Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, but HP’s latest offering could please business users looking for a budget-priced laptop. With a $279 price tag, the HP Chromebook 11 is a steal — if you can deal with the inherent limitations of Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system it runs on.
Chrome OS does not run regular desktop applications the way a PC or Mac does. Instead, the platform is based around a souped-up version of Google’s Chrome Web browser. If you rely on a particular piece of Windows or Mac software, the platform might not suit your needs. But if you need a notebook exclusively for basic business tasks like email, Web browsing and document editing, the keyboard-equipped Chromebook 11 is good tablet alternative.
Here are the top three features that make the HP Chromebook 11 a solid business machine.
You won’t pay a lot for the HP Chromebook 11; it retails for a scant $279. But HP’s machine isn’t just a cheap notebook. It offers good bang for your business’s buck, with solid, high-quality hardware. The notebook features a magnesium frame under its plastic exterior that adds heft and gives it a solid feel. It packs specs that match midrange 10-inch tablets, but at a lower price. It’s far from fast, but expect smooth performance for basic productivity tasks. The Chromebook 11 is more much more attractive than the average budget notebook, too, with a sleek and stylish white frame and sharp, colorful accents.
Laptop form factor
From specs to software, the Chromebook 11 has more in common with a midrange tablet than a laptop. But its laptop form factor, including a built-in keyboard and a display that can be adjusted to sit at any viewing angle, give it a huge edge over tablets as a productivity device. Bluetooth-enabled keyboard add-ons abound for iPads and Android tablets, but to work on those devices, you’ll have to pair them with a folio case and kickstand. The Chromebook 11 offers a tried-and-true laptop form factor out of the box.
A few freebies that come with the Chromebook 11 make it an even better value. That includes 100GB of free storage on the Google Drive cloud storage platform for two years and 12 free sessions of GoGo in-flight Internet — good bonuses for business users.