HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c review: It's only $800, but can it handle your workflow?

With the $800 HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c, you have to temper your expectations.

If you’re expecting performance so fast you get whiplash, audio so crisp you can practically bite into the sound waves, and a display that can be described as “visual candy,” this laptop ain’t for you.

However, if you’re seeking a simplistic Chromebook for lightweight workloads, including juggling between Google’s variety of apps (e.g., Gmail, YouTube, Meet, Calendar, Docs, etc.), the HP Chromebook x360 14c may be just enough for your workflow needs.

Still, before you snatch this Chromebook up, there are some things you should know.

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HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c price

You can snag this laptop via HP’s official website. It’s got a starting price of $789 and comes with the following specs:

The configuration I tested has 256GB of SSD storage, which adds $30 to the price (i.e., $819).

What I like about the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

“HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c” is a mouthful to say, but does the weightiness on the tongue match the value it brings at a price tag of $800? In some ways, yes. Let’s start with the positives.

Solid, premium-esque build

At a quick glance, the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c looks a lot like the HP Spectre x360 14, a laptop that has a price that hovers around $2,000.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a table

The HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c looks pricier than it is.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

From the dual speakers that flank the keyboard to the solid, aluminum gray chassis, this laptop looks like it cost more than $800. I wiggled the lid to test its durability, and fortunately, there was little to no give.

However, it’s worth noting that the chassis is susceptible to scratches, and it’s quite the fingerprint magnet.

As the name hints, the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c has 360-degree dual hinges, allowing the laptop to transform into several different modes, including tablet mode and tent mode.

"Among Us" on HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

Tablet mode was great for playing “Among Us.”
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Tablet mode was my favorite, particularly for playing some of my favorite Google Play games, including Among Us, Sniper 3D, and Temple Run 2.

Fantastic keyboard

Take it from me as a keyboard snob — the Chromebook Plus x360 14c’s keycaps are shockingly clicky. I’m surprised, because keyboards in this price range are typically unimpressive and feel very low-grade. However, the white-backlit keyboard on the Chromebook Plus x360 14c is clicky, bouncy, and delivers excellent tactile feedback.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a sofa arm

It comes with a pleasingly clicky keyboard.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

I shouldn’t be too taken aback, because HP is known for leading the charge in the laptop keyboard game. (I literally gushed about the keyboard on the HP Spectre x360 14.)

The touchpad adds the cherry on top to the keyboard experience. It’s wide and spacious. Plus, it’s smooth enough on my fingertips for seamless navigation, but delivers enough friction for zippy clicks.

Great variety of ports

The HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c isn’t stingy when it comes to ports. On the right side, I spotted a USB-A port, a headset jack, and a USB-C port.

The lid of the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

There’s no shortage of ports.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Giving a nod to creators, there’s also a microSD card slot, allowing you to quickly transfer files from your camera. You can also use it to expand your storage.

On the left side, you’ll find another USB-C port, a power button, a volume rocker, and a webcam kill switch (which lets you quickly deactivate the webcam).

What’s “eh” about the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

There are some aspects about the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c that I don’t love, but considering its affordable price tag, I’m willing to let these slide.

Not for display snobs

If you care about crisp, vivid, sharp displays, I hope you’re not putting the Chromebook Plus x360 14c on your shopping list.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a sofa

The display is just fine.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

The 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display is fine in that it does the job, but it won’t win any awards.

Not zippy, but that’s expected

As you’ll discover in the Geekbench section, which tests for processor performance, the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c isn’t a performance powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination. After all, it sports a processor that is obsolete by two generations (it has a 12th-gen Intel CPU; we are in the 14th-gen era).

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a desk

It’s not a performance powerhouse.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

However, as I mentioned at the outset, the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c isn’t designed for power users, but it is sufficient enough for the average school-focused consumer or a worker bee with light-to-medium workloads.

Not “thin and light”

Don’t expect the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c to be as light as a feather.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c half-opened

It weighs in at 3.34 pounds.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It weighs 3.34 pounds, which is pretty standard for a laptop. However, if you’re expecting something svelte, light, and sleek that doesn’t make much of a dent in weight for your travel bag, the Chromebook Plus x360 14c isn’t for you.

What I dislike about the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

When I tested the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c inside Mashable’s offices, there were some things I noticed that may irk some consumers.

Dim display

If your desk is situated next to a bright window or you plan to use the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c outside, you may find that the display is difficult to see. Why? It’s too dim.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a sofa

The HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c could be brighter.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Sitting next to a window with sun rays seeping through, I found myself squinting to see certain details on the display. However, in the right lighting, the display is acceptable.

Lackluster power efficiency

I like to see at least nine hours of battery life on a Chromebook.

A closed HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c on a desk

You’ll get not quite 9 hours of battery life.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

According to my experience testing Chromebooks, the average one lasts somewhere between 9 and 10 hours. However, in the battery life section, you’ll find that this one missed the 9-hour mark by a hair.

Webcam is “meh”

I’m not a fan of the webcam on the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c. I’ve always ragged on the laptop industry for rolling out blurry 720p and 1080p webcams. However, at first, I held my tongue with this Chromebook because it sports a 5MP shooter.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c

The webcam is just OK.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have guessed the webcam on the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c was anything more than 1080p. It’s quite noisy and low-res, but on the plus side, it renders colors quite well. For example, it accurately captured my brown complexion.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c battery life

We ran the CrXPRT 2 battery test on the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c with the display at max brightness. It lasted 8 hours and 54 minutes. This isn’t half bad, but it missed my preferred 9-hour mark by a tiny margin.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c in tent mode

360-degree dual hinges allow for various modes, like tablet mode and tent mode.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Fortunately, the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c should survive a typical eight-hour school or work day on a single charge.

HP Chromebook Plus x360 14c Geekbench score

We ran Geekbench 6, which tests for processor prowess, on the Chromebook Plus x360 14c. It delivered a multi-core score of 4,318, which isn’t all that impressive.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 has a better score of 6,043 and is within the same price range as the Chromebook Plus x360 14c (if you don’t mind grabbing Windows instead of ChromeOS).

Final thoughts

It’s also worth noting that the Chromebook Plus x360 14c supports stylus input. HP doesn’t include a pen in the box; however, you can use any Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) pen on the market — like this one from HP.

To sum it all up, you may not care for the Chromebook Plus x360 14c’s dim display and potato webcam. But its robust aluminum chassis, flexible postures (e.g., tablet and tent modes), wide range of ports, and fantastic keyboard may leave you hooked.

By 111 Tech

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