I met the HP Chromebook 11 recently and I can confidently say that ours will be a long and happy relationship. In fact, I’ve decided to write it a love letter.
My dear HP Chromebook 11,
How I love thee. Let me count the ways. The 10 ways, to be specific.
1. You are not a PC. I’ve been struggling with my Dell laptop for months. To be fair, I’ve owned it for two or three years, so it’s on its last legs. But it freezes constantly, it’s heavy, the fan runs loudly and incessantly, it burns my legs, and there’s a whole bunch of detritus accumulated on it that I don’t need. Some days it takes a half-hour for the darn thing to settle down and become usable.
I considered purchasing a new laptop, but I was left with the burning question: Why? I don’t store anything locally anymore except for the odd Word document. I stream all of my music. I don’t really need a hard drive. I don’t need an optical drive. I don’t really need Microsoft Office, I’m not a gamer, and I don’t use programs like Photoshop. I basically want to browse, do some basic word processing, check email, engage in social media, and blog. I’ve more or less fully entered the cloud. So why would I need all of the bells and whistles of a resource-hungry laptop PC anymore?
Simple: I don’t. That’s one big reason I fell for you, HP Chromebook 11.
2. You are not a tablet. It’s a popular notion that you can replace a laptop with a tablet, but I don’t feel that’s true for everybody. I’m still a guy who types a lot, so I’ll be using you for that in addition to the same browsing and apps I’d use a tablet for. You’re totally fine for use as a second screen while I watch TV. You’re just as much a productivity machine as you are a web browser. No touchscreen, no problem. You’re simply the right tool for the job.
3. You are so very light. You weigh just over two pounds, which makes you extremely, delightfully portable. I certainly won’t get shoulder pain lugging you around an airport or trade show floor like I did with my bulky laptop.
4. You don’t burn my legs. Laptops crave energy, and they heat up pretty good when you’ve been using them for an extended period of time. Not the case with you, HP Chromebook 11. You barely get warm even after extended use. You don’t even have a fan because you don’t need one. So you run very quietly and very cool. I like.
5. You power up with a cell phone charger. No more huge power adapter to carry around. Too freakin’ easy. Why don’t more machines have this capability?
6. You look nifty. You’re small, sleek, white with rounded edges. You have an attractive, sporty blue stripe surrounding your keyboard–a nice accent. Your back lights up in the familiar four Google colors when you’re in use. Slap an Apple logo on you and you’d likely cost at least twice as much. That is, if there actually were a similar device from Apple, which there isn’t.
7. You have a great keyboard. Like I said, I type a lot, and your keyboard has a great feel–much better than I’d expect from a device in your price range. Your trackpad is meh, and I could use a little more real estate on which to rest my wrists, but I’m willing to accept those compromises when considering all of your other virtues.
8. You have all the apps I need. The Google Play Store is in the house, in full effect. Which is cool, but the core user experience is what really stands out. At the bottom, you have a toolbar that resembles a PC or Mac toolbar, just scaled down and simplified. From left to right, you have direct links to the Chrome browser, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Play Music and apps. Oh, and you come with a free 100GB of Google Drive, which automatically syncs. And you’re a Bluetooth 4.0 device. Can’t wait to stream music to my speakers via you.
9. You don’t take forever to boot up. I open your lid, and you’re ready to go practically immediately. No muss, no fuss.
10. You’re hella inexpensive. At $279, you should be selling like hotcakes. Seriously, that’s a sick price for a machine of your caliber.
Infatuatedly yours, Joe
Note, however, a few things you should keep in mind before purchasing the HP Chromebook 11:
* It’s only got two USB 2.0 ports, the micro USB port for charging, and an audio in/out jack. No HDMI. No USB 3.0. No SD card slot.
* It doesn’t have MS Office and you can’t load that or any other software onto it, nor should you.
* It “only” gives you six hours per charge. Other Chromebooks offer even more if this is a dealbreaker for you.
* There’s no HD webcam; VGA (640 x 480) only.
* It’s only an 11-inch screen. Ideally, the screen would be larger, but it kept the cost down, so I am onboard.
* It’s only got built-in 3G, not 4G.
At $279, I’m willing to live with those compromises.
I heartily recommend the HP Chromebook 11. Makes a great stocking stuffer!