Chromebookworld Chromebook product information Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:40:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 HP Chromebook 11 G4. Incomplete, official datasheet appears. Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:40:19 +0000 HP Chromebook 11 G4

HP Chromebook 11 G4

Someone has spotted a new datasheet on the HP website that details a Chromebook 11 G4. The current version is the G3 model and it’s been popular. What’s new in the G4?

In terms of design it’s exactly the same as the G3 model. The screen is still 1366×768 and it’s still got an N2840 Celeron inside. Wait, a Baytrail-M CPU?  Braswell-generation is already available and HP are still using the previous one? highlight the IPS screen option which is indeed new. The 3G/LTE option (which was actually announced for the G3 series but never got to the retail channels as far as we can tell) would effectively be new too.

Have we stumbled across a half-finished datasheet here? There are certainly some strange parts to it. “Up to TBD hours of battery life” is one example.

We’d be happy to see HP use the same chassis and 36 Wh battery but please, let’s have a full HD screen option. Putting the Chromebook 11 G4 under the HP Datasense plan (included data) would be nice too. Let’s hope this datasheet is a work-in-progress and keep our eye on it.

PDF here.

]]> 0
Acer C738T Chromebook convertible leaked. Mon, 22 Jun 2015 20:52:25 +0000  

Acer Chromebook C738T

Acer Chromebook C738T (Via

This is very interesting news if you’re interested in a touch-enabled convertible Chromebook. The Acer C738T has been leaked. It indicates a another step towards a Chrome OS tablet. This is an entry-level 11.6 inch offering but a 4G option makes this particularly interesting for those that want to go mobile with their Chromebooks.

Competing with the ASUS Chromebook Flip C100 with Acer C738T will offer similar entry-level specifications with an 11.6 inch 1366×768 multitouch screen. The Braswell-platform, an Intel Celeron N3150, is said to be inside along with 4GB of RAM and 16 GB of eMMC storage. USB 3.0, USB 2.0, dual-band WiFi and a 720p webcam. 3G/4G is also an option.

A total weight of 1.4 KG doesn’t break any weight barriers but it’s still in the ‘mobile’ class of laptops.

The information comes to us via who also mention a “Stylish Chromeboook with Nano-Pressed Aluminium Cover.”  We’ve checked the source and it’s based on official Acer information.

We expect variants of the specification to appear with 2GB RAM.. We’re hoping for a 32GB storage options and a higher resolution screen model too.

Price and availability are unknown but we get the feeling that this will be July-August back-to-school Chromebook.

You can browse all the touchscreen-enabled Chromebooks in the database.

]]> 0
Chromebook Database update May 2015 Thu, 28 May 2015 17:58:12 +0000 Asus Chromebook Flip 1We worked hard this month to top-up the database with all the new Chromebooks and a few we missed in previous months. The Chromebook Database (and Chromebook Selector) now has at least one version of every Chromebook model available. Here’s a summary of the Chromebooks we added in May.

The Asus Chromebook Flip is the world’s first 10-inch convertible Chromebook with a full metal chassis, so a user can go from laptop to tablet form factor in a flip. The Flip is powered by a Rockchip quad-core processor with 2GB/4GB RAM. It has a 10-finger multi-touch screen, with a wide key-pitch keyboard and all-day mobile ability. Dual band WiFi AC and bluetooth 4.0 support. Durability is helped by being carved from a single block of aluminum. Up to 13 hours usage is claimed for battery life.


The cheap ASUS Chromebook C201 is a lightweight, compact and portable Chromebook with an 11.6-inch display. 13 hour battery life is claimed and this could be partly due to the Rockchip 3288 SoC energy efficiency. The notebook also has a large touchpad with gesture recognition and a 100% full-size keyboard.


The Acer Chromebook 15 C910 is the largest screen Chromebook and has some unique and defining features. Apart from it being the first Chromebook with a 15.6-inch IPS full HD display, it is also the first Chromebook with the latest Intel processor based on Broadwell. Also notable are the 4GB RAM, dual band AC wi-fi. It will be interesting to see how the market picks up on this Chromebook. It may be too heavy for portability but there are a lot of 15.6 inch laptops out there being used as desktop replacements.


The Lenovo N21 is a rugged, durable and designed for education say Lenovo. What they mean is that it’s drop resistant, built to withstand bumps and accidental drops from up to 2.3feet/70cm with a stronger, thicker rear cover and a frame around the screen, sides and corners to absorb the force of bumps.


The Nexian Chromebook is aimed at the Indian market to help push Chrome OS in Asia. Gmail Offline and Google Docs let you keep working when you’re not connected to the internet. The 4200 mAh battery gives up to 8 hours. Designed for educational and business purposes.


Indian smart devices company Xolo have introduced the Xolo Chromebook at around the $200 mark (conversion from rupees only). Fast, sleek and easy is the strap line and it does look it. It’s aimed at students, has the RK3288 quad-core Rockchip powering it. AC wi-fi is included.

If you spot any new Chromebooks that you feel should be in the database, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

]]> 1
Chromebooks pushing into India. Will the education sector respond? Fri, 22 May 2015 11:24:12 +0000 Xolo Chromebook

Xolo Chromebook

Why would you write an app about Cricket? Because there are more cricket fans in India than there are people in the USA. India is huge – 1.2 billion people live there. It’s developing too so when it comes to technology it’s an opportunity, especially for low-cost technology. Google recently introduced new Chromebooks and Chrome OS services at an event in India and it’s going to be very interesting to see how this market develops over 2015. Will the people, and government, take it on?

Over at, our site for mobile PCs, India is the #3 visiting country. Here at Chromebooknews India is at #5 and the numbers are rising. It’s not surprising because despite having 22 official languages, English can be spoken by  around 100 million residents. The number of people reading English, especially in the tech circles, must be much bigger than that. Combine the need for low-cost technology due to a low average income it makes absolute sense that Google is promoting Chromebooks in India.

Nexian Chromebook

Nexian Chromebook


The new Nexian and Xolo Chromebooks are, bar a few strange Android smartbooks, the cheapest laptops on the market. At Rs 12999 (about $200, inclusive of taxes) it’s much less than entry-level Windows laptops which start at about Rs 17000. ($270.)

If India’s schools and consumers take to it there’s huge potential for sales. Gartner predicts a 27% global increase in Chromebook sales in 2015 (total 7.28 million global sales) with just 220 thousand sales coming from APAC, which Includes India. If the Chromebook infrastructure works well in India then those numbers could be much, much higher but there are issues to address.

Around 8 million laptops are sold in India each year which shows a low-level of penetration and consideration must be given to the low-cost tablets and smartphones that are available. You can buy a 7-inch tablet and keyboard for under Rs 5000 for example and in a country that has an average per-head income that’s 1/10th of the USA, price is a major issue. Even at $200 Chromebooks will be too expensive for most consumers. The best opportunity for Chromebooks comes through the government and the education sector.

Pilot programs were started in 2013 and it looks like there’s more coming so if these projects are successful in providing Internet, Chromebooks, management, repair, applications, training and improved education results then the door is open but predicting government funding for larger-scale roll-outs is not easy. In the meantime we’re updating the database with the new models so feel free to have a browse.

]]> 0
Acer introduces price-breaking 15-inch Chromebook Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:50:00 +0000 Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-531

A 15-inch laptop for $199. The Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-531) was announced yesterday and we’ve already put it into our database. It’s a basic specification (we expect that it’s re-using a mainboard from another Acer Chromebook) but the price is very, very interesting.

The CB3-531 uses the existing N2840 processor and not the Broadwell-generation Celeron 3205U you’ll find in the CB5-571 model. The rest is the same – 1366 x 768 screen, large touchpad, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, AC WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an SD card slot. The total weight is 4.4 pounds which is slightly lighter than the 4.9 pounds of the higher-end model.

Acer is saying that there’s enough battery on board to power the CB3-531 for 11.5 hours but that is really going to depend on how much backlight you use and what you’re doing.  If the battery capacity is 33 Wh as on the higher-end model then expect to get about 6 hours of work out of it.

Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-531 angle

Acer’s 15-inch ‘531’ only costs $200.


The CB3-531 will be available in June.

]]> 0
ASUS Chromebook Flip C100 breaks new ground. Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:47:20 +0000 ASUS Chromebook Flip C100

ASUS Chromebook Flip C100

It’s lighter and cheaper than any other touch-enabled Chromebook and it even has a 360-degree rotating screen. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C100 is unique and almost a Chrome OS tablet. At a price of $249 there aren’t many questions that consumers really need to ask.

ASUS and Google announced three Chrome OS products yesterday and all are based around a Rockchip CPU. All are, unsurprisingly, very price-competitive. There’s a Chrome OS ‘stick’ called the Chromebit along with two Chromebooks. The C201 starts at just $169 which is a mind-blowing price for a laptop, assuming battery life and performance are OK. ASUS are quoting ‘up to 13 hours’ battery life.

The Chromebook Flip C100 is the most interesting of the new devices in our opinion. It’s a convertible laptop that weighs under 2 pounds (not much more than a Surface Pro 3 tablet) and includes a 10-point touchscreen and a rotating display. The Lenovo N20p was the closest we’ve come to having a consumer-focused / priced convertible Chromebook until now and that one didn’t have a fully rotating screen.

ASUS Chromebook Flip

ASUS Chromebook Flip

At this weight and size (it’s only 15 mm thick) we can’t expect it to have a huge battery inside and the price, $249, also gives us hints that corners will have to be cut somewhere. The battery capacity is usually the first to be hit when prices drop. ASUS are saying the C100 will run for ‘up to 8 hours’ which is a good sign that 6 hours will be reachable under normal online conditions. It’s not all-day battery-life like the ASUS C200 but should be enough for the intended audience.

That audience is likely to include a lot of people buying for home and holiday use and that’s a good thing. The Lenovo N20P proves that Chrome OS is touch friendly and that convertible form-factors work. As a sofa-side or coffee-shop laptop there’s not much that can compete for flexibility and security.

There’s an interesting line in one of the press releases that mentions Android. “Chrome OS gives the Chromebook Flip C100 a full Android tablet experience with the productivity of a notebook.” What does ‘full Android tablet experience’ mean exactly?  Maybe that’s something we’ll find out at Google IO.

The Flip C100 will be available in the USA in June at BestBuy for $249.

Press release:

ASUS Chromebook Flip is the world’s first 10” convertible Chromebook with a full metal chassis, so a user can go from laptop to tablet form factor in a snap. Ultra-thin and extremely light, for maximum portability. In order to create a bold and beautiful design on the Flip, Chrome OS has been optimized for touch with features such as Google Now, voice recognition, and virtual keyboard handwriting. Chromebook Flip is to demonstrate the power of touch and mobile on a best-in-class convertible device. The ASUS ChromebookFlip is powered by a Rockchip® quad-core processor with 2GB/4GB RAM for incredible performance – the device boots in seconds. It has a 10-finger multi-touch screen, with a comfortable wide key-pitch keyboard and up to 8 hours* battery life for all-day mobile use. The connectivity with dual-band WiFi 802.11ac & BT4.0 support can also provide up to 3 times the speed of 802.11n for faster data transfer. Carved from a single block of aluminum for a seamless design, the ASUS Chromebook Flip is not only beautiful, but durable, too. ASUS Chromebook Flip will be available on starting at $249 in June 2015. [Source]

]]> 1
Chromebook Pixel. Why the showcase? (Opinion) Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:15:09 +0000 Chromebook Pixel 2015

Chromebook Pixel 2015

I had a Software Development Ultrabook a few years ago and it was the best Ultrabook I had ever tested. You couldn’t buy it. The Chromebook Pixel 2015 is exactly the same. It’s a small-production-run showcase created to tease (or reward) developers, to steer Chromebook designers, to show the competition what can be done and of course to generate buzz in the media.

It will be available at a price of $999 which is just silly for a Chrome OS product. It’s over-specified too. In order that software developed for it doesn’t hit boundaries and that it extracts the maximum discussion Google are dropping 8GB or even 16GB into it. We like Chromebooks but we’re going to tell you right up-front the Pixel is probably not for you, even if you want a fast browser experience. Like the recently launched Macbook though it’s going to work some magic in its sector.

Chromebook Pixel

Chromebook Pixel

Specs to talk about.

The 16GB RAM, Core i7 Broadwell, touch, tap-to-check battery, clean design and a slick launch video are there to get the media talking while also appealing to developers. What is genuinely useful though is the USB-C port and the fast-charge feature. The Pixel is currently the cheapest laptop with a USB-C port, at least this week. Next week at CeBIT we’ll probably lose count of them!  The entry-level model comes with a Core i5 and 8GB of RAM which is more than enough for a fast Chrome OS experience.

Full specifications for the Chromebook Pixel can be found in our database.

Buzz needed.

It’s been months since anything significant happened in the Chromebook space. The Acer Chromebook 15 was launched at CES just after Christmas and since then the only news has been rumors of Core M chromebooks, software tweaks and of course, the Pixel rumors. Google IO in is May and it’s time to start building-up to it.

It’s the right thing to do.

I may sound quite negative about the Chromebook Pixel but I’m not. It’s great to see it and great to see the buzz happening around it. Pixel will help get more developers on-board, raise awareness of Chromebooks and Chrome OS features, focus some attention on Google IO in May and show manufacturers what can be done at the high-end. I don’t think we’ll see Pixel-like devices from anyone other than Google but some of the technology could filter down the line. I’m a huge fan of touchscreens on laptops and the Lenovo N20p is still my most used laptop at home but it would be great to see some more touch-friendly features. I’m hoping that the Pixel might dovetail with some announcements about touch features and I’m hoping that the 8GB RAM is there to enable development of more Android-in-a-tab features. Google’s developers need software development kits too!

But I want one.

Of course I want one. Who wouldn’t? It’s just that I won’t pay $999 for one even though it’s part of my business to know intimate details about all Chromebooks and Chrome OS software. After Google IO it’s likely that I’ll want a Pixel even more but it’s not going to happen. A fanless Core M Chromebook at $499 is way more appealing, especially if it’s going to weigh a lot less than the Pixel.

Pixel Slim.

How about it Google? Intel are readying Atom x3, x5 and x7 processors and the x5 and x7 could really work well in an ultra-slim, Macbook-like product. The 11-to-13 inch segment could do with some engineering stimulation too so I think it’s time. Or are you waiting for IO for that one?

Other opinions and Chromebook Pixel reviews.

Kevin Tofel, technology writer and  long-time supporter of Chrome OS has a Pixel 2015 and he writing about it here.

Dana Wollman has her review up at Engadget.

Dieter Bohn has his review up at The Verge.

Joanna Stern reviews the Pixel at WSJ.


]]> 0
7 (not 13) steps to improved security and privacy with a Chromebook Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:21:27 +0000 Keep you computing clean with a ChromebookAs part of my continuing research into the real-world differences between Windows laptops and Chromebooks I’ve taken a look at security and compared a set of Windows security steps with those required on a Chromebook. Chromebook wins!

Security is, in my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of Chrome OS over a Windows and even if you’re worried about Google, the guest mode allows a tracking-free secure experience. Of a list of 13 Windows security and privacy checks the Chromebook requires just 7. Let’s take a closer look.

In preparation for a couple of events I’m attending over the next three weeks I’ve checked that my Windows laptop (actually a Surface Pro 3 loaned to me by Intel) is up to date and properly configured. I’ve noted all the steps I’ve taken (which are in turn based on training I gave recently) and published them at UMPCPortal. In summary, the steps I recommend for improving Windows PC security and privacy are:

  1. Encrypt disk
  2. Protected boot
  3. Update OS
  4. Firewall
  5. Anti Virus
  6. Cleaning tools
  7. Non-admin account
  8. Browser extensions
  9. Hard-configure DNS
  10. VPN
  11. Non-logging search
  12. Avoid cellular data
  13. Do not leave PC unattended.

We can discuss the importance of some of those points but the point here is that the Chromebook covers many of those points from the moment you turn it on. The data is encrypted, Chromebooks have a secure boot process, the firewall is always active (and network services are reduced. E.g. no file sharing, discovery services) there’s no administrative account and you can even argue that if your Chromebook gets stolen you’ve only lost $200 of hardware. I should also mention that applications run in a sandbox and that the attack surface of the Chrome OS operating system is not only smaller but it’s designed from day-1 with modern Internet security and privacy in mind.

Where the Windows PC has 13 steps, the Chromebook has just 6 and I wold argue that some of those 6 steps are not only easier but are not even necessary for some people.

6 steps to a more secure Chromebook experience.

  1. Reboot to install OS updates. (The process is far quicker than on Windows.)
  2. Ensure HTTS Everywhere (tries to enforce a secured web connection) and Privacy Badger (a selective and tune-able script blocker) are enabled.
  3. Hard configure the DNS. (I trust Google’s public DNS because of what they’ve written. You may choose a different one.)
  4. Add a VPN for extra security and privacy if required. I have two that I can use if needed. 1) Zenmate browser extension 2) HideIPVPN tunnel Both are easier to configure on Chrome OS compared to Windows.
  5. Use a non-logging Google search tool like You can configure it as the default search engine if you wish.
  6. If you’re worried about location tracking (my journalists in Ukraine were) then don’t use cellular data. In fact, don’t use a mobile phone.
  7. To protect your hardware investment, don’t leave it unattended.

For many of you the VPN, non-logging-search and location issues are out of scope when it comes to a normal days activities but keep them in mind as part of your toolkit when you do high-risk activities (like banking) over high-risks networks (all non-trusted WiFi hotspots.) I would advise everyone to use the HTTS Everywhere and Privacy Badger plugins though. (If you’ve got other recommendations, please drop them in the comments.)

There’s one final issue to address with the Chromebook and that’s trust in Google. If you don’t trust Google then a Chromebook loses a lot of its value but consider these two points. 1) You are bad at looking after your own data. 2) A Chromebook guest mode session does not require any Google account information and can be used with a VPN. It’s one of the best ‘kiosk’ browser solutions you can buy.

Having said all of this, I will still be taking a Windows laptop to the events over the coming month. Why? Video editing, image management, keyboard backlight (for press events) Bluetooth image transfer from Lumia phone, Skype communications and casual gaming. Chrome OS is a great security solution but there are still issues.

]]> 0
Core M Chromebook rumors…at last! Thu, 12 Feb 2015 13:11:53 +0000 Chromebooks and Intel’s Core M platform are a perfect fit so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing rumors of a Google Pixel 2 surfacing along with a mention of Core M.

Chromebooks wide

The rumors are extremely tenuous but worth a discussion because of three important aspects. Intel Core-M, USB 3.1 and Pixel 2 could define a new range of Chromebooks that are, like the original Pixel, medium to high-end. While Baytrail-M is doing a good job of enabling low-end Chromebooks there are people that truly need higher-end multitasking performance. Combine that power with a fanless build – the Acer C720 is so annoying when one has used fanless PCs – and you’ve got a unique combination.

Acer Aspire Switch 12. $699 2-in-1 with Core M

Acer Aspire Switch 12. $699 2-in-1 with Core M

The Core M processor is already helping create a unique segment of consumer-focused 2-in-1 devices and prices here are starting at just $699 so there’s no reason at all that a stylish fanless Core-M based Chromebook can’t be $499 with a full-HD screen. Core-M, based on the 14 nm process, is not only cheaper to produce (when yields are good) but it allows for less components to be used. Slightly smaller batteries should also be possible and if the design is done well it would be possible to slim the product right down. Slim devices have a problem in housing ports but if USB 3.1 type-C and Micro-HDMI is used, the problem is solved.

I have a theory about major changes in laptop design that, unfortunately, means it will be quite a while before you see low-cost Core-M. High prices will come first.

Whenever a manufacturer is pushed to make changes in design and manufacturing it costs them money. In the long-term there are savings to be made but in order to cover the costs of the new development and new components a wave of premium devices is needed. Take the Ultrabook project as an example. Intel needed the industry to change in order to reach a point where laptops were more attractive but cheaper to build. SSDs, new casing materials, modern connectors and thinner keyboards all cost money so if you can do it under the banner of a ‘high end’ product you can charge more and cover the costs. The Ultrabook project has led to better mainstream laptops and prices are 30-40% down from the highs of 2012-2013 so we know that the process can work over a period of 3 years.

To introduce a new range of high-quality Core-M based Chromebooks Google could do the same. A Pixel 2 at $899 along with a number of portable Core-M products could work together with new Chrome OS features nicely.  Consider this range of premium features that could be incorporated into ultrachromebooks.

  • Voice-activated wake
  • Always-on
  • 4K display output
  • Fanless builds
  • 2-in-1 designs
  • Wireless charging
  • Wireless 4K display
  • Audio processing
  • Video processing
  • Lightweight, thin builds
  • Longer battery life
  • 3D sensors
  • Faster encryption

If any of this is true and if the launch is planned for Google I/O in May we’ll see plenty more leaks and rumors. What would you like to see in a high-quality Chromebook at, say, $599?

]]> 4
Acer’s 15-inch Chromebook in live video presentation. Sun, 04 Jan 2015 13:18:25 +0000 acer_chromebook_15_3

CES previews have already started and Notebookitalia have just published one of the first live presentations of the new Acer Chromebook 15 along with images of the black version, a Euro price and more details on the specifications.

Let’s start with the euro-price of the Chromebook 15 which is going to be 279 Euro RRP for the entry-level model, a 1366×768 (IPS) screen with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.  The US price, already revealed, is $250.

Remember that this is not only the first 15-inch Chromebook but it’s also the first to be announced with 5th-generation Intel Core architecture processors. A Celeron 3205U will appear in the entry-level version bit Core i3 and even i5 will appear in higher-end versions. The Acer Chromebook 15 measures 393 x 256 x 24.2 mm and weighs 2.2 kg. Take a look at the presentation below and the original post by Notebookitalia (in Italian) here.

]]> 0