Despite some rough reviews, some high-cost duds (and some low-cost ones), Google’s Chrome OS soldiers on. And with its new Chromebook 11, HP might be launching one of the most appealing Chromebooks yet.
True to Chrome’s lightweight, low-cost aspirations, the 11-inch notebook weighs 2.3 pounds, measures 0.7 inches thick, and perhaps most importantly, will only cost $279 – right in line with the tablets it will compete head-to-head with. That’s a far cry from the $1,299 starting price on the Chromebook Pixel, but of course you won’t find any Intel hardware inside for that price; it runs Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 5250 processor, which is similar to what you might find in a smartphone or tablet.
That low-power processor gives it some interesting perks. Besides battery life advertised as six hours of “active use,” you can charge the laptop via microUSB, just like most Android phones. That means one less charger to carry with you when you’re traveling, or one less cable tangling up on your nightstand at home.
The Chromebook 11’s closest competitor in the Google stable will be Samsung’s Chromebook Series 3, another 11.6-inch Chromebook with similar specs that sells for $249.
HP advertises some impressive specs for its 11.6-inch IPS display, including 300-nit brightness and a wide 176-degree viewing angle, but it only covers a ho-hum 60 percent of the color gamut and resolution is undisclosed. If other notebooks in this price range are any indication, expect 1366 x 768.
Other features include 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB SSD (with 100GB of free Google Drive space for two years), two USB ports, a VGA webcam, and SlimPort compatibility, which can convert the microUSB jack to an HDMI port with an optional adapter.
The Chromebook 11 goes on sale Tuesday at Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play and HP Shopping. In true Google style, you can pick one up with red, yellow, blue or green highlights around the keyboard.