As I’ve already written I finally got a refund last week for my faulty chromebook, and then went out and replaced it.
Obviously not with another of the faulty model, but with the 11” HP model for two reasons
- it fitted the bag I’d bought for my previous device
- it was on longterm support from google - not the longest, but not bad
So how is it?
Well having inadvertently found myself in the position of having two devices in rapid succession I can not only compare it to the classic netbook experience, but to earlier chromebook designs, which were basically netbooks with CrOS.
The HP model uses a RISC processor which means that it runs cooler - meaning (a) no cooling vents on the base of the unit and (b) you can comfortably sit with it on your lap. The RISC processor also means better battery life, important if you are using it for note taking etc.
The device is pretty thin - no bulky ethernet port or cooling fan internally makes for a thin case. Ports are pretty meager, headphones and a couple of USB ports, but again probably all you need.
The keyboard is a standard chiclet type. Compared to my MSI netwook the keys are a little more squashed up against each other but you can type reasonably quickly. In true Chromebook style there’s no PgUp or PgUp keys.
I found the trackpad just a little too assertive and responsive out of the box - I think this is an HP thing - I felt the same about J’s HP Windows laptop, but as in all things familiarity and use helps.
For those of us who care about such matters, connecting to eduroam was straighforward (see this guide from Sheffield Uni in the UK for example instructions).
All in all I’d describe the HP Chromebook as a tablet with a keyboard, rather than a netbook with ChromeOS.
The next (real) test will be to take it travelling and see how it compares on the road with a windows netbook …
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