Chromebooks are booming in the education market, and HP is riding the wave with two new rugged machines designed for students: the Chromebook x360 11 G2 and the Chromebook 11 G7 Education Edition.
The Chromebook x360 11 G2 and Chromebook 11 G7 EE will be available online in April. Pricing has not yet been announced.
HP Rugged Chromebooks: Specs and Price
|HP Chromebook x360 11 G2||HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE|
|Display||11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixels, touch||11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixels, touch or non-touch|
|CPU||Intel Celeron N4000 or Celeron N4100|
|RAM||Up to 8GB|
|Graphics||UHD Graphics 600|
|Storage||32GB, 64GB||16GB, 32GB, 64GB|
|Ports||2 USB-C, USB 3.1 (Type-A), microSD, headphone|
|Size||12 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches||12 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||3.2 pounds||2.93 pounds|
The x360 11 G2 is the successor to the x360 11 G1, which I praised last year for its long battery life, strong audio and tough build quality. Fortunately, the new model retains last year's MIL-STD 810G-rated chassis, which includes a spill-resistant keyboard and shock-absorbing rubber bumpers. The x360 11 G2 was tested to survive a 30-inch drop, so teachers don't have to worry about children mishandling this 2-in-1.
HP made some nice updates to the 3.2-pound convertible. Students can now draw on the x360 11 G2's 11.6-inch, 1366 x 766-resolution touchscreen display with an optional Wacom Pen, and a second 5-megapixel rear-facing camera lets kids practice their photography. The upcoming model also gets a performance boost courtesy of quad-core Celeron 4100 or dual-core Celeron 4000 CPUs. The x360 11 G2 still maxes out at 8GB of RAM but now storage capacity goes up to 64GB.
HP rates the Chromebook x360 11 G2's battery life at 11.5 hours, which would be an excellent runtime for any laptop with a touch screen display.
The Chromebook 11 G7 EE is practically identical to the x360 11 G2 --- it has the same durable chassis, processor options and RAM amount --- except that the 11-inch display on this model only rotates 180-degrees to fold flat. Unlike its hybrid twin, this clamshell laptop comes with three display options: an HD IPS touch screen panel, a matte non-touch display and an HD SVA option. The 11 G7 EE is estimated to last 13 hours on a charge when configured with a non-touch display.
Another minor difference compared to the 2-in-1 Chromebook is that the base model of the 11 G7 EE comes with only 16GB of storage, compared to the convertible laptop's 32GB. Both laptops house dual USB-C ports, a future-proof feature we don't often see on laptops targeted at students.
We'll provide a full review of the HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 and 11 G7 EE later this year, so stay tuned.