HP Chromebase specification review – it’s a beautiful computer

I remember a few years ago when a Chromebase never really grabbed my attention, as they were pretty ugly and cheap looking. Fast forward to 2022 and this has changed thanks to the stunning HP Chromebase. It just oozes sophistication and would look fantastic in a minimalist home office setup.

I’m really glad to see that HP has put some effort into the design of their new Chromebase. Apart from the Acer Chromebase, which is also a vast improvement on previous models. It’s definitely the HP Chromebase that is the one to beat.

If you’re after a desktop computer running Chrome OS and can’t decide between a Chromebook or Chromebox. Then perhaps you’ve been looking in the wrong place, as the Chromebase definitely wins hands down when it comes to design. I love my Asus Chromebox 3, and I was considering replacing it with the Asus Chromebox 4, but I think I’ve just changed my mind, as I might just be getting the HP Chromebase.

PROS

  • Stunning design
  • Powerful sound
  • Display rotation
  • Plenty of storage

CONS

  • No HDMI
  • No Ethernet
  • No larger keyboard option

Build quality

It’s the build quality of the HP Chromebase that makes it stand out from the rest. I’ve never seen a Chromebase looking this good. It’s an all-white design, which HP describes as snowflake white, and it looks fantastic.

They’ve packed all the computer hardware into the base of the unit, which makes it a true all-in-one computer. The 21.5-inch display is a touchscreen, which is pretty awesome considering the cost. A separate display at this size with a touchscreen would cost a lot of money, so this Chromebase is very competitively priced.

HP Chromebase with display in landscape mode

You also get a separate Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which looks very similar to what you’d find on an Apple Mac. In fact, this Chromebase with its excellent design is very similar to the Apple Mac, and is a great option for anyone who likes their tech to look cool and sophisticated.

HP Chromebase Performance

The good news is the HP Chromebase is available in different configuration options. Therefore, you have a say on the processor, RAM and storage options. This is good to see because it means you can potentially save your money by opting for the lower-performing model if it offers everything you need. Below I’ve listed two of the popular model configurations, but it would be a good idea to check the HP website for where you live, as they may differ.

The two most common configurations you’ll find are the Pentium Gold or the Intel i3. The Pentium Gold comes with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. It’s good to see they’ve gone with the more expensive, faster and reliable storage option. You can definitely notice the difference between eMMC storage and SSD storage when using Chrome OS.

The All in one HP Chromebase

The Intel i3 10110U is a tenth-generation processor with a base speed of 2.1 GHz and a turbo speed of 4.1 GHz. It’s a dual-core processor, which will be more than capable of most of the tasks you’d carry out. You get double the amount of RAM at 8GB with the i3 model, which will help when it comes to performance. You get the same storage option at 256 GB, which is more than enough. Find out more about how much storage you need for Chrome OS.

Personally speaking when it comes to a desktop computer the more processing power the better. If you can afford it I’d go for the i3 model because it’s a more powerful processor. Also, the double amount of RAM you get will make a huge difference with tasks that require more RAM.

HP Pentium Gold Model

  • Intel Pentium Gold 6405U
  • dual-core
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 2MB cache
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD Storage

HP Intel i3 Model

  • Intel i3-10110U
  • dual-core
  • 2.1 GHz / 4.1 GHz turbo
  • 4MB cache
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD Storage

The HP Chromebase display

The 21.5-inch display is a great size for an all-in-one Chrome OS computer. It offers a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 perfect for work and when you want to relax while watching a Netflix movie.

The touchscreen is great to see because it will mean you can take full advantage of what Chrome OS has to offer. The touchscreen will be perfect when you’re using Android apps that work much better with touchscreen interaction.

What I love most about the HP Chromebase display is that you can rotate it between landscape and portrait mode. If you’ve got some long documents to read or write the portrait option is going to be perfect. If you need to use the Chromebase in landscape mode just simply rotate the display. This is something that I can imagine most people would take full advantage of.

HP Chromebase with the display in portrait mode
Portrait mode is perfect for when reading or writing documents

It comes with an IPS panel, so you’ll get great viewing angles and the images will appear true-to-life. Just what you’d want on a display of this size. HP has done a great job here and the rotating display truly offers a lot of flexibility.

Connectivity

It comes with two older USB ports and two of the newer USB Type C. This is good to see because it means you’ll have no issues connecting older or newer peripherals.

You’ll also find a headphone/mic jack, so you can use a pair of wired headphones or mic. Perfect for anyone who will be using the Chromebase for video calls, as an external mic will offer much better audio. It does have a built-in mic, so an external mic isn’t required, but they do offer much better sound. Therefore, it’s great to see a headphone/mic jack has been included.

HP Chromebase ports
HP Chromebase ports are at the back of the device

When it comes to connectivity I think HP has missed a few things. This is a real shame because this is such a great Chrome OS computer. I’m not really sure why they’ve not included an HDMI port or an ethernet port. An HDMI port would have made it much easier to connect an external display, and without one it means you’ll have to buy a separate adapter if you want to do this.

It uses WiFi 6, so providing you’ve got a WiFi 6 router and a good internet speed you should be fine. However, if you don’t have this you may find streaming games on Nvidia GeForce Now gets a little choppy. This is why I would have preferred to have seen an ethernet port, which is what you’d find on most Chromeboxes. I use an ethernet cable when playing games on my Chromebox, and it fixes any issues around games lagging. HP definitely should have considered this for the Chromebase.

Keyboard & Mouse

I do like the look of the keyboard and mouse you get with the HP Chromebase. Again, it appears HP has tried to match what you get with an Apple Mac. It’s also great to see they use Bluetooth, which avoids you having to have extra wires that would clutter up your desk.

Some people may be happy with the small keyboard that you get with the HP Chromebase. Personally speaking, for a desktop computer, I much prefer a larger keyboard with a separate number pad. I tend to do a lot more on a desktop computer than a laptop, which means I use it for spreadsheets. Having a separate number pad is vital if you’ve got a lot of number crunching to do.

I think HP would have been better off providing a full-length keyboard or at least giving you the option between the two. This would have made more sense considering a desktop computer is generally used as an allrounder.

Sound quality

I’ve personally not used the HP Chromebase, so I can’t really comment on how good the sound is. However, there is plenty of space for the speakers and they’ve teamed up with B&O which is well known in the HiFi world for offering great sound.

I read an article at About Chromebooks that has used the HP Chromebase, and they’ve mentioned the sound as being extremely powerful. This is great to know because it’s just what you’d want from a desktop computer. Perfect for playing games and watching HD movies on that 21.5-inch display.

This avoids you having to pay for external speakers, which is generally what I’ve always done when using a Chromebox. The fact the HP Chromebase offers decent sound, so you don’t have to hook up some external speakers means it truly is an all-in-one Computer.

Summary

I’m seriously considering buying the HP Chromebase when I replace my Chromebox. I absolutely love the design and the rotating display allowing you to use it in landscape and portrait mode would be something I’d use a lot.

If you’re after an all-in-one Chrome OS computer then the HP Chromebase is definitely the best that is available right now. I’m hoping we see more Chrombases in the future that offer such an excellent design. If you’d prefer a Chromebook take a look at my Top Ten Chromebooks in 2022.

The only thing that really puts me off is having no ethernet or HDMI port. I think the HP Chromebase would have been a total winner if they included these. If this doesn’t really concern you and you want a Chrome OS computer that will look great in your home office. Then the HP Chromebase is one to consider.

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