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HP Chromebook 11a Review: Great budget option for the new normal

HP Chromebook 11a has been launched in India for a price of Rs. 21,990 and that is an affordable price tag even for students. Should you buy one? Let's find out.

Devesh Arora Devesh Arora @aroradevesh
New Delhi Published on: August 02, 2021 18:06 IST
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HP Chromebook 11a comes in this Indigo Blue colour variant.

With the ongoing new normal, we have gotten used to working or studying from home. One thing that has become a more important part of our lives than ever is our laptop. While people are still hunting for Windows laptops on a tight budget, HP has taken this opportunity to launch their Chromebook 11a budget laptop in India. The laptop runs on Google’s ChromeOS and for someone with a tight budget, it brings a lot to the table.

HP Chromebook 11a has been launched in India for a price of Rs. 21,990 and that is an affordable price tag even for students. But should you go out and buy it over a regular Windows laptop? Let’s find out in this review.

HP Chromebook 11a Review: Design and Build

HP has not designed Chromebook to make it look attractive or premium. In fact, this is where they saved most of the cost as the Chromebook 11a comes with a plastic body. It makes it cheaper to manufacturer as well as makes it lighter. The 11-inch laptop weighs in at around 1kg, which makes it easy to carry around. Even though it is made out of plastic, HP has ensured that it does not feel cheap. The build quality is good enough and the blue colour looks striking.

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

It also comes with a built-in webcam.

As for the ports, the HP Chromebook 11a comes with USB 2.0 Type-C port which can be used for both charging the device as well as connecting an additional monitor to it. It also gets a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a microSD card slot, and an 3.5mm audio combo jack. I did feel that the company should have added a USB 3.0 port for faster connectivity. 

HP Chromebook 11a Review: Keyboard and trackpad

While the notebook itself is a compact one, the keyboard does not feel too cramped. Instead, the keys are well spaced and it was a pleasure typing on this keyboard. It is not the best keyboard but it gets the job done. 

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

The trackpad could have been better.

As for the trackpad, I think it has room for improvement. It didn’t particularly feel very smooth and the surface area was also quite small. This is an area where HP could improve with the Chromebook 11a’s successor. 

HP Chromebook 11a review: Display and audio

HP Chromebook 11a features an 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1366x768. It is surrounded by chunky black bezels, which make the notebook look quite outdated. It also brings touch support to the table. The touch support surely helps a lot in interacting with the UI. 

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

ChromeOS is quite lightweight and can run smoothly even on entry-level hardware.

The display gets fairly bright but it is not the best when it comes to colours and saturation. Considering the laptop is made majorly for students who can attend online classes, this should not be a problem. 

In terms of the audio output, the built-in speakers are not made for watching movies. However, they are good enough for listening to some music or watching quick video tutorials. We would recommend that you get a pair of earphones for your online classes or a Bluetooth speaker for watching movies. 

HP Chromebook 11a review: Performance

HP Chromebook 11a is powered by the Mediatek MT8183 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. It gets 64GB of eMMC storage for the OS as well as your offline files. When you purchase this notebook, you also get 100GB of Google Drive storage for one year. 

India Tv - The Chromebook 11a is a good option for online work. 

Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

The Chromebook 11a is a good option for online work. 

While the specifications are on the lower side, the Chromebook still manages to offer decent performance, thanks to the lightweight nature of ChromeOS. I did open a couple of Chrome tabs along with some Android apps operating in the background and the laptop did manage to crush through all of this. However, it is worth noting that performing any RAM or processor-heavy tasks will show signs of lag or stuttering. 

As mentioned above, the Chromebook 11a runs on Google’s ChromeOS, which is focused on online apps. The laptop did allow me to run all the Google services using Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube and more. When using the notebook for online tasks, it made for a great experience. 

HP Chromebook 11a review: Battery life

HP Chromebook 11a is a portable notebook made for online work. With this, it has to offer a great battery life. HP has managed to give us at least 10 hours of continuous usage before the notebook is hungry for more power. This is quite impressive and it would help students to attend classes without needing to bother about the charger. 

HP Chromebook 11a review: Verdict

The HP Chromebook 11a is a great portable laptop based on ChromeOS. It does have its fair share of caveats since it is not running Windows. The users will not be able to take advantage of any Windows apps on this machine. However, if your work is mostly on the web, this would be a great choice.  

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