HP Chromebook: Sleeker, Bigger, and — Worse Off

Hewlett-Packard is following in the footsteps of Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung as it releases its own version of Chromebook. Most notable is the 14-inch screen, which is by far largest for laptops that runs Google’s Chrome OS. Dubbed the HP Pavilion 14, it features 1.1GHz Intel Celeron processor, and has 2GB of RAM and integrated graphics. It also boasts a more spacious keyboard and added ports.

Pavilion 14 is part of HP’s efforts in expanding its PC and workstation offerings, and giving consumers more option when it comes to operating systems with its multi-OS approach.

“Google’s Chrome OS is showing great appeal to a growing customer base,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, Consumer PCs, Printing and Personal Systems, HP. “With HP’s Chromebook, customers can get the best of the Google experience on a full-sized laptop — all backed up by our service and brand.”

Aesthetic-wise, Pavilion 14 is quite satisfactory. However, it is nearly 4 pounds in weight, and has the same processing power as its competitors. And while it has a bigger screen, the resolution is just the same as its small-screened rivals, so we’ve got to brace ourselves for blurry images. The battery life only lasts up to 4 hours and 15 minutes, which is also a real problem.

Pavilion 14 is available for $329.99. It is significantly more expensive than Acer’s C7 Chromebooks which starts at $199, and Samsung’s $250 Chromebook. For basically the same specs, there’s nothing substantially enthralling about Pavilion 14.

Initial reactions to the Pavilion 14 are mixed, but there appears to be a larger number of people who are unimpressed.

Devindra Hardawar, Venturebeat

“… The Pavilion 14 Chromebook continues the trend of inexpensive but clunky machines featuring Chrome OS, but, like its predecessors it doesn’t really have much of an advantage over a cheap Windows computer or a tablet.

“Without the benefit of a bargain price though, HP’s Chromebook is a tough sell — especially for a value-focused platform like Chrome OS. It’s available today at HP’s website and will soon be available at U.S. retailers…”

Jamie Condliffe, Gizmodo

“…it’s notable for the fact that its screen is much larger. … Sadly, there’s not an awful lot else to set it apart. [But] it might be ideal for older users. …it’ll be no better or worse than most of its competitors in terms of performance [but] the big screen is damaging the…battery life.

“Add to that the fact that the Pavillion 14 will cost $330, and [it] doesn’t look too promising.”

Sean Hollister, The Verge

“…HP says the Pavilion 14 Chromebook’s removable battery is only good for about 4 hours and 15 minutes. When we reviewed Acer’s C7 Chromebook, which starts at just $199, we found its 4 hour, 29 minute runtime unacceptable for a device that just browses the web and runs web apps, particularly when Samsung’s $250 Chromebook delivered well over six.”