Chromebooks are increasing in popularity. We've seen some interesting products from Samsung and Acer in this category, and today we will look at the HP Pavilion Chromebook. An average price of 320 euros for a 14-inch, 1366x768 laptop is very affordable.
The Samsung and the Acer Chromebooks both have 11.6-inch displays, which makes them significantly more compact than the HP Pavilion. Unlike Samsung that developed an entirely new design for both of its Chromebooks, the foundation of the HP Pavilion Chromebook is comparable to the current 14-inch Pavilion notebooks. That's not a bad thing per se, as the current HP series has a an attractive and sleek design.
The only things that betrays the fact that you're not dealing with another Windows notebook from HP is the trademark Google logo on the back of the screen, in the corner. When you flip open the laptop, there's only one sticker, Intel Inside. That is the Intel Celeron 847, a Sandy Bridge processor that lacks pretty much all of the extras that would increase its speed. It's faster than an Intel Atom, but that's about it. The Pavilion Chromebook has 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB SanDisk U100 2.5-inch SSD. Since you will mainly be using cloud storage, the 16 GB should last you a while. The touchpad and keyboard are similar to those on the standard Pavilion laptops, except that the function keys are customized for Chrome OS.
The exterior of the Pavilion Chromebook is similar to other Pavilions. Connectors consist of three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and a 100 Mbit network port. There's also an SD card reader, along with an audio jack. The chassis is constructed in plastic and feels pretty sturdy, even if you of course can't compare a 320 euro product to a high-end laptop. WiFi comes from a dual-band Atheros adapter. However, if you think this is a clever way to get a cheap laptop on which you can install Windows, think again. We tried, and failed.