The HP Chromebook 11 takes a page from Apple's old MacBook line. It is made from plastic, but remains strong thanks to a magnesium frame, and is light at just over 2 pounds. The edges are curved, making the Chromebook 11 more comfortable to carry about and use. Google said the device is somewhat rugged, and can take some bumps and bruises without worry.
Interestingly, the Chromebook 11 won't require owners to lug around a cumbersome power brick. The laptop can be charged through a microUSB port and ships with a charger that resembles those of today's smartphones. The 2,300 mAh battery provides more than six hours of battery life.
The Chromebook 11's display measures 11.6 inches across the diagonal. According to HP, the in-plane switching LCD offers a 176-degree viewing angle and is bright. The laptop's speakers are positioned under the (full-sized) keyboard to provide better sound, and there are no fans or vents. Google said the speakers were "digitally tuned" to provide crisp sound that's directed at the user's ears.
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The Chromebook 11 comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports and a headphone jack. It's a shame HP skipped the USB 3.0 ports, which would offer faster data transfer speeds. The device connects to networks via Wi-Fi, though there's an optional LTE variant that works with Verizon's network. There's no word yet on availability or cost of the LTE model. The device also includes a webcam.
The Chromebook 11 is powered by a Samsung dual-core Exynos 5250 processor, which is based on the ARM architecture. It has 2 GB of RAM and a 16-GB SSD. Google is offering 100 GB of Google Drive storage for two years with the Chromebook 11. It's also including a free 60-day trial of its Google Play Music All Access service, which provides music listening/streaming across Chrome and Android devices. The laptop is also being packaged with 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet.
Google and HP are offering the Chromebook 11 in piano black or white. The white version is available with custom colored accents, which come in red, blue, green and yellow. Both the black and white models come with a cool light bar on the lid.
The Chromebook 11 runs Google's Chrome operating system, which is based on the Chrome browser. There is a wide selection of browser-based apps for Chrome, which can be installed via the Chrome Store.
Look for the Chromebook 11 beginning Tuesday at Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play and HP Shopping in the U.S. It is also available at Currys, PC World and other retailers in the U.K. The Chromebook 11 will be available in time for the holidays in other countries that sell Chromebooks. It costs $279.