Google might be busy preparing its Nexus 5 launch, but that isn’t stopping the company from adding a new member to its Chromebook hardware lineup. HP and Google have announced today the Chromebook 11, which joins the Pavilion Chromebook and somehow prepares us for the upcoming Chromebook 14. Priced at $279, the Chromebook 11 is a low-cost laptop that comes with Chrome OS, has an 11-inch screen, a 1366 x 768 pixel IPS display and what seems to be like a Chromebook Pixel inspired design.
The laptop weighs only 2.3 pounds (1.04kg) and feels very light in the hand, according to early hands-on. It comes in a variety of colors (Google’s standard choice and a signature for Chrome products) – red, blue, green and yellow but the colors don’t cover the entire surface of the Chrome OS laptop as there are only two stripes on its back: a thin and a thicker one. The device doesn’t have any vents or fans, maybe because it’s powered by the ARM based 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 processor, commonly used in smartphones and tablets, which should keep things running cool.
It also comes with 2GB of RAM, and only 16GB of SSD, which is a clear indication and reminder that this is a device meant to be used for online purposes. That’s why Google has decided to take care of your storage needs by offering 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years. Also, speaking of online service, when you purchase a HP Chromebook 11, you will also get a 60-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access and 12 free GoGo Inflight Internet sessions. For those of you who are looking for blazing fast browsing, you should know that a 4G version of the laptop will be available, but pricing and availability are not known at this moment.
Can another Chromebook make a splash?
A nice feature of the Chromebook 11 that frequent travelers will appreciate is the fact that it charges via micro-USB, which means you won’t need to carry an extra charging cable. Google says that the HP Chromebook Pro 11 is inspired by the Chromebook Pixel and we see that in the 11.6-inch IPS panel with a 1,366 x 768 resolution that produces bright colors look bright and viewing angles are impressive at 176 degrees. Google says that the devices is 50 percent brighter than most laptops.
On the left side of the laptop, there are two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone jack and SlimPort video out. It has Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 and you’ll also find a modest VGA camera for those moments when you want to take a picture or videocall somebody. At the moment, Google says you can expect about six hours of battery life on a charge, which is definitely a downside and not something that you’d expect from a device that wants to be so portable. Also, as the price of Haswell and Bay Trail laptops are going down, it will be hard for the Chromebook 11 to find a name for itself on the market.
Caesar Sengupta, VP of Product Management said the following on Google’s official blog:
This Chromebook is crafted with the same obsessive attention to detail as the Chromebook Pixel. But we worked hard with HP to keep the price low: the new HP Chromebook 11 is available for just $279. Look for it starting today at Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play and HP Shopping in the U.S., as well as at Currys, PC World and many other retailers in the U.K.
What do you think about the HP Chromebook 11? Would you find real use in such a device or you would rather put a little more money and get a Windows-touch laptop?
photo credits: TheVerge, Engadget, ArsTechnica