HP Chromebase All-in-One review: A great-looking computer that puts a fun spin on Chrome OS

A stand-out Chrome OS computer with a massive rotating display is hard to not like.

HP Chromebase All-in-One
(Image: © Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

The HP Chromebase All-in-One checks a lot of home computing needs in a well-designed product. Chrome OS works wonderfully on the hardware and the massive 21.5-inch rotating display adds some flexibility in daily use.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent hardware

  • +

    The wide display is bright and crisp

  • +

    Fantastic audio

  • +

    Multiple internal spec options

  • +

    The tilting and rotating touch screen is handy

Cons

  • -

    The single light color option gets dirty quickly

  • -

    The screen is very glossy

  • -

    The included keyboard is a bit cramped

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HP Chromebase All-in-One: Price and availability

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

The HP Chromebase All-in-One was announced in August 2021. The Chrome OS computer has four configurations, but all offer the same 21.5-inch rotating touch screen, dual speakers tuned by B&O, and a single color called Snowflake White. The base model has an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of internal storage with a price tag of $430. The top-of-the-line model features an Intel Core i3 processor, 16GB RAM, and 256GB of internal storage for $770. The HP Chromebase AiO is available from Amazon, Best Buy, and HP's own website. 

HP Chromebase All-in-One: What's good

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

I typically work on a Windows laptop with two external monitors connected to it, but I reach for my Google Pixelbook to get things done when I'm on the go. So, working in Chrome OS isn't foreign to me, and I generally enjoy it. But the limitation of port, power, and screen real estate means it is a bit more challenging to make it my daily workstation without some extra work. Not impossible, but not how I like to work.

However, HP's Chromebase All-in-One makes working on a Chrome OS device much more enticing, thanks to the massive full HD 21.5-inch display. The wide display makes it easy for me to have two windows visible simultaneously, and, to my surprise, I prefer the dual window layout when in portrait mode. Yep, that's right — portrait mode. I've spent the past week working solely with the Chromebase, and even wrote this review on it.

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

One of the HP Chromebase tricks is in its display mount. The screen has a mechanism inside the point where it attaches to the fabric-wrapped conical base that allows the entire panel to rotate 90 degrees to go from the traditional landscape orientation to a portrait layout. When rotated, the content on the screen changes to match the layout so that scrolling through webpages, social media, or working in a dual window set up much easier.

HP offers the Chromebase in four configurations with different RAM, storage, and processor options. But regardless of which version you go with, you'll get the same display, ports, and dual 5W speakers tuned by B&O audio.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 HP Chromebase All-in-One
Row 0 - Cell 0 HP Chromebase All-in-One
Dimensions19.98 x 6.87 x 17.89 in
Weight15.37 lb
Display21.5” FHD IPS touch display
Operating SystemChrome OS
ColorsSnowflake white
ProcessorIntel Pentium 6405U, Intel Core i3-10110U
Memory4 GB DDR4, 8 GB DDR4, 16 GB DDR4
Storage128GB, 256GB
Expansion Slots2 M.2 (1 for SSD, 1 for WLAN)
AudioDual 5W speakers w/Audio by B&O, 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack
Ports2 USB-C 5Gbps (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort™ 1.2), 2 USB-A 5Gbps
Front CameraHP True Vision 5MP
ConnectivityIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201, Bluetooth 5
SecurityAutomatic Google Updates, Privacy slider to disable the microphone and cover camera
Keyboard and MouseHP 910 White Bluetooth keyboard and mouse

The computer base is solid and steady when rotating the screen into different positions. It also stands strong when adjusting the viewing angle. Along with 90-degree rotation, you can tilt the screen up or down 20 degrees to find the best angle for your needs. 

The light grey fabric wrapping around the base is made from 100% recycled polyester, allows for good airflow to help keep the internals cool, and is acoustically beneficial. It allows for the speakers to work to the best of their ability and you to hear the audio clearly. I'm very impressed with how loud and clear the sound coming from the Chromebase is. Controlling the volume is easy from either the keyboard or the physical volume button on the right side of the base.

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

As for navigating and typing on the Chromebase, HP includes a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard in white with all computer configurations. Pairing the devices to the Chromebase was quick and easy, and for the most part, they are good devices. The keyboard has the same familiar shortcuts as the best Chromebooks with a basic mouse and a two-button style clicker with a scroll wheel.  

During my time with the HP Chromebase, I also sat in a few video calls using the built-in webcam. The 5MP wide-angle camera looked good, and the microphones picked up my voice clearly. 

One feature that I am delighted that HP decided to add to the camera is the physical privacy slider. There are three positions for it — open with camera and microphone available, microphone on and camera covered, or both microphone and camera disabled. 

HP sent me the Core i3 model with 16GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage for testing, and it runs as great as one might expect. I have had zero performance issues with multiple Chrome windows open and a dozen-plus tabs. Streaming a YouTube video while scrolling through Twitter or other web pages works smoothly and without a hiccup. I also tested out a few games like NBA Jam and Asphalt 9, and even streamed Fortnite through NVIDIA GForceNow.

The HP Chromebase has been an excellent help for my family and a great work computer. I have two school-age kids that use Chromebooks for classwork. Being able to link their Google Classroom account and my kid's own Google accounts managed via Family Link is great. To have a computer with a large screen, a familiar interface and the security of Chrome OS is definitely a peace of mind for my wife and me.

HP Chromebase All-in-One: What's not good

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Even though I have plenty of experience using a Chrome OS device, I wasn't sure what to expect from an all-in-one computer with such a unique form factor. Ultimately, it has been a very positive experience. While I love the hardware and general look of the HP Chromebase, I would like either another color option in a darker shade or for the single option to be darker. 

I appreciate the clean, modern appearance of the white and light grey fabric, or Snowflake White as HP calls it, but it shows dirt easier than a darker color. HP recommends gently wiping them away with a cloth, but dirty fingerprints on the buttons or frame of the display wouldn't be as apparent if it weren't so light-colored. This problem is especially true in a house with kids.

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Perhaps the most standout feature of the HP Chromebase is the screen — and for a good reason. It is big, crisp, colorful, has a touch screen, and can rotate. But the choice to put a gloss cover on display maybe wasn't the best one. Not only do reflections appear seemingly no matter what lighting or angle I use the computer at, but oy, the fingerprints.

On most computers, glare and dust are relatively common problems. Then with our favorite Android phones, we are used to wiping the smudges from the screens. But a matte finish would have been wonderful with a display as large as the Chrombase's. When the display is in portrait mode, the inclination to use it as a large tablet is high, leading to so many fingerprints. I constantly cleaned fingerprints off the touchscreen and adjusted the angle to remove glares. 

HP Chromebase

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Speaking of fingers, when talking about the keyboard and mouse earlier, I mentioned that, for the most part, they are good. Well, I say that in the context of using a keyboard on almost any laptop computer — Chromebook or not. But as a standalone keyboard, I want it to have spaced-out keys and even feet to adjust the keyboard's angle. I wouldn't say the keyboard is uncomfortable, but it could definitely be more so. 

One thing that I really missed when using the keyboard was a dedicated number pad. I expect not to have a large typing area when using a laptop form factor as it all has to fit inside of the device's total footprint, but I would have liked more typing room with the keyboard that isn't under the same restrictions. Thankfully I can always plug in my own peripherals thanks to the port options.

HP Chromebase All-in-One: Competition