Thursday, 12 December 2013

Further Impressions on the HP Chromebook 14

Time to give further impressions on the HP Chromebook 14, now that I have lived with it for a while.

I still hate the keyboard with a passion. I don't know why in other reviews they say the keyboard is good to quite passable. I find them very hard to type on with its shallow keys and non-tactility. I guess I've been spoiled by my Topre keyboards.

Display-wise I'm just OK with it. It's something that I can live with for the price.

Sound is also passable. It's relatively loud enough for me that I can do away with external speakers.

The touchpad is also tolerable. There are no multi-touch gestures but it is on the whole responsive and do not get in the way while I'm doing stuff.

Performance-wise I am more than happy with the HP. It does not slow me down at all with any tasks that I put it through, whether playing FHD videos on YouTube or editing documents or general web browsing.

Currently I have my Leopold FC660C keyboard attached to it to compensate for its poor keyboard. I have also attached a mouse to do the navigation onscreen. I still prefer the mouse over any touchpad. I do not miss the use of multi-touch gestures. I still find the mouse faster.

So that's it. I'll add on if I find anything new. Ask me any questions you may have and I'll try my best to answer them.

UPDATE 1 : Want to hear something funny? Now that I'm using the HP with an external keyboard and mouse, I'm actually wishing that the HP is a tablet instead of a notebook. I wish it had the retractable stand of the Microsoft Surface or Surface Pro so that I can prop it up while using the keyboard and mouse. I also find myself wanting a touchscreen on the display.

So why not just use an Android tablet? I do after all have a Nexus 10 with QuickOffice already installed and that is a lot more capable than what is provided by Google Drive. The thing is, I've tried attaching the Nexus 10 to a mouse and keyboard. But when you actually use it, you find that a lot of things that you are used to on the Chromebook are missing. The way you navigate the Nexus 10 is also very different and it straight away reminds you that it is really geared towards touch and gesture-based input. Chrome OS on the other hand basically invites you to use the keyboard and mouse. I can't put my finger on why that is. It just is. You are a lot more productive in Chrome OS.

The other issue is that Chrome OS comes with a fully functioning Chrome browser. Or rather IT IS the Chrome browser. Chrome on Android, on the other hand, is a lot more limited and you are restricted in many ways, on what you can actually do. Most websites also do not scale very well. It is fine for consumption but the minute you try to be productive, a lot of things fall apart. I guess this is the same problem that the iPad faces.

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