I have used the brand new HP Chromebook 14 A LOT over the last 24 hours so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on what I consider the key components of the "Chromebook Experience". Performance: This Haswell-based processor just screams through anything you throw at it. Don't let the Celeron tag remind you of the old Windows laptops which were plagued by terrible performance. The usual culprits of low performance: The Verge, Google Maps, Google+, Google + Photos, etc. really don't slow down at all. Even the scrolling on those specific pages (which was TERRIBLE on my sARMsung Chromebook) is very smooth and responsive. I would compare the performance to be about 25-50% better than the Acer C7-10 (with 4GB ram) that I am currently typing this on. I finally feel comfortable having multiple tabs open without worrying about lag and slowdown. I think having 4 GB of RAM should be a requirement for all Chromebooks going forward. Keyboard and trackpad: The keyboard feels fantastic. The keys are spread out enough that you won't be hitting the wrong or multiple keys. They are soft plastic, and are quite silent. The trackpad is the best I have used on ANY laptop (disclaimer: I won't buy Mac devices but I have heard their trackpads are incredible. They also cost upwards of $1000. But I digress.). It is smooth and feels great scrolling through websites. I have been wanting a larger track pad for a long time and to me this feels like the perfect size. Screen: I think us Chromebook owners are never meant to have a high resolution display simply due to the price sensitivity of the market. That being said, I think this screen is above average for the resolution, and very respectable. Due to the fact that it is 14" and you are likely to be sitting further away than with an 11", text is clear and easy to read from a distance, and doesn't appear very pixelated, if at all. The screen gets very bright, but still looks good at about 50% brightness, which is what I keep it at. Battery: The HP Chromebook 14 has simply UNREAL battery life. It is rated at 10 hours I believe, and it easily reaches that estimation. I own the sARMsung, and this easily outlasts even that very impressive battery life. It is the first laptop I have used where I would take it with me to school without bringing a power cord "just in case". To me, that adds something to the experience which is hard to quantify, but is immensely gratifying. I haven't tested the battery life using only mobile data, but I imagine it's still very impressive. Other thoughts:
-It's really nice having the option for mobile data. Yes, you only get 200 MB per month (for free), but if you treat this as a traditional laptop, and only use the mobile data when you desperately need to connect to the internet, I think you will be just fine and glad you had the option.
-The device is somewhat heavy, but still lighter and thinner than a Samsung 14" Windows laptop I have.
-I feel like they could have eliminated some bezel around the screen and, in connection, some plastic around and below the keyboard, but I'm satisfied with the dimensions.
-The speakers are VERY LOUD and sound great. I had the volume at 2/3 and asked my wife what she thought, and she said they were loud and sounded good. Then I turned the volume up all the way. She was blown away.
-The build quality is truly remarkable. It doesn't bend or crack when you are lifting it around, and everything just feels SOLID. The rubber-type coating which covers the entire exterior feels very nice in the hand. I would compare it to the soft-touch 2013 Nexus 7 if you have felt one. I am EXTREMELY IMPRESSED with the HP Chromebook 14. It's the best laptop I have owned, and is the best machine you will get for the price BY FAR. I liked it so much, I cancelled my pre-order for the Acer C7-20 and ordered a white one for myself (the one I tested was turquoise and it is now claimed by my wife). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone as the best Chrome OS experience. Period.
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