HP Chromebook x360 14c review: A premium Chromebook for cheap

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HP Chromebook x360 14c sitting at an angle to a desk.

hp chromebook x360 14c

MSRP $690.00

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score details

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“The HP Chromebook x360 14c has its flaws but its affordable price makes up for it.”

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professionals

  • strong build quality

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    conservative looks good

  • good performance

  • excellent touchpad

  • solid productivity performance

Shortcoming

  • disappointing battery life

  • keyboard is too light

  • pen is not included

Chromebooks have essentially caught up with Windows laptops in terms of form factor, and the convertible 2-in-1 represents well among Chrome OS machines. As a matter of course, there’s HP’s Chromebook x360 14c, which it updated for 2021 with an 11th-gen Intel Core CPU.

When the rest of the world moves to a 16:10 or 3:2 tall panel, it’s still blocked from the 16:9 display, but it’s a representative sample otherwise. Nothing that really stands out, as we’ll see in a moment, is the price.

my review of configuration hp chromebook x360 14c, with a Core i3-1125G4 and a 14-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display, retails for $690, but it’s on sale as I write this review for over $510 Am. At that price, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is an attractive convertible 2-in-1 for those who want a Chrome OS laptop with some flexibility.

design

hp chromebook x360 14c tent stand.
Mark Coppock/Nerdshala

The HP Chromebook x360 14c isn’t cheap enough that you’d be willing to accept poor build quality, especially for a Chrome OS machine. Again, it’s nice that the laptop is made of aluminum and resists bending in the lid and flexing in the keyboard deck and chassis below. HP made a solid machine that’s nearly twice as strong or as strong as laptops that cost more, like the Dell XPS 13 that sets the standard for premium laptops.

Only a few give in to the lid if you press down from the top, which puts the HP Chromebook x360 14c in a different category. It’s also noticeably stiffer than the Asus Chromebook Flip C536, another 14-inch Chrome OS convertible 2-in-1 that costs roughly the same and is possibly HP’s most relevant competitor.

If you want a laptop that looks different, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is not.

The hinge is a bit tight, requiring two hands to open the lid, but holding the display firmly in place in any of its four modes – clamshell, tent, media or tablet. Strong magnets hold the lid tightly to the chassis below, so you’ll need to pry that open first.

Aesthetically, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is a very conservatively designed machine in a dark silver color, with only the chrome HP logo on the lid to break things up. Lines and angles are simple, with rounded corners and edges that make the laptop simple yet comfortable to hold.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C536 is a more attractive laptop with its white outer chassis and black keyboard deck, as well as its more aggressive angles. Both are attractive laptops, but if you want a laptop that looks different, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is not.

The display bezels on the Chromebook x360 14c are thin on the edge and appropriately sized up, and the chin on the bottom is smaller than those on some other budget convertible 2-in-1s. That makes the laptop a bit wider and deeper than average at 0.71 inches thin, and it weighs 3.35 pounds, well above the average for the modern 14-inch class.

Still, the HP Asus Chromebook Flip is smaller than the C536, which is 0.73 inches thick and weighs 4.3 pounds. The Asus is also over an inch wide and deep, making the Chromebook x360 14c feel small by comparison. You won’t hate carrying the Chromebook x360 14c around, but it’s not the smallest 14-inch laptop you can buy.

Connectivity is good, with two USB-C ports and one USB-A port along with a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 provide wireless connectivity.

Display

A view of the back of the HP Chromebook x360 14c.
Mark Coppock/Nerdshala

HP has equipped the Chromebook x360 14c with an 11th-gen dual-core Core i3-1125G4 CPU, which should be fast enough for Chrome OS. Add 8GB of RAM and a faster PCIe 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and there’s a reason for optimism.

We can only run a limited number of benchmarks in Chrome OS, so most of my performance data is subjective. I ran the Android Geekbench 5 benchmark, and the Chromebook x360 14c was underwhelmed by just 898 in the single-core test and 2,866 in the multi-core test. It lags behind the Asus Chromebook Spin C536 with the slower Core i3-1115G4 in the single-core test and equals 1,209 and 2,849, respectively, in the multi-core test. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with its quad-core Core i5-1135G7 hit 1,237 in the single-core test and 5,114 in the multi-core test. It’s quite fast.

The HP Chromebook x360 14c is fast and efficient, no matter how…

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