Its been years since Google introduced the Chromebook, a new breed of computer, unlike anything we have seen before except the chrome browser. A few months ago, I got my hands on the HP Chromebook 11, a 11.6 inch laptop. Just like any other Chromebook in the market, it doesn’t have the most powerful processor or the best screen but it has the best price for a daily computer.
For those tech geeks out there, the HP Chromebook 11 specification includes a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual core processor running at 1.2 Ghz, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, WiFi plus Bluetooth connection and a terrible 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 HD LCD.
Of course the specification is not the top tier in its category, even my Xperia Z2 smartphone is faster and more powerful than it. But that’s what a Chromebook should be, low processing power, an affordable price, fluent experience, long battery life and a lightweight body. Google knows that the Chromebook is meant for those who don’t use Photoshop, Matlab, UBS in their daily life, but using it only for web surfing, writing their office documents. In 2015, this works perfectly well .
First of all, the Samsung Exynos Dual core chip handles everything well, starting the Chromebook is fast, so fast that it makes a Windows PC performs like a 5 years old computer. Thanks to Google, eliminating some of the software procedures in ChromeOS that slows starting time. Browsing the web is a seamless experience, web page loads as fast as your internet speed can reached, well at least in Malaysia.
The keyboard has enough feedback for fast typing, but I found it easy to get dirty from time to time. On the other hand, the trackpad is very responsive with an experience similar to the Macbook Air, where the best clicky part is at the bottom side.
The HP chromebook 11 has a battery life of around 6 hours, long enough for most users. While the display is terrible, I manage to design a website using only my Chromebook but then I realized the colours were all off the palette. Light yellowish looks white, skyblue is not vivid, Green feels cold, basically it means that the screen looks flat all the way. Unfortunately, most of the chromebook in the market have the similar problems, just slightly better or worst between different brand.
Last but not least, the HP Chromebook is fanless, similar to the Apple new Macbook. This means it is cool enough to sit on your lap, which I think a ‘lap-top’ should be place on. I can use the Chromebook on my lap for hours before the battery starts to scream for help. But it do get hot when I pushed it to the limit, running about ten webpage in ChromeOS and Ubuntu in a virtual environment in the same time (I will talk more about it in my next post). For normal users, you won’t get into such a mess because will be prompt with a phrase”don’t panic, just close this tab and carry on”.
Overall, the Chromebook is suitable for elementary and high school students as well as users who don’t care about gaming, photoshop, hard core programming or showing your wealth around. The Chromebook, will surely satisfy all your needs within a limited price range of around 1200 ringgits. The experience is great enough to make you feel that you are in the 2015, where laptops are thin, light weight and fast to handle daily task.
For those parents out there, the Chromebook is a good computer for you kids because they can use it for doing their average homework using google doc, keep them connected with friends, but lack the ability to install any addicting games which I mean none of them can be install in Chromebook. Any web based games also run badly on a Chromebook, thanks to its terrible GPU. So if your children is not above 17 years old, you should really consider buying them a Chromebook to avoid computer addiction without looking like a caveman in front of their friends.