The new Slatebook Android laptop, a revamped Chromebook and a ChromeOS desktop computer are HP's new secret weapons in the PC wars. They're all coming to Australia, too, and thankfully they're just as cheap as we'd hoped.
The most interesting of HP's three new computing devices is the Slatebook -- it's a 14-inch touchscreen laptop that looks very similar to the company's own entry-level Pavilion notebooks, but instead of Windows or ChromeOS the Slatebook runs Android from a low-power Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. It looks like a pretty no-frills implementation of Android -- which is a good thing -- but adds the extra productivity kick of an attached keyboard and trackpad. The $449 Slatebook will be out in July.
The HP Chromebox, out in July for $299, is one of a new breed of desktop PCs. It runs ChromeOS -- which means no expensive Windows licensing fees, driving the price down. It's made to hook up to a PC monitor or TV with both DisplayPort and HDMI built in, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and four USB 3.0 host ports. Interestingly, the Chromebox runs an Intel processor rather than an ARM design -- though while it's based on the Haswell architecture, it's still a low-powered chip.
The new Chromebook has a 11.6-inch HD display, runs Google's ChromeOS, comes in two colours, has six hours of battery life, and is already out in Australia for $399. It looks to be on par with every other Chromebook on the market -- very basic specs, very simple device. It'll be best suited to students or any other user that doesn't need a great deal of computing power and has constant access to Wi-Fi.