While the insides remain the same, HP is updating the look of its 11-inch Chromebook with a fresh design, new colors, and a lower price of $249. You should also expect less of a fire hazard, as the original Chromebook had to be pulled from the market for its faulty charger. Will this Chromebook be hotter (in a good way) than others in its price range?
Unlike the Google-influenced Chromebook 11, which had the same thickness of 0.7 inches through the entire chassis, the newer Chromebook looks more like HP's 14-inch version, which tapers in thickness towards the front. However, the newer Chromebook is slightly thicker and heavier, at 0.81 inches and 2.69 pounds, compared to last year's 0.71 inches and 2.2 pounds.
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Also gone is the glossy white plastic with red, green, blue or yellow accents. Instead, HP will offer the Chromebook in either turquoise or white, which will cover the lid, bezel, and bottom. The keyboard deck is a silver color.
Internally, the new HP Chromebook has the same Samsung Exynos 5250 processor as its predecessor, which came out last fall. Like that system, it also has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory. It will have two USB ports and a headphone jack, and its 11-inch display has a resolution of 1366 x 768.
HP estimates that the new Chromebook will last up to 6.25 hours on a charge, which is just 15 minutes longer than the company's estimate for the older Chromebook 11. However, we found that the earlier version lasted just 3 hours and 54 minutes on the Peacekeeper Browser Test, well below other Chromebooks of this size.
For now, the $199 Acer C720 Chromebook remains the best bargain, which offers zippy Intel Celeron performance for less money. That Chromebook also lasted about 6.5 hours on a charge, much longer than the earlier Chromebook 11. We look forward to putting HP's new effort through its paces once we can get it into the lab to see how much it has improved.
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