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HP Chromebook 11 review

Finally - a Chromebook that's excellent as well as cheap

Our Verdict

It's a quarter of the price of even the cheapest 11-inch MacBook Air and it's far more than a quarter as lovely. If Chrome OS could work for you, buy this laptop.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768

View full specification

For

  • Wonderful build (for the price)
  • Excellent screen with rich colours
  • Crisp, responsive keyboard
  • Smooth performance
  • Micro-USB charging

Against

  • Chrome OS limited
  • Battery life not amazing
  • Needs unusual monitor adapter
  • Trackpad concerns

The Chromebook concept – the idea of a stripped-down laptop that runs nothing but a web browser in the form of Google's Chrome OS – has up till now usually been about cheap, commodity computing.

It's been about manufacturers clustering around a low price point, and the compromises they have had to make to get a device out at that price point.

With the Chromebook 11 though, for the first time, a Chromebook can be both about affordability but also about delight.

Scores

HP Chromebook 11 review
HP Chromebook 11 review
HP Chromebook 11 review
HP Chromebook 11 review
HP Chromebook 11 review

Even if you're used to high end computers such as the MacBook Pro or Samsung ATIV Book 9, every time you pick up the Chromebook 11 you get a little jolt of pleasure.

It feels solid – light yet sturdy. The keyboard is genuinely very good. The IPS screen's colours are rich and vibrant. The styling feels fresh and simple and clean and friendly.

It feels, in short, like a beautifully made, simple to use computer.

Plus the fact you've only paid GBP £229/USD $279/AUD $364 for it not only makes that all the sweeter, but also makes you feel like you've got a special, secret, insiders' deal when everyone else is paying two, three, eight times as much to do pretty much the same things you'll be doing on your Chromebook.

The keyboard is genuinely good to use
The keyboard is genuinely good to use

This is not, of course, the first time you've been able to buy a well-made Chromebook; Google's own Chromebook Pixel genuinely is Apple-class hardware, with its high-resolution touch display and anodised aluminium enclosure. But it's £1,049, and as we said in our review it's more a learning and PR exercise made flesh than it is a computer that any sane person would actually buy.

The Chromebook 11 s fit and finish is rather fine
The Chromebook 11's fit and finish is rather fine

And with that exception, other Chromebooks have been – and, crucially, felt – cheap. Before the launch of this new model, our previous favourite was the Samsung Series 3, but while it shares many of the basic specs with HP's Chromebook 11 – 16GB SSD, a Samsung Exynos 5250 ARM processor, an 11-inch 1366x768 screen, even the price tag – it feels like a completely different class of device. The Samsung's keyboard lacks bite, the screen is dreadfully washed out, and the whole chassis creaks if you pick it up by one edge.

The base has a screwless design
The base has a screwless design

The Acer C7 has an even worse keyboard, feels chunky, and has a netbook-derived spec that just makes no sense on a Chromebook. (A 320GB hard disk? For a cloud computer? All it does it slow everything down!) Even HP's Chromebook, the Pavilion 14, is a bit rubbish. Sure, you get a bigger screen, if that's important to you, but again the fit and finish are distinctly average; it just feels like a computer nobody really cared much about.

This one, though, feels special. It feels right. It's something HP should be proud of. We don't know whose project it was at the company, but it reeks of someone, frankly, giving a damn.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerSamsung
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyChromebook 11-1100
Operating System Architecture32-bit
ColourPiano White
Operating SystemChrome OS
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeExynos
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.03 kg
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver, WEEE, REACH
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height17.4 mm
Width297 mm
Depth195 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product Series11-1100
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model11-1126fr
Product NameChromeBook 11-1126fr (Energy Star)
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineChromebook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberF3V22AA#ABD
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing InformationEnjoy a quick start and easy connecting to your online content and automatically updated apps with the thin and light HP Chromebook 11. Share with broad viewing angles and appreciable battery life as you navigate the easy to use operating system. Sleek access to a mobile Internet experience.
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • ChromeBook 11-1126fr (Energy Star)
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter