Laptop Mag Verdict
HP's Chromebook 14 is a good option, thanks to its sharp 14-inch display, snappy keyboard and attractive chassis.
Long battery life
Display could be more vibrant
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Want an inexpensive Chromebook with a large display? The HP Chromebook 14 (reviewed at $248) is a solid choice. A significant upgrade over the AMD model, the Intel version of the Chromebook 14 lasts all day on a charge and has a comfortable keyboard. The notebook also has a sleek white design and the 1080p display is a luxury at this price point. While other similarly priced Chromebooks offer better performance, the Chromebook 14 is a good all-rounder for basic tasks. It's even one of the best laptops under $300.
HP Chromebook 14 Price and Configuration Options
Our Chromebook 14 review unit costs $248 and comes with an Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage.
Now, this is how to do budget.
The Chromebook 14 has an attractive design highlighted by a fresh white color variant that is sure to stand out in a crowd. The lid of the Chromebook 14 has a rough texture with a glossy HP logo embossed in the center. Opening the lid reveals a brushed white deck, white keys and white display bezels.
Yes, part of me worries that this machine will look dirty over time, especially given its target audience: kids and the K-12 market. But the fresh white surfaces are a refreshing move away from the silver chassis typically found on premium machines.
As expected, the Chromebook 14 is made of plastic, though the different textures give it a rugged yet welcome feel. I'm pretty confident the Chromebook 14 could survive a drop or two, which isn't something I can say about most sub-$500 laptops.
At 0.7 inches thick and weighing 3.3 pounds, the Chromebook 14 is predictably lighter than the 15-inch Acer Chromebook 15 (0.8 inches, 3.7 pounds) and Asus Chromebook C523NA (3.8 pounds), but, as expected, heavier than the 11.6-inch Dell Chromebook 5190 (2.9 pounds).
Port selection is good. The left side of the Chromebook 14 has a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port and a lock slot. On the right side is a microSD card slot, a headphone jack and another pair of USB 3.0 and USB Type-C ports.
HP deserves a hearty round of applause for offering a 1080p display on such an affordable laptop. Sure, the 14-inch panel isn't particularly bright or vivid, but almost anything is better than those outdated 1366 x 768 panels.
When I watched a trailer for the live-action Aladdin movie, I could see the ornate details in princess Jasmine's dress. The pink and turquoise shades in the magnificent gown looked accurate, though they didn't burst off the display as much as I would have liked. Also, details in some of the darker desert scenes were hard to make out because of how dim the panel is. But all things considered, I was pretty pleased with the image quality.
According to our colorimeter, the Chromebook 14 covers 71 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is worse than the Chromebook C523NA (76 percent) and Chromebook 5190 (73 percent) but better than the Chromebook 15 (69 percent).
The Chromebook 14's display is also on the dim side when compared with other budget competitors. At 220 nits, the panel doesn't get as bright as the Chromebook 5190 (258 nits) and Chromebook C523NA (231 nits) but tops the Chromebook 15 (215 nits).
Keyboard and Touchpad
I have no complaints with the Chromebook 14's keyboard, barring the lack of backlighting. The white, chiclet-style keys are well-spaced and large, apart from some undersized arrow keys. And while they travel only 1.2 millimeters (short of our 1.5-mm preference), the keys actually feel quite bouncy, perhaps because of their above-average 71 grams of actuation force.
I typed at 111 words per minute with an accuracy of 93 percent on the 10FastFingers.com typing test. Those are both below my average 119 wpm at 95-percent accuracy, but not by much.
The Chromebook 14's 4.5 x 2.3-inch touchpad responded quickly as I swiped my way across several Google Chrome tabs, and I had no issues pulling off Chrome OS gestures, like switching between tabs with a three-finger swipe.
Armed with an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU and 4GB of RAM, the Chromebook 14 has enough power for simple day-to-day tasks, but don't try running demanding apps on this budget machine.
My real-world test consisted of loading 13 web pages on Google Chrome, two of which played 1080p YouTube videos while another pair streamed video games on Twitch. The first few pages loaded just fine, but then some tabs got stuck on the spinning wheel for several minutes and my cursor started to lag. Photos and ads took particularly long to render, while videos buffered for a few seconds before I could view them.
The Chromebook 14 scored a paltry 2,733 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, falling well short of the Chromebook C523NA (4,698), the Chromebook 5190 (4,193) and the Chromebook average (4,747). The AMD version of the Chromebook 14 performed even worse (1,283).
The Chromebook 14 will stay powered up for an entire workday. The laptop endured for a very good 9 hours and 18 minutes on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness). That edges out the Chromebook average (9:10) and the Acer Chromebook 15 (9:07), and crushes the Chromebook C523NA (6:30) and the AMD version of the Chromebook 14 (6:23).
The Chromebook 14's 720p webcam captures a decent amount of detail, but an external webcam will offer livelier colors. I was able to see individual strands of hair in my beard in a selfie I snapped in our dimly lit office.
However, my face looked so pale that I could have filled in as a zombie cast member in the Walking Dead. Also, my black shirt was so dark and lacking in detail that it looked as though the paint bucket tool had been used to fill it in with color.
Only the underside of the Chromebook 14 reached concerning temperatures after we watched a 15-minute, full-screen trailer on YouTube. Peaking at 108 degrees Fahrenheit, the bottom panel breached our 95-degree comfort threshold.
The rest of the laptop, including the touchpad (77 degrees) and the center of the keyboard (83 degrees), remained well below that mark.
The Chromebook 14 is a good choice if you want an inexpensive Chromebook for doing simple tasks, like browsing the web, sending emails or watching YouTube videos. While this Intel version offers more power than the underwhelming AMD model, its performance still doesn't hold up well against similarly priced laptops. Still, with long battery life, an attractive design and a 1080p display, you can't do much better for less than $300.
Credit: Laptop Mag
HP Chromebook 14 Specs
|CPU||1.83GHz Intel Celeron N2940 Processor|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics|
|Hard Drive Size||16GB|
|Hard Drive Type||eMMC|
|Operating System||Google Chrome|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, Combo Headphone/Mic Jack|
|Size||13.54 x 9.45 x 0.7 inches|
|Touchpad Size||4.3 x 2.7 inches|
|Warranty/Support||1-year limited warranty|
Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.