Reviewing the HP Chromebook 11


The concept of the Chromebook was to present a stripped down laptop to people that runs on just a web browser, usually the Google Chrome OS in order to serve the purpose of commodity and cheap computing. It has been all about manufacturers fixating around a low price point and making compromises in features, design, look etc. in order to make a device available at that price point. But, for the very first time, a Chromebook can be about affordability as well as delight with the HP Chromebook 11. There are a variety of contenders you can find in the market for the crown of the best Chromebook available.

The 13.3 inch Samsung Chromebook 2 has a high-resolution and large screen; we can find an excellent battery life in the Asus Chromebook C200 and the Chromebook Pixel by Google is simply a fantastic piece of hardware. Regardless, there are weaknesses to be found in every model, whether it is in terms of ergonomics, price or performance. However, perhaps the best Chromebook that you can currently find in the market is none other than the HP Chromebook 11. It is an unlikely champion in a number of ways. For instance, in the case of performance, it comes off as snappy like other Chromebooks when browsing the web or running Google’s office apps.

In fact, the HP Chromebook even ran Google Play Movies and full HD videos from YouTube with nary a glitch. But, where the inside is concerned, the device boasts a 1.7GHZ Samsung Exynos 5 Dual 5250 processor, which proved considerably slower when compared to the processors of the Chromebooks mentioned above in some benchmark tests. The Chromebook starts to struggle if you are running a demanding game or have left too many tabs open during surfing the web. This means that the £190 HP Chromebook isn’t for you if you think of yourself as a power user.

The story runs on the same line as far as the battery life of the Chromebook 11 is concerned. When away from the mains, it can be used for playing looping 720p HD videos for about 5hrs 10 mins whereas the Asus Chromebook C200 was able to do the same for nearly 9hrs 17 mins. There is a bare-minimum feel in the case of connectivity. There are only two USB ports in the Chromebook 11. As there is no USB port 3, the Micro USB port is the only video output and also has to serve as a SlimPort output and a power socket.

While the idea of charging a Chromebook with a micro USB is undoubtedly fascinating, even if it takes about four hours to do it, there is a downside; you will not be able to charge the Chromebook 11 and output to a monitor simultaneously. These are all the problems, so what makes the device so good? Most of the appeal of the HP Chromebook 11 pertains to its design; it doesn’t just look beautiful, but also has a nice feel to it. Moreover, it is extremely sleek not to mention light at just 1 kg. The polycarbonate chassis may be nicely curved, but it feels definitely tough and sturdy.

The lid doesn’t have too much flex and the hinge is both robust and smooth. At the bottom of the Chromebook, there are two thick rubbery pads, which are color matched to the keyboard and prevents it from slipping off your lap when you are typing or bouncing around on the table. There are laptops available in the market that have twice the price tag of the HP Chromebook 11 and don’t have such a nice feel to it. Even in the area of ergonomics, the device punches rather well. The layout is well-spaced and you can enjoy flat and large keys as the keyboard is stretched across the width of the Chromebook.

Only the function and cursor keys have been reduced to half the height. The typing action doesn’t feel sloppy as it is immensely lightweight and Chromebook has an unusually wide touchpad for a device of 11.6 inch. The lightly textured surface of the Chromebook 11 is accurate and responsive and makes it easier for the users to navigate websites and pull off gestures. Regardless of OS, the HP Chromebook 11 is perhaps the ideal small-screen laptop currently available.

However, the biggest attraction of this particular Chromebook lies in its screen. The resolution may not come off as much since it is about 1366 x 768, but when you incorporate it into an 11.6 inch compact Chromebook, you can translate it into extremely sharper images. Furthermore, it is an IPS panel and this is a huge bonus for a Chromebook at this price point. The maximum brightness of this device is far better than other models available in the market with the exception of the Google Chromebook Pixel. The videos and photos pack a solid punch with their wide viewing angles and vibrant color reproductions.

This is basically proof that resolution isn’t everything. When you are given the choice of this little beauty and a drab Full HD screen, you will definitely compromise on the pixel density each time. At the time of its launch, the HP Chromebook 11 was already a huge bargain at a price tag of about £299, but now it has become absolutely irresistible because you can now get it for £190. Sure, it does make some compromises in the case of longevity and speed and everyone would prefer a model that has an improved battery and quicker speeds.

But, there is no denying that as far as the trackpad, keyboard, display, lightweight and comfort is concerned, the HP Chromebook 11 is simply a joy to use for everyone. Whether you purchase it for running your business or doing official work or you choose to get it for your friends and family, this is just a brilliant Chromebook that’s available at the most unbelievable and affordable price and you will get the most out of it. 

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