HP is aiming to beat Acer to market with the world’s first Chrome OS device built on AMD hardware in the form a new HP Chromebook 14, newly revealed in conjunction with this year’s CES 2019 event in Las Vegas. Priced starting at $269 in two configurations that can be purchased with a touchscreen for just $299, HP’s Chromebook 14 is a 14-inch laptop following up on the company’s well-established Chromebook 14 family. Featuring AMD internals, a modern design, and a 180-degree hinge, the new HP Chromebook 14 will be available in three colors including Snow White, Charcoal Gray, and an almost black ‘Ink Blue’.
A clamshell format in a classic design and AMD inside
The HP Chromebook 14’s clamshell build appears to be comprised of polycarbonates rather than the all-aluminum design shown in many of its competitors but that doesn’t make it any less competitive on that front. The company is following a design language that will be familiar to users of the previous HP Chromebook 14 models but refines things with smooth curves leading to more crisply defined edges. The frame measures in at 13.27 x 8.93-inches and just 0.72 inches thick but is a bit heftier than some competing devices at 3.4lbs. Along the right-hand side of the keyboard housing, HP has included a USB Type-A 3.0 port, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a USB Type-C 3.1 port for charging and other uses. The two USB ports are duplicated on the opposing side for a wider variety of wired connectivity options.
The 14-inch rated HP Chromebook 14 ships with either a 14-inch 1366 x 768 SVA Anti-glare WLED-backlit display panel or a touch-enabled 1920 x 1080 panel but also offers two options in terms of internal hardware. Consumers will be able to choose either an older AMD dual-core A4-9120 or an AMD A6 processor with an integrated AMD Radeon R4 or Radeon R5 chip on the graphics side. In either case, that will be backed up by 4GB of DDR4-1866 SDRAM for memory and 32GB of eMMC storage for apps, games, and other software or files. Connections will be driven by Qualcomm’s Atheros QCA6185A-5 combo chip, giving users access to both 802.11 a/b/g/ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.2. An in-house TrueVision HD webcam is embedded just above the display alongside dual array microphones while two Bang & Olufsen speakers are included in the lower frame. Battery life is rated at up 9 hours and 15 minutes with average ‘mixed’ use.
Arriving in January
The HP Chromebook 14 will likely be shown alongside other new products throughout CES 2019 — running from January 8 through January 11. That places it around a month early compared to Acer’s Chromebook 315. There can’t be any real comparison between the two until each is officially available to purchase and all the specifications of each are clarified as each gets closer to launch. But in addition to being around an inch and a half smaller in terms of screen real estate, the HP Chromebook 14 will be around $20 cheaper to start. The pricing and specs of both set a relatively high bar for AMD-powered Chromebooks going forward but it remains to be seen how well they compete with more established Intel and emerging Snapdragon-driven devices.