HP has officially taken the wraps off of two brand new Chromebooks in its HP Chromebook 11 and HP Chromebook x360 11 series in its education segment. Both devices, dubbed the HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE and HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 EE, will be made available in several configurations with updated internal specifications and design refinements from their predecessors.
As the devices' model designations imply, the two devices are very similar but ship with key differences to ensure they suit a variety of needs in the classroom. Central to each device's design is the need to meet and exceed the various requirements and rigors of a school environment. Some of that, such as access to the latest version of Google's Chrome OS and security updates or Android applications is relatively standard for all Chromebooks, these devices do come with services and features that go above and beyond standard fare.
The HP Chromebook 11 G7 Education Edition
The first of HP's latest education-specific Chromebooks is a clamshell-style device set to be sold as the HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE. That will be sold in two primary configurations with either an Intel Celeron N4100 or Intel Celeron N4000 processor. Both have a base clock frequency of 1.1GHz but the first is a quad-core design with a turbo boost of up to 2.4GHz. The later has a boost frequency of up to 2.6GHz and is a dual-core design.
In either variant, the main processor is backed up by an Intel UHD Graphics 600 chip with support for DX12 and HDMI 1.4b. A maximum of 8GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM is supported for memory and internal storage starts out at 16GB but ranges all the way up to 64GB eMMC 5.0. A two-year subscription to Google Drive at 100GB is included.
For connectivity, the HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE sports an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560 combo card. That's compatible with Miracast and supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2 x 2 MIMO, and Bluetooth 5.0. Local connections can be established via either of the two built-in USB 3.1 Type-C ports or the single USB 3.1 Type-A port.
The Type-C ports can be used to charge up the device's 47.36 Whr 13-hour rated battery and HP Fast Charge Technology lets the laptop charge up to 90-percent in just 90 minutes. Those ports can also be used for power delivery, or for video output capabilities, in addition to data transfers supported by the standard USB port. A 3.5mm headphone jack adds audio output capabilities for when the two included stereo speakers need a boost. A microSD card slot rounds out that package with support for SD, SDHC, and SDXC type cards.
Security for the new Chromebook is enhanced with an integrated H1 Security chip and a Nano Security lock slot. Protection against physical damage is provided thanks to its MIL-STD 810G and IP 41 certified shock-proof rubber trim, allowing for drops from nearly 30-inches onto concrete. Reinforced ports ensure those continue to last for years.
Around the front of the "chalkboard gray" colored HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE students and educators will find a full-size spill and pick resistant island-style keyboard coupled with a multi-touch gesture-enabled touchpad. Also embedded in the 12.04 x 8.18 x 0.74-inch, 2.93lb frame is an 11.6-inch display panel on a 180-degree hinge.
The screen is available in a touch-enabled IPS BrightView, IPS anti-glare, or an SVA anti-glare variant. Each is WLED-backlit with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and all of those have a brightness of 220 nits.
Just above the display, HP has incorporated an HD 720p webcam.
The HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 Education Edition
HP's second-generation Chromebook x360 11 EE is similarly equipped to its standard laptop-style sibling with one major difference and a couple of small variations. Processors, memory, ports, battery, overall design language, ruggedization, and connectivity remain consistent across both devices.
The biggest difference between the new HP devices is that the x360, as its name implies, is a 2-in-1 convertible hybrid not entirely different in functionality to the HP Chromebook x360 14. In nearly every regard, the gadget is an exact copy of the HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE but with its 11.6-inch IPS BrightView WLED-backlit touch screen set on a 360-degree hinge. That means it can be used with more versatility in a laptop, stand, tent, or tablet mode with ease.
Resolution is still set at 1366 x 768 with brightness maxing out at 220 nits but the display on the second of HP's new devices is afforded additional protection via Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.
HP includes an HP Wacom EMR Pen stylus for use with that display panel and starting storage is pushed to 32GB to account for the additional feature. The accessory allows students to get creative, take hand-written notes, or work through math equations easily thanks to its comfortable full-size design and traditional pen shape.
Teachers can utilize the pen for a similar purpose or in conjunction with HDMI display output to emphasize important learning points while leading their classes.
The same battery is set inside the HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 as well but although that still allows for a full day of usage from a single charge, the added 2-in-1 enhancements do drop the battery life. Educators and students can expect up to 11 hours and 30 minutes of use.
Other minor changes include the addition of a second camera for snapping images when in tablet mode and a slight increase in dimensions. The sensor is embedded next to the touch-pad at the lower left-hand side. The frame of the HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 is beefed up slightly, measuring in at 12.04 x 8.18 x 0.83-inches while weight is bumped up to around 3.24 lbs.
HP hasn't revealed the pricing for either new Google for Education Chrome OS device but both will be made available this spring. Both Chromebooks will ship with HP Classroom Manager, enabling cross-platform classroom assessment, monitoring, collaboration, and oversight as well as administrative controls for easier ecosystem integration.
As with previous HP Chromebooks, full support with HP's IT staff is included via an extendable one-year warranty which includes support for battery replacement.
The current launch window is set for some time in April and an exact date will likely be finalized over the next several weeks.