HP is adding to its chromebook lineup with a new 14-inch HP Chromebook 14. This slim laptop stays in the same low-end price range as most other budget Chromebooks and Windows laptops, but adds a handful of higher-end features and extras to stand out in a crowded field.
The first thing that stands out about this system is the soft colors of the chassis. Rather than stark silver, black or gray, HP calls this design "Sky Blue," and it combines a soft blue interior and accents with a white lid (the system will also be be available in a silver design).
The current-gen Intel Celeron processor won't offer any performance surprises, but the 14-inch display has a full 1,920x1,080 resolution, and uses an IPS panel (in-plane switching) to prevent the image from looking faded at side angles. HP says the system will also include some potentially valuable extras, including a two-year 100GB Google Drive account and three Google Play movie rentals.
The most interesting bonus is 12 months of free access to GoGo in-flight internet service. If you're a frequent flyer, that could make the laptop practically pay for itself.
Chromebooks continue to build a case for being the perfect low-cost computer, thanks to an increasing reliance on cloud-based tools, from email to video streaming to collaborative office applications. Built around the Chrome web browser from Google, this and other Chrome OS devices offer easy access and simple interfaces, but also lack the ability to install and run many common Windows and Mac software applications, or even store much data locally.
But, if you can live within these limitations, Chromebooks are an increasingly attractive way to get online access in a decent-looking hardware package without spending much money.
The HP Chromebook 14 will cost $249 in the US. The US release date, as well as international price and release details, are not available yet, but HP expects this system to ship in time for the upcoming holiday season.