The HP Chromebook x360 12b is an affordable Chromebook made for grown-ups. It takes you a cut above the rock-bottom basic Chromebooks that hover around $250 (and continue to sell well). Get one of those for your kids—who cares if they destroy it? But you, the adult in the room, deserve the Chromebook x360 12b, with its surprisingly good design and great battery life.
This is still a budget-grade Chromebook, so there are some compromises: Performance is mediocre, and the 3:2 display, while nice and tall, isn’t very bright. Still, we think HP made reasonable choices to provide a productive and enjoyable experience without breaking the bank.
SPECS AND FEATURES
The Chromebook x360 12b we tested currently goes for $360 at Adorama (go.pcworld.com/36ad). As you’ll see from the somewhat modest specs and features below (and the performance charts later on), HP spent less on the CPU, memory, and storage, and more on the design.
CPU: Intel Gemini Lake dual-core Celeron N4000
Display: 12-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio, HD+ (1366x912) touchscreen
Webcam: HD (720p) WFOV (Wide Field of Vision), 88 degrees
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Networking: 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5
Connectivity: Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (5Gbps, DisplayPort 1.2, Power Delivery 3.0), one USB 3.1 Type-A, one headphone/microphone audio jack, microSD
Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.5 x 0.68 inches
Weight: 2.98 pounds, per HP
The HP Chromebook x360 12b locates the power button on the left side, toward the middle.
The specs tell just part of the story for the Chromebook x360 12b. HP put a lot of thought into key details, starting with the sturdy chassis. The body is mostly plastic, but the aluminum keyboard deck helps it feel very solid, even when held by one corner. The overall weight is light enough for easy toting.
The base is colored silver, while the plastic display lid is painted white. I’m always afraid I will ruin anything white, but the lid, perhaps because of its matte finish (or my habitually frequent handwashing), just picks up a little shine sometimes where I touch it.
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