We’ve done our fair share of versus videos here at Chrome Unboxed, and I can easily say that few have been requested quite as much as this one. With a similar price tag, similar specs, and similar build quality, the ASUS Flip C434 and HP x360 14 share a whole lot in common for $599 (MSRP). As always, our goal here is to pick a clear winner even when it might not be that easy to choose.
We’ll look at build quality, screens, input methods (trackpad/keyboard), internals and overall user experience and try our best to help you decide between these two excellent devices. In the end, once a winner is picked, you do need to remember that with this particular versus video, there is no real loser. Both of these Chromebooks are fantastic purchases, but we hope to clear the waters a bit if you are stuck between the two. So let’s begin.
Both of these Chromebooks are built well and neither feels cheap or flimsy. The HP employs a great build quality, a two-tone finish, 3/4 aluminum chassis, and a look/feel that I quite like. Some people have stated that they don’t much care for the white lid and blue base, but I actually like the unique look and don’t mind the plastic bottom. The screen portion is fully covered in glass and while the hinges move nicely, they are a tad too loose for my liking.
The ASUS, on the other hand, uses a fully-aluminum chassis with a powder-finish that both looks great and feels great. Both devices are pretty good at keeping the fingerprints at bay, but because of the lighter color, the ASUS hides those grubby marks a bit better. The universal color of the entire package gives the ASUS a bit more of a high-end look than the HP, but it isn’t exactly night-and-day when comparing the two.
Where the ASUS shines is the 87% screen-to-body ratio that basically makes it a 14-inch device that fits into a 13-inch frame. Just looking at the two Chromebooks side-by-side in the video makes it very clear that the ASUS is lighter, smaller, and more portable than the HP in every way. Coupled with the fully-aluminum materials and a better hinge, you have to give this category to ASUS.
You really only need one word for this category when we talk about these two Chromebooks: bezels. Both devices use similar panels with wide viewing angles, decent brightness, 1920×1080 resolutions and a 14-inch measure. I’m not sure they are, but I could easily be convinced that these panels came from the same factory.
So, with two displays so similar, how can we pick a winner? Quite simply, the better viewing experience goes to the ASUS based completely on the smallness of the bezels surrounding the screen. It feels odd to say that one screen is better than another because of bezels, but in this case that is exactly what I’m saying. With everything else basically being equal, the tiny bezels make everything feel more immersive and interesting to look at, so the win goes to the ASUS C434.
Let’s talk about keyboards, first. Both are good, honestly, so this isn’t a fail for one and a homerun for the other. Both have good travel and backlighting on the keys, but the HP has a click on key press that is one of my favorites on any Chromebook. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t hate typing on the ASUS. As a matter of fact, I really enjoyed it. Comparing the two, however, the HP has a better overall feel and clearer responsiveness.
The trackpads diverge a bit, however, and the plastic surface of the ASUS can’t hold a candle to the large, glass trackpad on the HP. The overall trackpad feel and click on the HP x360 is probably my favorite of any Chromebook on the market, so it would be tough for any device to beat it. The ASUS’ trackpad is serviceable, but not great, so it is pretty easy to say that the HP wins in the trackpad category. Combine that with the marginally-better keyboard and you have a category win for HP.
Let’s start with all the similarities: 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, 2 USB-C ports, a USB-A port, micro SD slot, and headphone/mic jack. The only internal difference is the processor with the ASUS housing the 8th-gen Core m3 and the HP opting for the 8th-gen Core i3. This gives HP the slight performance advantage but that extra power requires a fan whereas the ASUS is solid and fan-free.
For many users (including myself) the very quiet fans on the HP are worth the extra power, but many of you want a silent and solid-state device, so this is worth thinking about. Both perform well on a single charge with the HP getting a bit more mileage than most Chromebooks at 11-12 hours of use even though a higher-powered processor is in play.
The other difference lies in the speakers used in both devices. Though the HP has B&O branded sound, it isn’t great. That’s not to say it is terrible, but the speakers sound mediocre at best. The ASUS has very rich sounding speakers for the size and while not as great as the Pixel Slate, these are some of the most enjoyable speakers on a Chromebook you can get.
For me, however, better speakers don’t make for a better overall internal package. With most things (again) being similar, the HP’s extra power and better battery make it the winner in this category.
So, up to this point, we are stuck in a tie and I’m sure you aren’t shocked. As I said in the opening, these are both great Chromebooks so you can’t lose on either one. However, we’re here to pick a winner, and so we will.
I used both of these Chromebooks for extended periods both at home and on trips. I spent more time with both mainly because I sincerely enjoyed using them. I put both through all the same grind that I put my Pixelbook through on a daily basis and enjoyed every minute.
And, at the end of the day, when forced to choose which one I enjoyed more, I have to go with the ASUS C434. Sure, the keyboard/trackpad isn’t quite as good and the processor isn’t as fast as the HP, but there’s just something about the sleek and nifty package that ASUS presents. Getting it out of the bag and looking at that screen inside those narrow bezels provides this feeling that is hard to describe, but makes me want to use the device more and more.
Most times this final category is more about intangibles than it is about stats, facts, or specs. When push comes to shove, I like using the ASUS C434 more than most other Chromebooks, so the User Experience category has to go to it.
I can’t reiterate enough how close this one was. I cannot overstate that if you are already leaning one way or the other, while I hope you take my points into consideration, you really can’t go wrong with either device and I think you’ll be happy whichever one you choose.
I hope it also goes without saying that if you see a crazy deal on either of these models and you are back and forth, go get that deal! There are times when the HP x360 has dropped by $200 in price and there is simply no way I could tell you that the ASUS C434 is $200 better than the HP x360. The same goes if we start seeing big discounts on the ASUS. With the two being so similar and so great to use, unless you feel strongly about one over the other, get the one on sale!Get the HP x360 14 on Amazon