Chromebook sales are surging thanks to the global pandemic that has many of us working and studying from home, so it’s just fitting that HP has today announced its latest education-focused lineup of Chromebooks, just a few hours after Acer did. The new machines consist of offers for both teachers and students, and the company makes a point that all of them can be easily disinfected with household wipes.
HP Chromebook 14 G7
The Chromebook 14 G7 is aimed at teachers, coming with a 14-inch HD or FHD screen with optional touch. It runs on the Intel N5100 Celeron or N4500 Celeron with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. The laptop has a decent amount of ports that should help teachers in the classroom and while working from home: a USB-C Gen 1 power delivery port is complemented by a full-size HDMI port and two more USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectors. There’s also a microSD card reader. Wi-Fi 6 support, the wide-angle HD webcam, the dual speakers, and the dual microphones should make it a capable Zooming machine for remote teaching. It’s powered by a 47WHr battery that can be charged to 90% in 90 minutes.
Prices haven’t been announced yet. We’ll likely have to wait until the Chromebook 14 G7 becomes available in February to hear more.
HP Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE & x360 11 MK G3 EE
Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE.
These two Chromebooks with chunky names are aimed at students and are convertible, as the x360 moniker suggests. The biggest difference between the two is the processor architecture. The G4 EE is an Intel-based machine while the 11 MK G3 EE has MediaTek inside. That also means there are some differences in I/O: The Intel variant is equipped with two USB Type-C and two regular USB ports — the MediaTek version only has one of each. The Intel model also supports an optional HP USI Garaged Pen for input.
Chromebook x360 11 MK G3 EE.
Other than that, the devices are mostly similar: Both have 11.6-inch HD touch screens, 4 or 8GB of RAM, and 32 or 64GB of expandable storage. The 47WHr battery promises up to 12h (Intel) or 16h (MediaTek) of battery life and is charged via USB-C.
The Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE is expected to be available in March, and the x360 11 MK G3 EE is going on sale this month already.
HP Chromebook 11 G9 EE & 11MK G9 EE
Chromebook 11 G9 EE.
Last in line, we get to see the Chromebook 11 G9 EE and the 11MK G9 EE. Apart from not being convertibles, they’re incredibly similar to the x360 pair above. The Intel variant has the same bigger port selection than the MediaTek version, and they both have up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s also the same battery, and students can easily take part in online classes thanks to 720p cameras and dual speakers.
The Chromebook 11 G9 EE is supposed to be available in February, and schools will be able to get their hands on the 11MK G9 EE this month.
Like keyboards on previous machines, HP promises “pick-proof” keys that resist efforts to pry them loose. The rugged laptops are also supposed to withstand minor splashes and drops to a certain extend. In addition to the standard Chrome Education management system, there’s also HP’s Classroom Manager on board. It gives schools an environment for screen-sharing, web and app use control, and private chats between teachers and students.
The new lineup looks like a reasonable iterative improvement over previous HP Education machines, and given the history and specs of these laptops, we likely won’t have to worry too much about having to spend a fortune on them.