Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced its first Chromebook, widening the company's extensive PC and workstation portfolio and expanding its multi-OS approach to offer customers more choices. The new Google Chrome-based system is positioned to be yet another ultra low-cost option for customers with budget constraints and will succeed netbook PCs that were popular several years ago.
The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook boasts a display that's approximately 2” wider (diagonally) than any other Chromebook in the market today. The system features 14” display with 1366*768 resolution and is powered by Intel Celeron processor (1.1GHz), 2GB of DDR3 memory, 16GB solid-state storage and other hardware. Extra hardware security via the built-in Trusted Platform Module (TPM) protects against unauthorized access to sensitive data and credentials so customers can feel confident that personal data is protected. The laptop's battery is projected to last for about 4 hours and 15 minutes, probably due to large display as well as rather poor work of modern processor’s energy-saving technologies on Google Chrome.
The Google Chrome-based PC provides a fast and easy gateway to a seamless Google experience with popular products like Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps in the Chrome Web Store.
"Google's Chrome OS is showing great appeal to a growing customer base. With HP's Chromebook, customers can get the best of the Google experience on a full-sized laptop – all backed up by our service and brand," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer PCs, printing and personal systems at HP.
The Chromebook is available in the United States with a starting price of $329.99 at HPDirect.com.
Given the price and screen size, HP wants to position its Pavilion Chromebook as an extremely cost-efficient mainstream notebook, which means that the mobile PC will compete with fully-fledged Microsoft Windows-based personal computers. While HP’s offering will be in many ways unique, it remains to be seen how successful it will be among end-users looking for mainstream PC with 14” display.
Even though the so-called Chromebooks can become rather popular for a short period of time among enthusiasts (Acer recently said that 5% to 10% of laptops it sold from November to late January were Chromebooks), they will hardly satisfy the mainstream users as they are generally even less capable than netbooks five years ago and rely on software end-users simply do not know.