HP Inc. is giving its bare-bones, cloud-based laptop a few upgrades.
The company’s next Chromebook, the 11 G5, will include an optional touchscreen when released in the fall – all the better to support the touch-based Android apps that Google Inc.’s Chrome OS is expected to support before the end of the year.
In a June 27 press release, HP also promised that the 11.6-inch, 2.51-pound 11 G5 will run for up to 11 hours on a touchscreen-enabled device, and for up to 12.5 hours on a non-touchscreen device, both of which will be powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor.
Like its predecessor, the higher-end Chromebook 13, which was released in April, the 11 G5 is specifically being aimed at the enterprise and education markets, with HP emphasizing the budget-priced line’s usefulness and affordability for students and teachers, which it says will only grow when Android apps are added.
While Google has yet to set a date, back in May the company announced that apps from the Google Play Store would be enabled on Chrome OS “over the next few months.”
HP also noted that the 11 G5 will be arriving during a time when Chromebooks now represent a larger percentage of U.S. quarterly market sales than Apple Inc.’s Mac computers: according to International Data Corporation (IDC) research, around 1.76 million Macs shipped in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2016, while nearly 2 million Chromebooks were sold during the same period.
The Chromebook 11 G5 is expected to be available through HP’s channel partners starting in July and at retailers in October. U.S. pricing starts at $189 USD for the non-touchscreen model. As of this writing, Canadian prices have not been released.