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Hewlett-Packard Tuesday extended its partnership with Google with the launch of two new Chromebooks targeted at the business and education market.
HP said the new HP Chromebook 14, which runs on the latest Intel Celeron processors, is targeted at business users looking for "simple, secure, mobile productivity" with an entry-level price of $299.
The HP Chromebook 14, which will be available through commercial channels, features a 14-inch screen with an HP TrueVision HD Webcam for dynamic chats. It also includes a multiformat digital media card reader for saving and sharing documents, images and video.
The new HP Chromebooks follow HP's June announcement that it was becoming a Google Apps For Business Reseller as part of an ambitious plan to dramatically redefine the small to medium-sized business (SMB) IT customer experience with HP SMB IT in a Box.
HP is billing the SMB IT in a Box as a "one-stop shop" technology solution that includes Google Apps For Business with what HP is calling its own "unique" management software layer combined with HP PCs and printers.
Paul Shiff, vice president of Hub Technical Services, an Easton, Mass.-based HP and Google partner that has been building enterprise-level private clouds for customers for the last seven years, applauded HP CEO Meg Whitman for "thinking out of the box" to deliver innovative offerings like the new HP Google Business Chromebook and HP SMB IT in A Box with Google Apps for Business.
"It's definitely a big model change for HP," he said. "I think it is awesome that they are thinking outside the box; although with SMB IT In a Box, they are putting everything in a box. It's good to see Meg Whitman doing such a good job of putting HP back on track.
"Google has been a big part of the education market for a long time," Shiff said. "The exciting part of the HP announcements is they are getting us set up to enable SMB and corporate clients to embrace Google."
Shiff said he sees the HP Google Business Chromebook and SMB IT In a Box opening the door for more small businesses with under 250 employees to embrace the Google platform.
"What's exciting about the HP Chromebook is they are still building a device that is unique to them," he said. "They are putting their own stamp on it."