It's beginning to look like Google's Chrome OS is gaining ground as more and more partners saddle up with the online-centric OS. Speaking as someone who loves Chrome OS, it's an exciting start to 2013 for Chromebooks and Chrome OS in general. Lenovo now offers a Chromebook ThinkPad for schools, which has to hurt Microsoft as ThinkPads have long been a shining beacon of the OS. HP's Chromebook was hardly a well-kept secret and frankly, it was sloppily handled by HP but nevertheless, it's now official and you can go ahead and order it directly from HP.
So, how is this Chromebook different from Samsung's 11.6-incher and Acer's C7? Well, it's not really that different, unless you factor size into things. Here are a rundown of the specs:
- 14-inch 1366 x 768 True LED Display
- Intel Celeron 847 clocked at 1.1 Ghz
- Less than an inch thin
- HD Webcam
- 16GB SSD
- 2GB of RAM (possibly expandable)
- 802.11 a/b/g/n
- 3 USB 2.0, SD Card Reader, Ethernet port, HDMI-out
- 4-cell Li-Ion Battery rated for 4 hours and 15 minutes
Now, I know that there's a lot of concern over such a low-clocked CPU and it being a Celeron at that but, it should keep power-consumption down as well as keeping heat to a minimum. Besides, these aren't designed as machines to play high-end games or perform any video editing. All-in-all for $329 it doesn't seem that good a deal, especially when you consider the Acer C7 still comes in at $199 and offers most of the same specs in a more compact package, coming in at 11.6-inches.
The HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook is now on offer directly from HP, and while no longer available online there are reports of the Chromebook in Microcenter's retail stores.
I'm excited for this new Chromebook though, as the build-quality should be far better than that of the Acer and the Samsung. I've had the Samsung Chromebook (the $250 model) for some time now and while the battery life is brilliant and it's a snappy machine, the build is flat-out awful. No matter how thin a laptop is, I shouldn't be able to flex it in my hands.
Will more OEMs and partners add to the rise of Google's own OS or will Windows reign supreme for longer than we all think?