Chromebooks will gain access to Android apps later this year, opening a whole new world of software to the web-centric platform. To get ready for this upgrade, HP has built the 11.6-inch Chromebook 11 G5, a lightweight laptop, which will start at $189 and offer an optional touchscreen when it launches in October.
Touchscreen Chromebook 11 G5 models will start at $269, but this finger-friendly display will come at the price of slightly less battery life. While the company claims the nontouch Chromebook 11 G5 lasted 12.5 hours on one of Google's battery tests, it admits the touchscreen version made it only 11 hours on the same benchmark.
Some time in the next few months, all Chromebook users will gain access to 2 million Android apps from the Google Play store. Currently, Chromebooks can only access programs from the Chrome Web Store, which is mostly composed of web apps, with a small selection of offline native programs.
The Chromebook 11 G5 weighs 2.51 pounds and HP says it will feature "a slimmed-down profile" and a thinner bezel than in the Chromebook 11 G4. HP says the Chromebook 11 G5 will also include a "new, smooth-curve keyboard design" that "makes it easier to wipe out dust."
If you're buying this Chromebook for use at school, you may want the model with a touchscreen panel that's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. Not only is this display more durable, but it should reduce reflections as well.