Friday, 15 November 2013

It's here! It's here! The HP Chromebook 14 in Snow White is here!

The HP Chromebook 14 is finally here! I'm typing this post with it right now.

Shipping from BHPhotoVideo in the US to Singapore took less than 4 days! I'm impressed. I can really recommend them although shipping is incredibly expensive and I got hit by VAT which makes it a double whammy!

Out of the box the down cursor key came loose and I'm trying very hard to get it back into place. Not very successful though. Still trying.

First impressions are the build quality is ok. Feels plasticky on the inside but I've no complaints about the outside. The feel of the top lid is silky and smooth. I like it.

The screen quality not so much but I guess for the price it's forgivable. It's actually kinda blurry but I guess I've been spoiled by the sharp FULL HD screen on my Thinkpad T530 even though that is also not an IPS panel. The HP is also not very bright.

The keyboard also hardly impress. Once again I think I've been spoiled by the excellent Thinkpad T530 keyboard. The screen I can live with but the keyboard is really a......meh

I immediately got confused by the keys arrangement. While typing this post I immediately miss the HOME and END keys and especially the DELETE key. I never thought I'm going to miss them this much. Still early times though and I hope I can adjust.

Did I mention that the keys sucks? Still can't get over that. Currently that has been the biggest disappointment so far.

Performance-wise it is plenty fast enough. Not as fast as my Desktop with its Core i7-3770 or the Thinkpad T530 but for what I will use it for I have no complaints. The sound volume is also plenty loud enough unlike my Thinkpad T530 which has pathetic tiny sound. The sound quality is not fantastic but for the price I'm not complaining.

Geez....I can't get over this damn keyboard.


Still working on that down cursor key.

I will post more impressions once I get to play with it some more. It is really too early to form any lasting impressions (except that damn keyboard).

UPDATE 1 : Finally managed to get the down cursor key fixed. What a major pain in the arse. Here's the funny thing. Although I hated the keyboard, I could still type relatively well with it. I did after all typed this post on the keyboard. Take that as you will.

UPDATE 2 : The screen is beginning to grate on me. There is this milky haze all over it especially at lower brightness. It's contributing to that blurriness that I mentioned before. Another pet peeve is that I would always put it to full brightness but every time I rebooted it will go back down 2-3 notches. Why can't it remember where I left it before the reboot? But to be perfectly honest its a relatively small issue.

UPDATE 3 : I forgot to say anything about the track pad. It's not terrible but it's not exactly fantastic either. It's tolerable. Usable at least and the relatively big surface area helps quite a bit.

UPDATE 4 : The battery life has been decent so far but not anywhere near the advertised 9.5 hours so in a way I'm kind of disappointed. I expected better. A lot better. I don't think this will last all day. Maybe half or two-thirds of the way if you are lucky. I guess this is due to me putting this to maximum brightness all the time. Anything lower and my eyes suffer. I heard that it has a maximum brightness of only 200 nits or so. That might explain it. Maybe the battery needs to condition some more before I can make a final judgement. I'll update if there are any improvements.

UPDATE 5 : I tested the 4G Mobile on the Chromebook with a 1GB 3G data plan that I got free with my home fibre broadband. It works straight out the box!

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