HP SlateBook 14 review: Android? On a laptop?
Even with a crisp display and comfortable keyboard, the SlateBook 14 doesn't have enough to recommend it. With an operating system that was never meant to be used on a laptop, it's a poor choice compared to less-expensive Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
- Good battery life
- Sharp display
- Comfortable keyboard, generally good build quality
- Android is awkward to use with a mouse
- Polarizing design
- Heavy compared to an Android tablet with a keyboard dock
- A poor value versus Chromebooks or Windows laptops
There's mounting evidence that HP, once the leading PC maker, does not know what it's doing. After announcing plans to cut up to 5 percent of its work force, the company is basically throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. Recent experiments include a luxury smartwatch, Chromebooks, a $199 Window notebook and now, a laptop running Android. Here's the sales pitch, and bear with me if this doesn't make sense: The SlateBook 14, according to HP, is for students and teens who already use Android on their mobile devices. In other words, they already own a Galaxy S5 or what have you, and they should have an Android laptop to match. The idea is that they might choose this over a Chromebook because it has more apps, and because it's more familiar. Ditto for Windows laptops -- except, you know, Windows actually has lots of apps too. Setting aside HP's flawed logic (they never said Windows users should stick to Windows Phone): Why would you pay $430 for a laptop running an OS that was primarily meant to be used with the fingers?
How It Stacks Up
Yoga 3 Pro
MacBook (early 2015)
XPS 13 (2015)
Series 7 Chronos (2013)
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