HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us 14-Inch Laptop Review

HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us 14-Inch Laptop

The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us 14-Inch Laptop represents HP’s entry into the rapidly growing Chromebook market. As readers will probably be aware, and as their name suggests, Chromebooks are laptops designed and built to use Google’s Chrome OS Operating System, rather than more common alternatives such as Microsoft’s Windows.

Chrome OS is intended to be used primarily while connected to the internet, and, although it is capable of performing some tasks reasonably well without an internet connection, its essentially online nature is reflected in the physical design of the machines that use it. Although the operating system is based on Linux, the user interface is little more than a customised version of Google’s Chrome web browser, with an integrated file manager and media player.

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There are no other native applications, although, of course, there are many apps available in Google’s Web Store. The difference between native and web apps shouldn’t matter too much to the user, but, in terms of the machine itself, it means that it can perform surprisingly well with what, for other operating systems, would be meagre hardware resources.

The 14-c010us is built around a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor. This dual core, ultra low voltage CPU is designed for use in entry level laptops, and is a good choice for the relatively undemanding requirements of a Chromebook, where energy efficiency is almost as important a consideration as computing power.

It is supported by 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD). Although 2GB of memory would be barely adequate for more commonly used operating systems, it is more than enough for Chrome OS to perform reasonably. Similar considerations apply to the 16GB SSD provided for permanent storage of documents, pictures, music and, of course, Chrome OS itself. SSDs are substantially faster than traditional Hard Drives, and this speed boost makes a significant contribution to this machine’s rapid boot time.

Its storage capacity is, of course, tiny compared to other types of laptop, but this need not be a major problem. Whereas competing operating systems would store almost everything on the device’s own local storage, Chrome OS makes extensive use of online, so-called cloud storage in the shape of Google Drive.

Pros :

  • Lightweight, Portable
  • Security and Antivrus Built-in
  • Easy Access To Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts
  • Automatic Updates
  • Chrome OS
  • Chrome Web Store

Cons :

  • Larger Display May Impact Portability
  • Designed Primarily For Online Use

This approach has several advantages. By storing your documents in the cloud, you ensure that they are safe, no matter what my happen to your laptop (or, of course, Chromebook) – backup and recovery in the event of disk failure or other disaster ceases to be your problem. Moreover, your documents are available to you from any device – simply sign in to your Google account (for example) and they are instantly ready for you to begin work.

The machine also features built in anti-virus and security protection, giving you that little bit more confidence in the security of your personal data, and a regular update cycle of just a few weeks. This means that Chromebooks automatically update their software to the most recent version every few weeks, making sure that you always have the latest features and bug fixes without having to hunt for them yourself. As well as keeping you more productive, this helps to keep your Chromebook secure by making it less vulnerable to unpatched security flaws in  outdated software.

In a move that sets the Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us apart from others currently on the market (although this might change – Chromebooks are gaining in popularity, and more variety is inevitable as more manufacturers enter the fray), HP has endowed this machine with a 14.0″ diagonal, HD, BrightView, LED-backlit, 1366 x 768 display, making it easily the largest Chromebook available to date. Whether this will prove beneficial remains to be seen; larger displays are certainly easier to work with, but, conversely, they are also inherently less portable than their smaller competitors.

Since Chromebooks are intended to provide more or less “go anywhere” (as long as there’s network access) computing, an increase in usability at the expense of portability may, or may not, pay off. Measuring 13.66″W x 9.37″D x 0.81″—0.83″H, and weighing just 3.96 lbs, this model is still much smaller than many conventional laptops. In tandem with its projected battery life of up to 4 hours and 15 minutes, this means that it is still easily portable – and much more portable than larger laptops – but, perhaps, less so than some other Chromebooks and Ultrabooks.

Even though its display is currently larger than any other Chromebook, it is still relatively small compared to a full-sized monitor or HDTV. Fortunately, an HDMI port is provided for connecting these external displays to the Chromebook – ideal for watching movies or viewing images (perhaps from the machine’s built-in card reader).

As you would expect from a machine running Google’s Chrome OS, Google’s other flagship services are tightly integrated into the online (and, in some cases, offline) user experience. Once users have logged in with their user account (there’s a handy Guest account to ensure that other people who may need to use the machine don’t have access to your data), access to Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides are just a click away.

Used online, you can, if you wish, share your work and collaborate with colleagues, or join a Google hangout with the machine’s built in webcam. And, should your internet connection fail, you can still work on your documents in offline mode.

Overall, the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us 14-Inch Laptop is an interesting – and potentially very popular – entrant into the Chromebook market. It offers all the features of its smaller competitors along with a larger display – but not so large that portability is seriously compromised. If you already make use of Google’s services, or you’re looking for a second machine for web use, the decision to buy a Chromebook instead of a conventional laptop should make a great deal of sense to you. For those who are undecided, but need frequent access to online services while they’re on the move – perhaps on a college campus, or on a widely distributed corporate site, or simply at home – they Chromebooks are looking like increasingly viable choices.

Once that decision has been made, the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us 14-Inch Laptop should definitely be on your list of possibilities – it’s a solid choice, from a big name (with all the support options that entails) at a reasonable price. Who could ask for more?

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