Today HP announced its latest Chromebook model update, this time with a budget focus. The Chromebook 11 G5 will, most notably, run Android apps and will cost just $189. Another headlining feature of the new laptop is its claimed 12.5 hours of battery life, which is top shelf in general and quite good for a laptop that costs considerably less than most of the phones our readers have. An optional touchscreen, which will increase the price by an unspecified amount, will make Android apps even more usable at the cost of just one hour of battery life.

For those who are reluctant to make the jump to Chrome OS, both Google and HP hope that Android app compatibility will ease your fears. If you aren't a huge fan of web apps or there just isn't a Chrome or browser-based equivalent of the software you need, then the use of Android apps can be a huge value-added feature.

Of course, a large portion of Chromebooks will get the same update, including the previous generations of this laptop. HP's press release reads as deliberately vague about when exactly this laptop will run Android apps, suggesting it may not be much sooner—if at all—than other HP Chromebooks.

With that said, 12.5 hours of battery life is nothing to sneeze at. This is 3 hours more than the claimed battery life on the G4, suggesting that whatever the veracity of the G4's 9.5 hour claim, you're looking at an expected increase of over 30%. The newer G5 has a 2-cell, 43.7 WHr battery while the G4 had a 3-cell, 36 WHr one.

Some of this battery improvement comes from a 2 years newer Intel Celeron N3060 processor, which you can compare to the G4's processor here. The main takeaway is going from 22nm to 14nm process, which plays into the efficiency. Like its predecessor, internal memory options are restricted to 16GB and 32GB. The base model display appears the same or similar to the G4, but the touchscreen is obviously a new development. Even without interest in the touch capabilities, the Gorilla Glass display that comes with it will probably resist glare better.

The base model weighs 2.51 pounds, which isn't exactly remarkable but in practical terms is quite light and just enough lighter than the 2.81 pound G4 that you would likely notice the difference. Footprint is also smaller on the G5, going from 11.80 x 8.09 x 0.80 in. in the older model to a more svelte 11.25 x 8.07 x 0.72 in.

As for ports, differences are minimal beyond one of the G4's USB 2.0 ports being switched over to USB 3.0. All in all, this is a decent deal for the right use case. And even if you aren't in love with the G5 and its touchscreen upgrade, this can only mean that the G4 gets cheaper. There are other changes beyond those already mentioned, of course, like a redesigned keyboard that HP says will be easier to clean.

HP says the Chromebook 11 G5 will reach retailers in October.

Press Release

The Chromebook™, the cloud-centric laptop that connects to the Internet and runs Google’s Chrome™ operating system, is getting a reboot this fall.

The affordable, bare-bones devices are starting to take on some higher-end features, to help boost their usefulness for students, road warriors and anyone whose work depends upon being ultra-mobile, browser-based and ability to cloud compute.

Today HP announced the Chromebook 11 G5 with an available touchscreen. With a redesigned chassis, the Chromebook features a slimmed-down design with a narrower display bezels, thinner and lighter dimensions than previous generations, and promises a game-changing up to 12.5 hours of battery life1(based on Google Chrome OS™ power_LoadTest)— at a budget-friendly starting price of $189.

The release comes on the heels of the HP Chromebook 13, a higher-end device launched in April. It touts a 13.3-inch diagonal screen with a QHD+ (3200 x 1800) resolution IPS display, and it was the first Chromebook to use the sixth-generation Intel® Core™ M processor2 and enable docking station compatibility3.

Latest specs, tiny footprint

The new HP Chromebook 11 G5 is the first of HP’s 11.6” diagonal Chromebooks to offer a touchscreen—an inviting new experience for the many touch-enabled Chrome and Android™ applications in the Google Play™ Store that is planned to be compatible with Chrome OS™ later this year.

Although feather-light starting at just 2.51 lbs., the 11 G5 speeds through spreadsheets, videos and Hangouts with the power from an Intel® Celeron® N3060 processor that quickly launches apps, allows for speedy web browsing, and efficiently manages the battery for up to 11 hours on a touchscreen and up to 12.5 hours on a non-touchscreen device, based on Chrome power_LoadTest.

Chromebook lineup grows

HP’s expansion of its Chrome OS lineup—the family includes the Chromebook 11, Chromebook 11 EE, Chromebook 13 and Chromebook 14— comes at an inflection point in the market.

For the first time ever, Chromebooks represented a larger portion of market share than Apple® Mac® computers in the U.S. during the first quarter of the year, according to data from IDC . The research firm pegs U.S. Mac shipments to be around 1.76 million in the first quarter, with a hair fewer than 2 million Chromebooks sold during that period.

In addition to their astronomic growth in the market, more big changes are ahead for Google’s OS, which is expected to enable apps from the Google Play Store later this year.

The move, which could bring some 2 million Android apps to Chrome users in more than 40 countries, is expected to be “a huge advantage for Chromebooks going forward,” according to a report last month on tech news site The Verge.

Designed to teach and inspire

With the addition of the Google Play Store on Chromebooks, these devices currently meet the needs of students and teachers. Android apps on Chromebooks will make their experiences even better.

“The demand for Chromebook in education continues to grow as schools take full advantage of the benefits of Chrome – manageability, simplicity, and security,” said Anna Wu, product manager for Chromebooks at HP. “The functionality of Android apps – many of which are touch-centric—are adding more versatile learning experiences to the classroom with a host of new education-focused apps.”

Engineers at HP took feedback from teachers and students using Chromebooks in the real world to refine the next generation of devices. Specifically, they aimed to make the latest version of the thin and light Chromebook 11 G5 more durable and user-friendly for students than ever before, according to Wu.

HP's Chromebook 11 G5 features a slimmed-down profile that slips into a backpack with ease and gives students a lot more arm room on their desks. A new, smooth-curve keyboard design makes it easier to wipe out dust.

One version of the device comes with an optional HD IPS touchscreen panel protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™, which reduces reflection and is damage-resistant to help resist handle swiping, tapping, and accidental bumps.

The IPS panel with wider viewing angles enables a more collaborative environment for group discussion when students share a single screen, making for a more interactive learning experience in the classroom.

The HP Chromebook 11 G5 is available through channel partners starting in July and set to hit retailers’ store shelves in October.

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