We noted yesterday that HP appears to have released an as-yet-unannounced Chromebook 11 in Australia. Today, it appears that the new Chromebook is in fact called the “Chromebook 11 G2” according to this listing on the HP website.
We’ve also got a more detailed first impressions post from its new owner. Take it away, Lachlan:
Since opening up this mystery Chromebook, I’ve been playing around with it quite a bit. First of all, I have to say I’m a fan of the design. It’s a cheap and cheerful laptop but the powder white finish on the lid and the dimpled plastic base gives it a great feel. I just hope the finish doesn’t discolour over time.
Overall, build quality is good – the computer feels solid and quite light weight. However the hinge creaks a bit when adjusted and some of the plastic at the hinge joint isn’t perfectly matched. It seems fine for a budget computer.
I’m disappointed about the screen quality – especially with the washed out colours, and severe contrast shifting when the vertical viewing angle is changed. At least it can get quite bright though, and has a good matte anti-reflective coating. I’ve seen the HP’s Chromebook 11-1101 though, and this is a pale imitation.
The keyboard has a good feel. The keys are slightly spongy and not quite as clicky and tactile as the Acer C720‘s keys, but they are well spaced and there’s no keyboard flex when typing. The touchpad is also good – it’s smooth and responsive and doesn’t make the hollow kind of click that I’ve seen on other Chromebook’s when tapped. It is however a little stiff.
In terms of battery life, the indicator always hovers between 4-6 hours depending on what I’m doing, but I haven’t done any rigorous testing. It can stutter at times, most noticeably when scrolling on a webpage while it is trying to load at the same time. It seems fine for casual web browsing, but is certainly not as responsive as the Intel-based Acer C720 and Toshiba Chromebooks I’ve tried.
Overall, I think it’s a bit strange HP seems to be replacing – at least in Australia – the HP Chromebook 11 with a variant that has a lower-quality display and weighs slightly more. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that HP is clearing excess inventory of Exynos chips before launching a new Chromebook in the same shell with an IPS display and Intel chips… but if that’s the case, then I’ve just severely overpaid for my mysterious new darling…
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Are you interested in the new HP Chromebook 11 G2, or would you prefer the original model (or whatever’s coming next)? Tell us in the comments!