Chromebooks vie to replace netbooks

Chromebooks are being offered by Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Google and Acer

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware

Lenovo's $429.99 ThinkPad X131e laptop has an 11.6-inch screen that displays images at a 1366 by 768 pixel resolution, and is targeted at the education market. A selling point is its ruggedness, with rubber bumpers so that it can withstand being dropped. The laptop has an Intel Celeron processor and weighs about 1.8 kilograms. It has 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, a USB 3.0 port, and an HDMI interface to hook the laptop up to large-screen TVs and monitors. The laptop is available by contacting Lenovo directly.

The X131e is also available with Windows 8, starting at $499.

HP's Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Hewlett-Packard's long-standing reliance on Windows for laptops was broken when the company introduced the Pavilion 14 Chromebook with Chrome OS earlier this year. The $329.99 laptop has a 14-inch screen and runs a dual-core Intel processor. It weighs 1.8 kilograms and offers just over four hours of battery life. It supports up to 4GB of memory, has 16GB of local storage and USB 2.0 ports. Like Lenovo, HP is targeting the laptop at the education market.

Google's Chromebook Pixel

Google's first laptop offering is the $1299 Chromebook Pixel, which has the most advanced hardware in Chrome OS laptops.

A standout Pixel feature is the 12.85-inch screen that displays images at a resolution of 2560 x 1700 pixels. That tops Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina display, which has a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. It weighs 1.52 kilograms and offers a battery life of around five hours, which may be due to the power-hungry Intel Core i5 processor. While local storage is limited to up to 64GB, laptop buyers get 1TB of Google Cloud online storage.

For the U.S. market, a $1,449 model includes two years of LTE mobile broadband service from Verizon, limited to 100MB per month.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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