Spec sheet shows HP entering Chromebook market

Showing how much things are changing in the computing world, the PC giant is following rivals with a laptop running Google's browser-based Chrome OS.

The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us
The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us. Hewlett-Packard

It seems Hewlett-Packard plans to follow Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo into the Chromebook market.

The company published a spec sheet for the Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us that reveals a 4-pound model with a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 16GB SSD, 14-inch LED-backlit display with 1,366x768 resolution, a Webcam, and three USB 2.0 ports.

It appears the device will ship in the coming weeks. The spec sheet, spotted by The Verge, lists an advertising embargo date of February 17.

"The HP Pavilion Chromebook gives you fast and easy access to the things you love and depend on, from a world of Google apps and services to your photos and social networks. And since it's the first Chromebook with a 14-inch diagonal design, you get full-size comfort without giving up full-on mobility," the sheet said.

Chromebooks are laptops that run Chrome OS, Google's browser-based operating system that runs Web apps rather than traditional native apps. That makes them useful for Google Docs, Web-based e-mail, Facebook, and other mainstream apps. But you can't run iTunes, Skype, Photoshop, many games, and other native software that make use of Windows or OS X interfaces.

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, Microsoft doesn't hold the power it once did over the PC market. HP's willingness to sell a Chromebook reflects the fluidity of the new computing landscape. It didn't go as far as Samsung, though, which sells a $249 Chromebook with one of the company's ARM processors.

HP has clearly been reading Google's sales pitch for Chrome OS. "Chromebooks are effortlessly simple right out of the box," the sheet said. "And with automatic updates to your apps and the Google Chrome OS, your software and security is kept up to date without you having to lift a finger."

An SSD of only 16GB may sound small, but part of the promise of Chromebooks is that a lot of data, like music libraries and photos, can be stored on the cloud.

HP declined to comment for this story.

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