Chromebooks haven't quite gone mainstream ever since its inceptions and that due to limited number of features Chrome OS brings to the table. Even in the first quarter of 2016, most of you would like to opt for a Windows or OS X laptop in place of one that runs on Chrome OS.
Should you be interested in HP ChromeBook 13?
Then what's so interesting about this HP Chromebook 13. In one word the hardware! The HP Chromebook isn't just another budget laptop with below par specifications. Rather it's a premium laptop in all aspects except the Chrome OS. But again, Chrome OS has its own benefits when compared to Windows 10 or OS X, provided you are ready to make some compromises.
Packs a QHD+ display and much more at budget price
Coming to specs the HP Chromebook 13 comes with an all-metal design made of durable brushed anodized aluminium and is stunningly thin at just 12.9mm. While there are a handful of Windows laptop including Asus ZenBook, HP Spectre 13; the USP of the Chromebook 13 from HP built in collaboration with Google lies in its $599 (Rs 38,935 approx.). On the other hand, its competitors are priced above $1000 (Rs 65,000 approx.) Topping up the slim profile of the HP Chromebook 13 is its 1.29kg. It's however worth noting that there are lighter laptops around like the LG Gram and Apple Macbook Air, but those are priced much higher.
Keeping the build aside, the HP Chromebook 13 packs a class leading 13.3 inch QHD+ (3200x1800p) IPS display. On the comparison, most budget laptops at this price point of Rs 38K odd barely manages to packs a Full HD (1920x1080p) TN display at the most. Rather most laptops still feature TN panels with a resolution of1366x768p. It's however worth noting that the base variant of the HP Chromebook 13 priced at $499 (Rs 32,435 approx.) comes with a Full HD (1920x1080p) display.
Intel Core m series are quite powerful to run Chrome OS
Under the hood the Chromebook 13 packs a number of processor options starting from Intel Core m3 to m7 depending on the variant. As of now, $599 Chromebook 13 looks the best buy options thanks to its QHD+ display and Intel Core m3-6Y30 chip which clocks at 900MHz (2.2GHz turbo). Apart from that the HP Chromebook 13 comes with multiple RAM options - 4GB, 8GB, 16GB - but the particular model in question comes with 4GB stick. While 8GB RAM is the sweet spot for Windows laptops, 4GB RAM is quite sufficient for a similar performance on the light Chrome OS.
The HP Chromebook also packs a Bang & Olufsen machine-drilled speakers upfront just above the keyboard and an USB Type C port for charging. HP has also introduced a USB Type C dock that helps to add the options of more ports like Ethernet, USB 2.0, 2 USB Type C and SD card reader.
So, should you buy HP Chromebook 13?
So no the probable question that crops up is, who will buy this Chromebook 13. Will you? Well, I know that's a tough question to answer and all thanks to their handicapped Chrome OS.
However, Chrome OS may have many a taker this time around especially with the HP Chromebook 13, primarily because its priced in the budget category. Coming back to the topic of probable buyers, it seems that HP is trying to ping the untapped budget laptop market mostly dominated by college goers looking for their first laptop. So considering their needs of browsing, social media, content consumptions and occasional editing of documents and presentations the Chrome OS isn't quite a bad option to opt for, especially when are you are getting so much for such a price.
On the other the needs of business and enterprise customers are quite similar to that of a college going student. So that's a possible market where the HP Chromebook 13 will make mark, again more so due to its price point. While it's not yet the one to replace a MacBook Air or the likes of Dell XPS 13, it surely is a laptop to take notice.