HP Chromebook 11 G3

HP's Corporate and Education 11-inch Chromebook

HP Chromebook 11 G3 G4
HP Chromebook 11. HP Inc.

HP has stopped selling the Chromebook 11 G3 and replaced it with the nearly identical Chromebook 11 G4, which offers mostly the same equipment and a lower price tag.

The Bottom Line

HP's corporate and education Chromebook 11 G3 model took much of the same design elements as its previous consumer model but improved on it. Battery life and port selection were both improved, and the display was better than that found with most competitors. The problem was that the G3 was larger and heavier than most 11-inch Chromebooks and cost slightly more. The end result was a decent Chromebook, but it never really stood out.

Pros

  • Above average display
  • Good battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Performance lags behind other Chromebooks
  • Thicker and heavier than other consumer models
  • Soft trackpad

Description

  • Intel Celeron N2840 dual-core mobile processor
  • 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 memory
  • 16 GB eMMC solid state storage
  • 11.6-inch WXGA (1366x768) display with 720p webcam
  • Intel HD Graphics integrated graphics
  • 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth
  • One USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 11.8 inches by 8.1 inches by 0.8 inches, weight 2.96 lbs.
  • Chrome OS

Review of HP Chromebook 11 G3

HP has offered a number of Chromebooks on the market but the Chromebook 11 G3 is targeted at schools and businesses compared to the previous Chromebook 11. This means that the system has some different design elements. For example, it is only available in a single silver and black color scheme. It is also slightly thicker at 0.8-inches and heavier by a half a pound. Much of that is from a sturdier design that does not flex as much as the consumer Chromebooks from HP.

Another big difference is the processor. The Chromebook 11 runs on an ARM-based processor. This means it has less performance than the Intel-based versions. The Chromebook 11 G3 switches to an Intel Celeron N2840 dual-core processor. This boosts performance over the past model but is still not quite up to the higher-level traditional Intel laptop processors. It will probably do fine for consumers that perform a single task or do simple web browsing, media streaming and productivity. It has just 2 GB of memory, which also affects the multitasking capabilities.

Just like with the majority of Chromebooks, HP really wants consumers to rely on cloud-based storage with the Chromebook 11 G3. For businesses and schools, this would be internal to their networks, but for consumers, this often is Google Drive. Internal storage is limited to just 16 GB of space which is extremely limited if you need to carry many files offline when you are not attached to the internet. One major improvement is that this model features a USB 3.0 port for use with high-speed external storage.

The display for the HP Chromebook 11 G3 is a bit better than most thanks to the SVA panel technology. This provides it with wider viewing angles and improved contrast. It still isn't quite as good as IPS display panels but far better than the typical TN panels used in Chromebooks and other budget laptops. The downside is that the 11.6-inch panel still has a 1366 x 768 native resolution which is lower than most tablets at this price point. Graphics are handled by the Intel HD graphics engine which does a fine job for most tasks but lacks much acceleration for WebGL applications such as ChromeOS-based games.

HP uses the same keyboard and trackpad design for the Chromebook 11 G3. This is actually quite good when it comes to the keyboard, as the isolated key layout is comfortable and accurate. The trackpad is nice and large, but it doesn't have the same level of feel. It uses integrated buttons that don't have a solid feel in terms of clicking or tracking.

One of the reasons the 11 G3 is heavier and thicker than the HP Chromebook 11 is the increased battery. This model comes with a 36WHr capacity compared to the 30WHr. HP claims that this can provide up the nine and a half hours of running time. In digital video playback tests, this version lasts eight and half hours. This is an improvement over the past model and is partly attributed to the Celeron N2840 processor. The HP Chromebook 11 G3 is a reasonably priced budget computer.