HP's Pavilion 14 tries to be a mainstream Chromebook
4 September 2013
Summary: The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 advances the argument for Chrome as a low-cost mainstream computing environment, but the laptop's most noteworthy feature is a slightly bigger screen.
Cons: Other Chromebooks perform better and run longer. The limited Chrome OS is still not for everyone, or even for most. This model lacks the mobile broadband that makers of other Chromebooks have touted as a must-have feature.
Summary: At Â£250 it's cheaper than most budget Windows laptops and if you're looking for a cheap laptop for basic web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets then the Pavilion Chromebook works quite well. A lack of 3G connectivity may help keep the price down, but the offline option for Google Docs means it doesn't turn into an entirely useless lump of plastic when you lose your internet connection. The battery life demands improvement.
Conclusion: The answer? That totally depends on your needs. Where the thinner and lighter 11.6-inch models are easier to pack and take with you, making them much more travel-friendly, the bulkier Pavilion 14 is more suited for working around home or the office. We like it as an alternative to inexpensive Windows laptops, and, from that perspective, have no trouble recommending it—especially at its current, after-rebate price point.
Pros: Strong performance, Swappable battery, Attractive price (with online rebate), Reasonable port selection, Excellent speakers, Good Webcam
Conclusion: The HP Pavilion 14 is the company’s first stab at a Chromebook, and instead of just mostly copying what Samsung and Acer have done with their Chromebook options, HP made a one-of-a-kind option, with the minimalistic performance and operating system mixed with the look and feel of a standard Windows laptop. However, this isn’t the notebook for everyone.
Conclusion: At the given moderate price-point, the HP Pavilion Ultrabook 14-B048TU (C9L70PA) (A9R92PA) rolls in a burly pack of outstanding features smartly packaged into a neat and classy design. It is yet another power-packed mean machine from HP?s cache of cutting-edge fully loaded ultrabooks, and remains a top-choice for buyers on a temperate budget!
Conclusion: So if you think a Chromebook is right for you, which should you buy? We still think the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook (which, perhaps tellingly, is the one Google itself promotes through TV advertising), is the best balance. Yes, it struggles with some more computationally complex tasks and the screen is very washed out, but the long battery life and lightness make it feel like a pure Chrome OS thing.
Excerpt: The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 is a slightly different Chromebook prospect: the Google Chrome OS operating system laptop - which needs to be online via Wi-Fi for its full cloud-based functionality - boasts a 14-inch screen size, making it the largest Chromebook yet to hit the market.
Pros: Larger screen will suit some, brighter screen than some competitors, SD slot for storage expansion, fast for browsing, SSD makes for quick start-up
Cons: No 3G, poor screen viewing angle, so-so screen resolution considering size, plasticky, OS/application limitations, average overall experience
Summary: If you're looking for a cheap laptop for basic web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets then the Pavilion Chromebook works quite well. Read our HP Pavilion 14-c002ea Chromebook review to find out more.