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back to article HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

HP has become the latest hardware vendor to release a low-cost laptop based on Google's Chrome OS, topping rivals Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung by shipping its version of a Chromebook with a generous 14" screen. Second-place PC maker Lenovo unveiled its own Chromebook in January, so it's no real surprise that leader HP would follow …

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JDX
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I thought ChromeOS required an SSD, how did someone else get a spinny one through?

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FAIL

If you read the specification for the thing on the HP website you will see that it comes with a 16GB SSD. To my mind this is perfect for parent, grandparent where deteriating eyesight due to old age makes the existing Chromebooks screens are too small. Yes it has no more pixels, the fact that they are bigger makes it easier to see for someone wearing reading glasses.

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JDX
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I didn't say the HP has no SSD, it's plainly stated in the article that it does.

I was referring to "Only the Acer C7 – which uses an actual, spinning hard disk"; as I said I thought the ChromeOS specified SSD must be used.

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bestseller

"The $249 Samsung Series 3 Chromebook – the most popular model to date – topped Amazon's list of bestselling laptops throughout the holiday shopping season, "

That's because it's cheap and it looks like a laptop and providing, like most people, you never want to take the laptop out of your house it works great.

If you sold proper laptops for $249 they would sell way ahead of the chromebook

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Re: bestseller

Once upon a time they did. They were called netbooks.

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Re: bestseller

It doesn't mean that much either because if you combine the other OS sales on amazon I'm sure they outsell chrome. It only has two models. Even apple has more than that.

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Re: bestseller

It's an odd world. A year or two ago, everyone said "Why bother with a Chromebook, you can get a Windows/Linux netbook that does all the Google webstuff, and more". Now it's "Oh wait, no one sells netbooks, but you can get a Chromebook".

(Actually though, you can still get low end cheap laptops - not as portable, but neither is this 14" Chromebook; and more powerful than netbooks. I'm not sure there are any Chromebooks as small as the 10" netbooks? Plus it helps that the latest generation of Chromebooks are significantly cheaper, putting them at the lowest end of laptop costs.)

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Re: bestseller

Samsung S5 550 Wi-Fi or 3G

Samsiung S5 Wi-fi or 3G

Samsung ARM Chromebook Wi-Fi or 3G

Acer Chromebook, Wi-Fi

Lenovo Chromebook

HP Chromebook, currently Wi-Fi only.

By my math, that makes 9 models. Currently, on Amazon, the Samsung 550 and S5 models are selling above MSRP.

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About the big internal hard drive ...

Does the Chrome OS have a music/video player and slideshow application for local content?

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Re: About the big internal hard drive ...

Yes to both questions.

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SecureBoot

Can new keys be added, or SecureBoot at least disabled?

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Re: SecureBoot

Yes. Search for "chrbuntu"

http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

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Laptops with no OS.

Which if any of the big name manufacturers actually provide portable without any OS ?

If HP can make it this cheap with Chrome OS, then why not just bring out a laptop with no OS and absolutely minimal cost.

Why not let us choose for ourselves. ( Removing a pre-loaded OS does not count)..

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Re: Laptops with no OS.

Without an OS how do you know that what you bought actually works? Unless the hardware is supplied with functional OS and drivers it becomes very difficult to demonstrate that any feature does or does not perform as described.

The real problem is using UEFI and not being able to load your own secure boot keys.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Laptops with no OS.

because they have an agreement with Microsoft not to sell their machines without an OS; since Microsoft believe that OS less machines = pirated copy of MS Windows. Although, some OEMs decided to sell some of their enterprise modules with FreeDOS at some point of time; and some even with GNU/Linux!

Any way, home users want their machines ready to use as soon as they get home; so home machines will never be sold OS less.

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Re: Laptops with no OS.

Plus there are all the fun stuff like optmised/proprietry drivers and similar. Most people would want something that they can at least test and use with minimal to no work/set-up - remember people who read sites like this are in the minority of buyers. Most will just want to take it away and use the machine without the knowledge or desire to mess about with it (at least initially).

But the biggest thing of shipping an OS-free laptop is that they won't get any kick-backs/profit skimming from indirectly selling the OS too, nor anything similar from the suppliers of the bloated trialware that also tends to end up getting chucked in as well.

Don't get me wrong - I'd also love to see an OS-free option. But the market size and implicit subsidy of the machine by the OS-maker makes it unlikely.

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FAIL

Re: Laptops with no OS.

They do! At least in Germany you can get a HP Pavilon with 4gigs of RAM, a 500GB HDD and a Pentium CPU and even a DVD drive with FreeDOS for some 300 Euro.

IMHO this Chromebook is made to proof that nobody wants one!

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Re: Laptops with no OS.

PC Specialist sell Clevos with option of no OS.

True, that's probably not a "big name manufacturer", but then I think the answer there is that big names care more about what sells the most, and most people want to buy with an OS. But if you want a no-OS machine, vote with your wallet :)

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Buy the Acer, stick your favourite flavour of linux on; job's a good 'un.

Let's face it, chromebooks are netbooks without the windows tax.

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Devil

Just don't stick Ubuntu on that brand new Samsung lappy else you might brick it and void your warranty...

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Alien

No Windows tax but they come pre-loaded with a subtle Google Tax.

To quote Blackadder.

"Baldrick you wouldn't recognize a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on a harpsicord singing 'subtle plans are here again'"

<------ ET phones home....

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Happy

My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

Been out of stock for weeks!

Have to say its a great bit of kit. Great to use. Even works offline for the 2 minutes a week you might not be connected somehow.

Much better than a netbook, for me its far more usable (for the realistic, normal user) without the full linux bloat and an extra 168 pixels of depth. Would have preferred a 900 depth but it is only £220!

Worth a try.

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Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

"Have to say its a great bit of kit. Great to use."

Good to hear but so many here would say it's barely usable because it can't run Office etc..

( Please note I wouldn't say that )

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Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

What can it do when it's offline? I was under the impression that all your documents etc were in the Google cloud so that you couldn't do any productive work offline. (See my comment earlier.) Can you tell me what things can be done with it offline?

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Happy

Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

Well I've run several Office docs on it with no issues and the Docs app appears to have all the core functionality I need. It's at least as functional as Office 2000 it seems.

So should suit 98% of people out there.

But...it does involve a little change (and it is little) in usage patterns and as we've found a few around here do have learning difficulties when it comes to change.

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Thumb Up

Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

I just bought one too, had to order online because they weren't in stock anywhere - but it only took 3 days.

I have 2 netbooks which got a lot of use, good for travel and troubleshooting in tight working space. But at the end of the day you're still booting a full OS and therefore if you're at home you may as well boot up your laptop in case you need something with a bit more power or screen real estate.

Jumped on the tablet trend, and suddenly I hardly need to boot a laptop anymore, but there's still some websites or apps that are more accessible on a desktop browser - which is where the Chromebook comes in as a great inbetweener device.

It takes a while to get your head around the concept, but after you get over the initial vapour-like feel you can get on with some useful work. Google Docs works very well offline.

I never really thought it would be useful to have a cloud OS that mostly depends on being connected but when I actually look at my outdoor laptop usage, I usually won't do anything until I've found a hotspot or use my phones 3g.

That said, the pro's of the Samsung S3 is it's price, light weight and 1.7Ghz which is just a little bit more oomph if I was going to load ChrUbuntu on it. This HP Pavilion seems to have the all drawbacks of Chrome OS and none of the benefits in terms of cost, weight or speed.

Why is it that OEMs still seem to completely miss the value in offering customers a chance to fully utilize their hardware? Why does HP seem to think Chromebook buyers will be willing to shell out an extra £80 for a slightly larger screen size?

If they offered a 64gb SSD and faster cpu at this price then I would have snapped one up for the opportunity to duel boot Linux - but they still don't get it!

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Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

I was taking notes in a hospital emergency room last year, when a doctor asked the same question. Currently, well over 400 apps available that have online functionality. That's about double the last time I checked (two months ago).

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WTF?

"..at $329.99 "

Meanwhile, with a bit of shopping around, you can easily get a shiny new similarly sized laptop with a dual core Celeron clocking rather faster and with significantly more storage for around that price.

Also, that'll work when it's not connected to Google, unless you're daft enough to put ChromeOS on it. Why would anyone buy this?

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Re: "..at $329.99 "

You are thinking old school here.

Just how often is the average small business or home worker not connected to the net when they are actually wanting to work.

Hardly ever. Maybe when I'm on holiday in the wilderness..but I'm on holiday. not working.

For most small businesses and self employed folks their data storage needs are tiny. A USB stick can handle all the data for some firms that have been going for 15+ years.

They don't tend to have 2TB of movies and music installed on their work machines. Being able to share their data and have it backed up is far more important. Plus with ChromeOS the need for a dedicated IT support is pretty much removed. I guess this is what most fear.

For a lot of individuals and small businesses its becoming very attractive.

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Re: "..at $329.99 "

He has a point though - with a Linux/Windows laptop, you can still do all the Google/cloud stuff, and have the extra functionality too. Not that I'm saying Chrome OS is bad - it's good to have choice, and these are priced at the very low end of laptops (unlike the earlier generations).

But it's reasonable to compare to other low cost laptops (most people seem to be comparing to netbooks, which doesn't seem right to me - they are smaller and have much better battery life, but less performance; if you want performance and a larger device, and don't need as long battery life, normal laptops are the thing to compare to).

"have it backed up is far more important"

I don't really agree with Google's "you don't have to back it up" argument - if data is only online, I still want to make offline backups. I guess you could argue that Google are more reliable than most, and won't go away anytime soon, but still - everytime a cloud solution disappears, if someone hasn't backed it up elsewhere, the response here is to say it's their own fault. For something as important as business, you wouldn't want to stake your livelihood on another company like that, so you'd still need the IT to do the offline backup. Not to mention issues like security considerations. So I'd say the opposite - Chrome makes things easier for the casual user (who probably doesn't do any backup, so Google is going to be more reliable than an average local hard disk), but it's less useful for business use. (Although true, there are probably a horrifying number of small businesses with no backup systems either... - I guess my point is that even where it's an improvement, it's not like you should do away with backup.)

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Re: "..at $329.99 "

Also, that won't work when it gets compromised by malware.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 must be a real turd if companies are willing to turn to a broken pointless OS like chrome.

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Windows 8 IS a turd

'Nuff said.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows8 or Chromebook?

Chromebook gets my vote every time. Brilliant. Love mine...

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting

I keep seeing the comment "what do you do offline"? Its a Netbook - the clue is in the name. I have had a Samsung Chromebook since release and it gets lots of use. At £229 it gets thrown in the rucksack for traveling. I found it much more useful than my tablet as a second device around the house. For non-web stuff, like coding and image editing I use a Liniux desktop. But for general web browsing (and even the odd SSH session) the Chromebook is excellent. I think people underestimate what percentage of their time they actually only use a browser on their computer. (Note, my comments are around a personal machines not a work machine.)

If the HP is around £300 and has a better quality screen (i.e. not so dim) than the Samsung Chromebook I would be interested. Also as a laptop for my parents it would be ideal. I reckon there is definitely a large market for Chromebooks.

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Re: Interesting

Yes I think some people still feel internet connectivity is still like it was in 2002.

As for the Samsung's screen brightness, mine has a manufacture date of Jan 2013 and at full brightness its really is quite bright. In fact I have to turn it down a couple of notches. Maybe they have made some changes. The viewing angles still aren't that great but....it was £220!

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Happy

Looking Good (So Far)

Samsung Chromebook WiFi arrived this morning from Amazon UK at £229.

Ten mins later signed into Google Account.

It's well built, light, decent screen & K/B, & SILENT (no fan).

Logitech wireless mouse worked immediately.

Instant on.

Joins an extensive portfolio of PCs/Macs/iOS & Android devices.

Tired of the Sisyphus loop of updates for Apps, Operating Systems & anti Virus/Spyware crap.

Expect ZERO maintenance.

This device is for my wife & some R&D on my part.

Will be hanging a Chromebox off a second port on a 30" monitor.

Flip flop between Dell PC & Chromebox.

Full details of Chrome OS & Chromebooks etc at Google, Samsung sites etc.

Yes, there is some offline capability but who cares ?

Three inexpensive Kindle eBooks by Tony Loton (C H Rome), Michael Miller & Minute Help Guides.

Cheap as chips & worth a punt.

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Happy

Looking Even Better

Have had a chance to play some more. As an academic exercise I was able to Read & Write files to an SD Card, USB Stick & 120GB Hard Drive via the built-in File Manager. Able to Drag & Drop to Google Drive. Chromebook users are given 100GB free for two years. I use cloud storage for transitory, non confidential files & will never pay.

Screen captures went straight to a Downloads Folder.

Movies played without hassle from the USB External Hard :Drive.

Power cord is very long & made of thin flex. Charger brick is very compact.

All in all it's been a doddle so far. Very impressive.

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Choice is good

"...a larger display is pretty much all the Pavilion has going for it over the other Chromebook models."

I started with a Cr-48, currently use a Samsung S5 Chromebook, and have had hands-on contact with all the other models. In my opinion, the overall build quality, bright screen, keyboard, trackpad, and especially the speakers, are all superior on the HP compared with any other model currently available. While I prefer the 12.1" form factor, others may have different preferences. Vive le difference. I welcome more options in the Chromebook universe.

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