Review of "HP Chromebook 13 G1"

published 05/04/2017 | danielclark691
Member since : 27/02/2011
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Due to time constraints, I am unlikely to be able to find the time to rate members that have received 3 times as many rates as they have given, apologies.
Pro Slimline, compact and portable, suited for those on the move.
Cons Expensive for occasional use on the move.
Look & Feel
Memory / capacity
Comfort & Portability
Robustness & Durability

"HP Chromebook 13.3inch G1"

HP Chromebook 13 G1

HP Chromebook 13 G1

What is a Chromebook?

I thought I would get this question out of the way with an answer. A lot of people are unaware of what a Chromebook actually is, with some thinking it is just a laptop but a ‘lite’ version. I suppose it is, but there is more to it than that.

A Chromebook is a laptop, but instead of it running on Windows 10 or Mac OS X it is run on the specially developed Google Chrome operating system. The idea is that the Chromebook is for use with the internet, and a lot of what you do on the Chromebook will involve the internet and a connection to it. Your documents are likely to live in the cloud, and although you can use applications such as Microsoft Word on the Chromebook, you are actually going to use a free web-based version called Office Online which has all of the Microsoft Office (Including Word) applications on there.

First impressions

Whilst looks may not be important to some people when looking for a new laptop or Chromebook, it would be naïve to think that this isn’t a consideration, especially if you are buying from somewhere like Currys PC World where they are all on display. You are encouraged to touch and look at the computers on offer, and this is what encourages us to make the purchase, as we can physically touch what we are about to buy.

The HP Chromebook 13 G1 is not as plain as some models, but it does look extremely smart. It actually reminds me of my MacBook Pro because it is silver in colour, but that is where the similarities end – other than that it is rather slim! The silver finish to the G1 is a brushed aluminium one, and this ensures it will stand out from the crowd. This isn’t all about looks though, and it stands up to its quality looks as it feels very robust. The slim design is for practical more than aesthetic looks, and the HP logo and Chrome lettering are all that grace the back of the screen. This is a lightweight Chromebook at under 3lb’s.

My experience

Once you have opened the packaging to reveal the sleek design you will want to open that lid and see what we have. This Chromebook has a 13.3inch screen, which is fairly standard for the Chromebooks as they are designed for use on the go. Inside we have a standard keyboard, and even more of that brushed aluminium finish. If the exterior doesn’t impress you, you are unlikely to be able to live with this Chromebook. We have another hint of quality in the form of the B&O logo. The dual speakers are by B&O, and this is a sign of quality. Actually listening to my music from the internet is a pleasure, and sound quality is obviously very important, as the Chromebook is ideal for streaming films and playing music through from the internet.

When you are using your Chromebook day to day you should just see it as using the internet all of the time. You will have your web browser and access to your usual applications, though each of them is stored online. You can customise this until your heart is content, and at first I found myself organising the various icons in order of frequency of use, though you will soon work out where each one is located. I find my use is mainly in the browsing of the internet, so a Chromebook is perfect for my daily browsing needs. I do download things occasionally, and writing Word documents on the cloud is easier than it may sound to some. It is a bit like visiting a web page and away you go.

It would be fair to say that performance is a big consideration when buying a new computer. If you go in the hunt of a Chromebook with a comparable specification to your current laptop then you are unlikely to find what you need. For business use I am used to operating on a £2,000+ laptop, and so I am not going to get anywhere near the same specification as those laptops, though I had an easier job finding something comparable to my MacBook Pro, though again it is difficult to compare because of the difference in what the laptop and Chromebook are designed for. Remember, memory capacity is not something to worry about as you are working online, and although the processor is important, you should look at the whole package for an idea of how the Chromebook will perform for your needs.

The screen size at 13.3inches is not the most generous. I was used to the 15 inch screens on laptops until the 17 inch display of my current laptop, and now the 13.3 inch screen seems tiny! Working in a browser you are limited, and even though you can zoom in when browsing, this is obviously going to limit your view of the page also.

Connectivity can be an issue with these more compact models, though the 2 USB ports are enough for my needs. I don’t need a port for connecting my mouse to the Chromebook, and I rarely use USB ports on my home laptop anyway. You may wish to use external storage cards, such as SDHC, SD and SDXC cards, and these can be connecting using the multi-format digital media reader. This is a handy port to have, and although I have had one in the past, my last couple of laptops have not had one, so this is a bonus.

As far as purchasing options go, the range of HP Chromebook 13 G1 models is limited, but this is to be expected for a Chromebook. The Chromebook we have here comes with 4GB of memory, though you can pep this up to 8GB if you opt for the ‘premium’ model. The 32GB eMMC storage comes as standard, along with a 13.3inch display. Opting for one of the ‘premium’ models you will find that it comes with the 6th Generation Intel Core m5 Processor, as opposed to the ‘Intel Pentium Processor’ which is in the form of the Intel Pentium 4405Y. I am sure most people will have purchased a laptop/Chromebook in the past, and obviously the lower budget options are going to give you limited performance. This is a Chromebook, it is not designed or intended to perform or act like a traditional Windows 10 or Mac OS X laptop.

Technical Specification

It is worth noting that this isn’t the only technical specification you can buy this Chromebook in. This is a ‘premium’ Chromebook, and is one of the more expensive models in this range.

Operating System – Chrome OS 64

Processor – 6th Generation Intel Core m5 Processor – Intel Core m5-6Y57 with Intel HD Graphics 515 (1.1GHz, up to 2.8GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 4MB cache, 2 cores)

Memory – 8GB LPDDR3-1866 SDRAM

Internal Drive – 32GB eMMC

Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 515

Connectivity – 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 charging ports, 1 USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, 1 headphone/mic combo jack.

Display – 13.3inch diagonal QHD+ UWVA WLED eDP BrightView (3200x1800)

Audio – B&O PLAY – Dual speakers

Camera – Integrated HP TrueVision HD Camera

Keyboard – Full-sized backlit keyboard

Power – 45W USB Type-C AC Adapter

Battery – 3-cell, 45W Wh Li-ion polymer

Price and availability

Prices vary so much between the various models in the range that it can be difficult to compare prices. This is where companies do well, and it is often worth just finding exactly what you want, and then finding the best price. The other approach is to set out a minimum specification you would accept, and then look for deals. You can often find better deals if you are flexible in your requirements, and are prepared to settle for a better model for the same money as opposed to money off the model you want. As a guide, the base models are around £500-£550, with the top end models priced at £880 plus.

Final thoughts

As far as Chromebooks go I have to say that I am impressed. I thought the use of the Chromebook would be limited and restrict what I could do. However, I am glad that I have my trusty Apple Macbook Pro to rely on, and this Chromebook is great just for using the internet on and the cloud.

If you spend a lot of time on public transport and wish to check your emails on the go without having to carry around a very expensive laptop then this could be a solution for you, though it still isn’t a cheap solution. The product is designed with a very specific requirement in mind, and although this niche market seems to be broadening as the technology advances, I still think that I would have a preference for a conventional laptop as a good all round piece of kit. There is a place in the market for the Chromebook, but although this is a growth area I think the limitations are clear.

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Comments on this review

  • chrisandmark_is_here published 18/05/2017
    Excellent review and congrats on a well deserved diamond x
  • 1st2thebar published 02/05/2017
    Very consumer friendly.
  • jo-1976 published 26/04/2017
    Comprehensively covered
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Product Information : HP Chromebook 13 G1

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Manufacturer: HP

System / Notebook Type: Notebook

Display / Diagonal Size: 13.3 in

RAM / Installed Size: 4 GB

System / Hard Drive Capacity: 32 GB

Weight: 1.29 kg

Processor / Type: Intel Core m3 6Y30

Display / Native Resolution: QHD+ (3200 x 1800)

EAN: 0889899923016


OS Provided / Type: Chrome OS


Listed on Ciao since: 11/08/2016