It wasn’t so long ago when the thought of a Chromebook intermittently provoked the word budget into one’s mind; that coupled with the inevitable compromises and trade-offs you would have to bare with.
But the story changed with Google’s pricey Chromebook Pixel then the Dell Chromebook 13 and now HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook review; all with sharp screens and not very cheap starting prices. If you’re up for a premium screen, the Dell and Pixel certainly are worth their prices. Let’s break down HP and find out if it fits its bill.
HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook Review
- Great sleek and thin Aluminum Design.
- Convenient storage of upto 100GB with Google
- High resolution on screen display Is appealing
- Great audible/loud speakers
- Advanced USB Type-C port
- Backlit keyboard.
- Lightweight body.
- TPM security feature for IT professionals and students
- Trackpad feels a little dingly.
- Fanless system so underside gets warm.
- Battery life is average for a Chromebook thanks to the QHD+
- QHD+ display spikes price
- No Optical Drive
- The HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook is a great choice for students and business heads, but it’s no HP Spectre 13.3 so don’t start comparing just yet!. It’s lightweight, classy and offers a beautiful high-resolution display. The 13 inch IPS screen is sizeable which makes it easy to work with, and the 32GB storage is decent. But just in case you crave for more, there is a microSD slot for additional storage and 100 GB offered by Google Drive. In total, if you’re on the lookout for a chromebook for simultaneous document editing, internet browsing and video streaming, the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook fits the bill.
- N/B, Nonetheless, our Editor’s Choice for Chromebook with battery life and performance falls to the deserving Toshiba Chromebook 2.
HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook Specs
|Screen Size||13.3 inches|
|QHD Screen Resolution||3200×1800 pixels|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Pentium Processor 4405Y|
|RAM||4 GB-16GB LPDDR3-SDRAM|
|Memory Speed||1866 MHz|
|Wireless Type||802.11 A/C|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||3|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Item Weight||2.86 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||8.6 x 12.6 x 0.5 inches|
|Computer Memory Type||DDR3 SDRAM|
|Flash Memory Size||32 eMMC|
|Hard Drive Rotational Speed||10 RPM|
|Battery Type||Lithium Polymer (LiPo)|
|Security management||TPM 1.2 Embedded Security Chip; Sign-in with your Google credentials|
|Power supply||45 W USB Type-C™ straight type AC adapter|
DISPLAY AND FEATURES
The HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook is a magnificent build considering its silver Aluminum chassis – covering the lid and keyboard deck – and glossy mirror-like hinges just as the HP EliteBook Folio See at Amazon. Its bottom and bezel have a black polished plastic finish that’s really simple and lends it a unique premium visual flair.
There have been a few comments to discredit the plastic but I frankly feel plastic was a great idea bearing in mind that the laptop is fanless – an option HP went with to achieve the sleek lightweight body. I mean the 8.6 x 12.6 x 0.5 inches, that’s astounding for a Chromebook; scantier than the Samsung Chromebook 3 (0.7 inches) and the Chromebook Pixel 2 (2015) (0.6 inches).
Unlike the Acer Chromebook R11 the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook does not have 360 degree hinges that allow it to fold to a tablet, which is a downside as this would have really helped when reading A4 sized sheets.
From a distance the machine looks as high end as most upper middle class laptops running on Windows, which I suspect might have been what HP was intentionally going for here.
13-Inches of pure bliss…
The screen is 13 inches and is IPS enabled with a vibrant 3200 x 1800 pixel Quad-HD Plus non-touch IPS display pixel resolution screen. This means you can enjoy 1080P videos and get great angle views while at it (on angle and off angle). Using it on your lap before bed or while lying on the couch or even while in the office. Compared to the Acer Chromebook 14 (1366 x 768), this HP Chromebook has a better display.
Thanks to the QHD+ with intense pixel density you have a sharp, crisp easily read text. It makes it so easy to spot the minute detail on images and video. Bright colors are bright and black are really dark.
While this laptop isn’t a touchscreen, a configuration of has touchscreen capabilities. Check out the HP Chromebook 14 -ako50nr 14-Inch Laptop for touchscreen option. When we first wrote this review, there were no touchscreen options. So this refresh comes as a wave of fresh breathe especially for users coming from Android Apps. As we all know, Android apps are generically made for Smartphones with touchscreens. So a touchscreen Chromebook shouls is a welcomed idea.
Screen so bright..
Besides from the fact that the screen brightness is just as bright as the Google Chromebook Pixel which has 400 nits of brightness, while the HP Chromebook closing in at 360 nits – which is plenty bright. Additionally the aspect ratio of the screen falls at 16:9 which is a better quality aspect ratio when it comes to a 13 inch screen.
From a distance the 1080P on most screens is okay, but images can be a little tiny in comparison to this HP. Ideally, a larger screen with the same 16:9 ratio would be massively at a disadvantage to this 13.3 inch laptop in terms of picture quality.
As for ports, HP has kept things a little on the minimal side. On the right side are 2 USB 3.0 ports and a microSD slot and on the left sits on USB 3.0 versatile USB Type-C ports. To date I’m confounded by laptop designers that insist on microSD slot rather than full sized SD Cards. Anyway, there is also the security lock slot, an HDMI port and a headphone jack on the Chromebook 14’s left side. There’s a pari of USB 2.0 ports on its right side.
HP is a clear victim here but they’ve tried to mitigate that loss by having two USB Type-C ports which easily double up as charging ports and transfer ports to plug in more devices. What pleased me most on this port section is the HP Docking station; intelligently designed for this laptop only… the HP Elite USB-C Docking Station.
Update: Moving on, this Chromebook like many others does not come with an Optical Drive. Still, that shouldn’t weigh you down. You can opt to use online software if the need arises. Also, like it is for other HP laptops, the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook also features TPM (1.2) Security Chip for secure logins and passwords. This is an additional advantage for students and IT professionals looking to keep their data secure. There is also a security lock slot on the side of the laptop for firmly securing your machine to the table (cable is sold separately.)
Right at the top middle of the bezel sits the HP Chromebook 13’s front TrueVision HD webcam. It takes clear shots but the images are a bit splotchy but for the price, it’s still isn’t a big tradeoff. The selfies are good but you would have to get used to a bit of noise when the webcam jumps into action.
The webcam is good for anything between taking photos, video while blogging and conferencing. Also, TrueVision helps the camera capture all details with clarity in low light and bright scenes.
HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook features a 1.5 GHz Intel Pentium Core m3-6Y30 processor, 4 GB LPDDR3-SD of RAM and 32GB onboard eMMC flash storage. And for this reason this HP Chromebook boasts as the first Chromebook with both high resolution, and QHD+ screen with an Intel Core M processor.
Intel Core m3-6Y30 is a dual core processor with turbo boosts as high as 2.2 Ghz. Although this 2015 Skylake architecture is a bit dated, it still remains a great invention and functional for this Chromebook. Ideally, it is a low powered (4.5Watts) processor with extremely low TDP that was made for tablets and 2-in-1 notebooks. But it brings in the speed and oomph required for superb performancefor the HP W0S99UT.
As a result, the system has arguably long battery life and run time, little to none heat generation and a fanless system. That is to say you can barely get noticed while working on this computer as it silently purrs its way through.
Below average Amount of RAM
More memory is always better and it’s an aspect I consider important before making a choice for a decent laptop. So, I consider the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook 4 GB LPDDR3-SD memory a bit too low for my taste. Having a machine that constantly buckles under the load is an indicator that you need change…and fast. For HP, that change can come fast and easy whenever you need it with the variety of configurations that it offers on this laptop. To begin with, I would tweak the RAM to atleast 8GB. You can also take it up a notch 16GB RAM if your needs are that intense.
Graphics and gaming potential
The graphic set on this Chromebook is the integrated Intel 515 graphics unit found in Core m processors. Since this is a low-end integrated graphics unit, it means this baby was not built for gaming recent AAA titles. On a light note, if you really got to game, perhaps a few old titles from the 2015 stock might do.
Still, it provides great ability to surf content rich and graphic intensive websites. Speaking of surfing, you can also breeze through multitasking; browsing the internet with multiple tabs open, sufficiently run day-to-day activities like playing videos, watching movies and running small programs.
This is how the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook performed in our benchmark tests:
- Octane 2.0: 28,485,
- Oort Online test: 6980 (measures your browser’s ability to display computer-generated environments)
- Battery Life (MOGZTech movie test): 6 hours and 12 minutes.
Results for the HP Chromebook 13 weren’t so different from the business type Chromebook 14 but were clearly much better than the Dell Chromebook 13. As much as we love and trust the benchmarks, the true test of battery is out there in the world with real users. That’s where one can tell pretty well how long they can last you through a day of intense or casual working.
The keyboard is also fantastic. The travel is deep and tactile; the keys are smooth and have a slight texture to them, spaced well and easy to use. To sort of ease typing in the dark and on red-eyed flights, the keys are backlit and it’s got six stages of back light if you count the off light.
Just at the top of the keyboard –between the keyboard and hinges – is the Danish made Bang & Olufsen speaker set. The machine drilled holes are a trademark of this audio company setting new heights as HP’s new audio vendor.
HP – the second biggest PC and laptop maker after Lenovo- made the switch from Beats by Dre Speakers to Bang & Olufsen in 2015. Since then have not looked back with their ambition of one day leading industry. HP joins the ranks of Asus which made the jump in 2010 as well.
Sound plays a crucial role in how we interact with our technology; be it our PCs, phones or tabs, great sound really matters. Whether you’re listening to your favorite classical music; catching up on latest movie, catching up with friends and family on conference calls or just simply creating a YouTube video, great sound matters to the core.
According to Bang & Olufsen, their speakers have been carefully crafted by the naked expert ears of a tonmeister, to create a more balanced flattened response to large sound peaks and frequency fluctuations. As a result, this allows for a clearer sound that accommodates different music genres and tastes that clients prefer. Sadly, that’s not fact for the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook. The sound was simply unimpressive and unrespesentative of Bang&Olufsen. That’s all I’ll say.
The trackpad was delightful and didn’t click when pressed on constantly. We had an easy time using it as it was well centered so no qualms with the pad.
HP should have aligned it to a few inches to the left in order to align with the centre of the keyboard rather than have it right at the centre. It really helps with easy of reach when using the trackpad. Unfortunately, I’m speaking for me and the rest f the right handed folks out there.
Battery life is usually 7 hours but can last vary depending on the usage.
On our battery test, we ran HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook through a simple test and compared it to other laptops with similar features to have a feel of how it performs. The test involved streaming HD videos under 65% brightness to test HP’s 8 hours theory.
We bore the results after only 6 hours 13 minutes of rigorous testing, and I should say this was my biggest disappointment with HP considering Dell Chromebook 13’s 13 hours 7 minutes, Toshiba Chromebook 2’s 10 hours and Google Chromebook Pixel’s 10 hours 3 minutes. This means that carrying your charger to work is a foregone conclusion that’s hard to argue with. Battery life is a feature I’ve found useful over the years and it’ll be sad without it here.
N/B Since this system is fanless, you should expect to feel the underside getting a bit warm from time to time when under load. The underside maintained an 84 degrees in our test, but spiked to a feverish 103 degrees Fahrenheit after using it with a couple of tabs open on YouTube.
Things I loved
The HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook boasts of the highest resolutions ever placed on a Chromebook laptop, with resolutions ranging to 3200x 1800 pixels topping even the Acer Chromebook 14 and Google Chromebook Pixel 2 (2015) which both have 2560 x 1700 touchscreen enabled displays.
HP Chromebook 13 boasts of a thin and lightweight design, so far among the thinnest radical feet of engineering in Chromebook history. The Intel Core M processors provide a great stepping stone to great performance and at least tries to manage battery life consumption to 7 hours.
Additional storage of upto 100GB with Google a fantastic feature only available to Chromebook laptops
Things I disliked
As a downside, the HP Chromebook cannot be counted among the few gold standard laptops able to fold into a tablet like the Acer Chromebook R11, Google Chromebook Pixel 2 (2015), Asus Chromebook Flip C100, and Lenovo N20p Chromebook.
On others more conclusive fronts, while HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook enjoys stunning sharp displays. QHD+ doubles up as being the caveat to this laptop; depleting its battery supplies and ruining battery life. Moreover, QHD+ is probably the reason for a higher starting price for the laptop.
Still on the display, of course on-paper specs of 3200 by 1800 display resolution is nothing but remarkable. But it would have been great to have matte finish instead of glossy to make working under the sun bearable.
So what’s our final take of the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook Laptop Review?
Well, HP managed to create a great new design for their Chromebook line; sleek and attractive, a strong build with a average battery life and performance. Its astounding combination of powered 1.5GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30 processors, low heat generation and great screen display makes for a lust-worthy business and college student laptop.
The Acer Chromebook 14 and Dell Chromebook 13 fall within this category clocking in at almost half the price of this HP Chromebook. So, if you’re willing to spend around 480 bucks for this HP laptop then this might be just be a great luxury laptop for you.
Bottom line, the HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook is spectacular in its own strength even without the subtle niceties like touchscreen capabilities and decent price. While the Dell Chromebook 13, Toshiba Chromebook 2 and Acer Chromebook 14 show much promise in battery life an performance, HP still remains a valid choice. Ultimately, these are decisions you’ll have to contend with before making your purchase decisions.
Update: I came across this HP W0S99UT 13 -Inch G1 Chromebook shoulder bag and it seemed pretty sweet. Check it out on Amazon.
- Acer Chromebook R11
- Acer Chromebook 14
- Dell Chromebook 13
- HP Chromebook 14 G1
- Google Chromebook Pixel 2 (2015)
- Asus Chromebook Flip C100
- Lenovo N20p Chromebook