If you ask Lyoto what his favourite review item has been this year, he gets very serious and tells you in no uncertain terms that it’s the HP Chromebook 14 from AO.com. A Chromebook. He knows all about them, but me, I had absolutely no idea what the difference was between a laptop and a Chromebook and so I had a bit of work to do to catch up.
According to the official description, a Chromebook is a laptop which runs Google’s Linux based Chrome OS as opposed to Windows 10 or macOS. Chromebooks are machines designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. What this means, in so far as I understand it, and as it relates to our family life, is that a Chromebook is perfect for Lyoto who loves nothing more than discovering new apps and games, and watching Dan TDM on YouTube as much as possible. Hero comes a close second with his love of the Gorgeous Movies family channel. Haha.
So, we were kindly sent the HP Chromebook 14 to test drive from the lovely people at AO.com, and no sooner was it out of the box than Lyoto was at my side, eyes wide. He’s wanted a computer of his very own since he knew what they were. He was pretty determined that this would be his, and he could finally make the little office in his bedroom that he’s been dreaming of [complete with waste paper basket, which is crucial apparently].
After a couple of weeks of playing with the HP Chromebook 14, here’s what we thought.
That it’s a brilliant machine for the boys, and that they love it and can use it easily – and now they’ve stopped nagging me to borrow my laptop and telling me I need to share it, and instead are now rather precious about their own instead. The keyboard seems a little smaller than mine which makes it even more perfect for them to use.
The speed. The HP Chromebook 14 boots up very fast – it’s practically instant and Lyoto has no grumbles at all about things taking forever, unlike on his tablet. I often look wistfully over at him whilst I’m waiting for mine to pull itself together and let me log in.
The weight. It’s very light but still feels good quality. Apparently they’re very robust too, but I make sure Lyoto is very careful with it and we have a special home for it to make sure it stays safe.
The battery life – it seems to last forever – Lyoto can play on the Chromebook far longer than I can work on my laptop.
The ability to download apps to Lyoto’s little heart’s content. He’s one very happy boy and my phone has stopped being filled with classics like Baldi’s Basics [don’t ask].
The price – I would be more than happy to buy another for Jens to use. It seems ridiculously cheap for what it does and the speed it does it at.
That there is no hard drive and so there’s no worry about running out of storage! Google gives you 100GB of free Google Drive storage with every Chromebook purchase which lasts for two years and after that everything has to be saved to the 15gb of Cloud storage and so unlike me, frantically trying to delete things from my drive constantly, Lyoto is free as a bird to play around and download without taking up lots of space on his machine.
4GB of RAM – this means Lyoto can play around with a few tabs open at the same time without it slowing down. It’s very good and I never, ever hear him complain.
This has been difficult to write – it’s a pretty faultless review and so we’ve been very picky indeed. So all we could think of was that we wished that all of the games and apps Lyoto wanted to play were suitable for the Chromebook [Minecraft being the main one he misses]. His little heart breaks when he finds something that isn’t compatible with it, but that’s a very minor downside – and he’s certainly not short of apps and games he does love to play – plus he can watch YouTube merrily without having to wait for a turn on my phone.
From a personal perspective, the display quality is a little noisy – but then I look super close at everything when editing and I have a thing about grain that no one else in my family has. So, although no one else in my family could see what I meant and thought I was a little mad for mentioning it at all, I thought I’d mention it because we really have nothing bad to say about the HP Chromebook 14.
The Chromebook is a lightweight, simple, fast and easy machine to use – the boys love it and it’s amazing value. We love ours – Father Christmas needs to pop quite a few in his sack this year!
We were sent the Chromebook by AO.com in return for an honest review.