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HP Pavilion Chromebook review

14in screen is 35 percent larger than the next biggest Chromebook available
Tue May 28 2013, 13:18

Product HP Pavilion Chromebook
Specifications 14in LED-backlit 1366x768 display, Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz CPU, Intel HD graphics, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD or 32GB HDD drive, removable 37WHr battery, SD card reader, full size HDMI out port, Ethernet port, 3x USB 2.0 port, built-in webcam, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, headphone/microphone jack, Chrome operating system, 347x238x20.7mm, 1.8kg.
Price £249

RUNNING GOOGLE'S CHROME operating system (OS), Chromebooks are designed as "always connected" devices supporting applications that reside on the web, rather than traditional PC applications like Microsoft Office and Photoshop that are installed on the machine itself.

Generally cheaper than a tablet of the same size, Chromebooks are a great choice for those that are in the market for a laptop and either don't have much money or are looking for simplicity in a traditional laptop.

Pavilion on desk

Landing in the UK late last month and costing just £249, HP's 14in Pavilion Chromebook is the fourth in the Chromebook category and is the first of its kind to offer a 14in screen, which is 35 percent larger than the next largest Chromebook available.

Design and build
Since it's so inexpensive we didn't expect the Pavilion Chromebook to have exceptionally high build quality or unique design qualities compared to other, higher end models on the market. However, though it clearly is lot cheaper in both feel and appearance, overall it fares very well.

Chome logo on chassis

The Pavilion's chassis is made of a high gloss plastic with speckled finish that glimmers as it catches the light. While the material means the device is much lighter, it does make it look inferior in quality when compared to other laptops available. Nonetheless, while it isn't unique, the speckled finish is distinctive and helps tart up the plastic chassis a bit.

At just over 20mm thick the Pavilion does look rather clunky, but its 1.8kg weigh makes it feel relatively light.

As for build quality, the Pavilion Chromebook feels sturdy giving us the impression it would withstand a drop from waist level, at least when closed. Dropping it from a little higher while open however could be a different story. The hinges that hold the screen to the base don't offer the most secure pivot we've seen. Holding each end of the display and twisting it in opposite directions, there was a good amount of flexibility there.

Chromebook closed on desk

Taking into consideration the Pavilion's price, though, one can't whine too much as all in all the laptop feel sturdy and relatively lightweight for a machine with a 14in screen, and customers looking for a laptop in this price range can't expect higher build quality.

Next: Display, keyboard and touchpad.


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