Head-To-Head: HP Chromebook 13 Vs. Dell Chromebook 13

A New Breed Of Chromebook

The humble Chromebook -- that low-priced, bare-bones class of laptop that runs Google's Chrome OS -- -may be having a moment. Research firm IDC reported this month that sales of Chromebooks, which are made by numerous manufacturers, in fact topped Mac sales during the first quarter of the year -- for the first time ever. Chromebooks have succeeded so far at penetrating markets that can get by with browser-based computing, such as education, noted Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development at Ontario, Calif.-based solution provider Sigmanet, speaking to CRN last week.

The next frontier, though, would appear to be bringing the Chromebook concept to a different type of user -- the mobile professional. It's something several manufacturers are trying out now, including HP Inc. and Dell, which both have offerings with more power and style (and a higher price point) than the traditional Chromebook. They also share a name -- both HP and Dell have dubbed their laptops the Chromebook 13. So how does the HP Chromebook 13 stack up versus Dell's Chromebook 13? In the following slides the CRN Test Center compares the price and specs for the two laptops.


Neither HP nor Dell's Chromebook 13 versions pack the current top-of-the-line processors, but they still have more horsepower than the typical Chromebook offering. HP's Chromebook 13 is the first Chromebook to feature Intel's sixth-generation Core M processor, in fact. Users have a choice between the Core m3, m5 or m7 processor, with clock speeds of up to 2.2GHz, 2.8GHz and 3.1GHz, respectively.

For Dell's Chromebook 13, the processor is from the previous generation -- Intel's fifth-generation Core i3 or i5 processor, with clock speeds of up to 2GHz and 2.9GHz, respectively.

Thickness And Weight

The HP and Dell versions of the Chromebook 13 are comparable on thickness -- in a sense. Dell's version has a front thickness of 0.51 of an inch, with a back thickness of 0.66 of an inch. HP's version is a bit thinner at 0.508 of an inch for both.

HP's Chromebook 13 also wins in the lightness department, weighing at 2.86 pounds. Dell's Chromebook 13 has both touch-screen and nontouch versions, and both are a fair bit heavier -- at 3.56 pounds and 3.23 pounds, respectively.

Memory And Storage

Dell's Chromebook 13 has more options in the storage department -- either 16 GB or 32 GB of SSD -- while HP's version comes with 32 GB of eMMC storage. Both laptops have some options on memory, and this is where HP is hoping its Chromebook 13 might appeal especially to the business-class user; the laptop can be configured to have 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM. Dell's version is a bit stingier on memory, with 2 GB, 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM available.

Body And Ports

While HP and Dell are clearly hoping to distinguish their Chromebook 13 offerings on power, style is also a major emphasis in both cases. HP's Chromebook 13 chassis is made from brushed anodized aluminum, while Dell's version boasts a carbon fiber and magnesium alloy chassis.

On ports, Dell's Chromebook 13 comes with USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and HDMI. HP's version is equipped with two USB-C ports and a USB 3.1 port.

Display And Battery Life

As the name Chromebook 13 suggests, both HP and Dell's versions have a 13-inch display, 13.3 inches to be exact. And both versions have a couple of options in the display category. For HP's, users can choose between Full High Definition (1,920 x 1,080) or Full High Definition "BrightView" (3,200 x 1,800). For Dell's Chromebook 13, the choice is between Full High Definition (1,920 x 1,080) for the nontouch version and Full High Definition with Corning Gorilla Glass (1,920 x 1,080) for the touch-screen version.

Both Chromebook 13s come with some lofty promises on battery life -- Dell's with up to 12 hours on a single charge, and HP's with up to 11.5 hours.


The HP Chromebook 13, which is available for purchase through reseller Promevo, has a starting price of $499 for the base-level model (4 GB of RAM, Core m3 processor) and has three higher-end configurations topping out at a starting price of $1,029.

Dell's Chromebook 13 also has a number of options when it comes to price. At the lowest end, the laptop is available for $429. That version is nontouch and comes with 4 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and the fifth-gen i3 processor. A total of six configurations are offered right now for the Dell Chromebook 13, with the highest-end version starting at $899 -- for touch screen, a fifth-gen i5 processor, 32 GB of SSD and 8 GB of RAM.