In an attempt to keep up with consumer demands, HP has launched its first ARM-powered Chromebook running Google’s Chrome OS operating system.
The HP Chromebook 11 is smaller than the previous Pavilion Chromebook 14 – the clue is in the title – and comes in a variety of fun color schemes. Although there is an all-black version of the new 11.6-inch device, the main design theme offers a white case with red, blue, green or yellow trim around the keyboard.
The Chromebook 11 may only cost $279, but its design is still impressive. The glossy plastic lid and back are uninterrupted by screws, vents or any other components, lending the machine a modern, classy air.
Weighing it at a little over two pounds, the Chromebook 11 is one of the lightest notebooks on the market, but it still sports a full-sized keyboard and trackpad, so there have been no compromises in term on input devices.
It features a Samsung 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos 5250 GAIA processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB solid-state drive, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/LTE connectivity, a lightweight yet strong magnesium alloy chassis, and a battery good for 6 hours of active use.
The screen with a 1,366 x 768 resolution (standard for this screen size), which is bright and sharp enough to make text on websites and documents easily legible. Viewing angles are wide, so you can easily show off your videos or photos.
The Chromebook 11 also comes with 100GB Google Drive cloud storage that is free for two years, and a 60-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access.
The internal speakers sit under the keyboard and are both loud and clear, but like most other laptop speakers lack bass.
Google’s Chrome OS operating system is a Linux-based platform designed to work primarily with web applications. The user interface consists almost entirely of the Google Chrome web browser and applications come in the form of web apps.
HP Chromebook 11 has two USB ports, a headphones port and a micro USB charging port. For added convenience the Chromebook 11 can be charged up using the same charger and cable as most Android handsets, which means less wires and clutter to carry about.
A VGA webcam at the top of the screen serves for video chats. For connection to a TV or monitor there’s a SlimPort, which uses a special connector to output video via the USB port to an HDMI connector.
Overall, the Chromebook 11 is a big step up in terms of build quality and design against what you might expect for £229. It’s fine for browsing the web, for emailing, word processing and basic office duties, as well as consuming online video and music.
It’s up to you to determine what your needs are, but if you know what you’re getting, you’ll enjoy the HP Chromebook 11.