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HP hops on the Chromebook bandwagon

04 Feb 2013
HP enters Chromebook market with Pavilion 14

HP has become the latest PC maker to unveil a Chromebook – the low-cost, cloud-reliant laptops that run on Google's Chrome operating system.

HP's Pavilion 14 features a 14in screen, is powered by an Intel Celeron processor and includes a 16GB solid-state drive, and will weigh roughly 1.8kg.

The Pavilion 14 includes HDMI, USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports, along with a removable battery.

The release is significant for HP, marking its first laptop to be built using Google's cloud-based OS. 

“Google's Chrome OS is showing great appeal to a growing customer base," said Kevin Frost, general manager of consumer PCs, printing and personal systems.

The Pavilion 14 is available now in the US starting at $330, via HP's online store. There is no word yet on a UK release.

Buyers will also be given 100GB free storage for two years on Google Drive, the cloud-based storage offering.

HP's moves comes amid turbulent times for PC makers, which have seen revenues shrink in the face of competition from tablets, such as Apple's iPad. Meanwhile, the introduction of Windows 8, the Microsoft operating system that was supposed to revitalise the PC market, has done little to win over users.

The first batch of Chromebooks were met with general indifference on launch, with users unswayed by the underpowered machines. But lately, the newer model of Chromebooks suggest there may be a bright future for Google's Chrome OS.

Last week, Jim Wong president at rival PC maker Acer predicted more hardware vendors would embrace Chromebooks, amid disappointing sales of Windows 8 systems.

According to analyst firm Gartner, sales of PCs slumped in the fourth quarter of 2012, despite the introduction of Windows 8. Gartner said buying behaviour had undergone a sea change, with many users now favouring tablets over PCs.

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