There has been a lot of new Chromebooks from HP recently. So many in fact it can be pretty confusing to differentiate one from the other. The HP x 360 14c is the direct replacement to the much loved original HP x360 laptop.
I loved the original HP x 360 Chromebook because it offered so much at a really competitive price. Things have changed a lot since then though as we are seeing so many more Chromebooks on the market.
The original HP x360 was considered a high-spec device in 2018. Back then a Chromebook was either budget or high-spec. We now have three ranges of Chromebooks from the budget, mid-range and high spec.
What this means, in reality, is the original HP x360 would now be considered mid-range. This is exactly the same range the new HP x360 14c, which I’m reviewing today sits in.
If you want to see what you get from a budget Chromebook. Then take a look at the new HP x360 12b, which is a great budget laptop and suits the education market. So let’s check out the latest HP Chromebook x360 14c and see whether this should be on your wishlist when buying a new Chromebook.
When it comes to looks the new HP Chromebook looks very sexy indeed. It comes in a really cool dark grey/silver casing. The lid and inside are made of aluminium, which adds to the look of this laptop.
The underneath is plastic, but it’s done really well and does not take away from the looks of this device. It’s a really well built and solid laptop, which is nice to see and is really compact considering the 14-inch display on offer.
You might think it’s a little heavy at 1.65kg/3.6lbs, which you’ll possibly notice if you’ve been using a lighter laptop for a period of time. It’s around 18mm thick, so not the thinnest laptop either.
So although you could carry this laptop around with you during the day. You may be better looking at the Pixelbook Go instead, which is much more suitable for people who travel on a daily basis.
It’s a Hybrid 2-in-1 device, which means you can use it as a laptop or a tablet. Some people love these type of devices, but I’m not overly convinced Hybrid Chromebooks are necessary. Personally, as long as the display is a touchscreen, you can do without a Hybrid, as you only need a touchscreen to use Android apps. That being said, it’s good the functionality of a Hybrid is on offer here.
The processor you get with the HP x360 14c Chromebook is a dual-core tenth generation Intel i3 processor. The generation used is important because providing the Chromebook was released in 2020 and uses a tenth generation processor. You can be confident it will receive automatic updates of Chrome OS for at least eight years.
The Intel i3 processor offers enough performance for any task you’ll want to carry out on a Chromebook. You now get Chromebooks with an i5 or i7, but you really don’t need this for most tasks. In the UK you’ll also find an i5 version if you’re looking for extra performance.
Whether you’re streaming HD movies on Youtube or Netflix, internet surfing, word processing, number crunching on spreadsheets or even playing Android app games. The i3 processor is more than capable of handling all of these tasks.
Also, you can now play PC games on a Chromebook using the Nvidia GeForce Now service. This laptop provides all the performance you’ll need to play your PC games from Steam, Uplay and other PC game providers. If you prefer more console-style games then Stadia also works perfectly well with this Chromebook.
RAM & STORAGE
It comes with a huge 8GB of RAM. This is more than enough for a Chromebook today and in the future. A lot of Chromebooks still come with 4GB of RAM, which is still fine. However, it’s nice to see the 8GB of RAM available, as it will make the laptop more future proof.
In the USA the storage is 64GB. In the UK the storage on offer is 128GB. The storage at 64GB may seem a little on the light side for some. When it comes to storage you need to remember the Chromebook is a cloud computing laptop. This means you should be saving most of your files in the cloud with Google Drive.
Since the launch of Android apps on the Chromebook. People have started to take more notice of the storage available. This is because Android apps install locally.
So it would have been nice to see extra storage on the USA model, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. You’ll still be able to install plenty of Android apps without any issues. If you live in the UK the 128GB of storage is plenty.
HP x360 14C CHROMEBOOK DISPLAY
The display on offer is what you’d expect to see from a mid-range Chromebook. The 14-inch screen is a good size for most people and comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
It provides a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080, so it will be perfect for streaming HD movies. The IPS panel offers great viewing angles, which is an absolute must for a laptop.
This means viewing the laptop at an angle does not deteriorate the quality of the image, as you might get with cheaper laptops. The IPS panel also makes the colours displayed look crisp and vivid, so you’ll not be disappointed with the visuals.
It comes with really nice slim bezels around the display. This does not have any impact on the image, but it does make the laptop look a lot nicer than those huge bezels you see on some laptops.
It’s not the brightest display in the world, but this will only be a problem if you need to use the laptop in direct sunlight. It supports a stylus, but it does not come included.
KEYBOARD & SOUND QUALITY
If you need a laptop for typing then the keyboard quality is really important. The great news is the HP x 360 14c keyboard is excellent.
The keys are nice and responsive, so you’ll be able to type on this keyboard all day without any fatigue. It’s backlit as well, so you’ll be able to continue to type into the night without any problems.
On the bottom right of the keyboard just below the keys is a fingerprint scanner. This makes it much easier to log in to your laptop. Instead of typing your password each time, you can simply use your fingerprint. This is nice to see and there are not too many Chromebooks at the moment that offer this.
You’re never going to get great sound from a laptop. It’s simply not possible when you consider the amount of space available. That being said, the HP x360 14c Chromebook sounds really good. Not as impressive as the Pixelbook Go, but still gives offers great sound.
This is helped by the speakers being located either side of the keyboard. Upward firing speakers mean you’ll hear much more of the sound intended. You’ll still want to use a pair of speakers for listening to music over long periods. For casual listening though, the speakers are some of the best you’ll get on a Chromebook at this price.
Connectivity is important because if your laptop has limited ports available. It will limit the type of peripherals you can use with it.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a huge move towards USB Type-C. This is the new standard for USB and is definitely the way forward. USB Type-C allows you to not only charge your laptop but you can use it to add an external display.
Although USB Type-C is great. It does become a problem if you have older hardware, which uses the older type of USB connection. Luckily, the HP x360 14c offers the older USB connection as well. I like this because I’ve on many occasions had issues with laptops only supporting USB Type-C when I’ve wanted to connect peripherals that come with an older USB connection.
As I said though USB Type-C is the way forward, so you’ll be happy to know it comes with one on either side. This makes it much easier to charge your laptop no matter where the charging plug is located to where you’re sitting.
The Micro SD slot available is good to see because it means you can easily add extra storage to your Chromebook at a later date without spending too much money.
The HP x360 14c Chromebook is a great laptop. The problem today is the Chromebook market is a lot more crowded, so it has some tough competition.
It’s a well built and cool looking laptop and the processing power available is fine for almost any task. Whether you’re buying the i3 version in the USA or the i5 version in the UK. Either of these models will perform just fine.
The display is great, but it doesn’t offer anything extra compared to most mid-range devices in 2020. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. For the price, the display is just as you would expect.
It’s a great laptop and whether it’s the one for you I guess comes down to personal preference. This is what’s great about the Chromebook in 2020. You’ve now got so much choice.