CHROMEBOOKS ARE the 'meh’ of the laptop world: functional but lacking power. HP’s latest Chrome OS notebook looks to change that perception by using Intel’s Skylake processors.
The HP Chromebook 13 has more than a little whiff of the MacBook Pro about its design. It comes with some high-end tech but will start at a relatively pocket-friendly $499, or about £342 over here.
This gets you a sixth-gen Intel Core M CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 13in display with an eye-searing 3200x1800 QHD+ resolution.
More money gets a nippier Intel chip and up to 16GB of RAM. That’s a lot of memory for a Chromebook, but sadly it looks like Europe will only get access to 8GB. Battery life is claimed at up to 11 hours, despite being charged by a dinky USB Type-C.
It looks pretty nice too with a brushed aluminium chassis that's a mere 12.9mm thick. This keeps it relatively light at 1.29kg. There are lighter laptops out there, but the Chromebook 13 is still very portable.
The design sits somewhere between Apple’s finest and Google’s Pixel 2 Chromebook, both of which cost around double the price. HP has even squeezed in Bang and Olufsen speakers for nice slice of audio.
HP describes the Chomebook 13 as a mobile and desktop device, pointing out that the RAM on offer makes it more that just a laptop for road warriors. The firm claims that it has the power to keep chugging along when running both apps alongside the browser sessions that make up Chrome OS.
HP has added a dollop of its own software on top of the usual Chrome OS stuff in the form of Lucid Sleep. This sounds like the title of a song from an early 2000s indy band, but actually allows the Chromebook to update documents, emails and notifications while in sleep mode to provide the latest information when it's prodded awake.
The Chromebook 13 is expected to hit Europe this month, and it looks like HP has upped its game in the Chromebook and ultraportable markets, which is a smart move given Acer's recently revealed Aspire S 13 and Switch Alpha 12. µ
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