Latest posts by Ahmad Imran (see all)
- How to Choose a Chromebook? 7 Key Factors to Help You Decide - February 13, 2017
- Huawei Honor 8 – Strengths and Weaknesses Reviewed After 45 Days of Use - February 3, 2017
- Your Blog Needs an Ideal Visitor Persona (Sharing 3 Examples I Use) - January 22, 2017
21.08.2016 update – this article was written two months after owning and using my very first Chromebook in 2014 – HP Chromebook 11 (Gen 2). Note that HP has recently released the 5th generation models of this Chromebook in 2016.
HP Chromebook 11 has been my main computing device for a couple of months now.
It is a prime example of a machine which shouts “value for money”.
Read this article if you wish to know what are my three main reasons to like this Chromebook. I was not hoping for much from this machine when I bought it but it has well-exceeded all expectations.
HP deserves praise for bringing this great little Chromebook for us.
Understand Who is it For?
Chromebooks are different from other portable computing devices mainly because of the operating system (OS) they run. Google’s Chrome OS based machine is mainly a web browser-based unit which is not designed for heavy gaming and other demanding tasks at this stage.
I am not hesitant to say that HP’s Chromebook 11 is mainly for those who like to use it for web surfing and other light activities using the Chrome browser compatible software applications only.
Everything has to be done from the Chrome web browser and associated extensions and apps that can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. If you are after a “specs-heavy” and “feature-rich” machine, Chromebook is not an option for you. The plus point of a Chromebook is that it is simple, easy to use and relatively less expensive to buy.
This is the first Chromebook I have used.
When I bought it, I was not expecting much from it. With growing popularity of Chromebooks, I couldn’t resist buying and trying one.
“After two months of use now, I can say that I am pleasantly surprised. It has been my main computing device for these two months and my love for this machine has only increased.”
My web surfing before buying this Chromebook was split between my iPad and the 15.6 inch HP Probook laptop. Since the arrival of this Chromebook, it seems that it has taken the title of my “personal computer” and has served me well.
There are three compelling reasons for liking the HP Chromebook 11.
1 – Value for Money
I am a huge fan of gadgets which present a great value for money.
HP deserves appreciation and praise that they have produced a Chromebook which is considerably cheaper than its competitors in the market. If you don’t believe this, just visit your local Amazon website (or other similar service) and carry out a search on prices and specifications.
If you are buying a Chromebook, the chances are that you are looking for a light-weight, portable and an easy to use machine which can easily manage your day to day web surfing and other light activities.
With this in mind, most of us would not like to spend mega bucks on a Chromebook. HP have realised this fact and has addressed this very need of the end-user. They have truly given us a portable computing unit which is a decent quality hardware (for the type of use) which feels good in your hands and above all, extremely competitive in price.
2 – Build Quality and Keyboard
Build quality is a strength of this machine for its price.
It is rare nowadays to see decent quality of materials and feel on competitively priced gadgets. Chromebook 11 does not disappoint at all. The plastic body is well-rounded and feels good in hand. I am not saying to compare it with the Chromebook which is at least 3x the price of this machine though. You will always have to keep the price in perspective to prove an overall value.
I have used the 17”, 15.6”, 14”, 13.3” and now 11.6” (this Chromebook) screen sized portable laptops.
11.6 inch screen although sounds too small, but sits on top of my favourites list for portability and ease of mobility.
It is the best size in my opinion for surfing the web and general browsing and light activities on the move. It is very portable which is a key consideration for people who like to use their notebook on the move – in or out of the house. It goes with me with no hassle in my lounge, bedroom, kitchen and car etc.
“A nice keyboard like a laptop” is what differentiates HP Chromebook 11 from a typical tablet.
The keyboard is well structured and easy to use with responsive keys. The size is although smaller than a typical keyboard with a desktop or a bigger laptop but let me confirm that my relatively big fingers are faced with no problems at all when typing on this machine. I use it often for writing articles on this machine and have no issues with it.
3 – Chrome OS at the Heart of it
Chrome OS is simple and useful.
No lengthy boot ups, crashes and antivirus/malware issues. The concept is simple but highly effective and user-friendly. I believe Chrome OS has massive plans to surprise us in future and with current market hold of Google in different areas, this is going to grow.
The apps and extensions are easily downloadable and can be used with few clicks. The integration with Google drive and Google Docs is like an icing on the cake. The machine is ready to be used straight out of the box. You only need to have a google account to get going.
Let me add here, in fact, you can use it as a guest as well where you do not need to have an account to log in.
“90% of my day to day tasks are doable with this machine – and more importantly, doable with fun and ease.”
In a nutshell, Google is doing everything right here. I have used Windows for almost 20 years from the days of Windows 3.1 when I installed it on my x386 Pentium machine with floppy disks. Last two months have changed my thinking about personal computing after using the HP Chromebook 11.
Microsoft (and probably Apple as well) has some tough task ahead of them now.
Let us see what Google has in stock for us in future. I am already thinking of investing in a slightly higher priced Chromebook machine to explore more power and usability like windows. It has not replaced my normal Windows laptop though – as yet.
Share with us if you have used any 11.6 inch Chromebook before and how was your experience with it.
03.11.2016 update – I am now using my 4th Chromebook – the Dell’s 13.3 inch Chromebook in November 2016.