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HP Slatebook 14 Sees Price Hike Prior to Release

Mid-range RRP unlikely to see this Androidbook giving Chromebooks a sleepless night

hp slatebook 14 android

When word that HP had a 14-inch Android-based laptop in the works leaked many of the Chromebook faithful held their breath in nervous anticipation.

Would this be the device to convince the mainstream that Google’s mobile OS is a worthy rival to a traditional desktop OS?

It’s long been argued that Android is the more attractive of Google’s two consumer-facing operating systems. It’s the one people are most familiar with (what with it dominating in smartphone and tablet usage), and it’s the one whose app ecosystem folks are already (monetarily) invested in.

But as the first generation Chromebooks found out to their cost, pricing is everything.

Price Rise

When HP formally announced their (then upcoming) Slatebook 14 to press back in June it had a recommended retail price of $399. But the model now available to US buyers has seen its price tag slightly engorged.

The base model now starts at $429.99, an increase of almost $30 on that originally anticipated.

For this consumers get a 14-inch (1920×1080) touchscreen notebook using an Nvidia Tegra 4 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC storage and running Android 4.3. It comes with built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a HD webcam, three USB ports, HDMI out and a micro-SD card slot for bulking the storage space.

Compared to other Android notebooks (most of which are small ‘hybrid’ tablets with optional keyboard docks) the Slatebook 14 poses a tempting, albeit premium, alternative.

But versus Chromebooks? OS preference to one side, this device clocks in at almost double the price:

  • ASUS C300 (13.3″) from $229
  • HP Chromebook 14 (14.1″) from $279
  • Slatebook 14 (14.1″) from $429

Is the HP Androidbook worth $429? Bearing in mind that it is not a convertible notebook, it is perhaps a little pricey. Early reviews suggest it performs great, though the lack of IPS screen means some careful screen angling is needed to use it in certain lighting.

But where Chrome devices are concerned the sudden price hike of the HP Slatebook 14 is good news. For casual consumers $429 may just be a tad too high to risk taking a punt on, especially when more ‘traditional’ operating systems (read: Windows) can be had for much less and meet expectations.

I don’t seen this device helping Google’s little green robot to trouble its multi-coloured circular sibling for notebook sales, just yet.

And with Android L on the horizon, promising a closer union between the operating systems, and select Android apps coming to Chromebooks in the near future, the question of which is better may end up being moot, anyway.

  • Vin

    Show me the Java! My Android phone is annoying enough with all of the things it can’t do (like a good Google Docs/Sheets app) and, Lord knows, how many applets on websites I can’t run on Android. This is why I’m going to Chromebook soon.

  • Frederic MANSON

    I saw this laptop on a French online shop, sold at €400.00 (VAT included, free shipping). For the specs, it’s an excellent “other standard OS” laptop. Huge 14″ full touch HD screen, the new Nvidia Tegra 4, a good 32 gigs and a very good battery life. Design is much better than the HP Chromebook 14. Colours are also much better.

    I though to buy it to replace my slow Chromebook HP 11. BUT, I love so much my Chromebook that I will pass for this one at this price (maybe later at a much affordable RRP). I still keep an eye on the TBR Acer Chromebook CB5-311, with the same internal specs (except for the optional 4 gigs) and with the same screen (except for the optional touch). I am so much in love with RISC CPU too!!!

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      16 gigs, not 32. And maybe you can put Chromium OS on this beauty?

      • Frederic MANSON

        It’s 32 gigs for the French version. For Chrome OS, there is no Tegra 4 optimized Chrome OS available, and I do not know if Chromium OS could be put on it. About the Tegra 4, it’s the current version, not the new K1. The K1 is available for the Nvidia Shield Tablet, which is sold at very high and unjustified price.

        • Smallwheels

          The K1 graphics chip has double the performance of the Tegra 4. The Shield tablet costs $299.99 at full retail. If you add the cover and the game controller it costs more. It performs more than twice as fast as the top of the line iPad Air and costs less than an iPad Mini. It has external storage capabilities and can be connected to a TV. Those features aren’t available on most tablets and certainly not on the iPads at any price.

          The K1 is the newest chip and is out now. The HP Slatebook 14 would be more apealing if it had this chip instead of the Tegra 4. Manufacturers know in advance when new chips will be available. HP could have launched this laptop with the new chip but didn’t.

          The K1 is now equal to desktop level graphics chips. It isn’t a super fast one compared to the AMD FirePro W9100 for $3200 but game companies are now building games for this architecture. It has 192 cores.

          The $429 price for this Slatebook 14 would be closer to fair with the K1 inside.

  • my name

    Has anyone made something that makes the UI more laptop esque? I.E. resizeable windows that move, an always open recents on the bottom?

    Because that would make android my OS of choice, however with its current touchscreen only optimization, I would never buy this, or put android on my computer.

  • JP

    Am I the only one who really wants this with ChromeOS instead of Android? This is exactly what I want. HD Screen, not too huge but not tiny, and reasonable price. ($429 is really not bad considering the screen.)

    • Marshall Staxx

      No, you’re not the only one.

      Android has a lot going for it as a tablet/phone OS, but notebook? Not so much. I’m with you that I’d be more likely to buy a Chrome OS notebook of the Slatebook’s type…

    • bimsebasse

      I’m with you – gonna buy a Chromebook as soon as there is a 14″ one which doesn’t feature a screen universally lambasted in reviews.

    • view2share

      I am looking right now at Chrome OS – Chrome browser using a 27″ monitor, and the fonts for the tabs and bookmarks bar look tiny — just imagine if this was a 14″ screen. I don’t think it will work.
      Not unless you use it a few inches away, like a smartphone, on a razor sharp IPS screen — then maybe. I am thinking the absolute smallest for that res. is going to be those Chromebase with a 21.5″ monitor — and that will be some tiny little fonts at that!

      • Sebastiaan Franken

        Strange. I use my own built Chromebox (Intel NUC + Chromium OS) on my 2×27″ setup and the fonts aren’t “tiny”. Neither when I hook up my HP 14. Maybe you have a flag enabled in chrome://flags ?

  • lol2050

    Saw it on Walmart page and was tempted to buy it but then I saw it was only Jelly Bean and I seriously doubt HP will update it to Android L any time soon……

    That, and the price isn’t in my budget range..

    • David Gabel

      Not only that, but being able to root and put a different rom on it may not be possible for a while or at all.

  • Smallwheels

    The Nvidia Shield 8 inch screen tablet using the super duper K1 graphics chip with 2.2 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM that gives double the performance of the Tegra 4 costs only $299. One could buy a Bluetooth keyboard and use the HDMI plug for your 4K TV and have a much cheaper and higher performance setup. It also uses Android 4.4.

    Sure I realize that these aren’t the same exact items. What is disappointing is that HP is using this older hardware and charging so much for it. The thing just isn’t a good deal. It isn’t even a fair deal. Maybe HP has decided that it just wants higher profits and will stick to its pricing structure long enough for consumers to just agree with it.

    I watched a video review of this laptop and it was favorable. Some other reviewers brought up the Chromebook comparisons. In time Chrome OS might rival Android with apps and touch capability. For now Android is just super smooth and has flashy apps that make it more fun than Chrome OS.

    Chrome OS is safer and all hardware get the updates unlike Android devices that can lag behind two generations and often get no support from manufacturers.

    I like the concept but don’t like the older chip and high price.

    • 3r0s

      Agree with you 100% “Chrome OS is safer and all hardware get the updates unlike Android devices that can lag behind two generations and often get no support from manufacturers.”
      Beside I prefer web sites acting like apps to be used with any modern web browser that do not require installation so less clutter on the device.
      Chromebooks are such a genial idea and much cheaper than traditional pc and costly smartphones.

  • 3r0s

    Too expensive compared to Chromebooks.

  • Joseph Dickson

    Do people actually buy Android laptops / desktops? It would be nice to see them offer this in both Chromebook form and Android. I think we know it would sell better as a Chromebook.

  • Tavis Dunn

    I was seriously considering this, but ended up buying a Samsung Chromebook 2 13inch instead. Was intially a little miffed about the chromebook 2 not having a IPS screen and i thought the HP did. Glad to see i’m not missing out on a IPS screen now…

  • Pietro Giovani

    hi, if the screen could be removable, it will be the perfect device !!!