When you think about the most feature-rich tech gadgets with all the bells and whistles, Chromebooks probably don't come to mind. But HP has been packing some higher-end features into its latest cloud-centric laptops to better meet the needs of students and frequent business travelers.
Case in point: The company on Monday unveiled the Chromebook 11 G5 with one somewhat surprising feature: an optional touch screen. Starting at just $189, the budget-friendly device also boasts a slimmed-down design with narrower display bezels, thinner and lighter dimensions than previous models, and up to 12.5 hours of battery life.
This is the first of HP's 11.6-inch diagonal Chromebooks to offer a touch screen, which should come in handy when using one of the many touch-enabled Chrome and Android apps in the Google Play store when that functionality is added to this particular Chromebook.
HP's Product Manager for Chromebooks Anna Wu said the new Chromebook 11 G5 is especially well-suited for classrooms.
The 10 Best Chromebooks of 2016
"The demand for Chromebook in education continues to grow," Wu said. "The functionality of Android apps — many of which are touch-centric — are adding more versatile learning experiences to the classroom with a host of new education-focused apps."
The Chromebook 11 G5 weighs just 2.51 pounds, runs an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, and that optional HD IPD touch-screen panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. It will be available through HP channel partners this July and should hit retail store shelves in October. Head over to HP's website to sign up to be notified when it's available.
The new device comes after HP in April released its higher-end Chromebook 13, which sports a durable brushed anodized aluminum design measuring just 0.5 inches thin and weighing 2.86 pounds for serious portability. That was HP's first Chromebook to use the sixth-generation Intel Core M processor and have docking station compatibility.