Head-To-Head: Samsung Chromebook Plus Vs. HP Chromebook 13

Chromebooks Get New Features

2017 could be the year that the Chromebook comes into its own. Following the release of the powerful and pretty HP Chromebook 13 last year, Samsung revealed its own trailblazing take on the Chromebook concept at CES 2017 with the new Android-equipped Chromebook Plus. Which is the better fit for you? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center breaks down the specs, features and price comparison of the HP Chromebook 13 and the Samsung Chromebook Plus.

Operating System

Both the HP Chromebook 13 and Samsung Chromebook Plus are built, of course, on Google's Chrome OS -- the browser-based operating system that serves as the main user interface. For some users, however, relying totally on the Chrome OS browser can be a bit restrictive. And so, one area where Samsung is aiming to make its Chromebook Plus stand out is by extending what you can do with it -- by allowing the use of Android apps from the Google Play Store on the Chromebook Plus. The laptop will come with the Google Play Store pre-installed and Samsung said "many of the same apps you use every day on your phone or tablet" will be usable on the Chromebook Plus.


As Android apps are typically touch-controlled (on smartphones and tablets), Samsung has wisely built the Chromebook Plus with a touch-screen display. The LCD display measures 12.3 inches and is "Samsung's best Chromebook screen yet," according to the company, with QHD (2,400 x 1,600) resolution and Gorilla Glass 3. The display also folds back a full 360 degrees for using the Chromebook Plus in tablet or tent mode.

The HP Chromebook 13 is a bit larger in the display department -- 13.3 inches -- and also comes with a higher-res option, of a QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) resolution BrightView display. A less-expensive FHD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) option is also available.


HP's Chromebook 13 features the more powerful processor -- it's been 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. A low-end configuration of the Chromebook 13 features an Intel Pentium processor.

The Chromebook Plus is powered by an ARM processor, the OP1, which Samsung designed for use in Chromebooks and has a clock speed of 2.0GHz. Worth mentioning: Samsung has also said it will release another Chromebook this spring, dubbed the Chromebook Pro, with nearly identical specs to the Chromebook Plus but outfitted with an Intel Core m3 processor.

Weight And Thickness

HP has sought to distinguish its Chromebook 13 from the typical bulky Chromebook by making it just 0.51 of an inch thick. Samsung's Chromebook Plus is just a tad thicker though, at 0.55 of an inch. But the Chromebook Plus wins in the lightness department, weighing in at 2.38 pounds versus 2.86 pounds for the HP Chromebook 13.

Body And Ports

Both Chromebooks feature metal bodies -- with the HP Chromebook 13 made from brushed anodized aluminum (Samsung doesn't specify what metal goes into the silver-colored Chromebook Plus).

The Chromebook 13 has a bit more to offer on ports. The laptop includes two USB-C ports along with one USB-A port, while the Chromebook Plus is restricted to two USB-C ports only.

Battery Life, Memory And Storage

The HP Chromebook 13 comes out ahead on promised battery life, with up to 11.5 hours touted by HP, compared with promises of up to eight hours of battery life for the Samsung Chromebook Plus.

HP is hoping its Chromebook 13 might appeal to the business-class user with an option to include up to 16 GB of RAM, along with options of 4 GB or 8 GB. The Chromebook Plus only offers an option for 4 GB of RAM, by contrast.

On storage, both Chromebooks come with 32 GB of eMMC storage included.

Special Features

Samsung's Chromebook Plus features a handy built-in pen to use with the touch-screen display, and the pen is stored on the side of the laptop. HP's Chromebook 13, meanwhile, stands out as the first Chromebook to work with a docking solution -- HP’s USB-C Docking Station.

Price And Availability

For starters, it's worth noting that the Samsung Chromebook Plus isn't available just yet -- it'll come out Feb. 12, although pre-orders are being taken now.

The Chromebook Plus is the less expensive option, as it's priced at $449.99. HP's Chromebook 13 has a starting price of $499, although that's for the model with an Intel Pentium processor. To get the Core M processor, the starting price for the HP Chromebook 13 is $599 (for Core m3). Configurations with faster Core M processors and additional memory are also available at higher price levels.