Computing

HP Chromebook 14 Australian Review: Breaking The Bank


We love Chromebooks, but the formula for a cheap computer for the masses needs to be just right before it can be classified as great. Unfortunately, the HP Chromebook 14 seems to miss that mark.

What Is It?

A Chromebook from HP with a 14-inch 1366×768 panel. It’s also packing an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, dual-band Wi-Fi with support for N connections, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and Bluetooth 4.0.

You also get 100GB of bonus Google Drive storage for a year included for free.

What’s Good?

This is a tough one, because outside of the Chrome OS platform, we can’t find a whole lot to love about the HP Chromebook 14.

Sure, it’s cute to look at with its pretty white lid, perforated design and coloured accents, but it’s also heavy and thick at the same time.

It runs quickly thanks to its specs, but you’re not exactly playing Crysis on Chromebooks, so that benefit is almost irrelevant.

It’s nice to see Chromebooks keeping up with high-end laptops when it comes to connectivity, though. With two USB 3.0 ports, dual-band Wi-Fi, an HDMI port and Bluetooth 4.0, you’ll find almost as much connectivity as you would on a high-end laptop.

The trackpad is also nice to use, and the battery goes for around nine to 10 hours with moderate use.

The best thing we can say about the device is the free stuff you get with it. 100GB of Drive storage and 60-days of free Google Play music is pretty sweet no matter which device you use it on.

What’s Bad?

The Chromebook is meant to be for everyone: a lightweight and portable device that sells cheaply to bring cut-price computing to the masses. It can be your second computer, a computer for a child or grandparent, or even just something you stick in your bag to travel with. Sadly, we can’t recommend you do many of these things with the HP Chromebook 14.

It’s too big and heavy to really take anywhere, it feels too large to use as a couch-surfing device, and it feels cumbersome in general and way outside the design brief of what a Chromebook should be.

Actually, it might be good as a device for your kids or grandparents to keep fixed on a desk. We’ll give it that.

The 14-inch panel runs a resolution of 1366×768, and it looks decidedly average with this much real estate. It’s the same resolution panel as an 11-inch MacBook Air, and even then that doesn’t look so hot at that size. The Chromebook 14 from HP suffers from a fairly dim panel too.

The Worst Part

It’s waaaay too expensive for what it is. At $400, you can get a laptop running Windows from the likes of Acer, Asus and even HP itself which will do far more for your productivity than a Chromebook ever could.

Unless it’s the Pixel, no Chromebook should exceed that $400 price ceiling. It just doesn’t do enough to justify that cost when you can get a fully-fledged laptop for the same price.

Should You Buy It?

If you’re in the market for a Chromebook, we’d advise you skip the 14 from HP unless you’re truly desperate for a bigger screen on your second computer. Instead, we’d recommend going for the new HP Chromebook 11 which is cheaper, lighter, better looking and packs pretty much the same screen resolution and specs.


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