This $380 HP Chromebook will change your mind about cheap laptops

Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The HP Chromebook Plus x360 is a direct improve to final 12 months’s mannequin and it now contains extra highly effective {hardware} and a much bigger display.
  • Along with the modifications, this laptop computer retains every part that made the older model nice, such because the comfy keyboard, sturdiness, and excessive diploma of flexibility, because the machine can flip right into a pill.
  • Nevertheless, the brand new machine additionally has the identical downside because the older model, with a show that does not get shiny sufficient.

The Chromebook Plus collection has confirmed to be an important vary for the HP model. I can say that with some authority as a result of I’ve reviewed a number of fashions from the road in the course of the previous few months. All of the laptops provide nice {hardware} efficiency and an array of options that end in an excellent person expertise. Nevertheless, lots of the units have some quirks — and the identical factor may be stated about this new 2-in-1 laptop computer: HP Chromebook Plus x360.

Additionally: The best 2-in-1 laptops: Top flexible, hybrid, and convertible notebooks

Design-wise, the pc is sort of an identical to HP’s different x360 fashions. The most important distinction is the show dimension, with my evaluate unit fielding a smaller 14-inch touchscreen. (There’s additionally a 15.6-inch possibility.) Nonetheless, there’s sufficient room beneath the hood to slot in a strong twelfth Gen Intel Core i3 processor. The improve permits the laptop computer to deal with more durable duties and to run far more apps on the similar time successfully than earlier than, in the end incomes it the Chromebook Plus title.



HP Chromebook Plus x360

The HP Chromebook Plus x360 is a solid laptop for professionals and students, thanks to its ability to turn into a tablet, a responsive keyboard that’s easy on the hands, and solid performance.

Mix the superior efficiency of the Chromebook Plus x360 with its inherently versatile nature and you’ve got a really succesful work machine. The power to flip the show round and switch the machine right into a pill is a very helpful operate, because the Plus computer systems are among the many first Chromebooks to help Photoshop on the net (you even get a free, three-month trial along with your buy). 

Additionally: 5 reasons why Chromebooks are the perfect laptop for most people

So think about, if you’ll, writing in laptop computer mode, then seamlessly switching over to pill mode for drawing or modifying. That may be a complete workflow that Chromebook customers by no means actually had earlier than. Now, they do not must miss out on Adobe’s premier software program.

I’ve to speak in regards to the keyboard as a result of it’s by far my favourite factor in regards to the Chromebook Plus x360 (I am a sucker for a pleasant keyboard).

Every of the keys is made out of a gentle matte materials and is extremely conscious of the contact. I am unsure if HP did something particular with the development of this laptop computer. Different machines, such because the Chromebook Plus CX34 from Acer, have a keyboard with a brief journey distance, however that does not appear to be the case right here. The responsiveness might merely be a byproduct of the sturdy aluminum body that provides a strong basis. 


Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

Talking of the development of the machine, the aluminum ends in an important construct high quality. Simply by holding the laptop computer, you’ll be able to inform it will probably face up to the occasional bump or drop. I seen the underside plate is constituted of a totally completely different materials. It isn’t plastic, but it surely feels prefer it. This modification in supplies did not detract from my optimistic emotions towards the Chromebook Plus x360. Nevertheless, I do suppose it was an odd choice to vary the fabric for that a part of the laptop computer.

Additionally: The best feature on this Asus laptop is the one you’ll stare at the least

Relating to battery life, the laptop computer does pretty nicely. I examined its longevity by repeatedly enjoying a YouTube stream at 50% brightness and 720p decision. The laptop computer lasted a bit of over eight hours earlier than it fully died, which is an efficient period of time in my view. I used to be actually anticipating a shorter timespan; about six hours or so. I assumed HP would not have upgraded the battery to match the improved {hardware}, however I used to be fortunately proved improper.

As a lot as I preferred the Chromebook Plus x360’s efficiency, it is time to concentrate on a number of the weak spots. First, the show is surprisingly mediocre for a 2-in-1 laptop computer. We’re a 1080p decision display with a low degree of brightness. Even when maxed out, the display nonetheless appears to be like boring. I used to be actually shocked. This is among the few Chromebooks that has entry to Photoshop and it lacks the flexibility to output correct colours on the display. Subsequently, illustrators and editors may make extra errors than regular via no fault of their very own.


Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

As for the webcam, I seen the video feed did not look nice. Whereas it fields an analogous 1080p digital camera as different Chromebook Plus models I’ve examined earlier than, the video high quality is extra grainy and boring in colour.

Additionally, you solely get 256GB of storage which, to be truthful, is greater than sufficient on a tool that primarily runs on the web and cloud. You may all the time complement the interior storage with a Google One subscription, which gives upwards of 2TB of storage. What’s extra, all Chromebook Plus fashions have a function that gives offline entry to your Google Drive information. I assume that function makes up for the low quantity of on-device cupboard space. Nonetheless, it will have been good to have extra room on the laptop computer, particularly for those who’re planning to obtain apps from the Play Retailer.

ZDNET’s shopping for recommendation

I like to recommend shopping for the HP Chromebook Plus x360 for those who’re searching for an important all-rounder work laptop computer, particularly if it is on sale like it’s now. This mannequin usually retails for $700, which I believe is means too excessive for its specs. Do not get me improper, it is a good pc. However I believe you should purchase a greater laptop computer for that amount of cash. Fortunately, you should purchase the laptop computer at Finest Purchase for as little as $379, and I’ve even seen it go as little as $350.

Additionally: This $499 Lenovo Chromebook Plus will make you reconsider spending so much on laptops

The Chromebook Plus x360 is simply accessible in a single configuration and there is no approach to customise its {hardware}. So for those who’re searching for an analogous possibility, I like to recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i.

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