HP Chromebook 13 review
HP Chromebook 13 review

Chromebooks have come a long way since their budget-priced beginnings. In the past couple of years, we have seen devices push bounds for this type of laptop with Full HD displays, faster processors and improved build quality. Now, HP is going one step farther to present its take on the Chromebook 13, an arguably luxury device.

From top to bottom, this is really a high-brow, 13-inch clamshell designed to be the thinnest in its own class. What is more, HP is pushing it since the first Chromebook using a high speed, QHD+ screen and an Intel Core M processor.

But using a starting price of $499 or £638 (about AU$670) to get a Pentium-powered model, the HP Chromebook 13 is somewhat too lavish for its own good.


The HP Chromebook 13 pulls off being the thinnest device of its type yet in style, with a brushed aluminum panels covering the screen lid and keyboard . Measuring in at a scant 0.5 inches thick, it is even slicker than the 0.7-inch Samsung Chromebook 3 and 0.6-inch Chromebook Pixel 2.

Beyond dimensions, HP has designed a stylish, cloud-powered notebook that attracts out of its Google's greatest designs. The austere, silver and gray aesthetic ties back into the Chromebook Pixel.

HP Chromebook 13 review

Meanwhile, in the laptop's back, you will get a mirrored hinge like the HP EliteBook Folio. Though, this time round, the mechanics is restricted to just leaning back 135-degrees rather pulling off an 180-degree split.

Of course, that's not to mention that this 13-inch Chromebook does not set an identity of its own. The minor off-angle front border and sharp corners affords it a contemporary slant. HP also pays careful attention to small details, like creating the Chrome logo monochromatic as well as the HP logo chrome to stay in keeping with the device's silvered exterior.

Another neat thing is that the left hand border droops down -- HP calls that its'chin design' -- to adapt a more full-sized USB 3.0 port. We desired HP could have done the exact same thing on the right side, therefore it would include a full-sized SD card reader rather than a slot big enough for just a microSD card.

As if looks were not enough to captivate us, the HP Chromebook 13 comes with a few of the crispest typing experiences we have had on a laptop. Key travel is not especially profound, but rigid switches and the thinness of the notebook combine to a satisfying thump when you bottom out the keys -- yes, we love thumping the keyboard.

Similarly, the trackpad feels delightfully tight without creating clicking overly hard. But we wish HP would have transferred the touchpad above several millimeters around to the left, so that it would line up with the middle of the keyboard rather than being planted in the center.

HP Chromebook 13 review

Beyond high-resolution

The HP Chromebook 13 includes the sharpest screen put onto a Chromebook, using a gorgeous resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 pixels. The QHD+ panel readily tops everybody else, including the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and Chromebook Pixel -- both of which include 2,560 x 1,700 touchscreen displays.

Though the 3,200 x 1,800 screen looks fantastic, this signature feature is the sole accessible screen option for the Chromebook 13. We want there were likewise a Full HD screen panel. It may not have the identical pizzazz as 3,200 x 1,800 pixels, but it might help lower the entry cost and prolong battery life too.

That said, the QHD+ display has some indisputable advantages as it brings out the full beauty of full-resolution pictures and video whilst smoothing out text. Vibrant colours and profound contrast will also be well represented, and HP has produced a display complete that's only shiny enough to accentuate image quality without representing a lot of glare.

Regrettably, there's no option for a touchscreen, which is now too essential as Android apps have been incorporated right into Chrome OS.


It is fair to say that an Intel Core m5 processor is overkill for a Chromebook, however we can not assert that it does not produce results. This 13-inch machine did not buckle under the load of needing store a couple dozen web browsing tabs available with another half dozen Google documents, Google Music streaming, Slack's web client and playing with a small number of streaming videos.

HP Chromebook 13 review

General assessment

In the end, the choice to purchase the HP Chromebook comes down cost and whether you are ready to invest at least 500 dollars for this. That is, without a doubt, the Chromebook you need -- not the one that you want.

If you are in need of a professional-looking Chromebook to get work, you wont find HP's QHD+ screen and ultra-slim kind variable on the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work or Dell Chromebook 13. That said, these 2 features are not vital for working in Google Docs and web browsing throughout the day.

If you have been pining after the Chromebook Pixel, but were not jazzed about the squarish 3:2 screen, this really is the Chromebook for you. It is available in a more conventional laptop form factor along with an even higher-res screen for half of the cost. On the other hand, the absence of a touchscreen, and also the fact that it costs double that of Chromebooks, are just two variables you are going to need to carefully consider when buying this luxury machine.