The HP Pro c640 Chromebook is truly part of the best conversation about Chromebooks, although it will only appeal to a certain subset of users: those with the budget to spend on specs that go way beyond. the minimum Chrome OS needs to run.
HP itself is marketing it as a Chromebook for business users, and we can see why, but it will suit anyone who wants a laptop that takes Chrome OS and computing in general seriously. It comes with extras like a fingerprint sensor that you don’t find on all Chromebooks.
In our in-depth HP Pro c640 Chromebook review, we’ll give you all the details you need to know to help you decide if this is the right laptop for you, as well as gauge how far Chrome OS has come in terms Operating. system you can count on.
HP Pro c640 Chromebook review: design and display
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Starting with the screen, the HP Chromebook Pro c640 sports a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel touchscreen, which we found to be incredibly sharp and bright in our testing. It’s not quite up there with the best screens on the market, but it gets the job done for browsing the web, watching videos, and running apps. The 16: 9 aspect ratio is not our favorite, but it works well for movies and big screen TV shows.
Having a touchscreen is also more useful than you might think, especially when it comes to running Android apps which can now run on Chrome OS if needed. Although the bezels around the screen are relatively large compared to the best laptops on the market, we can certainly live with them – especially since there is room to integrate a webcam at the top, which is delivered. with a physical privacy shutter if you want to create no one could spy on you.
As for the rest of the design of the HP Pro c640 Chromebook, it offers quite a bit of style without ever really looking like anything other than a business laptop. The gray, silver, and white that dominate the Chromebook look good, and the mirrored HP logo on the cover adds a touch of class as well. The screen cannot fold back under the keyboard, but it can fold flat and the hinge is strong and secure.
The laptop is finished in aluminum and you get two speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. As for typing, it’s a smooth, tactile experience, which suited us pretty well – you might prefer something a bit clickable, but the keys are well spaced and easy to find, and we were able to typing at a nice pacy clip. The trackpad also feels like a quality component, responsive to the touch, and nice and wide.
It’s another boost for the Chromebook when it comes to ports and connection options you get here. Here we have two USB-C ports (with DisplayPort output capabilities), two USB-A ports, one HDMI 1.4 output, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo port. Add a microSD card slot reader and you’re really well covered, whether you want to transfer photos from a digital camera or plug in an external monitor.
If we were picky, we’d say the laptop is a touch on the thick and heavy side, but that’s by no means a problem to carry around – it’s just not as thin and light as some of its rivals. All in all, it’s a well-built and perfectly respectable Chromebook that aside from having a few stylish touches, it also has a certain sturdiness that makes us think it will last a long time (in fact, it is in fact passed MIL- Military Grade Test STD 810H for its durability).
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HP Pro c640 Chromebook Review: Performance and Features
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You can choose the HP Pro c640 Chromebook in a variety of configurations, but our review model came equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10610U processor (with Intel UHD Graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. , that you can expand it if you need to thanks to the aforementioned microSD card slot.It’s more than enough to run Chrome OS comfortably, even with dozens of tabs open.
It is the i7 processor that is the real star of the series, allowing you to easily run multiple browser windows and multiple Android apps next to each other. We haven’t noticed any sluggishness or slowdown during our time with the HP Pro c640 Chromebook, and of course Chrome OS is designed to be as light as possible in terms of using system resources – most heavy-duty tasks. are in class. in the cloud. Even running some of the most demanding Android web apps and games proved to be trouble-free for this laptop in our testing.
It’s fair to say that Chrome OS can run on less powerful and cheaper components, which means the extra cost of the HP Pro c640 isn’t something everyone will be able to justify. There are also Chromebooks with even better specs, so it really depends on how many demands you’re going to put on this laptop when it comes to whether this is the right upgrade for you. .
We’ve heard the fans under the laptop come on every now and then, and the underside of the device gets hot if you use it for an extended period of time, but overall it’s a laptop that you can actually do. use on your knees. , if you need it. During our experience with the HP Pro c640 Chromebook, we never felt like we had a hard time following what we were asking it to do or had issues dealing with heat levels.
Chrome OS continues to improve because the desktop operating system does not bloat and heavier over time. Recent additions include a custom screensaver option, as well as performance tweaks to the virtual desktop feature included in Chrome OS. As always with Chromebooks, updates are handled transparently and all of your work is always backed up because you’re still working in the cloud.
The Bang & Olufsen stereo speakers on board this laptop can output audio at a very decent volume level and with superb clarity – with just a push you can even use it to fill a room. small piece of your pieces. Battery life was also excellent, with the laptop regularly giving us 11 to 12 hours between charges, so you could easily spend a day away from the office. In our two-hour video streaming test, with the screen at full brightness, the battery went from 100% to 89% (so you should be able to get around 18-19 hours of video streaming in total).
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HP Pro c640 Chromebook review: price and verdict
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As we said before, the HP Pro c640 Chromebook comes in a variety of spec configurations, and that will affect the price you pay for it. The relative price-performance ratio you get at each step will vary, but when it comes to our review model, we felt that the laptop was roughly worth the price – at the time of writing, it will set you back a little over £ 1000 straight from HP, but check the widgets on this page for the latest deals and discounts.
That’s a lot of money for a laptop, not to mention a Chromebook, and we can see why a lot of people wouldn’t want to pay so much money for it. However, the battery life, build quality, typing experience, and processor specs are going to appeal to people who want the best Chrome OS experience possible. Features like HDMI output and a fingerprint scanner for easier connections aren’t particularly common on these laptops, and for you, they might be worth paying a bit more.
In terms of negatives – aside from the cost – the screen won’t wow you when it comes to its brightness, color reproduction, or the size of its bezels. It’s also not the lightest or thinnest Chromebook you’ll find on the market right now, so if great graphics and portability are your top priorities, you might want to look elsewhere.
The target market for the HP Pro c640 Chromebook is clearly business users, and we think it will suit them very well. The keyboard and trackpad are top notch, the battery lasts and lasts, and you have plenty of ports to connect other devices. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 on board, which means you’re future-proof when it comes to the latest wireless network standards and routers.
If you’re not already invested in the Chromebook ecosystem and are considering making the switch, think about which desktop apps you still use regularly and if there are any web (or Android) apps that can replace them. As far as we’re concerned, Chrome OS is getting better and better, but its usefulness depends to some extent on the other devices you use – Pixel phones, for example, work great with Chromebooks (wireless hotspots can be automatically turned on). connected to, for example).
Those of you looking for a Chromebook that can do serious work without breaking a sweat in terms of processor speed and battery life would do well to make the HP Pro c640 Chromebook look long and serious. Bonuses like the fingerprint scanner and HDMI port add to the appeal of power users, but the laptop is not without weaknesses.