Hewlett-Packard officially jumped into the Google Chrome party Monday with its first-ever Chromebook.
The company launched the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, which boasts a display that's roughly 2 inches wider than competing Chromebooks and offers a 1,366-x-768 resolution. The pricing is also higher; while other Chromebooks generally range between $200 and $250, the larger Pavilion 14 is listed at $329.99.
Along with a larger display, HP's Chromebook features a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of SSD storage, plus 100 GB of free cloud storage on Google Drive for two years. The Chromebook also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a digital card reader, an HD webcam and both dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 support.
The Pavilion 14 weighs 3.96 pounds and according to HP has approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes of battery life. Compared to other HP laptops, such as the Windows 8-based Pavilion Sleekbook 15, the Pavilion 14 Chromebook has a lower price point but also less powerful specs.
With the Pavilion 14, HP joins other major PC manufacturers like Samsung, Acer and Lenovo that have embraced Google's low-cost laptop configuration. HP's Chromebook also serves as a springboard for the company's "multi-OS approach" for the PC; HP has talked about its multi-OS strategy for nearly 10 years, but the strategy was limited mostly to HP's enterprise business with Linux-based servers.
But historically, HP's multi-OS approach never quite transitioned from the data center to its PC business; while HP released the TouchPad in 2011, the company quickly killed the WebOS tablet after just six weeks. But the Pavilion 14 Chromebook changes that pattern for HP and marks the first time in recent memory the company has made a commitment to an operating system other than Microsoft's Windows.
"Google's Chrome OS is showing great appeal to a growing customer base," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, Consumer PCs, for HP's Personal Systems Group, in a press statement. "With HP's Chromebook, customers can get the best of the Google experience on a full-sized laptop -- all backed up by our service and brand."
PUBLISHED FEB. 4, 2013