HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook: Biggest screen yet (review)

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook: Biggest screen yet (review)

Summary: Chromebooks are traditionally small laptops but HP has stretched this one out to 14 inches.

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Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Chromebooks are near and dear to my heart as I find them to be great tools in my work kit. I believe I have used most every one available and when I heard HP had a new 14-inch model I moved heaven and earth to get one to test. The Pavilion 14 Chromebook has the biggest screen currently available on a Chromebook.

Hardware as reviewed:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron, 1.1GHz
  • Display: 14-inch, 1366x768
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB 
  • Connectivity: Ethernet; Wifi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth
  • Ports: 3-USB 2.0; RJ-45; HDMI; SD card slot; Audio in/out
  • Battery: 37WHr; 4.25 hours
  • Dimensions: 0.83x13.66x9.37in; 3.96lbs
Lid closed

The casing on the Pavilion 14 is black sparkly plastic that looks nice but feels a bit cheap. Tapping on the lid and on the palmrest when opened doesn't invoke feelings of sturdy construction, but in practice it holds up fine. This is obviously a concession to keep the price low and the weight down.

The island-style keys feel nice and solid and all of the standard Chrome OS control keys are where you expect to find them on the top row of the keyboard. Despite the large display size, the trackpad is small compared to most other Chromebooks. This is due to the inclusion of two large mouse buttons in front of the trackpad. Rather than use a glass buttonless trackpad as found on other Chromebooks, HP has used a plastic textured cover on the Pavilion 14. It works fine but is not quite as fluid as other glass models used by Samsung on its Chromebooks or of that on Google's Chromebook Pixel.

Keyboard trackpad

The 14-inch screen is nice and bright with decent viewing angles. Having the bigger display it would be nice had HP used a screen resolution bigger than 1366x768. While this standard resolution works fine, the big screen could use a higher resolution to take full advantage of it.

The Altec Lansing stereo speakers sound better than those found on many laptops. The volume is pretty loud for a laptop and doesn't distort terribly at high volume as many notebook sound systems do.

The battery life of the Pavilion 14 Chromebook is just over four hours due to the small battery, which is likely a concession to keep the weight down. Fortunately, HP chose a removable battery design which makes a second battery an option for those wanting a full day away from a power outlet. This is not possible with some other Chromebooks using a sealed battery design.

Conclusion

The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook is a solid entry into the Chrome OS space that is designed to appeal to those who like bigger displays. The construction of the laptop doesn't feel the sturdiest due to the all plastic design, but that keeps the weight down for a large notebook. 

The Celeron processor is powerful enough to keep Chrome OS hopping without bogging down. Everything runs smoothly and while I wouldn't play intensive games on this Chromebook everything else runs just fine. 

The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook is a solid device and is available now from various retailers. It is also available from HP online currently priced at $299.

Fun fact: According to HP these ship to retailers in bulk by the pallet. They are packed 72 to a pallet with a shipping weight of 562.2 lbs.

Right side
Right side (L-R): Status LEDs, SD card slot, 2-USB 2.0, HDMI, RJ-45, Power
Left side
Left side (L-R): Fan louver, USB 2.0, Audio in/out

 

Chromebook coverage:

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Reviews

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Talkback

31 comments
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  • strange designs

    About the only reason one would prefer a Chromebook instead of a notebook is it's promised longer battery life.

    With a pathetic batter life like this, it's actually much worse than a far more powerful MacBook Air. No need for such compromise.

    One has to wonder why all those manufacturers don't get it....
    danbi
    • Not a Chromebook fan but

      Why are you comparing a $299 device to something that costs around $999?
      Yes there will DEFINITELY be a DIFFERENCE in performance and battery life.
      thekman58
      • .

        True, but see my reply below.
        statuskwo5
      • Errrr....

        Pop in a copy of Windows 7 and it will run just as fine and not a big paperweight when you don't have any Internet access. after all, all this laptop is [by hardware], is a netbook with a bigger screen. Although a tiny SSD [more old stock!] than a HDD.
        Can you actually walk into a [legitimate] computer store and buy a 16GB SSD? Nope.
        Gisabun
        • What idiot uses a computer without internet access

          I never owned a computer before the internet existed. If I didn't have internet access, I wouldn't use the computer. Even the people who don't have access at home and go to Starbucks for that access leave their computers alone until they get to Starbucks. The internet is why people buy computers. No one uses a computer without the internet, no none. Even if they don't use the internet, they still have it.
          Tim Jordan
    • ...

      Well the big issue is what moron is going to spend 2 gran on a decked out mac book air? There are the idiots who do that but even at $299 this is a bit pricey especially with a meager 16GB of storage. The best choice is still a thin notebook with terabyte drive and dvd drive for under $300 which is better the the mac books and the chrome books combined..of course assuming its a windows 8 laptop and not a windows 8 laptop.
      Fletchguy
  • Not that great

    This really isn't that good of a deal. I bought a new full-fledged 15'' Acer notebook about 3 years ago that came with 2.3 GHz dual-core Pentium processor, 3 GB memory, 250 GB hard drive, and 6 cell battery for only $320 on sale. Oh, and it came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
    statuskwo5
    • Screen may not be as large but

      Now a days you can get a more powerful (than Chromebook) HP device with a touchscreen for $399.
      thekman58
    • Look at the real cost

      So you got a $320 Windows 7. How much do you pay for the anitvirus?
      cac1031
      • Sorry, Cut off

        as I was saying...you must pay for the software that is so important for you to run if you feel you need a bloated Windows machine. If you don't need that software, then why would you get a device that gets much slower over time, requires long reboots and virus scanning and is generally less secure and more of a headache?

        With cost comparison, you have to take everything into account--either you require expensive software or you don't, for people in the latter category, like me, Chromebooks are perfect.
        cac1031
        • Ah.....

          Your biasness is showing. Why do you say Windows is "bloated"? Someone I know picked up a new laptop and there was no "bloatness". No trial versions of anything. No crappy useless software included. I guess the last time you bought a Windows computer was when? 10 years ago?
          Gisabun
        • I was surprised to read your post.

          "Why would you get a device that gets much slower over time, requires long reboots and virus scanning and is generally less secure and more of a headache?"

          I was surprised. I didn't know you could still get a Windows 98 laptop.
          William Farrel
    • Good for you.

      Enjoy your endless system updates and virus battles while the rest of us save the extra $20 you spent.
      Richard Estes
  • $299 for just a browser?

    That is crazy.

    Hmmm

    Did Owlllllnet get to me somehow? ;-)
    D.T.Long
    • Was it by mistake?

      No, you just happen to take the Red Pill...
      (LOL)
      thekman58
    • Check your perspective before you comment.

      If this were a similar computer at the same price with XP, 7 or 8, you would be complaining about how under-powered it is. I bought a Chromebook with an SSD instead of the Acer model with its 320GB hard drive because I know that when you drop a laptop hard drive once, it's pretty much useless because all of the moving parts shatter on impact (especially if it falls onto a concrete). Also, it would be a waste if the browser was Internet Explorer or Firefox. Because Chrome has an app ecosystem built in (albeit a web app one), it adds more functionality.
      Richard Estes
  • Hurray for the mouse buttons

    multi-touch is no substitute. It's not intuitive. If Google wants it adopted they need to have training programs. I waste a lot of time whenever I switch from my PC to my Chromebook.
    john.medcalf@...
    • I agree

      but fortunately, Chrome actually does have the tutorials you need. Under the most recent updates, there is an app in your launcher labeled "Get Started" that explains how to use a multiple-touch track pad. Also, if you've used one on a Mac, you can probably use one on a Non-HP Chromebook. It does take some getting used to when switching between two-button and multiple-touch, though, so that's the only downside.
      Richard Estes
  • Still just a web based netbook only bigger

    The advantage of a Chrome book only comes into play if you adopt all of Google's services. Otherwise it becomes a Chrome browser with hardware. Some may not need anymore then a Chrome book. But if you buy one and realize that you need it to do more. You don't have a lot of options.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
    • Not true

      Dual booting a full Linux distro is not all that difficult. I am sure there are members of the Linux community willing to lend a hand to those "stuck".

      That is a major reason Chromebooks are interesting to me. You can have the simplicity of Chrome as well as a full Linux desktop when needed.

      You can then even run Windows in a VM, if you have the storage space to allow it. The Windows VM would likely be slow on most Chromebooks, but if you only need to run a simple Windows program once in a while, you can do that.

      So, "You don't have a lot of options"?

      I call that FUD from a MS fan boy
      D.T.Long