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My experience with the HP 14’ Celeron N4020 4GB Snowflake White (2024)

My thoughts on the HP 14’ Celeron N4020: balancing design, performance, battery life, and software limitations.
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


December 27, 2023


I recently got my hands on the Snowflake White HP 14 Laptop with an Intel Celeron N4020 processor. In this article, I’ll share my honest experiences and thoughts on its design, performance, and software experience. I’m breaking down what works, what doesn’t, and what to expect if you’re considering this for your next laptop.


Property Value Property Value
Brand HP Model Name 14-dq0040nr
Screen Size 14 Inches Color Snowflake White
Hard Disk Size 64 GB CPU Model Celeron N4020
Ram Memory Installed Size 4 GB Operating System Windows 11 S
Special Feature Micro-edge Bezel Graphics Card Description Integrated


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Initial Impressions and Design Aesthetics

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When unboxing the Snowflake White HP 14 Laptop, my first impression was certainly positive. The laptop’s aesthetics are commendable. I immediately appreciated the thin and light design which makes it highly portable, a plus point for anyone needing mobility. The 6.5 mm micro-edge bezel display not only offers a modern look but also maximizes the screen estate, tipping the scale towards a favorable design assessment. Here’s a quick rundown of the design highlights:

  • Portability: The laptop’s lightweight design is ideal for on-the-go use.

  • Visual Appeal: A sleek Snowflake White finish and minimal bezels contribute to a chic, contemporary style.

  • Screen Size: The 14-inch HD display is a decent size for productivity and casual entertainment.

On the other hand, while the 1366 x 768 resolution might not be the cutting edge, it’s adequate for day-to-day tasks like document editing and web browsing. It is, however, a compromise for those who crave more pixels for their multimedia consumption. Plus, being accustomed to sharper displays, the HD resolution felt like a step back in terms of clarity and vibrancy.

HP boasts that the Intel® Celeron® N4020 processor is the ideal processor for “your busiest days”, but the reality didn’t truly align with these claims. I noticed the laptop struggles with multitasking. It’s not the smoothest experience when juggling several applications at once, which is likely due to the modest 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB eMMC storage. I had higher expectations for the Intel® UHD Graphics 600, especially given HP’s 4K-ready claims. That said, this setup will suffice for basic tasks and some light media streaming.

While design and aesthetics are important, I’m also pragmatic about the overall value. The special features like the micro-edge bezel and the included year subscription to Microsoft 365 add a bit of extra value, making the device more appealing for students or users with straightforward computing needs.

My first impression is that the HP 14-inch laptop is a feasible choice for those prioritizing cost and design over raw performance. It’s commendable for its portability and design, but the hardware specifications suggest it may struggle with more rigorous computing tasks. Understanding these trade-offs is key to setting the right expectations for this budget-friendly laptop.

Performance and Daily Use

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Navigating the daily grind with the HP 14’ Celeron N4020 Laptop has been akin to a journey of patience and simple pleasures. On one hand, the laptop’s lightweight design and thin profile make it a breeze to carry around. It slips almost unnoticed into my backpack as I jet from one meeting to another. With portability at its core, let’s delve into the aspects that stand out:

  • Portability: Its compact size is a win for anyone on the go.

  • Design: Sleek with a minimal micro-edge bezel, it’s definitely a looker.

  • Cost-Efficiency: The attractive price tag is hard to beat for a Windows laptop.

But in truth, this model is a mixed bag when it comes to daily use. The dual-core Intel Celeron N4020 processor combined with 4 GB of RAM spells out a machine that’s not built for heavy lifting. Yet for tasks like word processing, web browsing, or other low-intensity applications, it performs without a hitch.

When I first fired it up, the speed wasn’t neck-breaking, to put it mildly. However, I found that by uninstalling unnecessary software that comes preloaded and tweaking some settings, the laptop could keep a steady pace with my routine workflows. It’s about managing expectations and using the machine within its comfortable limits.

As someone who regularly taps into cloud services and streaming platforms, the 64 GB eMMC storage is less of a hindrance than one might expect. Though, if you’re one to hoard data, you might bump into the storage ceiling pretty soon.

The term ‘4K ready’ tossed around with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 might be slightly misleading as well. Sure, it can handle video output at that resolution, but it’s not designed for intensive graphics work or modern gaming, where it would struggle.

While its all-day battery claim seems optimistic, I’ve frequently squeezed out a full day’s use without reaching for the charger—a big plus for a perpetual commuter like me.

Overall, this HP laptop isn’t built to be a powerhouse. It’s tailored for budget-conscious users in need of a basic, no-frills machine for simplicity rather than complexity. It caters well to students or professionals who require a reliable typewriter or a portable window to the internet without making a substantial dent in their finances.

For those considering this laptop, weigh its affordability and portability against performance limitations. It’s a classic case of getting what you pay for, so if your tasks fall within its wheelhouse, it could be just the tool you need.

Battery Life and Charging Efficiency

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When it comes to the battery life and charging efficiency of the HP 14’ Celeron N4020 laptop, a few points come to mind:

  • The battery life is pretty solid, reaching up to 11 hours and 30 minutes on a single charge under optimal conditions. HP Fast Charge technology is a game-changer, boosting the battery to 50% in roughly 45 minutes.
  • Despite the respectable battery life, the actual performance can vary significantly based on your usage patterns.

In my experience, the battery life is a significant plus of the HP 14 laptop. It’s not every day you find an affordable laptop that can keep you unplugged from dawn to dusk, especially if you’re juggling work and entertainment. I’ve taken it through its paces with typical tasks — think document editing, web browsing, and the occasional YouTube video binge — and it holds up decently.

However, we should keep our expectations in check. The claimed 11.5 hours of battery life is under controlled conditions — screen brightness and workload can drag those numbers down considerably. A full day away from the plug is possible, but if you’re planning on running heavier tasks, like multiple intensive applications, expect to see those numbers drop.

The HP Fast Charge compensates for the variability to some extent. It’s pretty nifty when you’re in a pinch and need a quick boost to get through a few more hours. There’s something relieving about not having to be tethered to an outlet for too long during a recharge. But this pleasure is offset by the reality that fast charging can wear the battery out faster over time, potentially shortening its overall lifespan. It’s always about giving and taking when you’re working within budget constraints.

Another point to note is that, since this laptop caters to the lower end of the market, it might not have the same power management sophistication as higher-end models. Thus, while it’ll hold up for lighter tasks just fine, pushing it to its limits could see a faster decline in battery efficiency over time.

So, in essence, the HP 14 Celeron N4020 laptop finds a nice sweet spot between longevity and recharging convenience. While it won’t break any endurance records (especially under taxing conditions), for its price point, the battery life does not disappoint. Just remember to treat the Fast Charge feature like dessert – awesome occasionally, but not something to indulge in all the time.

Software Experience and Windows 11 S-Mode

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In the realm of affordable laptops, the HP 14” with the Celeron N4020 stands out as a divisive option. While its Software Experience and Windows 11 S-Mode offers a secured environment, there are both shining points and limitations to consider:

  • Security: Windows 11 S-Mode prioritizes security and speed, restricting downloads to vetted Microsoft Store apps. This means less risk of malware, which is a big plus for the less tech-savvy or those who want peace of mind.

  • Performance: While S-Mode does run smoothly, the limited app selection can be stifling. Users who need specific software not available on the Microsoft Store will find this mode restrictive.

  • Transition: The good news is, you can switch out of S-Mode to install non-Store apps. However, remember that you can’t revert back to S-Mode after doing so.

  • Configuration: For those ready to step out of the S-Mode’s safety net, Windows offers flexibility. You’ll have free rein over your software choices—a must for power users.

Now, speaking candidly, I’ve worked my way around some of the drawbacks. Initial slowdowns were combated by removing unnecessary apps, which surprisingly breathed life into the system. This simple remedy turned a sluggish machine into a more responsive one for basic tasks.

Regarding Windows 11 S-Mode, the enhanced security is admirable, yet its implementation feels more limiting than protective. I longed for the autonomy to decide which software to trust and install. Being compelled to resort to the Microsoft Store alone sometimes felt like being handcuffed, especially when more obscure, yet essential, tools were needed.

Despite these hurdles, it’s possible to disable S-Mode—but it requires a Microsoft account and some fiddling in the settings, which can be annoying. The effort is worthwhile if you need a broader software ecosystem. Just search “disable S mode windows 11 without account” for a workaround, a tip I picked up from user forums that saved me a lot of frustration.

In conclusion, dealing with the HP 14’s software limitations has been a study in patience and compromise. Windows 11 S-Mode offers security at the cost of freedom, a trade-off that may be justifiable for the price point. If your needs are simple—basic computing, some light multitasking—then this setup might be sufficient. But if you crave more, be prepared to invest some time in customization and perhaps even a slight hit in performance. This HP isn’t a powerhouse, but with some tweaking, it’s a reliable sidekick for those on a budget.