Back at the end of January, Hewlett-Packard's
web team inadvertently posted a document
detailing a Pavilion Chromebook
, which at the time hadn't yet been announced. Only a handful of specs were identified, with no mention of a release date or pricing information, leaving us to speculate on what kind of impact this might have on Microsoft
, which is aggressively pushing Windows 8
. We're about to find out.
HP's Pavilion Chromebook is now available to purchase starting at $330. According to HP, it's the first full-size 14-inch Chromebook on the market, which means it's every bit as portable as an Ultrabook, but costs several hundred dollars less.
The biggest difference between an Ultrabook and a Chromebook is that the latter ships with Google's
cloud-based Chrome OS
. Chromebooks aren't as fully functional as a traditional notebook running Windows, as they rely almost entirely on web apps, but they're plenty capable of handling productivity chores, especially if you're already invested into Google's ecosystem.
As for the hardware, HP's Pavilion Chromebook features an Intel Celeron 847 processor clocked at 1.1GHz, 2GB of DDR3 memory (upgradeable to 4GB), 16GB solid state drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet, and a 4-cell battery good for up to 4 hours and 15 minutes of run time. It also has three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, headphone/mic combo port, and a multi-format media card reader.
At $330, HP is charging more than Acer
($200) or Samsung
($249) for a Chromebook, though the Pavilion is a bigger laptop. More importantly, it's yet another alternative to a Windows 8-based laptop, which could be bad news for Microsoft.