When I published the laptop vs Chromebook comparison article, one of the issues that I noted that ticked off against Chromebooks, in general, was their tiny, often miniature keyboards that did not make for good, comfortable typing, at least if one needed to use them for extended periods of time.
Unfortunately, this is a major drawback since the most attractive demographic that Chromebook has remained writers and bloggers who, interestingly, need keyboards to do their thing, especially on a Chromebook.
Since dictation isn’t suited in most of these instances, what remains to be seen is to actually figure a way around this challenge and present an offer or rather, series of offers that will serve in the best possible way.
This is exactly what today’s article seeks to offer. If you follow all through to the end, I’ll suggest an option that will serve in the most brilliant of manners, if you choose to go the Chromebook route.
After all, typing on the right Chromebook is fun – and in my experience as an everyday user, more fun and less stressful to engage in, especially when compared to the ‘standard’ keyboards found on most laptops today.
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What Chromebook Is The Best For Typing?
The best Chromebook for typing is the HP x360 14a Chromebook. It is an amazing option for beginners and experts alike and as a matter of fact, one of the very best Chromebooks under $400. So, as you can see, this option is not just good for typing and by extension, a perfect fit for bloggers, writers, and authors; it is also super affordable, making it easy for anyone to purchase and own.
However, it is important that you do not take my words hook, line, and sinker when I say that this Chromebook is the best when it comes to typing reality.
Instead, let’s take an up-close look at why this model, of all the options there are in the market at the moment, is adjudged to be the very best when it comes to the reality of putting words on the screen by means of the fingers.
Why Is The x360 14a Chromebook The Best Option For Typing?
Here are the numerous and super exciting reasons why this machine has been dubbed the ‘typing beast’ by me. You’ll find the reasons quite interesting and worthy of a curious look, believe me.
1. Proportionally Spaced Keys
Typing is serious business. So serious is it that, if your fingers are forced to be in a cramped position for any appreciable amount of time, they’re likely to be fatigued quicker than usual and the result is a typing task that will hardly be completed or at best, completed with severe pains along the way.
Unfortunately, this is the sad reality of many Chromebooks and even some traditional laptops today, all in the pursuit of portability and making them ‘mobile friendly’.
Enter the proportionally spaced keys of the x360 that appear to be the physical variant of Steve Jobs’ ‘proportionately spaced type fonts’ in his now very famous Stanford Commencement Speech.
Jobs was right after all – with all his assertions in that speech…
…however, with respect to the keys on the keyboard of this Chromebook, he may have got one or two things wrong: you don’t need to keep looking (as with all things of the heart)…you know exactly how and where to get one for yourself.
2. Keys That Bounce With A Degree That Is Just Right
Typing is certainly fun and there are no arguments that can be advanced against this (at least, not for a typical writer, anyway).
It is also therapeutic, capable of relieving stress and spreading the ‘feel good hormones’ when done right and in the right circumstance. All these are possible with a keyboard, of course, that bounces in a manner that it ought to when its keys are depressed.
When typing, after striking a key and releasing the same, the key ought to go down with some sort of flexibility and resistance. This is felt in the palms of your hand and makes you want to keep on typing long after you have hit your target for the day and are done; it is the reason why you see many writers when deep in private thoughts, mimick that ‘bounce’ with their fingers going up and down and imitating the typing motion.
Unfortunately, not all keyboards are designed in this manner; many are unnecessarily stiff and without this ‘bounce’ at all. For the examples that have this bounce about them, the degree isn’t just right and often, it all boils down to a keyboard that is too bouncy to make the typing process fun.
Many traditional laptops and Chromebooks alike are guilty of this lack of ‘bounce’ (or spot a bounce that is simply too much for comfortable typing).
This is where the x360 14a Chromebook from HP differs: the Chromebook presents a keyboard with keys that bounce off nicely when depressed and equally comes up with the agility expected of them when they are released. This, when experienced in real-life situations, is a joy to behold and is what will keep you addicted to the typing reality long after you finish your work or have no immediate need of the keyboard again.
At least, this has been my reality.
3. A Complete Keyboard With All Important Keys Present
In life as in technology, one can hardly have it all: it is either you compromise one part to gain that which is important to you or you risk losing the entirety of what you are after in the first place. This is just the way of the world and there’s little anyone can do about it.
Nowhere in the tech world has this universal truth ever proved itself in a glaring manner as in the world of Chromebooks, especially as regards their keyboards. To get the perfect or ideal size, the keyboards of these devices are largely cut to size and this, in turn, affects the number of keys that wind up on them.
Usually, most of the Chromebooks in the market today simply manage to squeeze the characters of the alphabet and everything else is sacrificed or at best, hidden ‘behind’ some characters, giving such characters a ‘double identity’ that makes them extremely hard to use especially for a newbie or one who isn’t versed in such a cramped keyboard reality.
This is where this Chromebook truly excels and brilliantly rocks the boat of typing freaks in such a manner that it is difficult to imagine that the x360 14a Chromebook is actually a budget-friendly unit.
All thanks to a standard 14-inch display, the body of the device allows for all the important keys on the keyboard to be present, ensuring that a standard typing experience is got every time you open up the machine and decide to use the keyboard.
As a matter of fact, there is absolutely no difference (both actual and perceived) when you come from a stand-alone desktop keyboard: in just a few minutes, it is guaranteed that you’ll even forget that you’re coming from another (bigger) reality.
The keyboard on the Chromebook is large, complete, expressive, and importantly, that good!
On a Chromebook, it is the ultimate keyboard to beat; on a standard, standalone keyboard, it competes favorably and ultimately does not leave you wishing for anything else, right after a few minutes on it.
Are There Any Alternatives To The x360 Chromebook?
The x360, in all honesty, is the very best Chromebook typing machine, based on my real use, research, and convictions.
However, like most things on earth, this recommendation may not seat well with every reader 100% nor will it even serve some, in the first place.
First off, there is a challenge with the typing reality of this computer that is worthy of mention: there is simply no backlight on the keyboard.
Personally, that doesn’t bother me. Having owned and used various computers for close to two (2) decades now, my fingers know their way around the keyboard, perfectly.
Spending extra money on an added feature I’m certain I’ll never use wasn’t smart for me so I got what I got: a fine unit without a backlit keyboard.
It is important to mention here too that, because of the absence of a backlit keyboard, this Chromebook is cheaper and winds up as the Chromebook with the best and longest battery life you can buy today. This is certainly something to ponder before you dismiss it off (for lacking a backlit keyboard).
However, if a backlit keyboard is very important to you (and you don’t mind trading off some battery uptime for it), there are options that I would recommend as alternatives:
- If you’re already in love with the HP x360 14a and wish it only had a backlit keyboard for typing in the dark (for you to pick it up), you’re in luck! There’s actually a model that has that feature (and everything else mine has). Thanks, HP! That model is the x360 Chromebook with a backlit keyboard. Note however that the model is a couple of dollars over and above the price of my unit, though.
- If you’re a fan of large displays and aren’t sure if the ’14 on the HP x360 will cut it for you, you should take a look at the Acer 315 Chromebook. At an impressive 15.6′, you’d be pardoned if you subsequently don’t believe you opened a Chromebook and are about to work on one!
- If you’ll appreciate a slightly smaller display but won’t want to sacrifice power from the processor, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″ Chromebook will serve in the most brilliant of manners. The device ships with a touch-enabled display and a backlight keyboard. In addition, the display is convertible just like the x360. The screen? Just an inch shy of the standard 14″ of the x360 I only just recommended above.
Good luck with your choice.