HP Chromebook 14There I was, it was about 30 minutes after midnight, and I was standing in front of the display model of the new Chromebook I was hoping to get my hands on, anxiously pacing back and forth.  I was sporting my camo sweatpants and clashing red t-shirt as I waited for the guy with the keys to show up and tell me if they had any of the new Chromebooks in stock.

Just as I was about to stuff the display model under my shirt and run off, the keymaster (no not Rick Moranis) arrived.  After trying every key on his ring, he finally got the cabinet door open.  And…

Three Chromebooks in stock.

I’m sorry, that didn’t accurately convey my emotions at the time.  Let me try again.

ZOMG THR3E CHROMEB00KS IN STOCK!!1!!1!1!!

I’m not sure why I was so excited.  I did afterall, already own a Chromebook.  But This one was an upgrade, and I had no idea that it was even available yet and all of a sudden I come across a post on google+ that says they’re on sale on Wal-Mart’s website. Naturally, I got all jazzed up at the idea of being one of the first to own this sneaky device.  Last I heard the HP Chromebook 11 was available to purchase online, but wasn’t in any stores yet, and here I’m told the 14 is on sale as well AND according to Wal-Mart’s website, might even be available in the store.

That was all I needed to know.  I immediately threw on a pair of shoes, hopped in my car and headed to Wal-Mart.

Now here I sit, blogging about my new HP Chromebook 14 on my new HP Chromebook 14.  It probably won’t be the most informative blog post. I’m not going to tell you all about Chrome OS and why it’s awesome, you can read my first post about Chromebooks if you would like to hear my argument in favor of Chrome OS vs Windows/MacOS.  This will mainly be a comparison between the HP 14 and the Samsung 5 550.

The experience is pretty much the same as with my Samsung 5 550 Chromebook.  The processor is slightly better performance-wise as far as the spec sheet is concerned, no noticeable difference though. Except of course for the 9.5 hour battery life this one boasts.  I haven’t owned it long enough to really test that but I can tell you the little battery symbol has been very low ever since last night and doesn’t appear to have moved much.  The Haswell chip in this machine seems to be living up to it’s reputation.

The screen is of course larger.  Doesn’t look any better/worse.  It’s nice to have a 14″ screen that weighs so little that’s for sure.  My wife’s Toshiba is about the same size screen-wise but weighs a ton and is twice as thick.

The key board is exactly the same size, which is disappointing considering there is a good inch on either side of the keyboard.  At first I liked the feel of the Samsung better but that’s most likely because I’ve been using it for over a year.  I’m sure after a week or so with this one I’ll prefer the HP’s keyboard.

It turns out there is a fan on this device.  Which is fine because I didn’t notice until I put my ear directly up to the bottom of the device, and I could still barely hear it.

My wife and I agree that the HP sounds a little better when listening to Andy Mineo on Google Music.  We’re not audiophiles (which is a fancy word for people who pretend to hear differences that don’t exist) so we can’t really tell you why, but we switched back and forth several times and it just seemed to sound better on the HP, despite the fact that the speakers reside on the bottom of both devices.  The Samsung just sounded a tad bit, muffled maybe?

The trackpad on the HP is pretty much the same, with one exception.  Every time you tap it, it clicks.  Not a full on click, but almost like the pad is loose.  I don’t know if it is loose, or if it was designed this way, but it’s definitely different.  I thought maybe it was to help me know if my click registered or not, but the “click” registers even if I tap it so lightly that it doesn’t audibly click.  So I don’t know.  It’s almost like a rattle.

Had some troubles casting Netflix today with my Chromecast, but it’s hard to say if it was my Chromebook’s fault, my Chromecast’s fault, my network’s fault, or Netflix’s fault.  I did work just fine right away with my phone.  I’m going to watch another episode of Walking Dead tonight so we’ll see if it acts up again.

I’m not really sure what else to compare at this point.  Honestly it’s been very similar to the Samsung 5 550.  I mean it’s the same OS, similar processor and same amount of RAM so how different could it really be?  The bigger screen is nice but makes it slightly less portable.  The battery life is amazing.  Same keyboard, mostly same trackpad.  Or touchpad. Whatever.  I was a Google Specialist selling Chromebooks at Best Buy and I still can’t remember which one it is.

Honestly, I bought this because my wife’s Toshiba sucks, and I felt she should have a Chromebook, so like any good husband, I bought myself a new Chromebook and gave her my old one.  The joke’s on me though, because the only one they had in stock was a very feminine pastel blue.