Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Google unveils 'the readily available for anyone' HP Chromebook 11 for $279

Google announced a new addition to its line of Chromebook laptops this morning at an event in New York, showing off the HP Chromebook 11, a budget-friendly Chrome OS-powered computer starting at just $279. The new Chromebook 11 is available starting today from Google Play, HP, Best Buy and Amazon.  A 4G LTE-equipped version is planned, but pricing and availability have yet to be announced. Included with the purchase is two years of 100GB Google Drive storage, a 60-day trial of Google Play Music All Access, and 12 free sessions of GoGo in-flight internet.

The HP Chromebook 11 comes equipped with an 11-inch 1366 x 768-pixel IPS display (makes for great use in direct sunlight), a dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250 processor (tablet power processor, not a full on laptop one), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, two USB 2.0 ports and a Micro USB for 15.75W charging (meaning you can use your other microUSB cords for your cellphones to charge as well), and SlimPort video out. It also features a built-in front-facing VGA (480p resolution, not HD 720p or 1080p) webcam, a fully functional keyboard and a clickable touchpad.

Visually, the Chromebook 11 is somewhere between Apple's Macbook Pro line of laptops  and their discontinued white plastic MacBook laptop. The new Chrome OS device features a sleek white or black plastic design (consumer choice) with a magnesium frame for added strength. 
Google has also hidden all of speaker grills under the keyboard and screws, giving the design a cleaner appearance. Google is offering the laptop in black or white with Chrome-appropriate blue, red, yellow, or green accents around the keyboard and under the laptop for it's "rubber stop" feet.

Google is touting the Chromebook 11's new display, which it claims is as much as 50 percent brighter than most laptops on the market. Its IPS panel offers 176 degree viewing angles and a very wide color gamut.  The laptop is also exceedingly light at 2.3 pounds.  Google expects about six hours of battery life from the Chromebook 11 with active use. Interestingly again, the only way to charge the laptop is through a Micro USB port, which Google says is more convenient for many users that might be carrying around a smartphone or tablet charger with them.

Google is quick to note that Chromebooks now claim as much as 25 percent of the sub-$300 laptop market, and the Samsung Chromebook has been the number one selling laptop on Amazon since its debut. The Chromebook 11 appears to offer everything that I liked about the Samsung version. If history is any guide, Google likely has another hit on its hands with the Chromebook 11.

Source: http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/

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