HP Chromebook X360: An Review
Chromebooks are rare in India, nearly a decade after their global launch. HP, Acer, and Samsung have made Chromebooks, but none have taken off. These companies have never had success with Chromebooks in India. Due to the high price of these PCs and users’ need for Windows program support, this is the case. However, HP believes the Chromebook should return. In less than a month, the American PC maker released the Chromebook 14 and x360. The former costs Rs 23,990, while the latter—the laptop in question today—costs Rs 44,990 for the Core i3 variant and Rs 52,990 for the Core i5. That price seems high. Can HP’s 2019 Chromebook succeed? Find out.
HP Chromebook X360 Specification
|Class||Chromebook, Convertible 2-in-1|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-10110U|
|RAM (as Tested)||8 GB|
|Boot Drive Type||eMMC Flash Memory|
|Native Display Resolution||1920 by 1080|
|Screen Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|OS||Google Chrome OS|
The Core i3 model, available for Rs 44,990 on the HP Online Store, was reviewed. The CPU was an 8th Gen (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i3-8130U from early 2018. The review model included 64GB of eMMC and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. I wanted the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, the Core i5-8265U (Whiskey Lake) CPU, and 8GB of RAM on a laptop this cheap, but unfortunately, the Chromebook X360 evaluation unit was reliable and convenient for work. I had no trouble utilizing the review unit to write emails and documents, browse the web, listen to music, watch videos, etc. I switched between 30 Chrome tabs without slowness or stuttering. I occasionally noticed a hitch in the animation when switching between virtual desktops, but it was never bothersome. A Chromebook x360 cold boot takes under ten seconds, and an average-sized PDF file (1.5–2MB) loads in under two seconds, which is amazing. Windows 10-powered computers in the same price range take three times longer to boot to the desktop due to slow hard drives.
The HP Chromebook x360 runs Chrome OS, Google’s PC operating system based on its popular Chrome browser, like all modern Chromebooks. Chrome OS is fast and simple because it has few functions other than the browser. There is an in-built file manager that can interface with Google Drive and Dropbox but not Microsoft OneDrive. Chrome OS now supports Android and Linux apps, which I think could change how India views Chromebooks, including the new HP model. After setup, Google places a Play Store shortcut on the taskbar (or shelf). Android apps install and run on Chrome OS, just like on Android phones. The touchscreen, keyboard, and touchpad are all compatible with Temple Run 2, which runs in portrait mode in a separate window.
Display colors are rich without being saturated, which is good for photographers. Reading and browsing are pleasant because the colors are slightly warm. The highest brightness suits offices, houses, and balconies. Close to 180 degrees is the maximum viewing angle. Since the touch response is limited, you may need to swipe the screen many times to scroll. If you use the Chromebook X360 as a laptop, the display is fine. The top-firing speaker strip on the HP Chromebook x360 is loud and clear for casual music listening, but nothing more. Lows are muffled, but highs and mids are clear. The good news is that music sounds clear at maximum volume. This Bang & Olufsen speaker strip can play smooth jazz and light electronic music while you work without connecting to external speakers. The HP Chromebook x360 has most of its ports on each side. USB-C 3.1, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a microSD card slot are on the left. The right side has another USB-C 3.1 port, a USB-A 3.1 port, and a Kensington lock slot. The laptop’s power and volume buttons are on the sides.
TOUCHPAD & KEYBOARD
The HP Chromebook x360’s automatically backlit keyboard is pleasant for long documents and emails, unlike some HP laptop keyboards, which are too soft and lack feedback. Flat keys with the right travel and resistance make typing effortless. The top row has browsing shortcut keys. Without a Windows Start key, you have longer Ctrl and Alt keys, which are beneficial. In other words, the HP Chromebook x360 keyboard is great for work and play. HP’s x360 line uses an inferior Synaptics driver for the laptop’s touchpad instead of Windows 10’s integrated precision driver, which offers adjustable multi-touch. I’ve always complained about it on HP models. Since the Chromebook X360 doesn’t have Windows, that doesn’t matter. The Chromebook x360’s touchpad is precise and intuitive, like a Windows laptop’s. Multi-finger taps and swipes are supported. The two click buttons under the touchpad are soft enough for frequent clicks.
BUILD AND DESIGN
The laptop looks nice and feels rigid. The lid closed and opened with little flex and is sticky enough for one-handed use. The HP Chromebook x360 feels and looks well-built for daily usage. Unfortunately, HP only sells the Chromebook X360 in milky white, which collects dirt and smudges. A crisp, shiny 14-inch display panel with somewhat thick black bezels sits inside. The keyboard island and base panel are painted a cool blue that doesn’t match the top cover. It looks like a light blue laptop with a ceramic white display was retrofitted.
The HP Chromebook x360’s three-cell 60 Wh battery is ideal for long-term surfing. On the review device (with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the screen set to 70% brightness), the battery decreased from full charge to 60% after five and a half hours, leaving me with five more hours. Any laptop in this price range is amazing. In another test browsing session, the battery dropped from 100% to 84% in two hours. Finally, the HP Chromebook x360 offers a long battery life, making it ideal for mobile users.