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457 of 488 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bigger Brother
HP's Chromebook 14 is our third Chromebook because, after one year with Samsung Chromebook I came to realize that not only a Chromebook does almost everything a laptop or a PC or a tablet would do for me but it does it cheaper, usually faster and better, almost always worry-free and very much in style. We've ordered a nice HP Chromebook 11 since and now, because someone...
Published 9 months ago by A. Dent

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars screen suddenly went dark and froze up
Bought this in November 2013. Loved it. Worked flawlessly. Suddenly today, the screen was dark and the computer is frozen. It won't power off either. I've called HP 3 times; keep getting transferred; and last time was on hold so long I just had to hang up. Thank goodness I have another PC to fall back on while I try to get the Chromebook fixed. Or maybe replaced.
Published 4 months ago by garden girl


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457 of 488 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bigger Brother, November 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
HP's Chromebook 14 is our third Chromebook because, after one year with Samsung Chromebook I came to realize that not only a Chromebook does almost everything a laptop or a PC or a tablet would do for me but it does it cheaper, usually faster and better, almost always worry-free and very much in style. We've ordered a nice HP Chromebook 11 since and now, because someone in our household wanted a one that was 'bigger', we went for the '14'.

WHY A CHROMEBOOK?

There's so much to say here but let me make a quick summary. And never forget that we are talking about an 'under 300' device here because, yes, anything that costs 3-4-5 times as much should do better most of the time.

˕ Our Chromebooks are our most used computers excluding work hours and by 'computer' I mean PCs, laptops and tablets.
˕ Malware, spyware, adware-free. Since nothing is really 'installed' on the Chromebook, I can't see how one would ever be infected. I am now using my Chromebook to open suspicious emails or click on dubious URLs that I don't dare touch from a laptop.
˕ Extremely safe OS. I don't know if this is common knowledge but Google is constantly challenging hackers to crack their OS. As far as I know, Chromium wasn't cracked yet.
˕ Easy to share among any number of users without any concerns of compromising privacy. If you have a Google account, you simply sign in and you are going to be within your own, personal environment.
˕ Constantly updated and upgraded. Google updates Chromium every few weeks and I found my Chromebook actually getting better all the time rather than slowly fall into obsolescence. HP's Chromebook will not replace Samsung's, it will be used by another family member who really, really wanted one after watching my happy relationship with our first one.
˕ Nearly maintenance free. Whenever I don't use a tablet or even a laptop for a while, they tend to get very busy for a while once I turn them back on. Tablets, especially, are almost impossible to use until all those dozens of updates/upgrades process. Not the case for Chromebooks. Whatever upgrades may take place don't hit my Chromebook. Whenever I call up an app, I get it in its latest version.
˕ The attached keyboard helps a lot. Yes, you can pair a keyboard and even a mouse to a tablet but the Chromebook's keyboard is always there, it negates the need of a stand or even some protecting case.
˕ Chromium is streamlined and efficiently focused where it matters, on the everyday uses most of us need a 'computer' most of the time.
˕ Chromium being such a streamlined OS, browsing and running apps on a Chromebook is in fact faster than off a PC/laptop/tablet of equivalent specs.
˕ Relatively low prince, 11.6" display and light weight seem to be just about right for something that typically you'd be using to browse the Web while watching TV or take to and from school.

WHY NOT A CHROMEBOOK?

Yes, Chromebooks can't do everything. Google's productivity suites notwithstanding, they are mainly and they are best at media consumption rather than production. Nobody should buy a Chromebook and expect to be able to edit video or perform some heavy word processing or do some hard-core gaming. There are other machines and devices for such tasks. My experience is that a Chromebook can't do 'everything'. Tablets are more portable, PCs and laptops are more powerful but, to me, my Chromebook is the most fun to use and it's likely to stay this way. I am not going to call it my 'second' or 'third' or 'first' computer but, objectively, it's the one most use outside business hours if what we measure is 'hours'.

HP's CHROMEBOOK 14 vs. Chromebook 11

Having owned two other Chromebooks already, from the start, it was a very familiar feeling. HP's 14 is not 'exactly like' Samsung's and this big HP is quite different from HP's Chromebook 11 but it's easily recognizable as a Chromebook.

Here are some changes:

˕ DISPLAY: HP 11's colors are sharper and brighter and you can view the screen from almost any angle left/right or up/down. HP 14's is not as bright and the larger size doesn't come with better resolution.
˕ KEYBOARD. It's a draw. I like both keyboards as they have a good layout and nice travel. As a touch typist I am comfortable with both.
˕ DESIGN: HP 11's is more stylish design but they are both Okay as far as I can tell. HP 11 is nicer though.
˕ PORTS: This is where the HP 14 wins big time. It comes with USB 3.0 ports vs. HP 11's USB 2.0 and full HDMI.
˕ POWER: It's not too obvious but yes, the HP 14 is sometimes faster refreshing screens. Videos play equally smoothly on both.
˕ SIZE AND WEIGHT: HP 14 is a lot heavier so if you travel and size and weight matters then HP 11 is the right choice. If your Chromebook is mostly homebound and most of your computing and media playing takes place in a room shielded from direct or indirect sunlight then the HP 14 gives you the bigger display advantage.

Overall I like HPs larger Chromebook. It has better ports options than the HP 11, it's faster and you get a bigger screen on a body that's not as light and pretty.

RATING

I am not going to compare a 300 dollar HP Chromebook with the Pixel or some top of the line laptop. I noticed that many 'pro' reviewers are complaining because Chromebooks and this particular one are not 'high end' and aren't as nice as the Pixel and such. Well... did anyone check the prices? So, yes, let me make a 'duh' statement: this Chromebook is not as good as devices that sell for 3 times or 4 times as much so anyone who doesn't mind paying more should pay more and get one of those. Even though... look at some reasons above for why one my prefer a Chromebook to a laptop or a tablet, regardless of price.

HP's 14 is a four-star to me because it's at least as good and in some way better than my now one year old, often used and much trusted Samsung but I personally prefer the HP 11. As far as performance, they both appear to be up to the task and they both played Netflix movies flawlessly over Wi-Fi and cast them to the big TV through Chromecast.

Chromebooks are not for everyone and they are not a universal computing device but, if used for what they are meant to be used, they are as good and as revolutionary as tablets.
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280 of 312 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as nice as expected, October 19, 2013
This review is from: HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White) (Personal Computers)
I had high hopes for this laptop. I already knew the differences between a chromebook and a typical PC, so no issues there.

I picked up this system from Walm*** a few days ago. The model I purchased also includes 2 years of Tmobile data.

I specifically choose the HP 14" model because of its quality and size. Much better size than the competing 11.5" systems. Also, true to HP, nice quality.

Size, speed, quality, keyboard, trackpad are all great. If I had one negative it would be the lack of lighted keyboard. On the plus side, the system I received has 4 GB ram, so an upgrade from the 2 GB listed on Amazon. This system fits its intended use perfectly.
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208 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really nice machine... feels very "Apple" inspired, great second computer, October 24, 2013
By 
This review is from: HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White) (Personal Computers)
I just bought the 4G version of this for fifty more at the local W-Mart. The other big difference between that model and this one is that the version with the roaming T-mobile data plan (free for 2 years) also has 2 GB more memory so theoretically the machine should be faster than the wi-fi only version.

I'll review the things in common however.

Screen: Good size, easy to adjust brightness with dedicated up and down keys at the top of the keyboard (just like Apple). I'm reading that the Chromebook 11 version has a nicer display and that the 11 was actually co-created with Google vs. the 14 which was supposedly designed solely by HP.

Appearance: I got the machine in white. Snow White to be exact. It looks awesome on the kitchen counter. The aluminum cover around the keyboard looks great and reminds me of much more expensive Apple machines. (OK I'll stop mentioning Apple, the whole darn thing reminds me of a $1500 Apple in appearance)

Speakers: I'm listening to Pandora as I type this. Zero bass response but speakers still sound decent for listening to music, but if you want bass, this is NOT the machine for you. There is a headset jack.

Connections: Speaking of jacks, there are two USB ports on the left and one on the right. There's also a HDMI output on the left so you can stream video and audio to your TV.

Usability: No, you can't easily run Microsoft Excel and Outlook on this machine. I've read you can remote into your networked desktop and use them there but I haven't used that. However Gmail and the Google cloud based equivalents of the Office Suite are fine. This machine starts up almost instantly... it's like turning on a phone. You turn it on and moments late you are checking gmail and Facebook and surfing the web.

I wouldn't want this as my only computer as I do need a non-cloud based computer as well, but as an inexpensive mobile computer I find this a great alternative to my iPad at half the cost.

I asked Amazon if they will be selling the 4G version of this and really didn't get a definitive answer but I'm guessing since WM is already "live" with it that they have some sort of an exclusive deal for now.

Also, rumor has it that Toshiba and Asus will be coming out with Chrombooks for the holidays so you might want to wait to see what they offer.

My biggest concern about this model was the 2 GB of memory in the wifi only version... the reviews of other Chromebooks I've read (and I've read dozens) indicate to me that Chrome really operates best with 4 GB if you like to have lots of open tabs.

A great little machine!!!
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding device, December 4, 2013
This review is from: HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White) (Personal Computers)
Although I bought My chromebook 14 in the UK, it is not available on amazon UK yet, I had to buy it direct from HP. Like the T-mobile version here, mine comes with a built in HSPA+ radio that gives me superfast mobile internet in the area of London where I live, on par with wifi speeds pretty much. This is the first product I reviewed that got a 5-star rating although perhaps 4.75 stars would have been more accurate. The tiny flaws that it does have are balanced out by the stupendously low price, basically this is a machine you can easily compare to a macbook or a windows ultrabook that costs 4 times as much an it will still hold its own. Obviously this is a Chrome OS device so one has to do their research if they can live with a cloud-based OS and there is a very small learning curve when switching, but honestly Chrome OS is so easy to learn, almost anyone should be able to do it. I also wrote a detailed and critical review looking at every little aspect of the device, meant for chromies who are already sold on the concept but need comparisons with other chromebooks available on the market. For my money, this particular model is the best chromebook you can get out there, factoring in things like price, battery life, 4g connectivity and screen size. Without further ado here are my initial impressions:

Initial Impressions about the HP chromebook 14 UK 3G version and comparison to the Samsung series 3

Feel and Quality

This is definitely a laptop, it feels very different from the samsung, the weight is substantial, it is much bigger and the fan is constantly on and very much audible. I suppose I will just have to get used to the noise, but that is definitely a step back from the Samsung. Some reviewers noted they can only hear the fan when they put their ears next to the keyboard, definitely not the case with me, I hear it all the time when I’m in a quiet room. When I take it to the kitchen, where there is a lot of ambient noise from the fridge, it gets cancelled out and I can’t hear a thing. Most people probably won’t even notice the fan unless they use it at night in their bedrooms.
Keyboard
The keyboard has a different feel to it than the samsung, it has textured keys and they keys have slightly more travel. Annoyingly, the keyboard is narrower than on the samsung despite the bigger size of the machine itself, so you get narrower enter, backspace and shift keys. The keyboard otherwise feels good and it is quite silent to type on, but not as much as on the samsung, perhaps that will change with time. The keys are not as rounded as on the samsung and I must say I prefer the typing experience on the samsung so far, but maybe I’ll get used to it in a few days. There is more key travel on the HP, that is definitely in its favour.
Trackpad
The trackpad is the same width but slightly taller. I feel no difference in practical use, however the HP has a slightly loose trackpad that rattles every time I tap to click, which is annoying, so I find myself preferring to actually click the trackpad. Thankfully the trackpad requires less pressure to click than on the samsung and the noise is more satisfying. The loose trackpad feels cheap, I’m not sure if this is an issue with my machine in particular or if it is more widespread.
Screen
The 14” screen makes a huge difference in comparison to the Samsung, I don’t have to put on my glasses and I don’t have to zoom in or squint to see text properly. The bigger screen is the main reason I bought this machine and overall I’m satisfied. I did not find the lower PPI to be an issue, you tend to sit a bit further away anyways. The lack of an anti-glare coating is preferable in my case, text appears to be clearer and more crisp. The screen does reflect when switched off, I see no reflections when it is switched on, I keep it at about 80 percent brightness. Reflections from the blazing sun is not an issue we have to grapple with here in the UK. Maximum brightness appears to be about 10 percent higher than on the samsung, it is definitely noticeable and a welcome change. On the other hand contrast ratios are worse and colours are more washed out than on the samsung. Next to each other, the same background photo shows truer colours on the samsung, the setting sun is more orangey. The HP seems to struggle with contrast, for instance a light skinned person on a white background looks quite bad. Also, I find that I need to tilt the screen quite a bit back to get decent contrast ratios when writing and reading text on a white background, then when I watch videos I have to tilt the screen a bit forward to get better colour reproduction. It seems that constantly adjusting the screen is just something that comes with TN panels. But like I said, overall this is a pretty good screen for the price.
Materials and Build quality
This is where the HP truly shines compared to the samsung. This is a beautiful machine, well made, sturdy, quality materials, and the heft seems to add to the quality feel. The plastics used are much thicker than on the samsung, there is no creak when you pick it up. Mine is the snow white colour which is just amazingly gorgeous, I’m truly in love with the look and feel of this. This all comes at a price though, the bottom half of the machine is twice as thick as the samsung, the height difference is noticeable when you are typing on the table. As for weight, this is no macbook air, I definitely won’t be carrying this around as much. I plan to keep this for home use and take the samsung with me when I’m out and about.

Performance
I did not get the opportunity to test this extensively, so these are just initial impressions. My Samsung has increased scrolling performance markedly on the beta channel and when I go to google plus or the notoriously heavy Verge I see no difference between the two machines in normal scrolling. The HP seems to drop frames just as much as the samsung. Where I see a real difference is in loading times, pages load in about half the time on the HP and the waiting time to be able to scroll without jerkiness or checkerboarding is also about half of what you get on the samsung. Same goes for switching between tabs. Where the HP 14 really leaves the samsung in the dust is watching HD videos, there is just no comparison. The Samsung can just about handle HD streaming in netflix, but when it comes to youtube or other flash-based streaming sites, it struggles to play videos smoothly, there are missed frames, jumping and jerkiness. Also, I found that with the samsung switching between resolutions or going full window and back is problematic and really taxes the cpu. No such problems here, the HP plays everything beautifully, HD videos are crisp and fluid, they look beautiful on the large, glossy screen. Perhaps the only drawback of the glossy screen is when you watch dark scenes, you can see your own reflection a bit, but not a huge issue overall. The speakers are loud and clear, they are noticeably more powerful than the one on the samsung. Of course there is zero base, but they are still fine speakers for a laptop. Overall, if you like to watch videos and movies on your chromebook, the HP leaves the samsung in the dust, image quality, fluidity, responsiveness and speaker sound are all superior, but that is to be expected from a bigger machine.

Connectivity
Wifi performance is fine, same as the samsung, picks up signals easily. This model comes with mobile internet included. In the UK, as in the US it is an HSPA+ wireless radio. In the US this is marketed as 4G, in the UK this is considered 3G or 3.5G according to some marketing materials. It is faster than normal 3G, but it won’t be up to LTE speeds. The network provider is Fogg Mobile, a Swedish telecom company who have effectively outsourced the service to Three. I already have a mobile phone contract with Three and mobile internet speeds in my area are relatively fast (Wapping in East London), actually they are usually better than what I get from my BT wired broadband over wifi. Fogg mobile gives you 250 MB data per month free for 2 years, which is only enough to use in an emergency when nothing else is available. I will generally stick to wifi and tethering, but it is a good option to have and the sim is swappable, so you can easily get an unlimited mobile data SIM card from Three for around £15 per month which should give you constant internet coverage without having to use wifi or tethering. The only problem I have with Three is that they don’t always have their own masts, so when you head to central london you have to make do with the very low bandwidth that they manage to rent from other providers and at peak times that is nonexistent in places like the city. Still, you can insert a sim from any provider if they have better service in your area.
I tested HSPA+ vs BT broadband speed in Wapping at 5.30 PM with no one else connected to the wifi network. Streaming speeds were 6537 kbps on three’s mobile network, almost twice of what is minimally recommended for HD video streaming. ON BT wifi I got 9837 kbps, which is around 50 percent higher but in real world use both connection speeds are fine.

Battery Life
I had no chance to test this yet, at the moment I am at 90 percent charge and the machine estimates 7.5 hours of charge left, which seems to fall in line with what most people get. I’d say 8 hours is a reasonable expectation from this machine, but this will go down steeply if you stream HD videos. As for heat, the bottom of the machine is completely cool to the touch and it seems you don’t get the annoying spinning up of the fans that you get from windows laptops and macbooks when you tax the CPU. The Haswell microarchitecture really shines here.

Conclusion
Overall I am happy with my purchase, the HP Chromebook 14 is a significant step up from the Samsung series 3. What you gain in screen size, performance, quality and looks you lose in portability and weight, so you have to examine your usage scenarios to see if this is the right machine for you. My feeling is that for the time being this is the Macbook Pro of budget chromebooks. It is heavier and more expensive than the Acer C720 or or the Samsung, but it will serve you better as a desktop replacement and it is more suitable as a workspace. Built in mobile internet is also a huge plus in my eyes as unlimited data plans are becoming more common in the UK, so you could conceivably use this machine without ever needing to connect to wifi, therefore saving yourself a bunch on a wired broadband subscription. I think that the HP14 offers real value for money, particularly in the UK where laptops are significantly more expensive than in the US even if you factor in the 20% VAT. To give you an idea about the value proposition, the 3G model costs £279 whilst the Wifi only model is priced at £250 at the online UK HP store. To find a windows laptop that has comparable specs and build quality, you would have to pay at least twice as much, with apple you will have to pay 3-4 times as much. When it comes to chromebooks, the ACER C720 and the Samsung both cost £180 at PC World if you factor in the £20 cashback offer, but both have only 2 GB of ram. For the added quality and screen size, I think £70 is a reasonable price to pay if portability and weight isn’t paramount. It is also worth keeping an eye on special voucher codes, I managed to buy this model at a 10 percent discount, so I paid only £251 for it, there might be similar offers in the future.
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80 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coral Peach: Because, Damn it!, November 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well yes! I made fun of the new HP Chromebook 14 (in Coral Peach, Turquoise and Snow White) when I first saw it. The new HP Chromebook line comes in pastel colors that they seemed perfect for a child’s bedroom. However when you take this beast for a spin, you may become inclined to paint the walls to match.

This isn’t my first Chromebook. I own a slate grey Acer C710 with a 11 inch screen. It was hard on these old eyes of mine and I kept pumping-up the screen size to adjust. This Chromebook’s 14 inch display is just right. HP is known for it’s build quality and the HP Chromebook 14 doesn’t disappoint: excellent quality keyboard, speakers and an array of side port options such as two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 an HDMI port and an SD card slot for additional memory - Google take note! I love the Chrome environment. It does more than I ever use. At work I use Windoze computers and all day long I trouble-shoot Internet connection problems, password issues and viruses. Always Windoze, always windoze machines. Chrome is a pleasure to have because there are none of the burden of the Microsoft OS to worry about.

There is no Ethernet option so it’s Wifi only, and the display pales compared to others I have seen. There are some trade-offs to a lower price, but I dropped one Star because of this.

Yes, I bought the coral peach. Because I’m secure in my masculinity. Wanna make something out of it??!
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the One for Senior Citizens!, November 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for my 80+ year-old parents and they love it! So simple for them compared to their aging laptop that was slowing down and having problems. The Chrome Operating System is much cleaner and user-friendly than Windows. No more daily calls from them to Tech Support (e.g. me :-) ) Quote from mom: "I don't even have to think to figure out how to use it."

And, I can use Google Hangouts to take control of the machine in the event of any issues. Worth 3 times the price for the simplicity!

UPDATE 1/14/14: It's been about two months and my parents continue to rave about how much they love it. They can't believe how it starts up in seconds, it's so simple to use, it's fast (no hard drive chugging along), and they love the sleek look and feel (feels more like Macbook to me) . Additionally, I haven't received a single "tech support" call from them since they've had it. They don't have to worry about updating software, performing maintenance, and it hasn't frozen on them yet. In fact, I'm thinking of getting one for myself. If you can get by with just Google software, I can't see any reason to buy a laptop. I gotta believe Microsoft is shaking in their boots! ;-)
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You wanted the best... you got the best/cheap, November 29, 2013
This review is from: HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White) (Personal Computers)
This is my second chromebook

I bought the Chromebook 11 when it came out, and I have to say Chromebooks seem to be a great choice for the future, since people is starting to like more mobile devices, like phones, tablets, ultrabooks, etc.

The chromebook 11 was a great experience, but then my mother liked it and I decided to give it to her (since we're on holidays and stuff) and I was looking forward to get another Chromebook 11 for me as well.

Then I started to read reviews and watch comparison videos between Chromebook 11 and Chromebook 14. Those I've watched are good enough, and tell you most things you need to know. So I decided to get my second Chromebook, and it was the 14.

Guys, this really blew me up, this Laptop is way much faster than the chromebook 11 (and i asume most ARM, 11 chromebooks out there) The sound quality is great too, display is bigger but definetly not better, and connectivity offers plenty of options.

So, I know you can read specifications and a lot of opinions about this chromebook. I'll just keep it simple...

If you want a great laptop, and you know what Chrome Os does, and what does not, YOU SHOULD GET THIS ONE, it is cheap, it is fast, nice build, solid, easy to use, etc. it does most things you need for daily use, and is really nice (i got the "red" one)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Good Computer!, November 15, 2013
This review is from: HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White) (Personal Computers)
Fast! Battery lasts a LONG time between charges, great screen. Wow! One other thing I noticed ... I had it in my lap for several hours, and it never even got warm underneath. I used to have a Macbook Pro and it literally cooked my legs. The Chrome OS is terrific. Most of us spend 99% of our time in a browser anyway. GET ONE OF THESE!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was skeptical, but now I'm sold, November 24, 2013
I purchased my Chromebook from walm*** because at the time everyone else was sold out, sorry amazon. I'm a coder/application developer in a graduate research program so I have a linux server that I work off of most of the weekdays either from the office or via secure shell (in the chrome store) and I can remote desktop to my old windows and mac machines. I love the chrome app, it's just like terminal but doesn't have all the glitz-y add-ons that macs can get - so much better than powershell, sorry windoze. I was a bit skeptical of the Chromebook, but I have to say - I'm really impressed and I really love having everything (personal) in the cloud. I obviously work from multiple machines frequently and it was always messy to keep track of where which file went depending on which server I was working at or which home machine I grabbed because my husband was using the other one. Now I just throw everything in my 100 GB Google drive and I can access it from anywhere plus it's automatically at my fingertips when I open up my Chromebook. Do I miss word and other proprietary software? A little, but really are the freeware versions all that bad? Or are we absurdly loyal to brand names that continue to fail us? I've learned you can replicate anything Office or most proprietary software can do with open source or cloud programs and a little python scripting.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, February 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I didn't even know what a Chromebook was until about 3 months ago. I was perfectly content with my laptop, but I heard about Chromebooks and was intrigued by a smaller, lightweight laptop product that was strictly Chrome. I use Google Chrome ALL the time-and I was so ready to leave Windows behind. I did a lot of reading on Chromebooks, both product descriptions and reviews-but it was actually seeing it and holding it that swung my decision in the direction of purchasing the HP 14" Chromebook. The bigger screen is perfect for my vision-challenged self-a smaller screen just doesn't cut it for me. The speed is awesome, and I don't miss Windows AT ALL. I couldn't be happier with my purchase! I admit I'm probably barely tapping the potential of Chrome, but I'll get there. For what I wanted, this was the right choice for me.
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