For the ever so popular ultra small and portable netbooks heavy OSs like the Windows was not really a preferable option. Then came the Chromebooks- netbooks powered by the lightweight and mostly cloud-based Chrome OS. Today we are gonna check out the HP Chromebook 11-ae010nr, an 11-inch variance of the popular ultralight notebooks by the HP. Let’s head towards the review then.
- CPU – Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core, 1.1 GHz
- GPU – Intel HD Graphics 500
- Memory – 4 GB DDR4
- Screen – 11.6-inch HD IPS (1,366 x 768) with 10-point touchscreen
- Storage – 16 GB eMMC Flash
- OS – Google Chrome OS
- Performance – The specs sheet is not very unusual for a regular netbook. It features a low powered Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of RAM (better than those touting 2 GB) and 16 gigs of flash-based internal storage which seems somewhat low to me. Anyway, the machine performed pretty well for everyday tasks like internet surfing and word processing. As expected the netbook runs on Chrome OS. The most of the apps like the word processor and video player are cloud-based. Although Google made some part of the apps offline; but that either is very limited or doesn’t work reliably as they are still being worked on. The 16 GB internal storage as stated is pretty small and would certainly start to feel cramped soon. And you would get to utilise nearly 10 to 10.5 GB of the storage at any time as the rest of the space stays occupied by Chrome itself. So you’d soon be found searching either for a cloud-based storage or a physical storage like a Micro SD card or an external hard drive.
- Input – Opening the lid reveals the black coloured island-style keyboard. The keys seem well spaced and sized. Although it lacks the backlighting (which you don’t really see in many Chromebooks at this price point anyway) the keys have a nice feel to them. The keyboard in most of the netbooks either feels very stiff or way too shallow. But the keys in HP Chromebook 11 come with the right amount of travel and actuation force. The trackpad is also very responsive. Although it had some issues capturing the multi-finger gestures at times. And lastly, the touch screen is very smooth and sensitive. The touchscreen is just a bonus in this Chromebook.
- Display – The display is not really anything fancy- just barely passable. It comes with an 11.6 inch wide HD display featuring a touchscreen. The panel is fairly dim at only 190 nits. It couldn’t even cross the comfortable brightness threshold of 200 nits, let alone compete with the panels of the rival netbooks like Lenovo 100S Chromebook (245 nits) and Dell Chromebook 11 (225 nits). The colour coverage was pretty narrow as well with covering only 60% area of the sRGB colour space. It fell plenty behind the category average of 75-80% coverage. As a result, the colours look dull and lifeless. But on the positive side, the screen comes with Corning Gorilla Glass. So it can easily survive some small bumps and scratches.
- Battery – The battery backup as an ultraportable Chromebook is not great either. It houses a 2-cell 47 Wh battery. It could stay awake for only as long as 7 hours in medium brightness while doing offline stuff. That’s not only shorter than the category average of the Chromebooks of 8 hours but also lower than the Dell Chromebook 11 (10:17) and Lenovo 100S (11:19). But the battery backup was found around 5 hours while it was used for streaming videos and internet surfing. That can be a bit problematic considering the fact that it’s a Chromebook and most of the apps and tools are either online or the offline version is just not workable yet.
It certainly is pricey for a Chromebook. It’s a tough decision to make. While the display is dim and the battery backup is somewhat lacklustre the Chromebook certainly proved to be a worthy netbook. You can rely on HP Chromebook 11-ae010nr (2MW49UA#ABA) if you’re not going to use it outdoors much and stay far from the power socket for long.