back to article Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

If you read my comparison of the Asus C7 and Samsung Series 3 Chromebooks, you may well have come away thinking: "All well and good, but can I have something with a bigger screen for the same sort of money?" Now, thanks to HP, the answer to that question is yes. The latest entry into the Chromebook steeplechase is powered by …

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  1. Snow Hill Island
    Linux

    Are Chromebooks the new "No OS supplied" option?

    Looks like a decent spec for a "general use" laptop, but I wouldn't want Chrome OS or Ubuntu on there myself. How difficult is it to completely wipe off Chrome OS and get any given Linux distro installed?

    Are there any UEFI nasties, or can you boot a UEFI aware install disk via an external optical drive, and just wipe the disk and install the distro of your choice? (Probably Sabayon in my case)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Re: Are Chromebooks the new "No OS supplied" option?

    Are Chromebooks the new "No OS supplied" option?

    Exactly my thought. Rip out the Google shit and install a decent OS.

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Re: Are Chromebooks the new "No OS supplied" option?

    Seem a bit long-winded, you can get a laptop with Windows already installed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Are Chromebooks the new "No OS supplied" option?

    Doesn't matter what OS, a chrome book is only useful for one thing where I live.....

    But a door stop for £250?

  5. Anonymous Coward 101

    Why?

    The Chromebook is trapped between laptops with a regular Windows/Linux/OSX operating system, and tablets. What's the point?

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: Why?

    >The Chromebook is trapped between laptops with a regular Windows/Linux/OSX operating system, and tablets. >What's the point?

    A Reg article suggested that Google's paid-for business offerings are gaining traction, for document creation, collaboration and sharing... if that is true, Chromebooks start to make more sense - especially if MS is moving in that direction too, with Office 365.

    Already, a friend of mine has a works-issued laptop with a locked-down Linux distro, purely for connecting to his company's network. I could see Chromebooks being used in that area.

    Think of all those fines that have been handed out to organisations when conventional laptops have been stolen from parked cars or left on trains, leaving their local data vulnerable to abuse. Chromebooks automatically encrypt cached files, and can be set not to store anything locally at all.

    It's not a machine for me, but they don't seem as ridiculous as when they first surfaced.

  7. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Why?

    Perhaps its because people are buying them?

  8. spencer

    Re: Why?

    It's simple to use, your grandma could work it out. No windows tax makes it cheap.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Why?

    "No windows tax makes it cheap."

    Does it? I thought the cost of an OEM Windows licence was so low that it was similar to the markup you might have to add to a non-Windows machine make up for the lower sales volume. I can't think of any convincing evidence I've seen in the last 20 years that suggests machines without Windows are cheaper than machines with.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: Why?

    Unfortunately office365 doesn't work with chrome

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  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: Why?

    Company is office365, I would love not to have to carry a laptop and just use my Chromebook but even outlook.com doesn't work

  13. JamesC
    FAIL

    Re: Why?

    not sure if that is unfortunate? perhaps microsoft should work to make their web based software, uhh, web based and not IE based?

  14. dogged

    Re: Why?

    I don't think this is a Microsoft issue. Outlook.com works fine in Chrome and Firefox under linux, as do the free Office web apps.

    Must be something in that Googly codebase that hates MS domains.

  15. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: Why?

    @Yet Another Anonymous coward

    >Unfortunately office365 doesn't work with chrome

    Sorry, I didn't make my point clearly: I wasn't thinking that Office 365 would work on Chromebooks, but I mentioned it because it is part of a competing solution, a competing solution that is in some ways moving in the same direction as Chromebooks.

  16. K Silver badge

    Re: Why?

    Its a really good concept and I'd love to see it happen, but the lack of server-side support would be a major hurdle.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "14 inches is surely the sweet spot"

    WTF.. My girlfriend has been lying to me all these years..

  18. jabuzz

    14" ideal for older eyes

    The problem with the 11" displays is that for aged parents the small screen size is an issue. Simply displaying the same resolution at a larger size makes it much easier for those suffering from the effects of old age on their eye sight to read the screen. As such the 14" HP Chromebook is ideal for those aged parents that just want to browse the web, send a few emails and write the occasional letter. For these users a Windows laptop is just something to go wrong that produces endless support problems.

  19. DrXym Silver badge

    I don't get the appeal

    If you're going to hulk a large laptop around, why would you want to cripple it with an OS designed for web browsing? May as well stick a proper desktop OS on it.

  20. Roger Greenwood
    Pint

    Re: I don't get the appeal

    The appeal is to "most people" i.e. who want a machine to just work and are fed up when it doesn't. They would maybe buy an apple but can't afford. They would maybe buy a tablet but think they need a keyboard.

    Me and you on this forum are certainly not "most people" as we like to tinker about with stuff.

  21. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: I don't get the appeal

    >May as well stick a proper desktop OS on it.

    Some people only want to tap out some words, send some pictures or look at some websites. For them, any extra functionality wouldn't be worth the effort of maintaining a better featured OS.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I don't get the appeal

    "Some people only want to tap out some words, send some pictures or look at some websites"

    Yes they are called tablets and smart phones these days, oh and they are a lot more versatile.

  23. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: I don't get the appeal

    >Yes they are called tablets and smart phones these days, oh and they are a lot more versatile.

    A Swiss Army Knife is more versatile than a dedicated can opener, but for opening cans I'd rather use the specialist device- it's quicker and easier. There is no reason why I can't own both, either.

  24. DrXym Silver badge

    Re: I don't get the appeal

    @Roger I hate to break it to you but virtually every laptop running Windows "just works". Turn it on you get a desktop and you do stuff.

  25. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    1366 x 768 screen ?????

    Come on manufacturers toss these silly screens into the obsolete parts bin and use something better. I'm sure we wouldn't mind paying a little more for a better screen.

    Otherwise, these just fall in to the same category as all the other cheapo laptops out there. The only difference is that they don't run TIFKAM or similar software

  26. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    > I'm sure we wouldn't mind paying a little more for a better screen

    I'm with you. However, this Arstechnica review of a 13.3" Toshiba laptop with a 2560×1440 screen highlights some scaling issues presented by Windows applications, which might explain why some manufacturers are holding back:

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/review-high-dpi-toshibas-kirabook-takes-on-the-retina-macbook-pro/2/

  27. JDX Gold badge

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    1366*768 works just as well today as it did 5 years ago for internet browsing and MS Office.

  28. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    No it does not. The <redacted> ribbon in Office takes up far too much real estate on the screen when it is 768 high.

    I have a Dell Inspiron 9600 that dates from 2004 (or thereabouts) that has a 1600x1200 screen. That replaced and Inspiron 8100 from 2002 that used the same size screen. Where is the progress in screens?

    None if manufacturers keep using this stupidly sized screens. (Written on an HP Elitebook with a 1366x768 screen thankfully connected to a 1920x1200 monitor)

  29. Robert E A Harvey

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    That is the one thing putting me off this now.

  30. The Original Steve

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    "The <redacted> ribbon in Office takes up far too much real estate on the screen when it is 768 high."

    Thankfully you can minimize the ribbon to just the title. When used that way it's quite efficient for the vertical height used.

  31. Euripides Pants Silver badge

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    "The <redacted> ribbon in Office takes up far too much real estate on the screen"

    Perhaps it is the ribbon that is the problem and not the screen resolution...

  32. jason 7

    Re: 1366 x 768 screen ?????

    the 1366 screen works okay with Chromebooks (certainly the 11" ones) and as I tell folks.."it is only £200!"

    However I do feel that any laptop type device should be issued with 1400/1600x900 screen as a minimum by now.

  33. David Simpson 1
    FAIL

    So you took out all the screws and the back panel refused to move ? I would advise that like every other laptop in the world, remove the screws on the base then flip it over and remove the keyboard, the top will then come off and you can access the internals.

  34. Darryl

    Still don't see the appeal

    You get a cheaply made, seriously low powered laptop for abut the same price as you can get last year's (or the year before's) Core i3 from the clearance bin. Plus, it comes with Windows, so you can decide which OS you want without any extra cost.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Mint Sauce
    Go

    Re: What Don't People Get?

    Like many people I've not seen the point of the chromebook, or perhaps more honestly I've just not liked the idea of it. However if instead I think of it as kind of a wireless x-terminal equivalent then around a corporation it could make a lot of sense, especially if it spent most of it's time connected to company servers.

    Certainly useful as mentioned above, when the 'data-protection-rules-don't-apply-to-me' CEO leaves it on the train...

  37. jason 7
    Happy

    Re: What Don't People Get?

    Yes I laughed at them when I first saw them. But then around xmas time I got interested (well its was xmas gadget treat time) and bought the 11" Samsung Chromebook.

    I have to say my opinion is now totally different. They are a fantastic device. I hardly use my tablet now, it is the Chromebook I reach for now instead. The speed and ease of a tablet but with a decent keyboard.

    Until you spend a day or so with one please reserve judgement. You may be surprised.

    A handy tool to add to your tech armoury plus it wont break the bank.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use a chromebook

    In my day job I'm a techie. At home I have a Samsung Chromebook and I've been very pleased with it. I can do email, banking, looking stuff up, calendar, and watching youtube quickly and easily, fast boot time, no maintenance. Anything more intensive I do at the office.

    To be fair I don't think I'd have bought it if I didn't already live my life by a google calendar. Now that I have it, I'm really impressed.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like every other HP machine

    It'll work 'adequately' for its warranty, although with this machine it wont be loaded with HP updaters and 'healthchecks' After that year it'll die horribly to a defect that HP knew about but will deny all knowledge about despite suing the integrator for beelions.

    HP arent worth tuppence anymore.

    Mines the one with the dead DV9500 and TX1000 in the pocket :(

  40. Richard Wharram

    Or...

    Buy a second-hand Thinkpad with a higher-res and brighter screen, and a Core2 Duo for about the same money and put Chrome OS or a full Linux distro on it.

    Of course it weighs a bit more :)

  41. Herby Silver badge

    Microsoft ought to take warning!

    These "ChromeBooks" are like dogs nibbling at their heels. Ignored at first but later VERY annoying. The ChromeBook described is a perfect "Wife's computer" for someone that just needs to browse a bunch and send out a few emails. Connectivity via WiFi is perfectly nice and the few extra features are available for the "tech of the family" (Me) to help out.

    One of these is going to be MUCH better than a silly "Dance Card" (Surface) designed by the increasing insignificant company in Redmond, which costs more than twice than this model!

    Good job HP (I seem to say this more in the past 6 months :-)

  42. AdamCB

    The Chromebook Concept

    I give Google a lot of credit for not giving up on the Chromebook. Chromebooks are meant for users that spend most of their time in a browser and want a device that's easy to use and starts up fast. Sounds to me like that profile fits quite a few people.

    That being said, not everyone is willing or able to give up on their Windows applications. But there are solutions to overcome that obstacle. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to securely connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run their applications and desktops in a browser.

    AccessNow does not require any client to be installed on the Chromebook, as you only need the HTML5-compatible browser.

    Check out this link for more info:

    http://www.ericom.com/RDPChromebook.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom

  43. billium
    Facepalm

    "virtually every laptop running Windows "just works""

    @DrXym

    Seriously?

  44. wim
    Joke

    Re: "virtually every laptop running Windows "just works"" as a

    paperweight, frustration management training device, doorstop, health and safety approved training weight in the office.

    See there is a lot of things you can do with a windows laptop.

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