HP Elite c1030 13.5 "Chromebook
"The HP Elite C1030 Chromebook isn't cheap, but it has a lot of business acumen."
Excellent 3: 2 display
Excellent keyboard and touchpad
Solid build quality and conservative appearance
Chrome OS Enterprise perpetual license included
Average battery life
Active pen is optional
Most people don't spend more than $ 1,000 on a Chromebook. There are way too many options for much less money that will make Chrome OS run like a dream. However, the growing Chromebook business has shown there is an interest in premium Chromebooks that have all of the manageability and security tools an IT department needs.
The new HP Elite C1030 Chromebook Enterprise fits right in with this new trend.
I had the chance to test a near top-notch version of the Elite C1030 Chromebook, which costs $ 1,529 for an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-10610U vPro CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe solid version. State Drive (SSD) and a 13.5-inch IPS display with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a WUXGA + resolution of 13.5 inches (1,920 x 1,280).
The price also includes a perpetual Chrome OS Enterprise license, which is typically $ 50 per year. That's a lot of money for a Chromebook – does the Elite C1030 deserve its high price?
First of all, this is a nice looking laptop. It follows HP's elite aesthetic that is modern yet conservative. Yes, the chassis is all silver, and that sometimes seems generic. But the way HP uses contrast, with matte silver on top and bottom and shiny silver on the sides, makes it special.
The lid is rounded at the edges and the case back has just enough angles – it just works. The Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook is another enterprise machine that has the iconic ThinkPad look and feel – all black with a soft coating – while the consumer-facing Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has a more angled look and darker gray that is also appealing. All of them are attractive options, but the HP Elite C1030 is one of my favorites.
The HP Elite C1030 Chromebook has smaller bezels than these two laptops and has a screen-to-body ratio of 90% that looks far more contemporary. The lower chin is actually relatively small for a 2-in-1 device that requires a complex hinge. Both HP and Acer use displays with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and are therefore larger than the old-school Lenovo with an aspect ratio of 16: 9.
Even so, the Elite C1030 Chromebook is smaller in width and height than the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook and Chromebook Spin 713 thanks to its smaller bezels, while still offering the larger palm rest and touchpad that laptops have in common with larger displays. The HP is 0.7 "thick and 2.87 pounds, compared to the 0.7" and 3.3 pounds of the Lenovo and the 0.66 "and 3.02 pounds of the Acer.
The Elite C1030 Chromebook is rock hard.
In terms of build quality, the Elite C1030 Chromebook is rock hard, at least as much as the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook, and it's tougher than the Chromebook Spin 713. The company's systems have been military-tested for durability, it shows – they're in a different class, virtually every premium laptop on the market today. The Elite C1030 Chromebook's hinge requires two hands to open, but holds the display in place in all four modes – clamshell, tent, presentation, and media.
HP also builds in some security features that are uncommon on Chromebooks these days. The first is the fingerprint scanner, which offers passwordless login and works just as well as any Windows 10 Hello fingerprint scanner. Second, this is the switch to turn the webcam on and off electronically, something HP borrowed from previous Specter computers (which have since switched to a physical webcam blocker).
Finally, HP offers the world's first (optional) privacy screen that blocks viewing from any angle but in a straight line. My test device didn't equip this display, but I've seen it on Windows 10 computers and it's impressive.
Connectivity is solid, but not spectacular. On the left you will find a 3.5 mm audio jack, a USB-C 3.2 port and a Kensington lock port. On the right side there is another USB-C 3.2 port, a USB-A 3.2 port and a microSD reader. The wireless connection is provided via Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
My test device was built around a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10610U vPro CPU, which makes it a powerful Chrome OS laptop. This operating system is much lighter than Windows 10 or Mac, and a Core i7 of any stripe will work fine. When you add 16GB of RAM and a fast 256GB PCIe SSD, you have a recipe for a Chromebook that won't slow you down.
We don't have a lot of objective benchmarks to run on Chromebooks. So much of my analysis is subjective. The Elite C1030 Chromebook achieved 1,102 points in the Geekbench single-core test and 3,216 points in the multi-core test, which is far behind Windows 10 laptops, but ahead of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with its Core i5-10210U CPU (966 resp. 3,040). and the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook with AMD's Chrome OS-optimized Ryzen 5 3500C (907 and 2,739).
In the Tachometer 2.0 benchmark, which measures the responsiveness of web applications, the HP achieved 114 compared to the Lenovo with 86 and the Acer with 101.
Subjectively, I just want to say that you have to work really hard to slow down the Elite C1030 Chromebook. I opened Scads from Chrome tabs and ran several Android apps in the background. I couldn't shake the thing. I doubt you'll have performance issues no matter what you throw at the machine.
I could even play a little. The 10th generation CPU is limited to Intel's older UHD graphics, but it can still handle games like Asphalt 9: Legacy without delay or hesitation. You should be able to play a few light games on the Elite C1030 Chromebook to get all of your work done.
The Elite C1030 Chromebook has a 13.5-inch WUXGA + display (1,920 x 1,280) with a productivity-friendly 3: 2 aspect ratio. I can't test it with my colorimeter. This is simply not supported in Chrome OS. However, I found the display to be sufficiently bright in all lighting conditions I tested (HP promises 400 nits of brightness), except outside in bright sunlight – which is to be expected. Colors popped without looking oversaturated, but I can't confirm accuracy without my colorimeter.
When I look at pictures next to the Dell XPS 13, which has good colors but not great, I couldn't see any difference. Finally, the contrast appeared to be sufficient, with black text showing off nicely on a white background and images looking like they had sufficient depth.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 benefited from a higher sharpness of 2,256 x 1,504 on its 13.5-inch 3: 2 display. I would have appreciated this on the HP, but I can't say I noticed any noticeable graininess on the Elite C1030 Chromebook. I liked the display more than the 16: 9 panel on the Lenovo Thinkpad C13 Yoga Chromebook, which felt tight to me.
Most users will love this display especially when they see more vertical information thanks to the higher aspect ratio. Media consumption was fine, as was the productivity work, and I have no real complaints.
Keyboard and touchpad
HP makes great keyboards that you can find on the Specter and Elite models. The Elite C1030 Chromebook is no different. It has an island keyboard with silver caps with legible gray font, lots of spacing, and a very sharp mechanism that doesn't require a lot of pressure to snap into place, yet still has a satisfactory ground effect to work with, knowing you pressed a key.
It's as good as a keyboard that you can find on any Windows 10 laptop. It's better than the Chromebook average – including the two I highlighted in this review – and it can rival the Magic keyboard on Apple's latest MacBooks. There are the usual five levels of backlit Chrome OS brightness that let you fine-tune how much light your keyboard emits.
The touchpad is larger than usual thanks to the additional space on the larger display and works very well. It's fluid and precise, and does a great job with the suite of Chrome OS multitouch gestures. The touch display is also responsive and supports an optional HP Active Pen for those who want to write ink on their Chromebook.
The Elite C1030 Chromebook has a 50 watt hour battery with a reasonable resolution and a fast CPU. I wasn't entirely sure what battery life to expect.
As it turned out, the HP fell in between the other two Chromebooks I mentioned in this review. Our web browser test, which ran through a number of popular websites, achieved 8.5 hours compared to the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (11 hours) and the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook (7.25 hours). In our video tests with a Full HD Avengers trailer, the Elite C1030 Chromebook achieved 10.5 hours, compared to 10 hours for the Acer and only about 7.5 hours for the Lenovo. These would be mediocre results compared to the universe of Windows 10 laptops, but they are average for the recently reviewed Chromebooks.
You probably get a full day of work with the Elite C1030 Chromebook, but not much more.
Chrome OS Enterprise
As mentioned in the introduction, with this configuration of the Elite C1030 Chromebook, HP has included a perpetual license for Google Chrome OS Enterprise, which typically costs $ 50 per year. That means you get the business-centric controls and plug-ins that will improve security and remote management forever.
Your organization can manage the Google Play Store to regulate which apps are installed, and support for the Google Chrome browser extension is also controlled by the company. Other features include single sign-on, Microsoft Active Directory support, and 24/7 business support beyond what you normally get from Google.
HP also talks a little about Parallels Desktop for HP Chrome Enterprise, a virtual machine solution that enables a company to add Windows 10 emulation to its fleet of Elite C1030 Chromebooks with minimal effort. The solution is easy to manage and offers advanced features for HP enterprise customers. It's not included with the laptop, but it's an interesting option nonetheless.
The HP Elite C1030 Chromebook is aimed at corporate customers. It's fast, and has the best security features you'll find on a Chromebook, plus the option of a Chrome OS Enterprise perpetual license. All of these add up to a good corporate laptop. The purchase price is also aimed at companies that have a strong need for security and manageability.
You can just as easily get a Chromebook for half the money in terms of hardware and performance. However, you don't get a laptop that fits seamlessly into a company's fleet of machines.
Are there alternatives?
The Lenovo C13 Yoga Chromebook offers the same support for Chrome OS Enterprise as the HP, without the same level of security. It's also roughly the same price as a similarly configured AMD Ryzen 7 3700C CPU with 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD.
I didn't mention it in this review, but the Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook is a comparable corporate computer that is a few hundred dollars cheaper and is for sale for a computer with the same specs as our Elite C1030 Chromebook review unit ($ 1,279) . with the exception of the 14-inch display from Dell). You get similar build quality and performance, but none of the advanced security features.
If you don't need the Chrome OS Enterprise features, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a great choice. It's also pretty quick and well built, and costs about half the money for a similar configuration.
How long it will take?
The Elite C1030 Chromebook is very well built and equipped to keep Chrome OS running for years. You will also appreciate the three-year warranty that comes with our test device.
Should you buy it?
If you're a corporate customer looking for a secure and manageable Chromebook, the Elite C1030 Chromebook should be on your shortlist. Otherwise, you'll want to save your money and use a consumer Chromebook instead.