So I am not a high end type of person. I rarely splurge and usually try and find the cheapest way to do something. Which is why I surprised even myself when I ordered the new HP Chromebook 13. Even worse, it was the Core m3 model which runs even more than the Pentium model.
Now if you are reading this chances are that you have already read some reviews and maybe have seen some videos of the HP Chromebook 13 in action. I am hear to tell you, however good it looked in the videos or how good it sounded as you read the reviews...it is 1,000% times better. When I took it out of the box I was shocked at how light weight it was. Then I noticed how solid it felt. I have held quite a few Chromebooks and this one felt great. It definitely lives up to the hype of a premium build.
Opening it up I was greeted to a gorgeous display. Once again, I'm not normally a spec guy, just a gets the job done guy, but this thing shines. All models of this Chromebook come with a Quad HD screen and it shows. Colors are vibrant, images & text are sharp, and the 13.3 inch screen size is actually a decent size for work. When I went side by side on some windows, there was plenty of room to work with. That was probably the biggest surprise, I didn't think a 13.3 inch screen could split the screen enough to make it usable.
So how does it feel using it? Typing on it is great. Everything works like a charm and I have zero complaints. The Core m3 model flies when moving around. I have a lot of scripts and formatting in my Sheets and sometimes the c720 slows down, the HP ran through it like it was nothing. As I used it, it felt faster than my i3 Chromebox. When I ran the Google Octane test, my assumption was correct...and by a lot. My i3 Chromebox scored in the 15,000s-16,000s, the HP Core m3 was in the high 21,000s to low 23,000s. I can't imagine needing anymore power than what this thing has.
In my opinion the HP Chromebook definitely lives up to the hype. The build quality is great, the screen is great, and the speed is great. I think this would have been one heck of a laptop for teachers, even the Pentium version. I have seen those Octane scores in the same range as my i3 Chromebox.
The only drawback is the lack of touch, on any configuration of this Chromebook. Android Apps are making their way to Chrome OS and some might do better in a touch environment versus mouse. I'm not 100% sold on this because I have used Remix OS, Android in desktop form, and it works just as well with a mouse with no touch required. I am getting in the Dell i3 with touch, so I am curious as to how it compares to the HP Chromebook.
If you are looking for a higher end Chromebook that will make people think twice about what a Chromebook looks like then this is the Chromebook for you.