Published on February 5, 2013 11:39 AM

Two New Chromebooks Coming Soon

Lenovo and HP join the Chrome OS party

Encouraging sales of the Samsung Chromebook (XE303C12) on Amazon's US site could have spurred some of Google's other partners into action, as two more big-name tech firms have joined Acer and Samsung in the Chromebook adventure.

Lenovo has announced a version of its X131e ultraportable laptop on Google's Chrome OS. It has 11.6" screen with 1366 x 768 pixels, but the Intel Core i3-2367M CPU has been ditched for a considerably less powerful Celeron 847 processor. This should make for processing performances about on par with a netbook. 

CPU Intel Celeron 847
Graphics chipset Intel HD 2000
Screen 11.6 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels
Storage space 16 MB
Optical drive NA
Dimensions NC
Weight 1.8 kg

Plus, the 500 GB HDD seen in the Windows version of the X131e has been swapped for a 16 GB SSD. There's clearly not a load of memory on offer here, but you do get 100 GB of free online storage in Google Drive for two years.  After that, you'll still be able to access any files you have stored there but you won't be able to add more unless you take out a paid-for subscription. That's something this Lenovo model has in common with all Chromebooks.

Lenovo x131e connectique

Although it's the priciest Chromebook of this generation at $459 (£292), the X131e offers the largest choice of connections, with three USB ports (2 x 3.0 and 1 x 2.0), HDMI and VGA video outs, an Ethernet port (RJ45), an SD memory card reader and a headphones socket. Lenovo is promising 6 hrs 30 mins of battery life. However, we'll have to wait until this Chomebook is officially released on 26 February to check that for ourselves.

HP also recently presented its Pavilion 14 Chromebook. This model has a 14" screen with 1366 x 768 pixels and a similar spec sheet to the Lenovo Chromebook above. On paper, only the RAM— which hasn't yet been unveiled for the Lenovo model—could make a difference in terms of power and speed.

CPU Intel Celeron 847
Graphics chipset Intel HD 2000
Screen 14 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels
Storage space 16 GB
Optical drive NA
Dimensions 34.7 x 23.8 x 2.06~2.11 cm
Weight NC

The Pavilion 14 Chromebook doesn't have quite as many connections on offer as the Lenovo, with three USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI port and an Ethernet (RJ45) port. Battery life is announced at a lower 4 hrs 15 mins. Logically then, this HP model will sell at the lower price of $330 (£210). An official release date hasn't yet been confirmed.

So far, that brings us to four current laptops running on Chrome OS. Three of these use an Intel (Celeron 847) processor and one uses an ARM processor (Samsung Exynos 5 Dual).

Depending on how these laptops shape up in practice, the Chrome OS could start to make some headway in the market for compact, cheap laptops—a sector that's been losing steam since the netbook fizzled out.

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