AMD desires in at the Chromebook craze. A few OEMs, consisting of HP, Acer, and Lenovo, announced AMD-powered Chromebooks at CES this 12 months, and people gadgets are simply beginning to become available. Intel processors energy maximum Chromebooks to be had nowadays, but now person customers and companies will be able to pick out from a small, however developing, the pool of AMD-powered gadgets.
Starting at $269, this Chromebook is not supposed to compete with Google’s Pixelbook or the fancier Chromebooks in the direction of which professionals gravitate. Unsurprisingly, HP’s Chromebook 14 with AMD processors and incorporated Radeon pix appeals to the largest institution in the Chromebook market—people who need a low-powered Chrome OS tool for domestic or faculty use. Since the brand new Chromebook 14 borrows a lot from previous models, we examined it to look at the profits (if any) an AMD-powered Chromebook affords over Intel-powered gadgets.
Look and experience
Manufacturers have been elevating the look and sense of their Chrome OS gadgets for the past couple of years as the stripped-down working system won popularity outdoor of the education machine. However, HP’s Chromebook 14 is one of the most traditionally “Chromebook-y” Chromebooks I’ve ever used. It’s a no longer-too-huge, now not-too-small plastic hunk to fit into most family residing rooms properly enough. At about three.5 kilos, it is no longer the lightest Chromebook ever, but it feels similar to other low-priced Chromebooks in thickness and weight. I appreciate that HP made this machine fanless, permitting it to stay quiet even when jogging our maximum difficult benchmark exams.
The keyboard and palm-relaxation region recreation a smooth, metallic panel that gives the device a bump up in first-class; however, I want the whole Chromebook to become made out of such material as Acer’s Chromebook 14 is. The AMD fashions are available in white, black, and midnight blue—we received an assessment unit within the latter color, and I favored the extent of a class is added to the design.
Aside from the keyboard and trackpad, only the skinny speaker grille sits above the keys on the metal part of the tool, below which lie Bang and Olufsen audio system. Most HP’s laptops have B&O audio system. Those are suitable for having a tiny desk live performance while working—they are not loud enough to fill greater than a small room, and they are not first-rate enough to need to entertain others with them.
The Chromebook’s hinge tilts returned a hundred and eighty degrees, which may be accessible if mother and father and youngsters want to collaborate on school tasks or homework. Customers have the option of 14-inch HD or FHD panels that come in contact and non-contact versions. A touchscreen isn’t as vital in this device as it would be on a convertible Chromebook, but it will likely be beneficial if you plan to tilt that display screen back frequently to share it with others physically. Unless you value affordability over the whole thing else, I will not propose deciding on an HD panel due to the fact—considering FHD has come to be well known on most laptops, monitors, and televisions—you’ll likely observe the difference straight away.
It’s additionally difficult to provide HD panel alternatives with an AMD-powered device. We’ll talk this extra in upcoming sections. However, HP did not offer a clear answer as to why it decided to make AMD Chromebooks. Other than the “it is about time” sentiment, HP representatives advised me to lower back at the Chromebook 14’s release that AMD’s CPU/GPU combinations might produce better pics performance, resulting in better video viewing and enhancing reports. If that’s proper, I’d want a show panel that can properly render the work that AMD’s APUs are generating. That wouldn’t be an HD panel.
Our evaluation unit had a 14-inch FHD touchscreen that was as responsive to the touch input as you’d assume. It has a sleek coating, so it may not be the exception to apply in direct daylight although. An HD webcam sits above the display, and a twin-mic array enables your voice to come via without a doubt while video chatting.
Inside the Chromebook 14, AMD’s APU is 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage (it can be configured to hold as much as 64GB). HP stuck a decently wide variety of ports on the edges of the Chromebook 14: there are two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports that guide energy, facts transfer, and charging, a microSD card, a headphone jack, and a lock slot.
Keyboard and trackpad
A 14-inch laptop has extra than enough space for a secure keyboard, and HP made positive to place one on this Chromebook. The keyboard on the Chromebook 14 is certainly one of my favorites I’ve used—its clicky keys have suitable travel, and spacing among them is just proper. The keycaps may want to stand to be a hair stiffer. However, they require a median of 58g of force to actuate, so you may not accidentally press undesirable keys.
I especially like that the keycaps healthy the shade of the pc, so the entire gadget has a cohesive appearance to it. As someone who spends hours every day typing, I ought to have easily made the Chromebook 14 my foremost device for its keyboard on my own. I only want the keyboard to have a backlight—the lack of one makes it plenty much less useful whilst working in darkish environments.
The trackpad, however, is just enough. It’s a chunk too narrow for my liking, but it is spacious enough that my fingers did not slide off of it. Whereas the keyboard isn’t always fancy however feels pretty right; the trackpad emits audible hole clicks whilst you press on it. I did not expect a whole lot extraordinary from a budget Chromebook. However, it will experience exceedingly one-of-a-kind if you’re used to the slick, glass trackpads discovered on most Ultrabooks.
As one of the first AMD Chromebooks to hit the marketplace, the HP Chromebook 14 can show us what to expect from inexpensive Chrome OS devices powered by something aside from Intel chips. The promoting point for this Chromebook is the AMD processor and portraits chip combo tucked internal it. According to HP, AMD’s APU should provide stepped forward strength performance and better images performance for video approaches.
Our benchmark consequences show that the declaration is partially true. The HP Chromebook 14 achieved nicely on our photos tests and beat out the Intel-powered Acer Chromebook 14, our cutting-edge favorite Chromebook for households. However, its pictures performance wasn’t on par with extra effective devices like the Asus Chromebook Flip. That makes HP’s Chromebook 14 superior to different low-value Chromebooks inside the pictures department, but now not dramatically so.
But on fashionable overall performance exams, the HP Chromebook 14 produced comparable scores or a piece decrease than its closest competitors. The Chromebook 14 that we examined is almost the same as HP’s new tool: it has a 14-inch FHD show and runs on an Intel Celeron N3160 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of a garage, and HP’s gadget nearly always scored slightly lower than Acer’s Chromebook. It’s sufficient of a distinction to show up in benchmark ratings but not enough to make a massive difference at some stage in actual-world use.
The choice between AMD and Intel is one that a few consumers should remember. However, it is more often than not the concern of consumers inside the better-give-up PC marketplace. The differences between the 2 technology become more applicable whilst such things as single-thread performance and overclocking imply loads to you and what you need to apply your PC for.
But that form of energy and the use cases that go along with it commonly isn’t in the minds of Chromebook clients—absolutely no longer folks who are looking for a low-strength, low-cost Chromebook. While it’s great to peer AMD embracing the Chromebook market and including greater variety to space, its chips do not look appreciably higher or worse than Intel’s whilst they’re placed in Chromebooks.
Also, HP emphasized the low-fee nature of AMD’s chips. In idea, that ought to be excellent for low-energy Chromebooks that have extra appeal way to their low priced fee tags. However, the HP Chromebook 14s begin at around the same rate as similar, Intel-powered devices. The base configuration—with an HD non-contact show, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC garage—prices $269. The mid-tier version America the display to an HD touchscreen and costs $299. Our review unit, the among the finest version with an FHD touchscreen, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage, fees $329. All of these fashions have AMD’s A4 chip. However, HP gives customers the option to improve the A6 chip, which could further grow the price.
Ultimately, you will be paying greater for comparable specifications if you buy HP’s device over Acer’s or Lenovo’s. Acer’s Chromebook 14 starts offevolved at $269, but its top-tier model—with the identical show, reminiscence, and storage specifications as our HP evaluate unit—expenses just $299. Lenovo’s base model of the Yoga Chromebook C330 expenses just $224 and has a MediaTek processor, an HD touchscreen, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It can be inexpensive for OEMs to apply AMD technology to their Chrome OS machines. However, it may not imply much to customers who do not obtain the same value-saving advantages.
I became concerned while HP first informed me of the expected battery lifestyles for the Chromebook 14. The employer placed the low quit of the spectrum at simply six hours, but the gadget should last as long as 10. Five hours relying on the panel type (HD or FHD, touch or non-touch) and the sports you’re doing.
The Chromebook 14 ended up lasting an average of 558 mins (just over nine hours) on our Wi-Fi take a look at and 301 mins (five hours) on our pics extensive take a look at. That’s no longer exceptional. However, it’s far close to the ratings that Acer’s Chromebook 14 done at the identical exams. If you are taking the HP Chromebook 14 with you whilst you’re out all day, you can need to percent its charging cable just in case you put on the device out.
Competition is right
AMD entering the Chromebook market is a first-rate aspect. Not best does it mean clients can have a greater processor and portraits alternatives when selecting a Chromebook. However, it additionally alerts the robust trajectory of the Chromebook marketplace in fashionable. These easy and at ease devices are not going away quickly, and as more customers embody Chrome OS in lots of elements in their lives (not simply their children’s training), Intel and now AMD could be there to energy the latest devices.
Currently, even though HP’s Chromebook 14 with AMD isn’t leaps and limits higher than Intel—neither does it provide sufficient difference to entice a few customers far away from Intel. The Chromebook marketplace outdoor of education and extremely-lower priced gadgets remains developing, so we ought to see AMD make profits in different areas in the future. But most clients shopping for a Chromebook proper now, especially one as low-strength as the HP Chromebook 14, isn’t considering its processor manufacturer. They want a dependable tool that can run Chrome OS properly.
Thankfully, HP’s Chromebook 14 suits that bill—however, so do Acer’s Chromebook 14 and Lenovo’s Yoga Chromebook C330. Ultimately, I endorse Acer’s Chromebook 14 over HP’s because it has an all-metal layout and an Intel processor that performs simply as properly, if not a touch better than HP’s machine. It’s also greater lower-priced ($269 to $299 compared to HP’s $269 to $329) even whilst you upgrade its specs. But in case you want a Chromebook with a touchscreen and USB-C at a low price factor, HP’s Chromebook 14 is a solid alternative.
Two USB-A ports
Two USB-C ports, one on both aspects, that each help charging
Decent performance, with slightly superior photographs strength, for an access-level Chromebook
Basic, in general, plastic design
Lackluster audio system
The trackpad is on the slim aspect
No keyboard backlight
It gets too expensive too speedy whilst you spec it out.