Google reveals new colorful ChromebookThe budget-friendly HP Chromebook 11 sports some unique improvements, Nest creates a smart-home smoke detector, and Amazon offers a new perk for Kindle tablet owners.
Google wants to color your world with cheap laptops. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET Update. Google has released another budget-friendly laptops, the HP Chromebook 11 is on sale now for $280. It's cheaper than most laptops because it's not like most laptops. This doesn't run Windows. It runs the Chrome operating system. And if you need to download specific programs for your work, you can't really do that on a Chromebook. But if you do all or most of your work in entertainment online and many of us do these days, then it's worth considering. This year's model has a sleek new design and you can get it in white with a choice of accent color in Google's primary favorites; green, yellow, red and blue or if color isn't for you, just go with all black. The screen is 50 percent brighter than most laptops and the speakers are tucked under the keyboard. Also unique is that it's charged via a micro USB port so this laptop charger can also charge your other devices. That's a cord-saver while traveling. As for other specs, it has two USB ports of VGA, web-cam and a slim port video out. It has 2 gigs of RAM and a 16 gig solid-state drive. Weighing in at 2.3 pounds, you could see this as a lightweight secondary computer for getting online quickly, a spare laptop for kids doing homework and its price also makes it a laptop that Google is pushing for schools. More than 5,000 schools are using Chromebooks in the classroom. There is a 4G model being made but the price has not been announced yet. If that laptop doesn't excites you, then how about a smart smoke detector for the home? Nest, is a company run by a former designer for the iPod, and after making a Smart Home Thermostat, the company now is trying to bring sexy back to smoke detectors with the Nest Protect. No more annoying chirps when the battery is low and it won't start blaring if you just burnt the cookies. It'll tell you what room it detects smoke or carbon monoxide in and the alarm will get loud if things get serious. It works with a smartphone app. Each of these units is $130 and [unk] your home, you have to invest in four or five so it can get pricey. And here's a little perk for Amazon Kindle Fire tablet owners. Amazon has giving away money for buying certain apps. Seriously, well, the money is credit in Amazon coins. But it is part of a promotion for Amazon's app store. You can find these money-making apps in the Amazon App Store Coins Reward category. Some apps are in purchases can earn $2.50 in coins. That your tech news update but you can get more details at cnet.com/update. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridge Carey.