HP Chromebook 11 Review

Posted by jun auza On 12/17/2013
Google, despite the lukewarm responses it got towards its initial Chromebook endeavors, has fervently decided to stick with the web-based operating system. Recently, Google announced Chromebook 11, a device made by HP featuring some cool specs and the latest iteration of Chrome OS. Chromebooks, despite their lack of mainstream popularity, have gained a strong following, especially amongst Linux fans that admire the amazing design and compatibility these applications provide. Let's see if Chromebook 11 is really worth the hype or is it just another feeble attempt by Google towards their goals of world domination. 



Tech Specs

One of the best things about Google Chromebooks is that due to the lack of any heavy operating system, the user can get the full benefits of the specs inside a machine. The Chromebook 11 comes with 2GB of RAM, Samsung Exynos 5250 GAIA processor, and 16 GB SSD Hard disk. These are, by industry standards, specs you'll find on a smartphone. However, don't be fooled by the relatively low numbers in this department.

As we said before, the Chrome OS is one of the only few operating systems that can make full use of hardware. On the front side, you'll find a VGA camera and an 11.6-inch IPS display. Now, Google could have done a better job in the camera department here by providing at least a 1 MP camera. There are two USB ports and also a MicroUSB charging slot to help you connect the book to your other devices.

The specs, on paper at least, look good except for the poor VGA quality camera. If you are not much of a video chatter, this won't bother you at all.


Design


For a low-end device, the Chromebook 11 has a design that can easily be compared to Apple's line of laptop computers. A single glance at the new Chromebook gives you an idea that Google has put a lot of attention into making this device. It is made of smooth, glossy white plastic, and has a thin multi-colored strip running across the laptop lid. The keyboard too looks good with a nice chicklet layout thus making it immune to dust. Furthermore, you'll find that the keyboard has an almost premium feel to it. In other words, you won't feel as if you are using a low-end device. The keyboard is very solid thus making it a great tool for writers.

The design is probably the strongest part about the Chromebook 11. If we had to pick one area where the laptop does an exceptional job, it would be the way it is built and the way it feels in the hands of the user.



Operating System

Chrome OS is basically a web browser sitting on your hardware. There's nothing but your beloved Chrome giving you the best of the web. This, however, doesn't match up to the famed "pure Google experience" that Android users boast of. This is merely your Chrome browser backed by great hardware. The OS itself isn't that stable. You'll come across many bugs, most of which aren't that harmful. However, from a minimalistic barebones device, we expected much more.

Chrome OS still needs a lot of work before it can compete with heavyweights like Apple’ Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Windows.


Performance

The performance is one area where Chromebook 11 falls behind. As we told you when we discussed the specs, the Chrome OS is perfect for low-end devices. However, that's not the case here. Chromebook 11 suffers from many performance lags and bugs. One of the main issues is that watching HD videos isn't such a smooth experience many times. As soon as you watch a full HD video, you might find that it lags a bit and the audio stutters as well. Otherwise, the performance is okay. However, the issues do leave a lot to be desired, especially from a Google device that was meant to use Google products like YouTube.

Despite the lightness of the Chrome OS, the performance is quite sub-par. This, coupled with the bugs in the OS, makes you rethink twice before purchasing.


Verdict


If you're looking for a decent laptop on which you can do your work, this is probably a very bad investment. Even as a second device, Chromebook 11 doesn't match up to the hype. However, if you are a writer, a Facebook junkie, or a tech hobbyist who want a very simple laptop, Chromebook might just be the machine you were waiting for.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts:



Archive


"Action is the real measure of intelligence" ~Napoleon Hill

Twitter

Tumblr

Google +