HP Chromebase All-in-One 22
Starts at $479.99
The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is a rarity among Chrome OS devices: It’s an all-in-one (AIO) desktop, not a laptop. Instead of a Chromebook you might use for school or as a secondary computer, the Chromebase is meant for your den or kitchen. And it’s no ordinary AIO: In addition to using Chrome OS instead of macOS or Windows, the HP Chromebase stands apart from the AIO crowd with a display that can rotate between landscape and portrait modes. We’re not completely sold on the rotating touchscreen panel, but we found plenty to like about this attractive, affordable, and unique Chrome OS computer. It earns an Editors’ Choice award among budget AIO desktops.
HP Chromebase All-in-One 22
PROS Attractive, space-saving design. Rotating display useful for some websites. High-res webcam. Booming audio. Includes wireless keyboard and mouse. Affordable as configured.
CONS Display isn’t the sharpest. Occasional screen-rotation hitches. No side-mounted ports.
BOTTOM LINE The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is a well-designed, good-looking Chrome OS computer with a host of attractions for home use, including a rotating display.
FROM LANDSCAPE TO PORTRAIT AND BACK AGAIN
The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 sits on a cone-shaped base that doubles as a speaker. The cone is only 6.7 inches in diameter, which should allow it to fit in a variety of spots in your home: a desk, an end table, or your kitchen counter. With its white exterior and gray, fabric-wrapped base, it should also blend in with any modern room decor. It looks more like an oversize iPad attached to a smart speaker than a computer.
The display is a touch panel with a full HD (1,920-by1,080-pixel) native resolution and a modest 250-nit maximum brightness rating. I found the resolution to be stretched a bit thin across the 21.5-inch display; the image is fairly crisp, but it begins to look pixelated when you’re seated up close. The resolution suffices for web browsing and watching 1080p videos, but it’s less useful for serious media editing. On the bright side, I think HP is underselling the Chromebase’s screen backlight. In our testing, the display’s maximum brightness registered at nearly double its 250-nit rating. It’s plenty bright in my sunny office.
While the HP Chromebase isn’t a good fit for photo and video editing, it does have a unique feature intended to expand its utility for general home use. With just a finger, you can spin the display from landscape to portrait mode. Just press down on the top-right corner, and it smoothly swings around into a vertical orientation.
What do you do with a nearly 22-inch display in portrait mode? HP suggests it is better for scrolling through long webpages and social media sites, and I agree. I particularly enjoyed scrolling through my Twitter and Reddit feeds in portrait mode. And I also enjoyed watching YouTube in portrait mode, because it was easier to peruse the comments while watching a video. Reading The New York Times in portrait mode was awesome. The homepage was a natural fit for the vertical orientation, and reading longer articles required less scrolling.
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