HP Chromebook 14 review

A well balanced Chromebook

HP Chromebook 14 on a coffee table

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Admittedly, my exposure to Chromebooks and Chrome OS is limited, but despite that, my experience with the HP Chromebook 14 was a good one. By the end of our time with it, we found ourselves reaching for the Chromebook over my trusty MacBook Air.

We liked

It isn't the smallest, lightest Chromebook out there, but its 14-inch screen represents a good balance between ample screen space and portability. A top-notch keyboard and trackpad, coupled with a great screen, makes the Chromebook 14 a joy to write and browse the web on.

We disliked

Battery life is merely average compared to other, comparable Chromebooks from other manufacturers. Also, some stuttering and sluggishness under heavy loads detracted from my otherwise enjoyable experience.

Final verdict

A Chromebook isn't going to be quite as flexible as a full-on Windows PC or a Mac. No matter how Google dresses things up, you're still relying heavily on web apps to get work done, and ultimately such restrictions aren't for everyone.

Still, with a base price of about $200, the HP Chromebook 14 is a great value for those looking for a basic web browsing machine. It's more affordable than the Toshiba Chromebook 2 while offering a bigger screen. The Acer Chromebook 15 serves up some much stiffer competition with newer components, more memory and a larger screen, but the HP 14-incher is a bit more compact and better looking to boot if aesthetics are crucial.

For a reasonably modest investment, you'll get a responsive, friendly notebook that's actually fun to use despite its shortcomings.