HP Chromebook 14 - Keyboard, Trackpad and Verdict

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HP Chromebook 14: Keyboard and Trackpad

HP has reduced the size

of the keyboard layout compared to the Pavilion, so you’ll notice that

some keys have been slimmed down like the arrow keys. Apart from that

you can expect to find the customary function keys spread across the top

and the search button replaced by a Caps Lock button.

Keys now

have a slightly textured finish to improve travel and make it a more

comfortable place to type. The more spacious palm rest is less cramped

to work with than it is on the netbook-like 11-inch Chromebooks although

having tried out the 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook, that for us is the

most comfortable typing domain.

As for the trackpad, the horrible

dimple design and two click buttons are gone, replaced with a smooth

chrome coloured flat surface that supports gestures for pinching and

zooming. That’s not to say that things have improved greatly. At times,

it still feels a struggle to scroll pages and the responsiveness for

gestures is not great, either. It’s not the first shoddy trackpad we’ve

seen, but it does do a better job than the Pavilion for getting around

the Chrome UI.

Should I buy the HP Chromebook 14?

This is not the best Chromebook out there, but that’s not to say it is the worse. For all round performance, it matches most 11-inch and 13-inch models. The below par screen is a criticism that can be levelled at all other Chromebooks, apart from the Chromebook Pixel of course.

It makes enough improvements on its predecessor, like better multitasking (or multitabbing), manages to produce a bigger battery life and has a much more attractive design. Crucially, the 3G support via HP Data Pass gives it added mobility even if it is actually a little heavy to carry around.

For the same £279, you are creeping up a little closer to cheap Windows 8 laptop territory like the Asus Transformer Book T100, although the 10-inch Windows 8 tablet/laptop hybrid has the same screen quality and all-day battery life.  

There’s very little that compares specs-wise for the price other than rival Chromebooks. But if we had to choose one Chromebook to go for, we’d still opt for the 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook.

Verdict

The HP Chromebook 14 is a big improvement on the HP’s first Chromebook offering and with the added 3G support makes it an affordable option you can actually take out and about. This is a great feature, but we’re less enamoured with the screen and so-so touchpad.

Next, read more laptop reviews or look at our pick of the 10 best laptops you can buy

Score in detail

  • Performance 7
  • Keyboard 7
  • Design 8
  • Screen Quality 6
  • Build Quality 7
  • Value 8
  • Touchpad 7
  • Heat & Noise 7
  • Battery Life 8
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