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Which HP Chromebook is Better? This Video Compares Their Performance

Can’t decide which of HP’s new Chromebooks to buy? The following video, which pits both devices against one another in a performance test, might help you make up your mind.

Both of HP’s recent Chromebooks are great buys in their own right, but the small price differential – a mere $20 – makes deciding whether to plump for a bigger screen (in the 14) or a better screen (in the 11) harder than in previous generations.

In the video excerpt below the performance of both devices is compared. The lighter, smaller Chromebook 11 comes off worse, with the limits of the ARM CPU more than evident when using certain sites, like GMail, Google+ and Twitter (as anyone who has used a Samsung Chromebook, which uses the same chip,  can attest to).

But the 14″ isn’t perfect either. It may have a larger screen, but it isn’t as great as that in the 11″ version, which uses an IPS display for vivid, life-like colours and fantastic viewing angles.

But if you’re still holding off buying the run-down might persuade you one way or the other…

  • pizzapanther

    The Twitter website is also horrible on tablets even newer tablets so I really wouldn’t judge hardware by such a crappy site. With that said, there is no doubt the 14 hardware is better.

    • Sean Lumly

      Exactly. Sites like Twitter and G+ are horribly optimized websites in general. ARM ChromeOSs chrome could also use much improvement, as my Nexus 10′s chrome (with the same hardware) runs these sites *flawlessly*. People are quick to judge the hardware, but it essentially amounts to software problem — we’re pitting a very mature x86 browser, against a young ARM browser.

      • JusticeL

        I have the Samsung Chromebook for me and my kids with the ARM processor. Sean Lumly and pizzapanther you guys are correct about the heavy content sites. The overall experience of using an ARM based Chromebook is not bad. Me and my kids enjoy them actually. Netflix and Hulu are used heavily in my house on them and everything works fine.

      • pizzapanther

        Every site or game he showed “should” run fine because there is an equivalent app that runs fine on Android ARM. So it is just a matter of things being optimized on ARM. It kind of reminds of Flash. Flash on Linux notoriously can be slow even if you have a super powerful machine. So the problem is Flash is not optimized on Linux not because of bad hardware.

        Unfortunately because of the current state of software, the HP14 hardware is better than the 11. But I really hope Google does more ARM optimizations to make the platform better in the future.

        • Sean Lumly

          Indeed. I tested the desktop versions of the aforementioned sites (Twitter, Google plus, Google Maps, The Verge, etc) on my old 1st gen Nexus 7, and Android Chrome (Beta) handled them flawlessly. There was a bit of stutter in maps, but it was more than usable. Interestingly, it had no problem with the desktop version of Google Plus, but the mobile version of the site was a suttering mess (irony at its finest).

          Considering how weak the 1st gen Nexus 7 CPU/GPU is compared to any Chromebook on the market (Intel or ARM), it goes to show how far software optimization would go on the ARM Chromebook.

          As pizzapanther stated, there really isn’t any problem with the hardware. It’s the software that needs to be improved.

  • FirstLine

    I saw that yesterday. Kinda depressing. I always thought teams who made browsers made sure they worked pretty well against the most popular sites. This also counters the myth that ChromeOS is a slim OS. I hope Google fixes this ASAP.

    • Sean Lumly

      Chrome OS is almost certainly a slim OS, but Chrome is far from a slim browser. However, this is more about performance than the way that the Chrome core uses memory. I’m amazed at how smoothly Chrome scrolls on Android, how quickly content is loaded, etc, considering that the hardware it is being run on is *far* weaker than on the desktop. This just means that Chrome as a desktop browser has room to improve. And given Google’s history, this seems likely.

      ARM is a relatively new architecture to target. So I expect these are some teething pains, and things will continue to improve in the future. I don’t think ARM as a laptop architecture is going away: from a cost/performance/battery-life standpoint, there are some really large incentives to use a computer running ARM. The upcoming ARM SoCs should yield a significant boost in performance, and provide much reason for Google to continue to optimize for the platform!

  • Adam Greenblum

    What’s really interesting to me is how, in the space of a couple of years, the conversation has turned from laughing at Chromebooks to discussing which model of a growing variety of offerings is best. So Google and their hardware partners have really come a long way since Chromebooks were first announced.

    I expect Google and it’s partners to eventually address the performance issues with the ARM version, as demand for ARM-based devices will grow, given the cost advantages.

    Chromebook users that want to work with Windows applications can use solutions such as Ericom AccessNow. AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Server or VDI virtual desktops, and run any Windows application (including MS Office) or even full desktops in a browser tab.

    For an online, interactive demo, open your Chrome browser and visit:
    http://www.ericom.com/demo_AccessNow.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom

  • fuzzylumpkins

    Google+ runs fine on my HP 11.

  • Patrick Paul

    I would like to know how you swited to linux/ubuntu like you did in this video. Can you post a tutorial or something?