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Digital Life

Chromebook 11 goes on sale in Australia

Digital Life News Computers Technology News
Date
The HP Chromebook 11.

Google's HP Chromebook 11 costs $399 in Australia.

Google's ultra-portable HP Chromebook 11 laptop has gone on sale in Australia after sales were halted overseas due to reported overheating of power supplies.

Available at JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores, the 1.04-kilogram device, with 11.6-inch (diagonal) display, claims to have more than six hours of battery life.

Built in partnership with HP, the laptop runs Google's Chrome operating system, which emphasises web browsing, video and the company's online software for word processing and other tasks.

Google's HP Chromebook 11 costs $US279.

The HP Chromebook 11.

Caesar Sengupta, vice-president of product management for Chromebooks, said the Chromebook 11 has no sharp edges, meaning "nothing digs into your wrists while you type".

It also comes with a micro-USB charger – so you can charge an Android phone or tablet – and 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, 2 USB 2.0 Ports, a webcam and Wi-Fi versions a/b/g/n.

The 16 GB hard drive is smaller compared to other laptops that usually offer hundreds of gigabytes of storage space. But this is due to the fact it makes users put most of their files on to Google's servers and not the laptop itself.

Google claims, however, that users can do most tasks in offline mode when not in reach of an internet connection – a claim that is hotly disputed by Microsoft in TV advertisements, where it says you need to connect to the internet to get "much done" on Chromebooks.

Gadget reviewers say the "much done" claim depends on the definition of "much".

"A lot of stuff works offline on a Chromebook, and a lot of stuff doesn't," wrote the Australian Financial Review's John Davidson.

In the US the Chromebook 11 sells for $US279 ($312), leaving a price discrepancy of about $86 between Australia and the US. 

While for $399 the laptop is a bargain remember that it isn't designed to run many of the applications you might usually install on a Windows machine.

twitter This reporter is on Facebook: /bengrubb

14 comments

  • Great article.

    The correct link to the AFR website is:- http://www.afr.com/f/free/technology/digitallife/google_chromebook_lands_fights_off_1r5alcMZaAebJz0XGGCy3K

    Commenter
    Jos
    Location
    Lilydale
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 12:25PM
  • Thanks Jos, we've updated the link now.

    Commenter
    Fairfax Tech
    Location
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 12:42PM
  • I fell victim to the chromebook marketing rubbish and bought this HP chromebook 11 in the US when I was there. I thought it would be good as I am always on the go with business meetings etc and wanted a cheap portable computer. I used it for a while and then ended up taking it back as I was very unhappy with it. Replaced it with an Acer for $50 more. You can buy cheap fully functioning normal laptops for a similar price these days. Don't waste your time.

    Commenter
    DA
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:00PM
  • Worried about Google Chrome's bloated OS and internet-only apps not working offline? No problem! Just get rid of it and replace it with Ubuntu!

    Since Chrome OS is based on Linux, Ubuntu should work on it like a breeze, hypothetically speaking...

    Commenter
    DanglingPointer
    Location
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:05PM
    • Good luck getting Ubuntu & any useful apps and data installed on a laptop equipped with a 16GB flash drive...

      Commenter
      David S.
      Location
      Date and time
      February 05, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Yes, although I haven't tried it myself, If you look around the web there's plenty of instructions on how to install Ubuntu on a chromebook, even on one with only 16 GB RAM (of course it helps if you swap out the stock 16GB with something bigger). "Useful apps and data" depends on what apps and data you use. For some people, Ubuntu + 16 GB can work out OK.

      Commenter
      didi
      Location
      Date and time
      February 05, 2014, 3:12PM
    • I have had Ubuntu on my 7 inch EEPC, with 8 gigs, dont even know how little ram. It was pretty darn good (considering the screen!). And of course comes with a full office suite, straight out of the box.

      Commenter
      simon@syd
      Location
      Date and time
      February 06, 2014, 12:05PM
  • Nice concept and seemingly attractive price, but probably unsuitable for professional use when confidentiality requirements require documents, spreadsheets and other information to be updated and stored offline,

    Commenter
    Babyboomer
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:51PM
  • I think $89 is too much of a price difference at such a small amount of money. Ubuntu is always available as a backup, and this is a nice machine. Got to love the absolute speediness of Chrome, but Australia's online access isn't that great, which might work against it.

    Commenter
    simon@syd
    Location
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:51PM
  • I bought a US$199 Acer c720 chromebook from Amazon US and am very satisfied with it. More useful than a tablet device in my opinion (for the price). Wouldn't pay A$399 for a chromebook though, might as well get a full laptop.

    Commenter
    didi
    Location
    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 3:10PM

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