Set to arrive in retail stores this fall, HP's newest Chromebook -- the 11 G5 -- will be priced starting at just $189, although the addition of a touchscreen will bring the cost up to $269. A first for an HP Chromebook, the touchscreen option is designed to support Google's next Chrome OS update, which will bring the Google Play Store and Android apps to Chromebooks.
The 11.6-inch G5 will also boast a battery life of 12.5 hours on a non-touchscreen and 11 hours on a touchscreen, according to HP. The device will first become available through HP channel partners in July.
Powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, the HP Chromebook 11 G5 (pictured above) weighs in at 2.51 pounds. The device is not only aimed at students -- a key market for the cloud-focused Chromebook -- but at professionals "whose work depends upon being ultra-mobile," according to HP.
Android Apps To Bring 'More Versatile Experiences'
First launched by Google in 2011, the Chromebook was designed to boot up and run quickly by handling most of its computing demand via the cloud rather than on the local device. Rapidly adopted by schools across the U.S., Chromebooks earlier this year saw sales surpass those for Apple Macs for the first time.
The education market for the cloud-based devices is expected to keep growing, especially after Google makes the Play Store and Android apps available on Chrome OS sometime later this year, according to Anna Wu, HP's product manager for Chromebooks.
"The functionality of Android apps -- many of which are touch-centric -- are adding more versatile learning experiences to the classroom with a host of new education-focused apps," Wu said in a statement yesterday.
Devices running Chrome OS overtook those with Apple's MacOS in the first quarter of 2016, according to the analyst firm IDC. Linn Huang, an IDC analyst, told us in May that he expected that sales trend to continue.
'More Durable and User-Friendly'
With the success they've seen in the education market, HP and other companies that make Chromebooks are increasingly looking to promote the devices for enterprise users as well. Earlier this year, for example, HP launched the higher-end HP Chromebook 13, its first Chromebook to feature a sixth-generation Intel Core M processor and support use with docking stations.
IDC analyst Bryan Bassett recently told us that Google's coming addition of the Play Store and Android apps to the Chrome OS is "squarely focused" on bringing the operating system to a wider audience of enterprise users.
However, HP's newest Chromebook was designed specifically with the education market in mind. Using feedback from teachers and students, HP engineers worked to make the Chromebook 11 G5 "more durable and user-friendly" for young users, the company said. The device's slim profile makes it easier to fit into backpacks, while a new smooth-curved keyboard is designed to make dusting easier as well.
The Chromebook 11 G5 with a touchscreen will feature an HD IPS panel that's protected by Corning's scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass NBT. The IPS panel also provides wider viewing angles, making it easier for multiple viewers to see the display during group classroom activities, according to HP.