Google and HP have added a new member to the Chromebook family. Announced at an event in New York City this morning, the HP Chromebook 11 takes a few design cues from the Chromebook Pixel but at a much more affordable price point with more modest specs and a plastic body instead of the all-metal construction.
The small laptop is somewhat reminiscent of Apple’s now-retired plastic MacBook, coming in white or black, but with one of four accent colors from the Google Chrome color palette -- red, blue, green, and yellow. The system also retains the Pixel's multicolored light bar on the lid to add a bit of flare, and while its body is all plastic on the outside, it’s reinforced with a magnesium frame for rigidity and to keep the weight low.
Its 11.6-inch IPS panel features a mere 1366 × 768 resolution, which is to be expected from a budget-minded system, but HP improved both brightness (300 nits) and off-angle viewing (176 degrees).
Powering the device is a Samsung dual-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state drive for storage. Although it’ll be no match to Intel based variants in terms of performance, the silicon inside this machine has proven to be more than sufficient for Chrome OS, while enabling a silent fabless design.
Rounding out the spec sheet are dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a pair of USB 2.0 ports plus a micro USB port for charging and video output via the SlimPort standard, a VGA Webcam, about six hours of battery life, a full-size keyboard and a pair of speakers hidden underneath the latter that are said to be “digitally tuned”.
As usual, Google is throwing in 100GB of Drive storage for two years, plus a 60-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access and 12 free GoGo in-flight Internet sessions.
The new HP Chromebook 11 is available to order starting today priced at $279 from Google Play, Best Buy, Amazon, and HP. A 4G version is coming too but pricing and availability has yet to be announced.