HP has put out a wide range of solid affordable Chromebooks over the last several years. But now, the company is hitting both the high and low end of the Chromebook market with two new options for its lineup.
The HP Chromebook x360 14c is a premium convertible laptop that will be available later this month starting at $499 while the Chromebook 11a targets the affordable end of the spectrum with its smaller 11.6-inch display and a $219 starting price.
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HP Chromebook x360 14c
While HP has made Chromebooks with larger displays (i.e. last year's HP Chromebook 15), the HP Chromebook x360 14c looks like it could be the best-looking screen that HP has put into a Chromebook to date. It has a solid 88% screen-to-body ratio, full HD IPS display, and Corning Gorilla glass to protect the touchscreen.
The HP Chromebook x360 14c has Intel's latest inside with a 10th-Gen Intel Core i3-10110U Comet Lake processor (a Core i5 option is available as well) that should deliver plenty of power for the kind of tasks that you are going to throw at a Chromebook. The 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of eMMC storage should be sufficient for most users' needs and while a PC gamer would shy away from the Intel UHD graphics, it should handle most of the best Chromebook games.
At 0.7-inches thick and 3.6 pounds, the HP Chromebook x360 14c is slim and light enough that it should offer a solid tablet experience. While it isn't included in the box, it does have USI pen support which can charge in the built-in magnetic pen dock.
HP is boasting 13.5 hours of battery life for the Chromebook x360 14c and with HP Fast Charge you can get a 50% charge in only 45 minutes. Onboard audio is handled by dual Bang & Olufsen speakers and the laptop features an HP Wide Vision HD camera with dual-array microphone for your video chatting needs and includes a webcam privacy switch which isn't often seen in Chromebooks.
Another security rarity for Chromebooks is the fingerprint reader found on the HP Chromebook x360 14c, it's nice to see this making its way onto Chrome OS devices.
Support for Wi-Fi 6 means you are future-proofed for when you upgrade to one of the best Wi-Fi routers. Ports are reasonably plentiful with two USB-C, one USB Type-A, a microSD card reader, and a headphone/mic jack.
The HP Chromebook x360 14c will be available in a couple of different configurations later this month from Best Buy and HP.com and again starts at $499.
HP Chromebook 11a
Tackling the affordable end of the market is the HP Chromebook 11a, which at $219 is going to be going head-to-head with our current Best Chromebook for Students the Samsung Chromebook 3.
The HP Chromebook 11a comes in at 3 pounds and features an 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) display with both touch and non-touch variants. Powering the laptop is a dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, which isn't going to deliver high-level performance, but should be enough for basic tasks and is contributing to the impressive 13 hours of battery life that HP is claiming.
The rest of the internals aren't going to blow you away either with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC memory, and Intel HD Graphics 500 GPU. Again, if you are looking for performance, HP is going to refer you to the Chromebook x360 14c above.
The Chromebook 11a features a solid array of ports with two USB-C, two USB Type-A, HDMI-out, microSD card reader, and a headphone/mic jack.
The budget end of the Chromebook market is pretty crowded already, so we'll have to see how HP's latest can hold up when it launches later this month at Best Buy and HP.com.