Overnight, Google and HP have announced a new Chromebook the HP Chromebook 11. In a range of four colours – Red, Yellow, Green and Blue – or two shades – black and white – the HP Chromebook 11 comes with almost no branding, no HP logos, no Google Logo, just a simple Chrome logo.
HP and Google are pushing the design aspect of the Chromebook 11, unlike the higher end Chromebook Pixel, the Chromebook 11 is primarily made of a plastic material, but is solidly supported by a Magnesium chassis for strength. The Chromebook is powered by an ARM based Exynos 5250 GAIA SOC which allows it to be silent, with no fans and in keeping with the sleek design aesthetic, no screws, vents or speakers are visible.
Spec wise the new Chromebook is very nice
- 11.6″ display with 16:9 aspect ratio 1366×768 (IPS Panel)
- Samsung Exynos 5250 GAIA SOC
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 16GB SSD
- Integrated VGA Webcam
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- 2xUSB 2.0
- Micro USB Charging, with Slimport video out.
- 30Wh Battery with up to 6 hours of active use.
- 297x192x17.6mm @ 1.04kg
The charging aspect of the Chromebook is a very interesting choice, rather than opt for a proprietary charger, the decision was made to go with a microUSB plug, allowing you to take a single charger with you when you travel with your Chromebook and Mobile phone.
As with the Chromebook Pixel, Google has decided to mount the speakers on the laptop beneath the keyboard. This decision allows for sound to be directed at you, rather than into you lap or desk which would otherwise muffle the sound.
An interesting decision is the external storage, apart from USB drives, there is none. Google are offering the standard 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage that they offer with most of their Chromebook range, which is valid for two years, however there are no SD Card slots on the device to allow expansion via relatively cheap flash memory.
Priced at US$279 the Chromebook 11 is pretty competitive in the sub-$300 market where Google claims to have a 25% market share with their existing Chromebook range. What this price will be when it finally reaches Australian shores is anyones guess.
In terms of availability, we’re waiting on official word, but the Chromeblog which announced the device advised that whilst it’s available from today in the US and UK, it will be available ‘in other countries that sell Chromebooks in time for the holidays’, so depending on the price, this should make a fantastic stocking stuffer. We’ve asked HP for more information on both price and availability and we’ll let you know anything we hear ASAP.
The Chromebook 11 is one of the nicest looking Chromebooks I’ve seen so far, apart from the Pixel, but with a lower end price this HP is sure to win over a lot of new customers. My only hesitation would be the upcoming Haswell based Chromebooks which could offer insanely good battery life as well as a possible touchscreen on the Acer model.