HP Chromebook 14 review: One of the first AMD Chromebooks, tested

Valentina Palladino

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AMD desires in on the Chromebook trend. A couple of OEMs, consisting of HP, Acer, and Lenovo, revealed AMD-powered Chromebooks at CES this year, and those gadgets are simply beginning to appear. Intel processors power most Chromebooks readily available today, now private consumers and companies will have the ability to pick from a little, however growing, swimming pool of AMD-powered gadgets.

Unsurprisingly, HP’s Chromebook 14 with AMD processors and incorporated Radeon graphics interest the biggest group in the Chromebook market– those who desire a low-powered Chrome OS gadget for house or school usage. Beginning at $269, this Chromebook is not implied to take on Google’s Pixelbook or the fancier Chromebooks towards which experts gravitate. Because the brand-new Chromebook 14 obtains a lot from previous designs, we evaluated it out to see the gains (if any) an AMD-powered Chromebook offers over Intel-powered gadgets.

Feel and look

Producers have actually been raising the feel and look of their Chrome OS gadgets for the previous number of years as the stripped-down os got appeal beyond the education system. Nevertheless, HP’s Chromebook 14 is among the most generally “Chromebook-y” Chromebooks I have actually ever utilized. It’s a not-too-big, not-too-small plastic hunk that will suit the majority of household living spaces all right. At about 3.5 pounds, it’s not the lightest Chromebook ever, however it feels comparable to other affordable Chromebooks in density and weight. I do value that HP made this device fanless, permitting it to stay peaceful even when running our most tough standard tests.

Specifications at a look: HP Chromebook 14 (AMD, as evaluated)
Screen 14- inch 1920 ×1080 WLED backlit touchscreen
OS Chrome OS
CPU AMD A4-9120 C APU
RAM 4GB
HDD 32 GB
GPU Integrated Radeon R4 graphics
Networking Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 A-5 802.11 a/b/g/ a/c 2 × 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth ® 4.2
Ports 2 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (Charging, power shipment, video, information), 2 x USB-A 2.0 Gen 1, 1 x headphone/mic combination
Size 1327 × 8.93 × 0.72 inches
Weight 3.4 pounds
Battery 2-cell, 4736 Whr
Beginning cost $269
Rate as evaluated $329

The keyboard and palm-rest location sport a smooth, metal panel that offers the device a bump up in regards to quality, however I want the whole Chromebook was constructed out of such product like Acer’s Chromebook 14 is. The AMD designs are available in white, black, and midnight blue– we got an evaluation system in the latter color, and I valued the level of elegance it contributed to the style.

Aside from the keyboard and trackpad, just the thin speaker grille sits above the secrets on the metal part of the gadget, under which lie Bang and Olufsen speakers. The majority of HP’s laptop computers have B&O speakers, and these are simply appropriate enough for having a small desk show while working– they aren’t loud adequate to fill more than a little space, and they aren’t top quality enough for you to wish to amuse others with them.

The Chromebook’s hinge tilts back 180 degrees, which might can be found in convenient if moms and dads and kids require to work together on school tasks or research. Clients have the alternative of 14- inch HD or FHD panels that are available in touch and non-touch variations. A touchscreen isn’t as needed on this gadget as it would be on a convertible Chromebook, however it will work if you prepare to tilt that screen back typically to physically share it with others. Unless you value cost over whatever else, I would not advise picking an HD panel because– thinking about FHD has actually ended up being basic on the majority of laptop computers, screens, and tvs– you will likely see the distinction instantly.

It’s likewise perplexing to use HD panel choices with an AMD-powered device. We’ll discuss this more in upcoming areas, however HP didn’t supply a clear response regarding why it chose to make AMD Chromebooks. Besides the “it has to do with time” belief, HP agents informed me back at the Chromebook 14’s launch that AMD’s CPU/GPU mixes would produce much better graphics efficiency that would lead to much better video watching and modifying experiences. If that holds true, I ‘d desire a display screen panel that can effectively render the work that AMD’s APUs are producing. That simply would not be an HD panel.

Our evaluation system had a 14- inch FHD touchscreen that was as responsive to touch input as you ‘d anticipate. It has a shiny covering, so it will not be the very best to utilize in direct sunshine, however. An HD cam sits above the screen, and a dual-mic range assists your voice come through plainly when video chatting.

Inside the Chromebook 14, in addition to AMD’s APU, is 4GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage (it can be set up to gold as much as 64 GB). HP stuck a good variety of ports on the edges of the Chromebook 14: there are 2 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports that support power, information transfer, and charging, a microSD card, an earphone jack, and a lock slot.

Keyboard and trackpad

A 14- inch laptop computer has sufficient area for a comfy keyboard, and HP made certain to put one on this Chromebook. The keyboard on the Chromeboook 14 is among my favorites I have actually utilized– its clicky secrets have excellent travel, and spacing in between them is perfect. The keycaps might stand to be a hair stiffer, however they need approximately 58 g of force to activate, so you will not mistakenly press undesirable secrets.

I especially like that the keycaps match the color of the laptop computer so the whole device has a cohesive seek to it. As somebody who invests hours every day typing, I might have quickly made the Chromebook 14 my primary device for its keyboard alone. I just want the keyboard had a backlight– the absence of one makes it much less beneficial when operating in dark environments.

The trackpad, nevertheless, is simply adequate. It’s a bit too narrow for my taste, however it’s roomy enough that my fingers didn’t move off of it. Whereas the keyboard isn’t expensive however feels rather excellent, the trackpad gives off audible, hollow clicks when you continue it. I didn’t anticipate much various from a spending plan Chromebook, however it will feel significantly various if you’re utilized to the slick, glass trackpads discovered on the majority of Ultrabooks.