Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

HP Chromebook 14

Well, it's time to christen my new laptop with a review about my new laptop. I know that sounds a bit incestuous, but I have been looking forward to making this review on my laptop all day. Seriously. After that I'll finish my Log Horizon episodes up but for now I blog!

The HP Chromebook 14 was a bit of a whim buy on my part. Yes, I had been wanting to get a laptop, but I had just kind of thrust that urge aside for a while. However, I had this insane urge to buy a laptop three days ago. I'm talking the "pregnant woman craving pickles in her Coke" type of urge. So I went online and did some browsing. I also went to Wal-Mart and checked out some of their vanilla brand of computers. While I was at Wal-Mart I played around with the HP Chromebook 11. I played around with the others too, but the Chromebook seemed more fun. I just wasn't fond of the small screen, though. I can barely distinguish letters in my right eye without my glasses so I'm really not a big fan of small-ass screens. 

I'm real happy I went with the 11's bigger brother. Now let's talk a bit about the pros and cons of my purchase. And yeah, there are a few cons. Just about everything has cons these days including laptops and computers that cost a thousand dollars. 

I personally have never used a laptop. I have never owned one before, either. So naturally this Chromebook seems like the greatest thing since the invention of the Roku to me, right? Well, yeah, but I can offer a bit of objectivity. I can't tell you jack about how fast Apple's Mac Book runs by comparison or anything like that, but I can tell you what the HP Chromebook 14 can and can't do for you. 

For starters you really need a Google account. So if you use Blogger, YouTube, or Gmail then you are already in luck because that means you have one. You can't log in to this laptop without a Google account. You can do a few things as a guest, but you really need to log in with your Google account if you want to get all the bells and whistles. If you don't have one then you'll need to get one.

Now if you don't like the idea of relying on Google for what is essentially access to your laptop then don't get a Chromebook. But if you are like me and use Google Chrome all the time anyway then there shouldn't be a problem as long as you have a strong password. 

Naturally, Google and Google Chrome are your defaults when it comes to your homepage and your search engine. This shouldn't be a big deal since it is a Chromebook, but if you want to change that then... Well, why bother getting a Chromebook anyway?

One of the things the Chromebook offers is 100GB of free space in the Google Cloud for two years. Once that two year deadline is reached the Emissaries of Google will come to your house and perform Satanic rituals in your front yard until you offer them your pets as sacrifices to make them go away. Okay, they won't really do that, but you will have to pay some sort of fee to keep renting your space.

As far as gaming goes this isn't really the ideal gaming device. While this laptop is certainly fast and it can have up to eleven tabs open without getting too bogged down I wouldn't really call this a gaming machine. You'd really need to move up the quality and price ladder just a bit for that. This bad boy is only $350.00. Keep that in mind.

There are quite a few keyboard shortcuts you'll need to learn. Some of them are a bit of a pain to perform, but most of them are fairly easy to remember. To turn your caps lock on you'll need to hit "alt + search" and that was a pain in the ass because you got to hit the buttons just right or else it won't turn on. However, you can change some of your shortcuts around. The search button summons your start menu to the screen and you can search both your computer and Chrome and the same time, but I don't need that function so I decided to turn "search" into my caps lock by going to my settings in Chrome and changing its function. 

As far as ports go we have 2 3.0 USB ports, 1 2.0 USB port, and an HDMI port. So that should cover a lot of your basic needs. There's also a slot for a memory card because saving files on the laptop itself isn't ideal because... Well, there's 100GB of storage data to be had in the Google Cloud. It's like Google's way of telling you not to save shit on your laptop unless you just have to do so. 

Battery life is stated at about nine and a half hours depending on how many porn videos you have downloaded to your device. Obviously, the more shit you add the quicker your battery will be used up.

Have I covered everything? Almost. There are a few more things I'd like to mention.

The first is that the screen isn't that great. It's certainly serviceable, but if you look at it from any angle other than head on you'll start seeing shapes and subliminal messages telling you to kill yourself. Okay, you won't really, but you won't be able to get a clear picture unless you look straight at the screen. And that's fine with me because this motherfucker's mine and I don't want you looking at it anyway. 

This isn't a dealbreaker for me.

The keyboard also doesn't light up. Some people like it when their letters are shiny and whatnot and if that's you then you might not want this device. But I'm almost illiterate in one eye and I can still type by the light of only this screen. 

I love the feel of this laptop, though. And it looks damn nice. So nice you'd think it'd cost more. 

There's no Microsoft Office, but there is a Chrome equivalent and you can save all of your stuff in the Cloud or on your memory card. Or on the laptop if you so wish to defy the Google Gods in such a manner. These programs require you to be online, though. Also don't hook your printer up to this. There's a way you can print what you have on this laptop out, but you need to give the instructions a good once-over.

This laptop offers you a bunch of Google apps, too. So there's bound to be something on here to entertain you. 

P.S. - The version of this that comes with the free 4G of T-Mobile data is a bit misleading since you only get that data if you are within range of T-Mobile. I can barely get one bar of T-Mobile data where I am right now. That doesn't bother me, either. But it might bother you. I'm sure if you live in a more populated area you'll get stronger signal. I live in Alabama, though. And Alabama is like... Well, Alabama. 


  1. Will your roku stick work on this?

    If you need to save things but don't want to use the cloud, they make some pretty big flash drives anymore. There are some up to 128 gb. But the big ones can be expensive but if you keep an eye out at Staples, they sell them at half price or less quite often. Also, you could get a laptop hard drive that plugs into the usb 3. You get a lot more space for the money with a portable hard drive. Flash drives are easier if you are copying info from one computer to another.

    1. I think I see a trip to Staples in my near future. Probably this Saturday.

      The Roku won't work on laptops or computers, I don't think. I think they only work on TV's. If I wanted a streamer for my laptop I'd probably need to get a Chromecast. I kind of saw that coming since this is a Chromebook. I tried hooking the Roku stick up but I got no response.

  2. I went by Staples and picked a flash drive with 32 GB and a hard drive with 500 GB. I'm set for now, I think.

  3. Be sure and have a back-up plan for your hard drive. All hard drives eventually fail (hopefully it will be a few years but you should always be prepared) and you don't want to lose important stuff. You can make a folder on one of your desktops to periodically copy files from your hard drive or use your cloud storage for backup. Some things you won't care about but photos, things you write and your Asian porn collection should be in 2 places.

    Did you get the WD passport that I had the link to? I bought one of those for my niece at Christmas to go with her new laptop and I love how small and portable it is.

    1. Yeah, I got one of those. I wasn't expecting it to be so small (that's what she said). I thought it'd be the size of my Kindle or something like that. I'm going to try and keep all of my important docs backed up. I hate losing stuff. Especially my Asian porn. XD

  4. I see that you said you can't hook a printer up to this. Here is one thing you may be able to do easily with your flash drive stick.

    *Make sure you have the adobe reader installed (probably is already on the computer)

    *Open the document you want to print and if there is a printer dialog box, select adobe and print to adobe. What this will do is print the document in the adobe format as a file. Save the file to your stick and whenever you want, take the stick to your computer with a printer and print it off.

    *If you don't get a printer dialog box, you can probably save the file as an adobe file. I know in Microsft Word, you can save files as adobe. You can probably save in adobe from your web browser too. Just save the document to the stick and print from your desktop computer.

    *I save a lot of files in the adobe format and don't even print them out. For instance, I may want to print a receipt from Amazon and I will just save as an adobe, file it on my computer and not print a paper copy. If I ever need a paper copy later, I can go get it. I've found the easiest way to file documents like this to find them later is to name them with the date attached. For example, I will name the file Amazon 04-28-14 and this will arrange the files in chronological order.

    1. This page tells a way of connecting to another computer that has a printer or a printer that is "cloud ready." I'm going to try and see if I can't print something using this method. Should be an interesting experiment.