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HP's New Radical, $279, Apple-Killing Chromebook Laptop

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I can't program locally any more -- thanks, oAuth! -- so what's the point of getting a machine with a fatty processor?

Anton's summary:

This is the first HP with a Samsung CPU, instead of Intel or AMD as has been typical for ages. So how is it different from the 11.6 inch $249 Samsung laptop from a year ago, which had a similar CPU?

1. Much better build quality. No flex in the body. Simply, much better hardware.

2. Better display. 300 nits, up from 200. Better viewing angles.

3. Charges via MicroUSB -- a first for any laptop, as far as I know. This is your cell phone charger! Hugely liberating.

I can't emphasize enough how great the build quality is. It's like a big iPhone 5c with a giant keyboard and screen. And what a keyboard it is! Probably the best I've used. The trackpad is also among the best.

I personally prefer a larger laptop -- 12-13-14-15-16 inch screen, whatever. Probably 13-14 inches are the sweet spot for me personally. I imagine we will see those products shortly, though.

Also, LTE versions. Can't be too far away.

In the meantime, I salute HP for finally making a laptop that uses my regular standard MicroUSB cell phone charger, and for building a laptop with such high build quality and with such a great keyboard. If this device had an Apple label and were sold in Apple stores, the lines would be around the block. Conclusion? HP, Google, whomever: Start building 500 copies of the Apple stores! Capische?

Anton also loves the $250 Acer Chromebook, which he compares to the $279 HP Chromebook:

Anton writes:

This is relatively straightforward: You can't go wrong either way, from different perspectives. Both are excellent values.

If you prioritize the much faster CPU, the better battery life, the USB 3.0, the MicroSD card slot, the Acer is for you.

If you prioritize the better screen, better keyboard, lighter/better body, fanless operation and the MicroUSB charger, the HP is for you.

It's a close call, but I think in that in my most personal case, the Acer wins it for me strictly because of the much faster CPU. I need to work very fast across many complex browser tabs, and I need that superior CPU/GPU horsepower.

I wish there were a way to combine the best traits of each of these two devices, in one -- even at a higher price. And yes, I also prefer a larger screen and embedded LTE.

That said, this Acer Chromebook absolutely rocks, and the price is right.

Anton also told me if you'd rather have a 14" Chromebook, the new HP one that's out in November looks awesome:

On November 4 or so, HP should be making the 14-inch Chromebook available with LTE and 2 years of free T-Mobile service -- for only $300. Has a Haswell CPU too. Will most likely be the one to get.

What about the most important stat:  How many simultaneously open tabs will they support?

I look forward to extensive user testing but I can get more than 100 on my Chromebook Pixel. *wink*

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