Talking tech since 2003

When Google announced the Chromebook Pixel those many months ago, I laughed – the hardware is beautiful and high end, there’s no doubt about that, with its high-DPI display that would make even the MacBook Pro’s Retina Display blush. But for its excellent hardware, something was off – and that’s the very concept of a “high end” Chromebook. Indeed, Chrome OS – the lightweight operating system Chromebooks run – are well suited for the more low-end/midrange consumer price range, and that’s what makes Google’s new Chromebook 11 so appealing.

Built by HP and packing in a 1366 x 768 IPS display, dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and roughly 6-hours of battery life all for the low price of $279, a price I consider much more suitable for the Chromebook family of products. Google is planning on offering the Chromebook 11 in a multitude of colorful configurations – black or white, with a choice of blue, red, yellow, or green accents.

Google hopes to make the Chromebook 11 feel like a high end machine, and in defense of that it does seem impressive for its price on paper. For starters, it’s got a full-size keyboard and trackpad – somewhat of a rarity on a laptop of this size that has traditionally been plagued with the horrors of puny, cramped netbook-style inputs. Google is also touting the efficiency and strengths of that IPS display, claiming that its 50 percent brighter than most displays on the market today while still offering an impressive gamut of colors and wide viewing angles. And of course, for your Hangout needs, Google and HP has thrown in a front facing VGA camera for all your video conferencing needs.

Sound good? You can pre-order your own Chromebook 11 at the usual online retailers starting later today for that low $279 price. Or, if you consider yourself somewhat of a world traveler, you’ll soon be able to get yourself a Chromebook 11 with built in 4G LTE support, however Google’s not saying when that’ll be up for grabs or how much it’ll cost when it is.


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