Feeds
HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

All roads lead to Chrome?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.