Thursday, December 19, 2013

HP Chromebook 14, 2013 Edition

This is upfront a story about failure.

And, spoiler alert, so far there is no happy ending!

For about 13 months I have been delightfully happy with my Samsung Chromebook XE303XC12

After a lot of Googling I found the best new non ludricously priced (i.e. non Google Pixel) Chromebook is now shipping to the UK: The HP Chromebook 14

This is a decent upgrade over the Samsung because:

  • The screen is physically bigger
  • The Haswell CPU processor has more power and will hopefully support movie playback  (Samsung just can't go fast enough to play a 700 MB .avi file)
  • There is a version with a SIM slot, so you can equip it with a cheap Pay- As- Yo- Go plan, at least in most European countries (example UK)
  • Surely the sound will be better!

On the downside

- There is no backlit keyboard
- There is no touchscreen
- ChromeOS is still missing a few crucial apps so you can't use Chrome away from home for too long.  You still need to come home to a PC to use Skype, iTunes

So What went wrong?
- An order was made to a friend in the UK
- The item was in stock and next day delivery promised
- 5 days and 3 working days later .. nothing
- HP told me on the phone they had IT problems!
- I sent 3 complaint emails, none was ever replied to
- Eventually I have cancelled the order, I must check my credit card next month to see no debit!

Chromebook Futures
Currently the Google Pixel  (at 1050 GBP in the UK) is still the worlds best Chromebook
But considering it's non Haswell powered it is expensive
If Google would drop the price (even moderately) then I'd still buy it
Meanwhile the rest of the industry
- Have Haswell Chromebooks already
- Touchscreens are coming
- Industry focuses on the cheapest of the cheap :-(
- Means no backlit keyboard or highres display Chromebooks  (except Pixel)

Can't any manufacturer be prepared to manufacture a high specification, Haswell powered Chromebook!

Chromebook 14 review
HP Chromebooks website USA
HP Chromebook rotation