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I have been using the HP Chromebook x360 (14″ model) for a couple of months now and overall I’m pretty happy with it. If you haven’t considered a Chromebook before there are really good reasons that you should. This is my second Chromebook, after using the Samsung Chromebook Plus for a couple of years. Is the HP Chromebook x360 worth a purchase? Read on to find out if it is one of the best Chromebooks you can buy!
HP Chromebook x360 specs
The x360 comes in a few different models with the following specs:
- CPUs: Intel Celeron N4000, Intel Core i3 (7130U or 8130U), Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel Core i7 (7600U or 8650U)
- Memory: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
- Storage: 32GB or 64GB eMMC (has expansion microSD card slot)
- Display: 14 inch IPS Full HD (1920×1080) WLED backlit touchscreen
- Graphics: Intel UH Graphics 620
- Ports: Two Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) ports, 1 Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 1 3.5mm audio port
- Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 3-cell 60Whr lithium polymer, rated at 13.5 hours of battery life
- Dimensions: 12.81 x 8.93 x 0.63 inches
- Weight: 3.7lbs
Most models available at stores seem to be of the core i3 variety with 8GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC memory. This configuration should be plenty powerful for most people.
My HP Chromebook x360 purchase story
The main reason I bought a new Chromebook was for a speed upgrade. My Samsung Chromebook Plus V1 has a slow ARM processor that works pretty well for apps and having a few tabs open. I tend to have 10+ tabs open as I work and research multiple things. The ARM processor sometimes didn’t respond as fast as I wanted.
I waited until Black Friday to purchase a Chromebook and the deals on the X360 were great at Best Buy and at Amazon. The Core i3 White/Gold version with 8GB of RAM and 64GB Memory was on sale for $349. I went to Best Buy to try it out. It was plenty fast enough with many tabs open, and I really liked the keyboard. I bought one, took it home and spent some time configuring it. A day later, when I was ready to show it off to my family, it wouldn’t even boot. Nor would the charging light come on. I was bummed.
I took it back to Best Buy to exchange it. Just figured I got a lemon. They could not find another Core i3 version and ended up giving me a Core i5 version at no additional cost. Sweet!
Looks, aesthetics, and build
Overall, I think it is a pretty good looking Chromebook. I like the contrast between the white top and the rose gold body and keyboard. The screen looks great. It’s a good resolution for web browsing and playing videos. Even though the screen is on the larger side for a Chromebook, the thin bezels give the size and appearance of a smaller screen.
The build quality seems good and sturdy, although the plastic white top does cheapen the look and feel a bit. It’s also a bit heavy. At 3.7lbs, it’s significantly heavier than my 2.4lb Samsung Chromebook Plus (V1), which is made completely of a premium feeling lightweight metal.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad are excellent and superior to all Chromebooks I’ve used. The keyboard is nicely backlit, has very sturdy keys that are just the right size. The feel of typing is great.
I’m not much of a fan of trackpads, as I use my trusty Logitech Bluetooth mouse with laptops, including this one. But if I had to use a trackpad, this would be the one I would want to use. It’s an extremely large trackpad, that works great and has a very good click mechanism. It’s way better than the trackpad on my Lenovo Yoga Windows laptop that I use at work.
Ports and sound quality
Chromebooks notoriously come with very few ports. The x360 has 2 USB Type-C ports, one on each side. Unlike most Chromebooks, it also comes with a USB Type-A port which adds a lot of compatibility and flexibility to your laptop peripheral options without having to use a dongle. It rounds out the ports with a headphone/mic jack, an SD card slot, and a Kensington lock.
With the B&O branded speakers, I was cautiously optimistic about the sound capabilities. Clearly, the B&O is just for marketing hype. The sound was just okay. If you want good sound, get a good pair of headphones or an external speaker. Not a deal killer for me, as I normally use earphones. Don’t buy this laptop expecting superior sound due to the B&O speakers.
Performance and battery life
I bought this laptop primarily for a speed upgrade and it delivers. The Core i5 processor is more than powerful enough for all of my needs, and I think the Core i3 I was originally looking for would have been fast enough. I’m even able to do some video editing on the Chromebook without too much of a problem.
One of my favorite features of Chromebooks (right up there with cost and security) is battery life. The x360 battery is rated to last 13.5 hours, and in my unscientific testing with regular use, it lasted that long. I can use the x360 in all-day meetings at work and on long plane flights without any worry about the battery running out.
HP Chromebook x360 comparison to Samsung Chromebook Plus
In comparison to my Samsung Chromebook Plus, the x360:
- Is bigger with a bigger screen
- Much faster
- Has a backlit and larger keyboard and trackpad
On the downside:
- Is much heavier
- Doesn’t feel as premium
- It doesn’t include or have built-in features for a stylus. You can still use a regular capacitive stylus, however.
Overall, I’m very happy with the HP Chromebook x360. It is lightning fast and responsive, which is the primary reason I purchased it. The screen is beautiful, and the backlit keyboard is great. I just wish it was a little lighter. If you are in the market for a Chromebook, this is an excellent one, especially if you can get it on sale!
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