HP launches new budget Chromebook 11a with 11.6-inch display

I was really excited when I heard that HP are to launch a follow up of the incredible HP x 360 Chromebook. The follow up which is expected to land on shelves in June 2020, the HP x 360 14c Chromebook looks like an excellent replacement.

It appears HP is not just stopping there as they have already released a brand new budget Chromebook. The HP Chromebook 11a comes with an 11.6-inch display and will add a new addition to the budget Chromebook market for display sizes of under 12-inches.

This shows there are still plenty of people who are interested in smaller budget devices. This is no surprise really because these small compact laptops are cheap and perfect to use on the move.

They also do really well in the education sector, which is another reason why you’ll find plenty of choice in this range. So let’s take a look at what you get from the new HP budget device and whether it will get your interest.

HP CHROMEBOOK 11A

The new 11.6-inch Chromebook from HP is expected to start with a price of $219/£219. This is a pretty cheap starting price but it’s worth noting that this will be for the model that does not support a touchscreen.

The touchscreen model will cost more than this and is most likely to do a lot better than the non-touch version. I say this because I’m really confused with this idea of offering a Chrome OS device without a touchscreen.

Sure, it means you can offer a device at a cheaper price, but Chrome OS laptops are much more limited when they lack the use of a touchscreen.

HOW IT LOOKS

Not everyone is necessarily interested in how their laptop looks. For me though, it’s an important consideration before I buy any gadget. Yes, of course, the internals are just as or even more important. The thing is though, I don’t want to be walking around with something that looks cheap.

It’s not even about what other people will think. I just don’t get excited about things that look dull.

I’m happy with the HP Chromebook 11a when it’s closed. It looks really nice and compact and that grey chassis looks pretty cool. It definitely looks like a nice looking device.

HP Chromebook 11a has a nice grey smart looking chassis
Looks cool and minimal on the outside

You then open the device and oh my they’ve done it again. You are greeted with those great big huge bezels around the display. I hate huge bezels around the display of a laptop. It just makes them look so cheap.

I’m being a little unfair here because this isn’t just HP. Most of the budget Chromebooks with an 11.6-inch display sport those awful looking gigantic bezels.

HP Chromebook 11a has huge bezels around the display
Those huge bezels makes it look cheap

This is the issue when you get a laptop with an 11.6-inch display. You’re almost always going to have huge bezels to deal with. The problem is to remove these huge bezels would decrease the overall size of the laptop, so it would mean a more compact keyboard. So I get it but that doesn’t mean I like it.

HP CHROMEBOOK 11A SPECS

The RAM you get on this budget laptop is pretty decent at 4GB. More than enough for most tasks you’ll ever carry out now and in the future. A laptop running on a budget processor needs no more than this, so that’s all fine.

When it comes to the storage it comes with 32GB. This isn’t great when you consider Android Apps will take up a lot of this space. However, if you’re buying a budget device for internet surfing or other tasks such as word processing. Then you should be fine with the space on offer.

The processor as you would expect is from the Intel Celeron family of chips. The only issue though is that it’s the N3350 processor, which was launched in the third quarter of 2016. This puts a question mark over the AUE date this laptop will come with.

The display is what you’d expect in the price range. The pretty standard resolution of 1,366 x 768 is not really an issue on a display of just over 11-inches. So I would not let that put you off too much. The panel, on the other hand, is not IPS, which again, is not unusual in this price range, but it does mean you should not expect to be blown away.

It weighs in at 2.99lbs/1.35kg, so it’s not exactly that light when you consider the dimensions. That being said, you do need to take into consideration it’s a pretty bulky laptop, which isn’t necessarily bad. Hopefully, this means it can take a few knocks when you’re out travelling.

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CONCLUSION

Yes, this is another budget Chromebook that does not excite me one little bit. I simply cannot get over the bezels around the display. It’s not just that though. I can’t use a laptop that does not come with an IPS panel.

The other issue I have is the old processor used. I’m not too bothered about how this will impact performance. I’m more concerned about what this means for the AUE date. I couldn’t find the AUE date, but I’m not convinced this device will be coming with eight years of updates.

One thing I would say though. Even if it does only come with six years of updates. I think that is more than enough, as it’s unlikely you’d be using this laptop still in 2026.

If you want a cheap laptop and not too bothered about the display quality. Then you may be ok with this. Personally, I would not even entertain buying it, as you can get much better if you spend a little more.

If I was buying a budget 11.6-inch Chromebook today. I’d most likely opt for something like the Lenovo C340 Chromebook. It offers much more and comes with an IPS panel.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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