In the past few years consumers have changed the way they shop for a new computer. Now consumers want more portability and more speed (in all areas Internet connection, application load times, system boot times etc.) above all else, but the price is still very important. The new Google Chromebook category of laptop computers aims to offer consumers affordably priced laptops that run an operating system that’s optimized for web browsing and running web-based applications.
In the past three months we’ve seen companies like Acer and Samsung release new Chromebook computers, but until this week all Chromebook’s were limited to under 12.1-inches. PC giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) has launched the first 14-inch Chromebook for consumers that want something a bit bigger.
The new HP Chromebook runs on a dual-core Intel Celeron 847 (1.1 GHz ) processor, Intel HD integrated graphics, 2GB of DDR3 memory, and a 16GB SSD which uses a SATA connector. You get a two-year 100GB Google Drive cloud storage account free with your purchase of this HP Chromebook. Other features include Intel powered 802.11a/b/g/n (2×2) Wi-Fi, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN, an HP TrueVision HD Webcam, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and a headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack.
Although it’s the largest Chromebook out there the HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook is advertised as a portable computer. The machines dimensions claim it’s under 1-inch thick and the overall weight starts at 3.96 pounds (1.8 kg). However no all-day’s worth of battery life is being promised by HP, the 4-cell (37WHr) Li-Ion battery the 14-c010us Chromebook is equipped with is rated at up to 4 hours and 15 minutes of battery life.
For a mere $329.99 HP promises their new HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook will allow consumers instant access to their digital lives. Of course with Google’s Chrome OS the HP Pavilion 14-c010us should live up to that promise.
If you aren’t familiar with Chromebook’s and more importantly Chrome OS let me give you a quick run-down of the main features of the young operating system.
- Speed – Chromebook’s boot-up in less than 10 seconds and they don’t slow-down. This is possible thanks to the use of SSD’s for system storage and operating system optimization on the part of Google.
- Security – Protection from viruses is built-in to the operating system, no need for additional security software
- Instant updates – When updates are available for Chrome OS or any of the multitude of available applications for the OS users don’t have to do anything, updates are installed automatically.
- Shareability – An individual Chromebook can be easily shared with anyone since all your data can be stored online and be accessible from any Chrome OS powered computer. Since Chrome OS is designed in this way Chromebook’s are being picked up by an increasing number of schools and organizations that need computers that are low-cost, fast and easily shared.
- Cloud storage – Google and their hardware partners are able to offer Chrome OS users free Google Drive storage for a limited time (2 years for this HP laptop) with the purchase of a Chromebook. With Google Drive you can easily save your files online to a safe place (Google promises their data centers are very secure) where they can be accessed by you at any time on any Chromebook or Chrome OS device. Also if you were worried the terms of service for Google Drive clearly state that you own the files you have saved on your account and the files are yours alone to share with whom you so chose.