Business users on a budget will find a lot to like in HP's new Chromebook 14. Starting at $299, this laptop comes packed with value — if you can deal with the inherent limitations of Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system that runs this notebook.
Unlike Windows or Mac OS, Chrome OS does not run regular desktop applications. Instead, the platform is based around a souped-up version of Google's Chrome Web browser. If you rely on a particular piece of Windows or Mac software, the platform might not suit your needs. But if you need a notebook exclusively for basic business tasks like email, Web browsing and document editing, the Chromebook 14 is a good alternative to pricier Windows laptops.
Check out a full review of the HP Chromebook 14, then read on for three reasons it's good for business.
The HP Chromebook 14 is a full-size laptop with a low price point, but don't expect cheap hardware. It boasts a slim, attractive build with a soft-touch finish on the lid. The keyboard and touchpad are roomy and responsive, while the 14-inch display is sharp and colorful. And the Chromebook 14 provides good performance for everyday use. It can't compete with more powerful Windows notebooks, but HP's Chrome OS machine is more than speedy enough for basic productivity such as surfing the Web and writing documents.
Long battery life
The Chromebook 14 is a long-lasting laptop. It ran for about eight hours in tests that included continuous Web browsing via Wi-Fi; that's about an hour longer than the average for similar machines. Battery life this long really benefits business users who depend on their laptops to stay productive when away from the office.
HP packed in a few additional freebies that make the Chromebook 14 an even better value. Those include 100GB of free storage on the Google Drive cloud storage platform for two years, and 12 free sessions of GoGo in-flight Internet — both great bonuses for business users.
For $349, users can purchase an upgraded version of the Chromebook 14 that includes 200MB of free mobile Internet data per month through T-Mobile; this feature will last for as long as you own the laptop.