HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook arrives - at a price
By Barry Collins
Posted on 4 Feb 2013 at 09:12
HP has launched its first Google Chromebook - the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook.
In a further sign that Google's Chromebook concept is finally gaining momentum, HP joins Samsung and Acer on the roster of top tier Chromebook manufacturers, with Lenovo also expected to join the fray.
HP is, however, bucking the downward price trend. While Samsung's latest Chromebook cost £229 inc VAT and the Acer C7 only £194 inc VAT, the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook will cost $330 - which will likely translate to around £300 in the UK (the Acer C7 costs $199 in the US, for comparison).
Despite the price premium, the Pavilion's spec sheet hardly shames its cheaper rivals. The Pavilion 14 offers a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 CPU and 2GB of RAM.
The 14in display has a 1,366 x 768 resolution, the same as its two rivals. And while the Acer C7 Chromebook offers 320GB of hard disk storage, HP is settling for 16GB of solid-state storage, although it is throwing in 100GB of Google Drive storage for the first two years.
The Pavilion punches above its weight for connectivity at least, with an HDMI output, three USB 2 sockets and an SD card reader, as well as an Ethernet socket, which is increasingly vanishing from both Chromebooks and fully fledged laptops.
The HP also has a removable battery, although a stated life of 4hrs 15mins is underwhelming.
There's no word as yet of a UK launch.
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does this do that my browser can't?
By stephen_d_morris on 4 Feb 2013
By nelviticus on 4 Feb 2013
A solution in search of a problem...
'Chrome' is still not really practicable for most people.
Google keeps adding offline 'functionality', and Chrome is starting to become a full-blown O/S in its own right.
Whilst this obviously makes it more useful in the real world, it clearly undermines all the original hype from the Googleplex....
A cynic might suppose that this might have been the plan all along, but such sneakiness would border on 'evil', wouldn't it?
The outcome of all this will undoubtedly be that each and every personal device will be a 'hybrid', using a seamless mixture of on-line & offline storage. The key (technically anyway) will be the way all the gadgets integrate themselves into this model.
When I can start typing on my Home PC, pick it up on my 'phone, edit further on my laptop\tablet, and finish\print on my PC at work, without even thinking about it, then we'll be nearly there. We aren't quite yet, but Google, MS and Apple are all getting reasonably close, though only Google & MS's efforts are sufficiently cross-platform to be convincing.
By wittgenfrog on 4 Feb 2013
Yea the industry keeps trying with this "thin client" nonsense. You shave very little off the cost and a lot off the usability and functionality. It's particularly misconceived in the mobile space - more networking means less battery life.
It is only a matter of time until Google realise they do not need two operating systems and roll the chromebook functionality into Android.
Why have a thin client when for almost the same money you can have a fully functional computer with a thin client on it?
By JohnAHind on 4 Feb 2013
The marginal costs of adding storage & additional CPU power to a terminal-style keyboard & display are tiny.
Contrastingly additional management & infrastructure costs really rule out 'Thin client', probably for good.
Of course the 'hybrid' model introduces a raft of security & management issues of its own, but these seem more easily solvable than the inherent limitations of true thin-client.
By wittgenfrog on 4 Feb 2013
@wittgenfrog & @JohnAHind
I think you two should buy a Chromebook and find out what you are talking about. It's not a 'thin client' at all, that concept only belongs in the world of Citrix these days.
HTML5 is a work in progress but it is clearly intended eventually to facilitate the sort of offline/online capability that JohnAHind alludes to.
The point of HTML5 is that it is open and not tied into any one vendor. Your data moves around with you, and you don't lose access to it once you lose access to the platform. This is a worthy goal, and is the only way of keeping vendors honest, and will encourage transparency.
So I get the picture that neither of you will ever buy a Chromebook, which is fine, but a market only thrives when there is competition and the Chromebook provides that. It might even work, one day, when wireless broadband is much more dependable, even in the Sticks.
By c6ten on 4 Feb 2013
I thought I was emphasising that very point!
My 'gripe' was that Google's initial pitch (and the launch hardware) didn't include a proper local file-store, so no network meant no files. Yes the gadget would boot into Chrome from the local ROM, but that was about it.
Not strictly 'thin client' I know, but a similar concept....
And yes we all agree that the 'HTML 5' standard would be, like Gandhi's quip about Western Civilisation 'a good idea', it too is not here yet!
The problem with 'portability' is that there are effectively 3 different 'walled gardens' to choose from: Apple, MS and Google.
As to my buying a Chromebook: I really don't know.
I bought my wife a Nexus 7 because I believe (rightly or wrongly) it's the best solution for what she wants.
If I come to the same conclusion about Chromebook and my oen requirements, then I hope I'll be intelligent enough to apply the same logic!
By wittgenfrog on 4 Feb 2013
Well the original Samsung Series 5 did have 16GB of NAND flash, so there has been local storage from the start. It's just that originally Google chose not to emphasise the fact.
The file browser is more functional in Chrome OS 24, and Google Drive behaves as a local file-system so it seems likely that it is implemented similarly to Google Drive on Windows and OS X (i.e. local replication).
If an iPad can manage with 16GB of Flash storage, I don't see how that is any different from the storage situation on most Chromebooks. I suspect that maybe this was misreported when the Chromebook concept was launched. You only have to examine the specs.
And all this storage is fully encrypted and 'sandboxed', so any local data is inaccessible unless the user has proper credentials.
By c6ten on 4 Feb 2013
punching above its weight
I'm not sure why you highlight this HP model as "punching above its weight" with regards connectivity. My Acer C7 has hdmi, and an ethernet connection, and 3 USB 2 ports, and SD card slot - and a VGA port plus 320Gb HD, yet costs a reportedly £100 less...
I think my chromebook is a fantastic companion device to my desktop pc, and look forward to seeing google develop this further. Could I use it alone? No. But I do find myself keeping my main pc switched off for longer as I can do the majority of my day-to-day stuff on the simpler device.
And for anyone who says they can open a web browser on any pc; yes - but that's not the point of a chromebook...
By joecool12 on 4 Feb 2013
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