• CPU: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • GPU: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • RAM: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Storage: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
  • Design: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Battery Life: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Price: ★★★★☆ 4/5

HP Chromebook 14 Review [Focus on the X2 Model]

Fact-checked
  • CPU: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • GPU: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • RAM: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Storage: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
  • Design: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Battery Life: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Price: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Best For

Regular customer use

STRENGTHS

  • A superb 2K 400ppi 11” display
  • Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Incredibly portable with long battery life and lightweight design

WEAKNESSES

  • Lackluster performance compared with similarly priced Chromebooks
  • Could do with more internal storage space

Looking for a laptop companion to help you get through the day, whether it’s at school or work? In this HP Chromebook 14 Review, we’ll introduce you to the latest range of HP’s ultra-portable Chromebook laptops, especially its flagship product, the X2. Amongst others, we’ll give you an in-depth breakdown of this laptop, looking at important aspects, such as:

  • Features and specifications
  • Ease of use
  • Pricing
  • Alternatives
  • Pros and cons, etc.

What Is HP Chromebook 14 and How Does It Work?

HP, or Hewlett Packard, needs little introduction as one of the most popular and long-standing laptop manufacturers in the world. Typically, they are known for their business laptops and desktop computers, but also have a decent track record in the laptop space.

When did the HP Chromebook 14 come out, you might ask? Well, the HP Chromebook has a long history going back to the Pavilion in 2013. However, the latest iteration of HP Chromebooks, including the X2, X360, and Clamshell launched in June 2018. So, while it’s not brand new, it’s still a relatively recent addition to this market.

The HP Chromebook 14 X2 is one of their latest attempts at delivering for the ultra-portable market. It’s a 2-in-1 detachable running the lightweight, tablet-friendly Chrome OS.

Main Features

There’s no doubt that the HP Chromebook X2 looks great from the outside and is as portable and light as you’d expect from a Chromebook. However, it’s the inside that really counts.

Before I started this HP 14 Chromebook review, I expected some serious compromises, as is usually the case with ultra-portable devices. You may give up some sound quality and screen resolution for a slimmer profile and lighter build or battery life for a bit of extra power.

All in all, I was pretty impressed with what the X2 was able to achieve for its price tag and place in the market. It’s not the lightest and it doesn’t have the longest battery life, but it’s still a practical daily companion while enjoying a slightly improved performance in the multimedia department.

Size and Weight

Like other Chromebooks, the HP X2 is designed to be ultra-light and portable. The width and length of the X2 is 29.2cm x 21.14cm, making it a really compact laptop that will fit in just about any carrier. However, what’s really impressive is how slim this Chromebook is. At just 0.82cm thick, it will barely take up more space than your average notebook.

It’s worth mentioning again in this Chromebook HP 14 review that the screen can separate from the keyboard and trackpad as a standalone tablet. If that’s the case, it will be even slimmer and lighter. What’s more, the entire X2 only weighs 1.32kg and only 0.73kg if you carry it as a tablet.

Design

Sleek, sophisticated, and polished are the three words that best describe the design of the HP Chromebook X2. It features thick beveled sides with an angular profile and silver-metal sides, similar to some previous iPhone models. The rest of the exterior is mostly black. While it looks professional, it may not have an equally pleasant hand-feel for all users.

Unfortunately, a lot of potential screen real estate is lost due to the thick bevel which also begs the question of whether the X2 could have been even smaller. The keyboard and trackpad feel really solid and comfortable in hand thanks to the rugged plastic coating.

The ports and controls are conveniently positioned, although the volume rocker can be slightly hard to locate by touch alone. Still, it’s a serviceable design overall that will please most users.

Performance – CPU and RAM

When asking “is the HP Chromebook 14 a good laptop?” performance is likely one of the first things that come to mind.

Based on specifications alone, the performance of the X2 should be relatively stock-standard. Like many other Chromebooks, it features 4GB of onboard RAM (LPDDR3-1600 SDRAM) as well as an Intel Core m3-7Y30 CPU at 1 GHz (up to 2.6 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology), 4 MB cache, and 2 cores. Although the baseline CPU isn’t that great, the Turbo Boost Technology can give you some extra oomph when needed.

That’s more than enough for the typical tasks that you perform on a Chromebook, such as browsing the web, running utility apps, and watching media. However, it does lag behind some of its competitors, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. During our HP 14 Chromebook review, we also started to notice a dip when opening a number of apps or browser tabs.

GPU

Unfortunately, like virtually all other Chromebooks, the X2 does not come with a dedicated GPU. Instead, it features an integrated Intel® HD Graphics 615 graphics chip. It’s a serviceable graphics card that performs better than average on performance tests, although it’s not exactly top-of-the-line. Still, it should allow you to comfortably play most Android mobile games as well as enjoy HD videos without any issues.

So, is HP Chromebook 14 a good laptop for games? It’s decent, but I wouldn’t take it as my main reason for buying this laptop.

Battery Life

With a 4-cell, 48 Wh Li-ion battery, HP claims that the X2 has a maximum charge of 12h:30m with light, everyday usage. That’s enough for most people to get through an entire day at school or the office.

However, there is a bit of giving and take. Because the X2 features a more sophisticated 2K screen than most other Chromebooks, it will drain slightly faster when actively watching videos or gaming.

Storage

The standard X2 features a 32 GB eMMC hard drive. Unfortunately, for this day and age, 32GB is a bit small, especially if you plan to download some movies, streaming shows, or store a lot of music and pictures on your Chromebook. Luckily though, you can extend your storage via the multi-format microSD media card reader. Still, it’s one of the most frustrating limitations of this device as pointed out in HP Chromebook 14 reviews.

Sound

This is easily one of the most tantalizing features of the HP Chromebook X2, the Bang & Olufsen sound system. It takes the form of two pinhole speakers at either end of the Chromebook. However, as you might expect from such as compact device, the sound quality isn’t amazing.

At least voices are clear enough and can be easily heard without any difficulty. However, the sound profile is unbalanced with a lot of trebles but little to no bass leading to a somewhat tinny sound. Like most Chromebooks, you’ll probably want to stick to your headphones. This shouldn’t be a problem as the X2 comes with a headphone jack as well as 2 USB C-Type ports.

Ports

In this regard, HP 14 Chromebook reviews are neither very positive nor negative. The X2 features two USB 3.0 Type-C™ Gen 1 ports whereby it can be charged using the 45 W AC power adapter. Even when plugged in, this leaves you with one free port for headphones, a mouse, or other accessories. Unfortunately, there is no HDMI port, so you’ll have to use a Type-C adapter.

Wireless Connectivity

It’s definitely possible to stay connected wherever you go with the HP Chromebook X2. For wireless connectivity, it sports an Intel® 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 combo. However, you can also use WWAN LTE with a separate LTE data plan for 4G internet connectivity wherever you go. Unfortunately, though, it only supports up to Wi-Fi 5 (no 6 or 6E).

Screen

One of the X2’s truly outstanding features is its 12.3″ diagonal 2K WLED-backlit touch screen display. With a PPI of 236 and up to 400 nits of brightness, it provides a crystal clear and much more comfortable viewing experience under a range of conditions than your average Chromebook. So, if you want to know whether it is good for movies and streaming, the answer according to HP 14 Chromebook reviews is a definite “yes.”

Video and Audio Recording

It wouldn’t be a modern-day work companion without a functional camera and recording device. The X2 actually goes a step further by providing both a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies or video calls as well as a 13MB rear camera if you want to take higher-quality photos or videos. You can also make recordings on the go with the integrated dual array digital microphone. Of course, just like any other Chromebook, you can also use the screen record feature.

Ease of Use

In this part of our Chromebook HP 14 review, let’s talk about its overall aesthetics and ergonomics.

As is usually the case with Chromebooks, what you see is what you get with the X2. The device comes with the bare minimum exterior trappings for you to concern yourself with.

Most of the design decisions seem to have been sensibly made. The volume control rocker, USB ports, etc. are all ergonomically positioned for most ways that you are likely to use the X2. We particularly liked the volume rocker because it makes it so quick and easy to control the volume without doing anything on the screen.

The detachable keyboard and trackpad mean that you can really tailor the size and weight according to what you need. The screen/tablet part of the X2 also comes with a rear kickstand so that you can position it for comfortable viewing on the go. Most HP Chromebook 14 reviews have nothing but good things to say about this laptop’s portable usage.

For a portable keyboard, it feels nice and crisp with a robust build quality. The only issue is that there is some flex when typing which can be frustrating for more heavy-handed typists.

The excellent screen with increased brightness means it will be easier to see minute details and more pleasant on the eye in different viewing conditions.

Price

As the top-of-the-line Chromebook, the X2 comes in at $629.99 which is at the higher end for Chromebooks. However, a number of different versions of the X2 have come out since its launch in 2018, meaning that some older versions are available for cheaper.

As mentioned before in this HP Chromebook 14 Review, there are some compromises you have to make when purchasing the X2. However, all things considered, it’s still decent value for money considering you get a solid product with good battery life, a better-than-average entertainment system, and a 2-in-1 form factor.

HP offers an entire series of Chromebooks of which the X2 is only the flagship. The two main offshoots are the Chromebook X360 and Clamshell which we’ll discuss below. While they come in at a lower price point, some sub-models can go as high as $900. So, depending on your budget, you’ll want to shop around through the catalog.

However, the X2 itself does not consist of an entire series of differently priced Chromebooks like these other models.

The only tradeoff you have to make is that you can find other Chromebooks with better performance and battery life within a similar price range. In fact, this is one of the most common complaints in HP Chromebook 14 reviews by users.

Other Models of HP Chromebook 14

If the X2 is somewhat over your budget, the good news is that there are two other Chromebooks available from HP at a lower price point.

The mid-range Chromebook X360 starts at $299.99. The main difference is that it’s not a 2-in-1 with a detachable keyboard like the X2. It comes in 10”, 11”, 12”, and 14” variations as well as different models for both home and business use with 14 individual sub-models.

Generally, the X360 is not as portable or sleek when it comes to design. It has similar specs, although the CPUs are not as powerful. The good news though, is that 64GB and 128GB storage versions are available which is one of the main highlights according to some reviews of HP 14 Chromebook.

Then you have the entry-level Chromebook Clamshell starting at an affordable $159.99. The Clamshell is similar to the X360 with the same display sizes as well as home and business variations. In total, there are 26 options to choose from that range widely in price. Both the webcam and touchscreen are optional and model-dependent while it comes standard on the others.

Alternatives

The ultra-portable laptop market is incredibly saturated at the moment with thousands of devices with different features, specs, and prices. What each individual needs in a laptop can vary dramatically and the X2 might not be suitable for everyone. With that in mind here are some worthy alternatives to the HP Chromebook 14 laptop

Win Lose Best for
Lenovo Ideapad Slim 3i The X2 is more lightweight and portable with better battery life. The Ideapad Slim comes with a more powerful CPU and RAM. Those who need better baseline performance specs and less portability.
Asus E410MA-EK001T The X2 features a better screen, battery life, and portability. The Asus is more than $200 cheaper than the X2 with 256GB storage. Those looking for a cheaper, Windows alternative for home use.
Asus EeeBook 12 E210MA-GJ012T The X2 has a superior multimedia system (2K screen and B&O audio). The EeeBook 12 only costs around $200. Those who need an ultra low budget, yet highly portable Windows laptop.

Few laptops in the ultra-portable market can compete with the HP Chromebook 14 laptop when it comes to quality-of-life features like display resolution and PPI, battery life, audio quality, etc. Not to mention the fact that the X2 is one of the few models in this range with a 2-in-1 form factor and a touchscreen, making it even more portable and versatile as it can effectively be used as a tablet. And, it can satisfy all your basic computing demands.

There certainly are cheaper options available in this market, but you’ll have to make significant sacrifices in terms of practicality and comfort, especially if you want to go with a Windows system which is harder on performance.

HP Chromebook 14 Review Conclusion

Sure, like any ambitious model in the ultra-portable market, the X2 is not perfect and you’ll have to choose based on which features are most important to you. That being said, the X2 ensures that you have to make minimal sacrifices while enjoying a beautiful screen, top-of-the-line portable audio, ergonomic design, and a full day worth of battery life – all in a tiny, lightweight package.

The answer to “Is the HP Chromebook 14 good?” is an unequivocal yes. It elevates the portable notebook experience in all the right ways without losing its sense of practicality.

FAQ

Is the HP Chromebook 14 good quality?

Yes, the HP Chromebook 14 feels well-made with a sturdy build quality, a crisp keyboard, and an ergonomic design. Also, HP is one of the leading manufacturers of laptops, especially in the portable market with a good track record.

Is HP Chromebook good?

The short answer is yes, although it does somewhat depend on what you’re looking for in a laptop. The display, sound, and portability are some of its best features while it lacks somewhat in terms of performance. Of course, you also need to be aware that it runs Chrome OS and not Windows.

How much do HP Chromebooks cost?

In this HP Chromebook 14 Review, we mostly focussed on the X2 which is the flagship Chromebook and costs $629.99. However, you can find other models in the 14 range that start at as little as $159.99 and that can go all the way up to nearly $900.

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