- Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 29.7 x 1.8 cm ; 1 Kg
- Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
- Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
- Item model number: F2J07AA#ABA
- ASIN: B00FJXVRM8
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: Dec 23 2013
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #245,799 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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HP Chromebook 11 (White)
- Samsung A4 1.7 GHz
- 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 16 GB Solid-State Drive
- 11.6-Inch Screen
- Chrome, 6-hour battery life
There is a newer model of this item:
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Chromebooks are a unique class of mobile computing devices, designed specifically for Web-based tasks. They differ from traditional laptops in a few important ways:
Chromebooks run Web-based apps, not traditional PC applications.
Chromebooks are designed to be connected to the Internet. You can create documents and spreadsheets or edit photos on a Chromebook using Google apps designed for these purposes. The Chrome operating system will not load and run traditional PC software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. However, files created in these applications can be viewed and edited using Google apps on your Chromebook or cloud-based applications like Microsoft’s Office web apps.
You store your files in the Cloud, not on the machine.
To help make them thin and light, Chromebooks are built without large-capacity drives. So instead of storing your documents, videos, and photos on your computer, you save them to Google Drive (Google's Cloud-based storage service). Your files are password-protected and secure, and you can access them anywhere there's an Internet connection. If you know you'll want access to a file or photo offline, however, you can easily save it to the built-in solid-state drive.
HP Chromebook 11: Made with Google. For Everyone.
Everything you need in one laptop. Clever touches like an extra bright screen and a charger that also works with your Android phone are designed to keep up with the things you do every day.
For Sharing, Playing, Doing
Relax with your favorite music, write a report using Google Docs, or put the finishing touches on a family video. Your Chromebook has 6 hours of battery life, slips easily into a bag or purse, and weighs just over 2 pounds – so it’s equally comfortable at home or keeping up with the things you do everyday.*
Ready When you Are
Chromebook starts in seconds, so you can go straight to playing or working (if you have to). Unlike traditional computers, Chromebook updates itself automatically so it doesn’t slow down over time. Browse the web at lightning speed with features like Chrome Instant and the Chrome Omnibox.
With Everything Built-in
For the Best of Google
Video chats are loud and clear on digitally-tuned speakers. YouTube videos shine on the brilliant screen. And 100GB of free Google Drive storage safely stores all your stuff.** Your favorite Google apps are built-in, and there are lots of other apps available for free on the Chrome Web Store.
Your Chromebook is probably easier than any computer you’ve ever used – there’s no clutter, no waiting, and no nagging. It uses the same charger as most Android phones, starts up in seconds, and automatically stays up-to-date without interrupting you.
Plays Nicely with Others
For Picking up Where you Left off – Wherever you Go
Start writing an email on your Chromebook and finish it off from your phone. The stuff from your Chromebook (like email, files, photos, bookmarks, and apps) are easy to access on your phone, tablet, and even your old PC, so you can pick up right where you left off -- or multi-task with several devices at the same time, if you’re so inclined.
Directions to everywhere. Search for directions on your Chromebook, and find them later when you’re on the road.
Read from where you left off. Find an article on your Chromebook, and read it later from your phone.
Work anywhere. Write a document on your Chromebook, and edit it on the go.
Gives you Peace of Mind
Stays Fresh, all by Itself
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, an operating system that’s fast, simple and secure. Chromebook updates itself automatically (and for free). So you’ll have the latest and greatest version -- no need for manual downloads and upgrades.
Virus protection, multiple layers of security, and verified boot help keep you safe from viruses, malware and other computer nasties. With Google Drive built-in, your files and photos are automatically backed up, so if you lose your computer, you don’t lose all of your stuff.
- 11.6" IPS display with 16:9 aspect ratio
- 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
- 60% color gamut
- 300 nit screen
- Wide viewing angle (176 degree)
- Chrome keyboard
- Fine-tuned, clickable touchpad
- VGA webcam
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- MicroUSB for 15.75W charging and SlimPort video output
- Magnesium chassis for strength
- White with a blue accent color
- Silent, fanless design
- No visible screws, vents, or speakers
- 297 x 192 x 17.6mm (not including feet)
- 2.30lb / 1.04kg
- Exynos 5250 GAIA Application Processor
- 2GB (4x 4Gbit) DDR3 RAM
- 16GB Solid State Drive
- Combined headphone / microphone jack
- Digitally-tuned speakers with sound directed up through the keyboard
- Your Chromebook has up to 6 hours of active use (30 Wh battery)*
- Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 100 GB Google Drive cloud storage, free for two years**
- 60-day free trial with Google Play Music All Access, and $9.99 per month after that***
- 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet****
Some things like Hangouts and Voice Search require internet. *Battery life may vary upon usage and other conditions. **You will have 60 days to redeem the offer, following the date you first log into your Chromebook. 100GB of free storage is for 2 years, starting on the date you redeem the Drive offer. Learn more. ***You will have 60 days to redeem the offer, following the date you first log into your Chromebook. If you’ve ever tried a free trial for Google Play Music All Access, you are not eligible for this offer. Your 60-day trial will automatically switch to monthly billing unless you cancel. ****You will have 12 months to redeem the offer and use 12 sessions, following the date you first log into your Chromebook.
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A word of warning, this is a rather long and non-techie review for people who don’t know much about these devices. My aim is to educate you about the Chromebook range rather than the specifics of one machine. I aim to tell you what they are, and what they’re good for.
So make yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and read on.
What is it? Is it a laptop?
That may sound a daft question, but it’s actually quite sensible, because this looks like a laptop, but works like no other. Most laptops run Windows or Apple software, this runs “Chrome” designed and built by Google. It’s different to a typical operating system in that it actually runs “one the web” inside the Chrome Browser. This has several advantages (and a few potential issues), but for someone looking to do online shopping or look up Wikipedia for the homework - this is a brilliant solution - but I’m getting ahead of myself.
So in short - yes, it’s a laptop, but not like any other laptop you’ll have used.
What can you use it for?
Well just about anything! Here’s a short list:-
* Anything you can do in a browser!
* Shopping on Amazon for a start
* Reading and replying to mails or setting Calendar events
* Edit and publish photos to the web
* Updating your Facebook or Twitter status
* Even read or write Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (for FREE) using the web based version.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
UPDATE (Oct 26, 2014): I placed the HP Chromebook 11 next to the new Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU (13.3-inch Full HD, NVIDIA Tegra K1, 4GB) as I was reviewing it. My goal was to compare looks and display quality and HP's incredible near-180-degree viewing angle and bright picture still outshines that of a newer, more expensive machine with a 1080p display. I thought I'd share this. The HP is the smaller Chromebook, the one on the left.
UPDATE (Dec 26, 2013): I am glad to see HP's 11-inch Chromebook available again. We've been using ours all throughout the charger 'crisis' and we are as happy with it today if not happier than we were on 'day one'. More than two months later, HP's Chromebook 11 continues to be a beautiful little device with a great display that continues to do most of what I require during my off-work hours. It traveled with me on my vacation and will travel with me again and it's there (on couch or on my bedside table) when I need it.
WHY A CHROMEBOOK?
There's so much to say here but let me make a quick summary. And never forget that we are talking about an 'under 300' device here because, yes, anything that costs 3-4-5 times as much should do better most of the time.
˕ My Chromebook is my most used computer excluding work hours and by 'computer' I mean PCs, laptops and tablets.
˕ Malware, spyware, adware-free. Since nothing is really 'installed' on the Chromebook, I can't see how one would ever be infected. I am now using my Chromebook to open suspicious emails or click on dubious URLs that I don't dare touch from a laptop.
˕ Extremely safe OS. I don't know if this is common knowledge but Google is constantly challenging hackers to crack their OS. As far as I know, Chromium wasn't cracked yet.
˕ Easy to share among any number of users without any concerns of compromising privacy. If you have a Google account, you simply sign in and you are going to be within your own, personal environment.
˕ Constantly updated and upgraded. Google updates Chromium every few weeks and I found my Chromebook actually getting better all the time rather than slowly fall into obsolescence. HP's Chromebook will not replace Samsung's, it will be used by another family member who really, really wanted one after watching my happy relationship with our first one.
˕ Nearly maintenance free. Whenever I don't use a tablet or even a laptop for a while, they tend to get very busy for a while once I turn them back on. Tablets, especially, are almost impossible to use until all those dozens of updates/upgrades process. Not the case for Chromebooks. Whatever upgrades may take place don't hit my Chromebook. Whenever I call up an app, I get it in its latest version.
˕ The attached keyboard helps a lot. Yes, you can pair a keyboard and even a mouse to a tablet but the Chromebook's keyboard is always there, it negates the need of a stand or even some protecting case.
˕ Chrome OS is streamlined and efficiently focused where it matters, on the everyday uses most of us need a 'computer' most of the time.
˕ Chrome OS being such a streamlined OS, browsing and running apps on a Chromebook is in fact faster than off a PC/laptop/tablet of equivalent specs.
˕ Relatively low prince, 11.6" display and light weight seem to be just about right for something that typically you'd be using to browse the Web while watching TV or take to and from school.
WHY NOT A CHROMEBOOK?
Yes, Chromebooks can't do everything. Google's productivity suites notwithstanding, they are mainly and they are best at media consumption rather than production. Nobody should buy a Chromebook and expect to be able to edit video or perform some heavy word processing or do some hard-core gaming. There are other machines and devices for such tasks. My experience is that a Chromebook can't do 'everything'. Tablets are more portable, PCs and laptops are more powerful but, to me, my Chromebook is the most fun to use and it's likely to stay this way. I am not going to call it my 'second' or 'third' or 'first' computer but, objectively, it's the one most use outside business hours if what we measure is 'hours'.
HP's CHROMEBOOK 11
I haven't spent a lot of time with HP's but, from the start, it was a very familiar feeling. HPs is not 'exactly like' Samsung's but it's easily recognizable as a Chromebook.
Here are some changes:
˕ USB-based charging. This is a BIG thing. The biggest negative in the case of Samsung's Chromebook was the proprietary charger. HP's USB-based charging allows the use of most off-the-shelf chargers so there's a lot less to worry.
˕ Better quality display. When compared to Samsung's the colors are sharper and brighter and you can view the screen from almost any angle left/right or up/down.
˕ Nicer keyboard. It's the same layout but the keys seem to have a little more travel. As a touch typist I am comfortable with both but, on a blind test, I would probably pick HP's over Samsung's.
˕ Somewhat more stylish design. I got the black model and I like both the color and the color accents. Some prefer 'silver' but they are both Okay as far as I can tell.
˕ Fewer ports. There are no USB 3.0 or HDMI ports on the HP's even though my understanding is that you can, in fact output HDMI through the Micro USB. This may be a big deal for some and they should get Samsung's if that's the case. Speaking for myself, I never felt a need to output HDMI off my Chromebook, ever. Same for USB data transfers.
Overall, I am very pleased with HPs device. The lack of USB 3.0 and HDMI ports amount to a big 'nothing' to me and their absence is balanced and surpassed by the non-proprietary charging method, much nicer display and better keyboard.
I am not going to compare HP's Chromebook with the Pixel or some top of the line laptop. I noticed that many 'pro' reviewers are complaining because Chromebooks and this particular one are not 'high end' and aren't as nice as the Pixel and such. Well... did anyone check the prices? So, yes, let me make a 'duh' statement: this Chromebook is not as good as devices that sell for 3 times or 4 times as much so anyone who doesn't mind paying more should pay more and get one of those. Even though... look at some reasons above for why one my prefer a Chromebook to a laptop or a tablet, regardless of price.
HPs is a five-star to me because it's at least as good and in some way better than my now one year old, often used and much trusted Samsung. The thirty dollars price difference between the two can be justified by HP's supporting USB charging, its much nicer display and its marginally better keyboard. As far as performance, they both appear to be up to the task and they both played Netflix movies flawlessly over Wi-Fi and cast them to the big TV through Chromecast (no need of an HDMI cable for that) - I mention it because I just tried that.
Chromebooks are not for everyone and they are not a universal computing device but, if used for what they are meant to be used, they are as good and as revolutionary as tablets.
CHROMEBOOK vs. CHROMEBOOK (HPs vs. Acer C720
I had the opportunity to play with Acer's Chromebook for a day and was therefore able to compare them side by side.
- Advantage HP -
˕ Looks and design. HPs looks much better in my view, you have color choices and that's that.
˕ Display. Same size, same resolution but HPs display is brighter, sharper and, most importantly, can be viewed from almost any angle. Not the case with Acer's.
˕ Charging. The ability to charge HPs Chromebook through almost any USB charger is very important to me. Acer's charger is proprietary.
- Advantage Acer -
˕ Horsepower. Acer's appears to be faster and it should be given its faster processor.
˕ Ports. You get HDMI out, USB 3.0 and SD card slot, all of them missing on HP's machine.
˕ Price. At least at launch, Acer's was selling for less.
I would say it's a tie when it comes to the keyboard and track pad's feel.
Acer's machine has the advantage if you are more 'productivity oriented' and need expansion capabilities (ports) and more raw CPU power. You would prefer the HP if you want a Chromebook mainly for fun and casual activities where looks, the availability of a charger and, very importantly, the quality of the display count more.
- Like most Chromebooks, this one too comes with a free 100GB in Google's cloud for two years. I didn't take advantage of that offer and I'm not going to go for this one, simply because I have no use of 'cloud' storage that goes beyond Gmail at this time.
- While Chromebooks are immune to viruses and other forms of malware, you are as tracked and 'monetized' while on a Chromebook as you are when browsing from your laptop or tablet or phone. However, there are ways to disrupt and confuse the trackers and my two favorite extensions these days are Disconnect Search (or Disconnect.me) that makes it impossible for Google to log your search activities and DoNotTrackMe which does what the name implies. Worth trying.
The screen is very sharp, bright and high quality. Keyboard feels great when typing, speakers sound comes from the keyboard which makes this Chromebook completely sealed. There's no holes, moving parts, or anything that makes any noise.
Chrome OS has had a lot of improvements since last year. There a lot of offline apps, better notifications and a lot of awesome extensions. Free Google Drive 100Gb is still awesome.
I want to acknowledge that this is not a high performance laptop and is not suitable for high demanding 3D gamers. But for the price you will be fully satisfied because obviously this Chromebook has a really affordable price and is very pretty and performs almost all the task a regular computer does(and some extras that traditional computers doesn't).
One thing worth mention that this computer excels is Sound. Speakers are very rich, precise, loud and clear. Music lovers will enjoy the clarity of the music. You can really enjoy watching a movie due to the richness of the image and the quality of the sound...
I love this Chromebook because it just do the job well done!
Any questions please feel free to ask it in the comments below section...
This is getting to be a long review, so I've split it up into multiple sections. Feel free to jump to the section which you think will help you the most.
1) Upgrades from last year
2) Alternative models
3) First impressions
I'll be updating this review as I use the Chromebook more often as well, so check back once in a while! As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section, and I'll be happy to answer them.
==UPGRADES FROM LAST YEAR==
In 2012, with the Samsung Chromebook becoming the #1 best selling laptop on Amazon, it seemed like there was hope after all for the Chromebooks. It was something that not many people expected, but the thin, silent design, combined with a decent battery life and a low price point managed to attract enough people to give Chromebooks a chance.
One year later, the time has come for its successor--the HP Chromebook 11. Is it a worthy successor? This review will take a closer look at what changed over the last year as well as explore some of the alternative options.
Let's start with the hardware. The design of this Chromebook is completely different compared to Samsung's model from last year. This is partially because it's made by HP, but also because Google teamed up with HP to design this new Chromebook. There's two color choices now, black and white. If you pick the white version, you also have the option to add Google-colored accents to the edges of the keyboard, while the black version is more understated, with an all black finish. Whether you like the new design or not is subjective, but it does retain the thinness (.69 inches) and is actually .1 pounds lighter than the previous Samsung model. There's also a new LED light bar on the back, similar to the Pixel. It lights up with the Google colors when it's on, and it looks pretty nice. Personally, I think it's a well designed laptop. It's simple, lightweight, and the unsightly bump from last year's model is gone.
The keyboard and touchpad are still extremely good. It's comfortable to type on, and overall has a much sturdier feel due to a new magnesium frame that they put in to support the plastic shell. There were some complaints about the Samsung model from last year regarding how flimsy it felt and how easy it was to bend it, and they definitely improved it here. Also, they've moved the speakers to underneath the keyboard, similar to how Apple does it. This way, the speakers do not get muffled when you put the notebook on your laps. Speaker quality is actually pretty decent for a sub-$300 laptop, but headphones are still going to be the obvious first choice for audiophiles.
Another major improvement is the screen. Google's making a big deal about the brightness of the new screen, but it truly is better than last year's model. Though it retains the same 1366x768 resolution (which is fine for a 11 inch laptop), the viewing angles and the contrast is much better. It is a glossy screen though, so unless you absolutely loved the more matte feel of last year's model, then the screen's also a big improvement.
The best hardware improvement for me personally is the new power port. It's now charged through a Micro USB cable, a cable that's currently used to charge most Android phones as well as the Amazon Kindles. As someone who travels a lot, this would mean just packing one cable to charge all my devices, something that I think adds a lot of convenience. Another advantage is that the abundance of Micro USB cables makes it easy to find a replacement should you ever lose it(you probably have one lying around in your house!). Note that it does charge slower if you use another cable: the one that comes with this Chromebook has been optimized for it. With that being said, the HP Chromebook 11 does lose the HDMI port found in the previous model, but it's still possible to connect it to your TV. To do so, you'd have to buy a Slimport adapter and then connect the HDMI cable from there. It's not a big hassle, but it's still something worth mentioning.
All of these changes mentioned above have been mostly good and welcomed improvements to last year's model, but perhaps it's the parts that haven't changed which are the most disappointing. Unfortunately, Google has decided to not upgrade any of the internal aspects of the Chromebook, so it still retains the same ARM based processor found last year's model, the 16GB of flash storage, and the 2GB of RAM. Battery life remains more or less the same as well, at around 6 hours. Considering the brisk pace technology moves at, I think it's hugely disappointing that Google is still using last year's chips, and it's the one major flaw with this Chromebook. One of the biggest changes in technology this year was the introduction of Intel's 4th generation Haswell processors, giving solid processing power while drastically increasing power efficiency. The new Macbooks are using it, and some of the new Chromebooks are too, increasing their battery life to around 9 hours per charge. One might argue that Chromebooks don't require much processing power, but with websites and web apps becoming more advanced every day, I think it's disappointing that none of the internal hardware was upgraded. Note that overall performance isn't bad, but it's not great either. It's the exact same as last year's model - most websites I tried run smoothly, but some of the more graphically heavy websites stutter when you're trying to scroll. HD video playback is relatively steady, but if you have too many tabs open, the quality suffers. For the pages most people visit, like Facebook, Youtube, Gmail, etc., I thought this Chromebook handled it pretty well as long as I didn't have too many tabs open.
In regards to the software, this is still running Chrome OS, and if you used any of the Chromebooks before, you'd be familiar with it's capabilities and limitations. There's no real changes here, since all Chromebooks are continuously updated with the most recent version of Chrome OS, but for those looking at the Chromebooks for the first time, here's a little rundown on how the Chrome operating system works. At its core, it's the Chrome web browser, and only the Chrome web browser. Though the pictures in the advertisements shows a desktop and wallpaper, don't be fooled: it's not a traditional PC. Therefore, if you use programs like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, iTunes, etc., know that you won't be able to use any of those programs on a Chromebook. However, there are substitutes for most of those programs online, such as Google Docs, Picasa, Google Music, etc. The advantage of having such a simple system is speed: it boots up in less than 10 seconds, and you're instantly connected to the web (provided you have Wi-Fi). Therefore, if most of what you do on a computer is browse the web anyways (Facebook, E-mail, Youtube, etc.), then a Chromebook allows you to do all of that very quickly.
Overall, this Chromebook is definitely an improvement over last year's Samsung model, but the lack of internal changes makes it really hard to recommend if you're looking to upgrade from the Samsung model. For people looking into Chromebooks for the first time, I'd say that this isn't a bad model - it's relatively cheap at $279, it's well designed, and it's overall performance is still solid. For people looking for a "cute" second computer, I do think this is a great model. However, I'd still recommend giving the other models announced this year a look (see below).
Even though this is Google's new flagship Chromebook - the one they're promoting as the Chromebook "for everyone", there are other options coming out.
Acer's C720 Chromebook (Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, Haswell micro-architecture, 4GB))
I've been using this model for the last couple days and I must say I prefer this model over the Hp model. It's just so much zippier: websites load faster, scrolling is more responsive, and it handles multiple tabs better. It also has better battery life and more input/output ports. Sure the screen isn't as good, but it's not terrible either. Unless you really desire an attention-catching device, I'd recommend the Acer Chromebook over this model. I've written a full review for the Acer, so feel free to read it for a closer look.
HP's Chromebook 14 (HP Chromebook 14 (Snow White))
HP announced this as an update to last year's 14 inch model, which was moderately successful. They've completely redesigned it, and I think it looks much more elegant. It'll come in multiple colors for $299. It'll also include the new Haswell processors, giving it a 9-hour battery life. I think this is a great model for those who want a larger screen and do not mind the increased weight.
Google also packages this Chromebook 11 with some extra perks, including 12 sessions of GoGo In-flight Wi-Fi, as well as 100GB of Google Drive storage for 2 years. If you are a frequent flyer, those 12 sessions alone makes the Chromebook pretty cost-efficient. I'm not certain if the other Chromebook models include the GoGo WiFi, but they all include the Google Drive storage. Also something worth mentioning is that this HP Chromebook 11 model is fanless due to its processor, so it's absolutely silent. The other models do have fans, but in my opinion, the sound difference is negligible.
When I first heard about this Chromebook, I was pretty excited. I looked at a bunch of pictures, saw the price tag, and I thought to myself, "Now here's the Chromebook I've been waiting for". Prior to this, I've used the Samsung Chromebook S3 as well as the original CR-48 Chromebook test model, mainly for taking notes in class. After opening the box and turning it on for the first time, I was ecstatic, because to be honest, this screen looked great, especially compared to the older models. The Chromebook in general looked great. I loved the color bar in the back, the clean design, and the keyboard. It was light and portable, and it looked very...attractive (as attractive as a computer can be I suppose). Setting it up was easy as well: you connect to your Wi-Fi, enter in your Google credentials, and then it syncs with your Google account, and all your bookmarks and apps are automatically transferred over. Anyone who's used a Chromebook before would be used to this.
Bringing it to class was also a pleasure. It fits into one of my smaller bags, and it was light enough to be comfortable to carry. I thought the keyboard and trackpad were pretty awesome - they remind me of the Apple's keyboard, and I think that's a pretty high compliment. I'm a fast touch typist, and I was able to maintain my normal WPM with few errors while taking notes. Midway through the day though, I was working on a research project and had a bunch of tabs open and the Chromebook began to feel a bit slow: pages were loading slower and the scrolling wasn't as smooth. I attribute to the fact that Google decided to use last year's chips as I mentioned in the section above, as this was something that would happen with the Samsung model as well. This was frustrating for me, because I thought surely by now, Chrome would run smoothly on Chrome OS. This is the sole reason I'm giving this model 3 stars.
I got around 5.5 hours of battery life, so that's a bit less than advertised. Nevertheless, I did find the charging cable useful, and I was able to use it to charge both my phone and the computer.
With this year's updates, I'm sure Chromebooks will continue to be a rising star. This model, looks especially good. It's one of the best looking laptops that I've seen at this price point, and really raises the bar for low-end Chromebooks. However, if looks aren't everything for you, some of the other models equipped with the Haswell processors are especially worth looking into. While this HP Chromebook 11 is well designed - the screen is great, the speakers are decent, the keyboard is great - I'm slightly concerned about it's performance.When someone buys a laptop, they expect it to last them at least a couple of years, and I'm not sure how long a computer with a chip from the previous generation will be able to keep up.
- Great screen
- Great keyboard
- Great sound for a sub-$300 laptop
- Overall design is eye catching
- The processor is outdated, leading to sluggish performance at times
- Cannot be taken apart, parts are hard to replace (Cannot increase RAM for example)
- Less ports compared to previous generations
- Battery life is good compared to last year's models, but only mediocre compared to this year's models.
The HP Chromebook 11, with its solid keyboard and fantastic screen, allows you to get some serious work done -- and look good while doing it. If you can deal with a mediocre processor and battery life (and of course, Chrome OS), this is a great model. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
It's my opinion that tablets are great for surfing the Internet and reading, but even though you may add a keyboard they are basically useless for productivity. Multi-tasking is the downfall for those devices and it really needs to get sorted out. The Chromebook is more like a tablet in a laptop disguise, and "multi-tasks" well. Of course it's running one core application (Chrome), but you can use multiple windows, etc. That's very helpful when copying and pasting content, and using productivity applications. For the general public that likes to surf the net, work with documents, write e-mails, etc. this is a highly recommended machine. Work can be done on the device. I also teach college courses both online and brick and mortar, and this device has been my go-to machine for grading, interacting with students, etc. That goes to show the power of the device for the typical office user. It works for advanced users like me if you take it for what it is... A damn quality piece of hardware for the price that offers a far more robust productivity experience than any competitively priced tablet.
If your curious, my usage pattern for technology has now evolved to: Smartphone, Small tablet, Chromebook. No need for a large tablet. Small tablet is primarily for bed and couch surfing and using as an e-reader. Smartphone is my main on the go unit. Chromebook is my primary computer. When I'm at work, I primarily use my corporate PC. My wife's primary computer is a MacBook, so if there's a time when I need to do something more intense (on rare occasions I need to do some web graphical interface design at home) then I use her MacBook or Remote Desktop on the Chromebook to my corporate machine.
If you're on the fence, I say give it a shot.
Less than 30 days later, it wouldn't power on. When plugged in to the charger, no lights, no life. I did some research and read about the (old) charger problems but we have the newer, square charger. I looked for a replacement charger online, but couldn't find anything. Then I looked on HP's site and couldn't find anything. I eventually called Google and got a very nice (really) young man who was more than willing to work with me. We plugged it into a 2 AMP smartphone charge with no luck. We tried a cold reset with no luck. He escalated to tier-2 support and I worked with another nice young man. We went through several iterations until he said they're going to send us a new Chromebook (and charger). Great! I PDF's my receipt and emailed it to him and he said it would be shipped 2nd Day Air "as soon as it was available."
That should have been my warning right there. He couldn't tell me when it would be available. It's now a week later and so I emailed him for an update. He said he still doesn't know, but if it takes longer than 30 days to please let him know. 30 DAYS!!??!! It didn't even LAST 30 DAYS!!! Guess what prompted me to write my review? Buyers beware.
Update: May 23, 2014
After not receiving our replacement even after several weeks, I started turning to social media. I posted a review on HP's site and their site admin wrote me back saying they would look into the issue and see if they could help. I received a replacement within 48 hours of that post. It's now been a couple of weeks and we're starting to see charger issues again, with the plug having to be plugged in "just right" for it to take a charge. I don't have high hopes for the replacement at this point, but we'll have to wait and see. Having read the most recent reviews, it appears IMHO this particular piece of HP engineering is suffering from a design and/or supplier problem.
Update: May 30, 2014
HP Chromebook 11 #2 is now dead after ~2 weeks, again due to charging issues. We've tried 3 different micro-USB chargers to no avail. The Chromebook charger itself seems to be okay, as it will charge at least a couple of cell phones, but the Chromebook won't work. We've also found that while plugged in, the Chromebook will sometimes suddenly turn off, and that also often happens when unplugging it. Seems like there is likely a short in the charging socket.
I called Google again and opened a new case. I have to give them props for courtesy and speaking English as their native language, but once again we're in a holding pattern to receive a replacement. This is getting old very quickly.