Thursday, February 7, 2013

HP’s Chromebook looks lackluster, but it’s the thought that counts

HP’s Chromebook looks lackluster, but it’s the thought that counts

If any one platform is poised to make the most noise in 2013, it’s Chrome OS. The vocal minority has made it clear, Windows 8 is not the savior Microsoft is looking for. And Google is here to pick up the slack. This week, another well-known PC manufacturer has lowered their Windows flag, if only a little bit, to give Chrome OS a shot. HP’s first Chromebook is here.

Released as the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, HP’s first venture into Chrome OS has come under fire as questionable when stacked up against the competition. In a spec for spec shootout against Samsung’s ARM-based Chromebook, Acer’s Intel Chromebook and Lenovo’s Intel Chromebook, the Pavilion 14 manages to keep up in most areas. The key differentiators between most models, not including the Samsung Chromebook’s ARM processor, are screen size, battery life and price.

While all Chromebooks available right now use a 1366 x 768 display resolution, only the Pavilion 14 has a 14-inch display. If a larger display is what you’re looking for, the Pavilion 14 may be a good choice for you. But it’s going to come at the cost of pixel density, weight, battery life, and pricing. The HP Pavilion is heavier than other Chromebooks, has worse battery life, and costs $ 330. The Pavilion 14 is cheaper than Lenovo’s Chromebook, but it’s more expansive than both the Samsung and Acer models. There’s a good chance anyone looking for an ultra-portable Chromebook is going to go with a cheaper model whose battery lasts twice as long on a single charge.

HP may not have designed the best Chromebook money can buy right now, but as stated in the title of this post, it’s the thought that counts. HP has proved they’re willing to step away from Windows and more traditional Linux operating systems, like Ubuntu, to give Chrome OS a shot. In the end, it’s a good thing. Chrome gets more exposure and affordable computing becomes available from more manufacturers.

For more on the $ 330 HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, visit HP’s website.

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//PART 2