks can final via a working day performing the standard duties, particularly in the event that they’re web-based.
In the event you’re primarily utilizing the Chrome browser, the HP Chromebook 15 ought to ship practically 13 hours. That’s six hours longer than the HP Chromebook 14 and practically 90 minutes longer than the Acer Chromebook 15. The HP looped our check Avengers trailer for over 10 hours, which is nice however not nice and fell nearly two hours behind the Acer Chromebook 15.
Once we ran the Basemark benchmark that stresses the CPU, the Chromebook 15 lasted for simply three and a half hours. That’s nearly an hour behind the Acer Chromebook 15 and an hour and a half behind the HP Chromebook 14. Clearly, the Core i3 processor can suck down battery life if it’s working too arduous.
General, for the standard Chrome OS consumer, the Chromebook 15 is prone to final nicely past a full work or college day. That’s a robust end result for a laptop computer that’s this well-equipped and prices so little.
A bouncy keyboard
HP makes nice keyboards, significantly on their Spectre line of Home windows 10 laptops. The HP Chromebook 15 advantages considerably from this pedigree, with a keyboard that has adequate journey and a quick really feel that avoids the HP Chromebook 14’s mushy expertise.
There’s, nonetheless, a jarring bounce on the backside of key press that’s distracting. I bought used to it after some time, however the keyboard by no means felt comfy to me. Then again, there are 4 ranges of backlighting, and that’s a plus for a finances laptop computer.
The touchpad was simply high-quality, although, being properly sized and supporting all the traditional Chrome OS multitouch gestures. And HP included a contact show as nicely, which is nice for scrolling via net pages with a thumb and tapping the occasional button.
Few finances laptops of any make or working system embrace contact shows until they’re 2-in-1s, and so HP’s resolution to incorporate one right here is appreciated.
If it prices a few hundred extra, we wouldn’t be capable to advocate it. It’s not probably the most solidly constructed, it doesn’t have the most effective show, and its keyboard is somewhat tough on the fingers.
However at $469, it’s a robust worth for a Chromebook. Add within the glorious efficiency and all-day battery life (so long as you’re not pushing the CPU too arduous), and it’s a profitable mixture.
Are there any options?
The HP Chromebook 14 is an effective possibility in order for you AMD Radeon graphics for enjoying Android video games, and at $330, you will get a Full HD show, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It beats out the Chromebook 15 in worth and graphics efficiency, but it surely’s not practically as well-built or as quick in any other case, nor does its battery final very lengthy.
Another choice is the Acer Chromebook 15, which can also be a well-built laptop computer and affords a Full HD show, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage for under $400. Battery life isn’t nearly as good, although, and efficiency takes a again seat because of an Intel Pentium N4200 processor.
How lengthy will it final?
The Chromebook 15 ought to final so long as you want it to given its low value of entry. It’s inflexible sufficient to evoke confidence, and the elements will hold Chrome OS buzzing for a protracted whereas. The one-year guarantee isn’t something particular, but it surely’s the trade customary.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. You gained’t discover a higher 15-inch Chromebook for much less cash.