HP has revealed two new AMD-powered Chromebooks in the leadup to its attendance at the BETT 2019 education conference in the UK with the new Chromebook 11A 6G Education Edition and Chromebook 14A G5. The two devices follow up on Intel-driven offerings that the company already announced prior to the event and occupy different segments of the market.
They’re also the first AMD Chromebooks announced to-date that are expressly designed for the education and commerce markets.
The HP Chromebook 11A G6 Education Edition
The larger of HP’s announcements is its Chromebook 11A G6 EE, and as the name indicates, this Chrome OS gadget is powered by an AMD chipset and falls in as the sixth-generation of the Chromebook 11 EE series.
At the center of the rugged new platforms is an AMD A4-9120C APU processor backed up by integrated Radeon R4 Graphics. That’s a dual-core chipset with a base clock at 1.2GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 2.4GHz. 4GB of DDR4-1866 SDRAM is supplied for memory with either 16GB or 32GB of eMMC 5.0 storage for long-term file keeping.
A microSD reader is embedded in the frame for expanding storage through SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards but users will also have access to 100GB of free cloud storage for two years through Google Drive as well.
Connections with the HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE are enabled by a Qualcomm-built wireless solution supporting both 2 x 2 MIMO via Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2.
An H1 integrated chip has been included for security in addition to a Nano Security lock slot on the outside.
Providing energy to those components is a 2-cell 47.36Whr battery rated at up to 10 hours of usage.
All of that is packed underneath the full-size island-style keyboard in a two-tone chalkboard gray 12.04 x 8.18 x 0.71-inch frame. A multi-touch-enabled touchpad sits just below the keyboard, which is specially designed to be both tamper and spill proof. Two HD stereo speakers are embedded on the underside of the keyboard base.
On each left and right-hand edge, buyers will find a single USB Type-C and one USB 2.0 standard socket. A 3.5mm stereo combo audio jack is embedded along the right-hand edge. The USB-C ports pull double duty for display-out capabilities and data transfers on top of their standard power-delivery purpose.
A 180-degree hinge has been positioned at the back of the 2.84lb body to prop up the 11.6-inch display. Three different display types are available including two IPS panels, one with anti-glare and the other with HP's Brightview and touch compatibility. An SVA variant of the anti-glare panel is available too but each has a brightness of 200 nits and a resolution of 1366 x 768.
Just above the display panel, HP has included a 720p HD webcam and integrated mic for video conferencing or capturing a moment.
HP is covering both software and hardware aspects of protection for the Chromebook 11A G6 EE too. The ruggedized, shock-proof shell at the center of the classically designed laptop is rated at MIL-STD-810G military specifications and tested to withstand nearly 28-inch drops onto concrete. The corners and any edges where contact might be made in a fall have been re-enforced with co-molded rubber contact points.
Taking that further still for particularly rambunctious students, buyers will have the option to include an optional HP-built Always-On-Case for the Chromebook 11A G6 EE. That's designed to wrap around the Chrome OS gadget completely and zips flat to protect the device against harder drops or other abuse that younger users can be capable of.
For software, oversight can be provided by educators and IT administrators with full compatibility for both the cross-platform HP Classroom Manager, Student Edition, and Google’s own G Suite for Education. The solution not only allows teachers and others to restrict and control software usage but also allows content to be delivered by educators. The tool also enables hardware-based restrictions to prevent the spread of malicious software or misuse of the Chromebook.
Underlying all of that is Google's always up-to-date Chrome OS, with access to Android apps and Chrome Web apps alongside a plethora of other cloud features geared directly toward education services.
The HP Chromebook 14A G5
Aimed more directly at students across all age ranges and business users alike, the HP Chromebook 14A G5 is a fifth-generation Chromebook 14 built on the AMD platform.
HP primarily intends the subject of its second announcement to be used by educators or by students at higher levels of education in addition to enterprise environments but, externally, its design is very similar to the Chromebook 11A G6 EE. It features the same chalkboard gray coloration and appears nearly identical in all but size and its slightly reduced bezels.
HP hasn't provided too many details about the larger of its new AMD Chrome OS laptops. However, the company has said that the chips are the first thing to get a boost. The HP Chromebook 14A G5 will incorporate the very latest of AMD's processors in a future-proof durable frame that includes USB-C ports.
A similar pick and spill-resistant keyboard will be included as an optional upgrade alongside others such as a backlit keyboard. Consumers will also be able to choose from either a standard HD screen or an FHD IPS panel.
More details about the HP Chromebook 14A G5's processors, ports, memory, storage, and display features will become available as its launch approaches.
The official launch is not a long way off for either new AMD Chromebook
For the latest and greatest from AMD's Chromebook-compatible lineup, HP's Chromebook 14A G5 is presently expected to become available for purchase at some point in April. The HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE is going to arrive even soon with expectations currently centered around a February launch.
No pricing information has been made available for either new device but the use of AMD components should equate to a relatively low cost-ratio despite the respectable performance that each should offer. Each will also ship with a comprehensive one-year warranty that includes support for any battery issues that may arise, providing more assurance and an even better value for consumers.