Feeds
HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

All roads lead to Chrome?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

All road leads to Chrome

If you feel the urge to tinker with the guts of the Pavilion Chromebook, resist it. Despite removing a dozen screws the back panel refused to budge. It’s not even visibly clear where the two halves meet so I suspect the application of brute force would have met with catastrophe.

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

The battery comes away, but the rear cover doesn’t

Rather cheap keyboard to one side, the Pavilion has two slight weaknesses: battery life and cooling fan noise. Looping a 720p MP4 video drained the battery in just three hours and 15 minutes. That’s as near as makes no difference the same as the Acer but a full hour and a half shy of what the Samsung, with its ARM processor, can manage. A mixed regime of web browsing, writing, gaming and general fannying around saw the battery last for an average of four and a half hours. At least the battery is removable, something that can’t be said of the Samsung S3.

As for the fan, it doesn’t fire up very often - in fact so infrequently it makes me wonder if it actually needs a fan. I suspect it’s simply a carry-over from the Sleekbook - and when it does spin up it’s only for the briefest of periods. But it does make a right old racket when it’s spinning.

720p video loop battery life results

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook 720p video play results

Battery life in minutes
Longer bars are better

For a hoot I loaded up a Linux distro - Ubuntu 12.04 using ChrUbuntu - and everything worked fine, just as it did with the Acer C7. Performance wasn’t too shabby either. Of course doing this isn't as straightforward as it would be with a Windows notebook and you are left stuck in developer mode, so on balance I still think a cheap Windows notebook from eBay is a better way to get a Linux machine.

As for Chrome OS, well, it’s exactly the same as it is in the Acer and Samsung machines, and indeed any other Chromebook you care to mention so I won’t repeat myself other than to say that if you are a dyed in the wool Google user like me it’s great, but if you're not, it isn’t.

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Chromebook: ideal for Google fans, less so for other folk

In terms of future development, Google has started to actively encourage the development of new native Chrome OS apps that launch from the Chrome OS taskbar rather than from within the Chrome browser. Soon the Chrome web store will draw a clear line between these new “packaged” apps that are effectively native programs that work offline, and “hosted” apps that are really just browser bookmarks that don’t. At the moment, the new Web Store layout is restricted to the developer channel but it bodes well for the development of Chrome OS.

The Reg Verdict

These Chromebook doohickeys are now making more sense. For £250, the HP Pavilion Chromebook is a smart, well-made machine with a usefully large display and a handy combination of an Intel Celeron chip and an SSD. I’d have liked a more manly battery and a better keyboard, but at the price these are the sorts of compromises you have to live with.

Of course, the usual benefits and drawbacks of Chrome OS still apply, which makes the Pavilion Chromebook something of a Marmite device: you are either going to love it or hate it. Which one depends on where you stand on Google and its online services, and on the very concept of a laptop that requires internet access to be of any real use. ®

Many thanks to Currys/PC World for the loan of our review unit

New hybrid storage solutions

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Cheap Chromebook laptop with a bigger screen - 14-inch, 1366 x 768 - and a better build than its rivals. Delivers more performance too.
Price: £250 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.