|Google's New Chromebook 11 $279 Laptop|
|By JOANNA STERN (@joannastern)||Oct 8, 2013, 9:31 AM|
HP and Google want the world to take a break from tablets for a little bit. The two companies have joined forces to announce the latest laptop based on Google's web-browser based Chrome OS -- the HP Chromebook 11.
You can think of the Chromebook 11 as netbook (remember those?) with a nicer hardware design and specifications. The 2.3-pound laptop, which will be available starting today at various retailers for $279, has an 11.6-inch, IPS 1366 x 768-resolution display and a comfortable chiclet keyboard and a shiny white design.
The design is very reminiscent of Apple's old plastic white Macbook, but with a few tricks: it has a magnesium frame with no screws and it has some color accents. You have your choice of blue, green, red or yellow framing around the keyboard.
Google and HP have also paid special attention to the charger. The microUSB charger can also charge most non-Apple tablets and smartphones.
Inside the specifications aren't as impressive -- it essentially has the guts of a tablet or a smartphone. The notebook is powered by a dual-core Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM. But that might be all the power you need to run Chrome OS, which unlike Windows or Mac OS, is based solely around a web browser.
While there is offline support for Google documents and other apps, this a laptop that is best when connected to a Wi-Fi network. In fact, for its $279 price Google also includes 12 free vouchers for Gogo's in-flight Wi-Fi.
While the idea of having a laptop that was only useful when there was wireless was a crazy idea years ago, Chromebooks have become increasingly popular. On Amazon.com Samsung's $250 Chromebook has long been the most popular laptop and Linus Upson, a vice president of engineering at Chrome says, "Chromebooks are the only segment of the laptop market that is growing."
The Chromebook 11 is available starting today at Best Buy, Amazon Google Play and HP's website.