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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.
2020 comments| 754 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 28, 2014
After loving this chromebook for every reason you buy a chromebook for 6 full, glorious months.... it turned around and screwed me.

This morning, I woke up after not touching my chromebook for a week. It hadn't been plugged in, and the battery was dead. No big deal. I plugged it in. It showed the charging lightning bolt, but wasn't actually charging. It stayed at 1%. Hours go by. I tried other plugs. I tried jiggling it. I tried a powerwash, a hard reset, a restart, etc. Nothing. The second I pull the power, it dies. It won't go past 1%. I AM FURIOUS. I tried to look up warranty rules for a return or replacement... and nothing is available online that I can find. I've found 14 other forums listing the same problem, and no one had a solution. HP - HELP!
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on March 13, 2017
I have had a love hate relationship with this chromebook since I got it. I have had it about 2.5 years now, but some problems I have had since the day I got it and some problems starting showing up within the first year and some are now just showing up.
First, one of the keys was cockeyed when I first opened it. I snapped it into place but it would always come back loose again. I sent it to HP and was without it for about 2 weeks, but when I got it back, the key was fixed and I never had another issue with that. I do have issues whereas some of the keys have become blank from the letters rubbing off. If I had to depend on looking at the letters to know where the keys were, I would be in big trouble. I have 3 keys that are completely blank and a couple more that are almost blank.
After about a year, maybe less, the mouse would start freezing. I called HP and was told to do a powerwash. Well that suggestion sucked. I didn't want to lose my photos and such but I did it. And it did not fix the problem. So I youtubed it and saw where many people have this issue and they have to unplug the battery and replug it back in. This involves taking the chromebook apart.Luckily I have someone that can do that but many don't.
That would seem to work for a few months but then it would do it again. After doing this about 4 times over a years time, I just accepted the fact that I have to do a hard reset when that happens and I lose whatever I am working on.
Now my latest frustation is the sd slot. I take a lot of photos and I upload them using the slot. Now it will not recognize the sd card being inserted. I have yet to research that but it is annoying. I have to dig up my camera cord.
You might wonder why I gave it a 3 instead of a lower rating, with all these issues. I use my chromebook daily. I use it for both personal and business. I love it, when it is working. As much as I have had issues with it, I would take a chance on another one, but the price would have to coe down. I can't buy a new one every 2 to 3 years.
Maybe I got a bad chromebook.
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on September 6, 2014
The battery on my Kindle Fire is nearly incapable of holding a charge any more, so I began looking at alternatives. My eyesight has changed a lot in the past few years and I wanted something bigger. I decided on the Chromebook because all I really needed was something I could tote around the house with me. I'm done with little tablets. I need something I can see. The price was extremely reasonable.

I had not anticipated how much I would love this format. It has been a long time since I accessed the software and files stored on my desktop. Almost everything I do is web based. In addition, I've been using Chrome for years, so I already have a base from which to start. My experience using it is nearly identical to the experience I enjoy using my desktop - except that it's portable.

The HP is attractive and the build quality seems quite high. It's pretty lightweight and the screen is sufficient for the tasks I ask it to perform. I can access all of my Amazon content from it as well - which is why I had the Fire in the first place. It is much more comfortable to use. There are some ports that I haven't had the need to use yet. With the Bluetooth on board I can do all kinds of things. It's been really flexible.

In terms of performance, I have had no issues. Set-up was quick and easy. The battery holds a charge for days (if you're a moderate user). I have had no need to turn it off or reboot it.
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on December 4, 2014
In a word, junk.

We purchased the unit refurbished from Amazon in August 2014. We used it for a couple of hours, then stored it in the original box. We pulled it from the box this week (Dec 2014) and it will not operate at all without being plugged into AC. We've gone through the whole formal troubleshooting protocol with Google and HP. The only option HP offered was to spend $249.99 + shipping and handling to have HP repair it.

No user replaceable battery. Obviously something to avoid. The warranty for the refurb is just 90 days. Consider another brand or maybe spending the extra to buy it new since the additional money will essentially buy you a one year warranty. The refurb is just too much of a risk. So when the battery dies, which they all do eventually, this computer turns into a boat anchor anyways. Wow.

I have to add, the part about it that totally completed the perfect buying experience was the HP rep (sounded like an outsourced operation in India perhaps) chastising me for buying a refurbished chromebook, I should have considered my purchase more carefully. I felt like a 5 year old being scolded for impudence. Nice touch.
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on March 25, 2015
This product failed after one year and 4 months. It was good while it lasted (16 months), but unexpectedly began having a start up error, was not able to be recovered, and now it's an unusable brick.

I'm a tech-savvy person who's worked on PCs and Macs in the past, but there was no way for me to restore this that worked. All of the self-service recovery options failed, and calling support (Google passed me to HP, which passed me to HP parts) only left me with an option to repair it for essentially what it cost to buy new. I now have a laptop that I can't do anything with but throw in the trash. What a waste.

Only buy this if you're looking for a disposable laptop. Essentially, I got a laptop rental for $18.75 per month. I will probably buy a Chromebook again, as Chrome OS's low-maintenance and ease of use were perfect for my parents, but it won't be an HP.
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on February 3, 2015
so, after carelessly not listening to anyone who told me hp was garbage i purchased this because i didn't need anything expensive or fancy.
i had it for a couple months & then outta nowhere it turned on & said "chrome os is damaged or missing". i went through all the recovery steps & it tells me an unexpected error has occurred. well i contacted hp who said the laptop was out of warranty & that the harddrive was failing.
it's a $300 fix for a $200 chromebook.
will never purchase an hp again.
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on February 4, 2014
I like most everything about this unit such as the quality build, speed, price, the great battery life and the chrome OS interface. However, I'm still trying to decide whether or not to return this item. This is my third unit and the two things that I like the least about the HP 14 are the fan noise, which runs all the time and is noticeable, and the occasional pixelated screen with concentric circular lines when streaming videos. I have had this problem with all the units to some degree when streaming YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and even from a USB flashdrive. I have not been able to find any reference to this issue in any of the online reviews or the HP website and after testing three units I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one having this problem. I'm learning to live with the fan noise but the video streaming artifacts may be a deal breaker. If I can fix the screen pixelation issue, I would easily give it 5 stars.

Update: After further investigation I found that some of my other tablets are doing the same thing...so the good news is that there is not a problem with my HP Chromebook so I have increased the rating to 5 stars. However, the bad news is...I really have no idea what is causing the pixelation and artifacts. Solving that issue will require further investigation.
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on September 28, 2014
Good laptop, Nice OS but bad quality.

I purchased this as a refurbished model and had to ship it back. The quality of the design showed folding parts of metal along the trackpad and after 3 days of use a pixelated screen.

Chrome OS is good for most people, if you're going to surf the web, type documents, social media and even photos (if you use google+ to back up your photos), this is awesome, if you need something more intensive for work and school, I would recommend something else - even a Surface RT.
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on March 14, 2015
I should qualify my one star rating to say that we have four HP14 Chromebooks. I would give the other three 4 stars. They all work fine -- with the occasional, inevitable glitches. This particular Chromebook gets the 1 star because at the nine month mark it just died -- faded to black and won't wake up. No tech incantations seem able to rouse this Chromebook from a permanent black slumber.
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