HP announced that it's refreshing its Chromebook lineup with two new iterations, one a compact 11-inch affair and the other a larger 14-incher, but the differences between the two don't begin and end with the size; what's far more important is that one runs an Intel Celeron processor while the other sports an NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip.
HP opted for the Intel Celeron N2830 (Bay Trail-M) processor (2.16/2.41 GHz) on the 11-inch version, which also features a 1366 x 768 display. The Chromebook has 16 GB of onboard eMMC storage (augmented by 100 GB of Google Drive storage) and either 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3L-1333MHz RAM.
Inputs include SuperSpeed USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and a headphone/mic combo jack. The WiFi-only 11-inch Chromebook has an Intel 2x2 802.11ac chip for connectivity, while a 4G LTE-equipped model has an Intel WLAN chip plus an HP M.2 3042-S3 LTE/HSPA mobile broadband module.
The 14-inch model is one of the first Chromebooks to run on the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC. This model has 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3L-1600 MHz RAM and 16 GB of eMMC storage or a 32 GB M.2 SSD along with the 100 GB Google Drive storage, and although it shares the same WLAN as the 11-inch Chromebook, it has either the aforementioned HP M.2 3042-S3 module or the HP cr3124 HSPA.
Ports on the 14-incher include SuperSpeed USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, an AC Smart Pin adapter plug, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
Both models have the HP Imagepad touchpad with multitouch gesture capabilities, the HP TrueVision webcam, and a purported battery life of 8 hours and 15 minutes on a 3-cell 36 WHr lithium-ion polymer battery.
Both also come in pretty colors that you don't often see on mobile devices; the 11-inch comes in Ocean Turquoise or Snow White, while the 14-inch model is available in Smoke Silver, Sorbet Orange, Ocean Turquoise, or Neon Green. (Neon Green? Yowza.) The keyboard area on both Chromebooks has a brushed-metal look; on the larger machine, the lid is white with a colored HP logo.
Curiously, HP also opted for the lower 1366 x 768 screen resolution on both new Chromebooks; although 1366 x 768 isn't a horrible resolution for a 14-inch display, it's also not particularly appealing.
What is appealing about HP's new machines, though, is the price. The 11-inch Chromebook starts at a mere $199, while the larger model starts at $299. Until now, the cheapest Chromebook available was a (slightly older) Acer C720 with base specs, so seeing a fresh Chromebook land at that incredible price point should be encouraging to cash-strapped buyers.
We should also note that ASUS announced a $200 Windows notebook yesterday, which is further evidence that a price war between cheap Windows lappies and already-inexpensive Chromebooks is underway.
HP will of course continue to put out both Windows PCs and Chromebooks, but it's notable that the company has both Intel Celeron- and Tegra K1-based models available.
Update: The HP Chromebook 11 starts at $279.99, not $199. We regret the error.