HP has hit home with several of its Chromebooks. The HP 14, for instance, balances versatility and performance in a single package and comes at an incredible price point. For businesses and large-scale enterprises, the US-based company has dished out the HP Pro C640 Chromebook, and its specifications show that it’s more or less the most powerful Chromebook made to date. However, do the on-paper specs truly tell the C640’s complete story? We’re here to gauge exactly that.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the HP C640 to its full while highlighting major pros and cons along the way. Stick around and keep reading till the end to find out whether this Chromebook is worth the time and money or simply not. Let’s begin with the technical specifications.
HP Pro C640 Chromebook Specifications
- CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 6405U
- Display: 14″ Diagonal HD (1366 x 768)
- Hard Drive Size: 32 GB eMMC Flash Storage
- RAM: 8 GB
- Camera: 720p HD Privacy Camera
- Ports: x2 USB-C, 1x USB-A, microSD Card Reader Slot, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Price: Starts at $449
HP Pro C640 Chromebook In-Depth Review
From a looks perspective only, the C640 does nothing but impress. The “Pike Silver” color looks mighty fine on it, and the chassis is all-aluminum. Opening this clamshell Chromebook, you’ll find that the keyboard deck along with the trackpad are all-silver as well, giving this device an exquisite, expensive look. It’s not the thinnest of Chromebooks out there, but it’s not that thick either, falling somewhere between in the mediocre range. It’s about 0.65 inches thick, which is okay compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook that measures about 0.4 inches in thickness. Additionally, the C640 isn’t a lightweight beast. It weighs about 3.3 pounds, and Chromebooks generally do not weigh that much. Portability takes a considerable hit here.
Coming down to the screen here on this device, we are outright dismayed. Specs-wise, the display is a 14″ Diagonal HD (1366 x 768), but it’s just unlikable. The base model offers a brightness of 220 nitts, and speaking for those figures alone, 300 nitts has to be the bare minimum that a device should afford. Due to 220 nitts, the C640 is unusable on a sunny day outdoors. With that being said, the screen itself isn’t all terrible. The colors are nice and rich, and using it indoors is as normal as it gets—nothing too fancy, nothing too bad. The top bezel on the screen is a tad bit too thick, we’re afraid, thereby instilling no notion of a nano-edge display.
On the top bezel is a 720p HD webcam bolstered with a privacy shutter. The screen also sports a 180-degree hinge, so you can lay this Chromebook flat on the table for everyone else to join in on what you’re viewing and collaborate on work. To talk about the island-style, spill-resistant keyboard, HP has done well in this respect. If we compare it to the keyboards slapped on other premium devices, the C640’s one offers more travel, and typing on it feels clicky, accurate, and up to the mark. In general, this does not stand at the level of the Pixelbook Go’s “Hush” keyboard, but it’s, nonetheless, an admirable one. Below the keyboard is a glass trackpad that seems responsive and fluid. HP has mentioned that it offers multi-gesture support as well, which is nothing out of the norm. Right beside the trackpad and below the keyboard’s arrow keys is a square-shaped fingerprint sensor, which is only, unfortunately, present in the higher-end models of the C640, along with LED backlighting. We’re going to shed more light on this later.
The upward-firing speakers sound average and nothing too special. Two sets of them surround the keyboard, and we wish that their quality was a little bit better. No version of the C640 supports a USI stylus, however, so do keep that in mind. To talk about something positive for a change, the I/O is pretty decent. We’re talking about two 3.1 USB-C ports along with what HP has termed a ” jaw-drop” USB-A port. This is some plastic covering that feels cheap and a hassle to deal with. Anyway, there’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot. Additionally, in the more powerful versions of the C640, you’ll also find a distinct HDMI port – something great for working-class environments where convenience and flexibility are key.
The performance is an area where the HP C640 excels with zero exceptions. The base model comprises an Intel Pentium Gold 6405U processor with 8 GBs of RAM and 32 GB eMMC flash storage. The latter could’ve been better, but let’s stop talking about this Chromebook’s shortcomings for a mere moment. As far as reliability on this device is concerned, you’re going to go a long way with it. May it be web-based applications, games, and apps from the Google Play Store, or even Linux, the C640 performs like a dream and shows no signs of hanging up somewhere, becoming slow, or not being able to run an application. You can find a couple of tons of Chrome tabs with a handful of applications, and you’ll notice how this Chromebook won’t fail you.
However, there are some aspects that we’d like to mention in this review. The C640 has multiple models that are basically high-end. You already know the base model’s specs by now, but it’s also worth noting that this version doesn’t come with the Chrome Enterprise upgrade. For that, you’ll have to open up your wallet a little more. The model with that addition pre-loaded is an Intel Core i3-10110U CPU, with 64 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. It costs about $670. The model that most businesses and professional-grade users will be going for is the Intel Core i7-10610U one, with 16 GBs of RAM and 128 GB of eMMC flash storage. This one costs well over $1100. This is the version where you also get a fingerprint scanner and an HDMI port.
Of course, developers who need software such as Android Studio will be opting for this device, but it doesn’t make sense to recommend this device to average consumers. There may come a day when video editing programs and other software of similar nature become a norm on Chromebooks, but for now, the best we have are Play Store and Linux applications, and the C640 is overkill for them both.
The battery timings of the C640 are appreciable and satisfactory. A full charge will last you around 10-11 hours, and that means this Chromebook has all of your working days fully covered. The battery is, in fact, an “HP Long Life 3-cell” and has a build of 60Wh Li-on. With a 3.1 USB-C port, charging is also rapid and swift.
10 minutes of charging will last you around 2-3 hours, while it’ll only take 40 minutes tops for the Chromebook to get a full charge. In conclusion, an 11-hour runtime bodes well for the HP C640, and we’re glad that this device boasts good battery life.
The HP C640 is a durable, firmly built Chromebook with a good trackpad and monster internals that cost around $1100. However, that price tag makes this device hard to recommend to the average user out there. Take the Acer Spin 713, for instance. It packs 8 GB RAM and an Intel Core i5 and costs around $600. Those specifications, along with other good features, make the 713 a remarkable premium-range option that’s probably more than enough for many people out there. The point being, if such less pricey alternatives are available, no one would opt for an $1100 HP Chromebook with a substandard screen. However, those who prefer having top-of-the-line, maxed-out specs will get this device, but we think otherwise for those looking for an affordable yet handsome experience.