Review: HP Chromebook 11 (11-2002tu)

Using the system is also a mixed bag, and it’s one that could do with a slightly better keyboard and mouse.

Out of these, the keyboard is the stronger of the two, going with Google’s Chromebook design, which has relatively large and spacious keys, especially for the 11 inch size, with clear text on each, and a firm plastic square to work with. There’s just enough travel, though the keys can sometimes be too springy, especially if you’re used to other better keyboards.

But the mouse is one place where HP should have spent more time, and that’s because the wide trackpad is too shallow, with the left- and right-click actions feeling like they require too much force to get working.

You can, of course, tap to click if you so choose, but those of you accustomed to the heavy click of a mouse button will yearn for a better trackpad button.

The battery doesn’t fare too badly, though, picking up our score a bit with around five hours of battery life if you leave it on WiFi and use the computer. We spent our time surfing the web (for work), writing files, and generally exploring what the computer could do.

Charging is also easy thanks to the inclusion of a microUSB port, which on this machine takes a higher than normal amount of power — 3 amps compared to the usual 1 for phones or 2 for tablets — but that means you can at least charge using a standard port. An international standard, at that.

It might take a bit longer with something other than the one supplied by HP, but at least you won’t be lost looking for a special or proprietary connection, so that’s positive.

One thing we wish HP would have thought about better was the display, which reminds us of the sort of low-end displays that could be found in every computer before In-Plane Switching (IPS) displays started to appear, showing people that yes, small screens could in fact be good.

The screen on HP’s Chromebook 11 is not an IPS display, however. It performs like a Twisted Nematic (TN) panel, with terrible vertical viewing angles, weak blacks, and obvious colour washout if you’re not facing dead on at what the screen will see as the correct angle.

Unfortunately, the hinge on the Chromebook 11 is less than accommodating, going back only so far, and meaning you’re stuck with a limited range of movement and a display that only works well in that limited range of motions.

It’s a touch frustrating, because it feels like HP has actually gone backwards, especially when the HP-made Google Chromebook 11 had such a better screen in a computer with more or less the same specs for the exact same price.

Seriously: technology is supposed to go forwards, not backwards.

At least glare isn’t a problem, thanks to HP’s inclusion of a matte screen, which was an issue on the HP-built Chromebook 11. That said, we’d have preferred a display with better angle and less colour wash-out.

There’s more out than just standard Twisted Nematic or In-Plane Switching, HP.

Few expansion options is also an issue, with the regular SD card slot gone from the design, as well as the microSD, meaning there’s no way to easily upgrade the storage inside the machine. Two USB 2.0 ports provide off-side storage, great for a thumbdrive or external hard drive, but there’s no way of expanding that 16GB on the inside quickly or easily.


HP’s take on the Chromebook is a familiar one, especially if you’ve seen the shiny not-quite-MacBook that was the Google Chromebook, because HP has built both.

As a result of that last fact, the systems are nearly identical, with the same CPU, memory, storage inside, wireless technologies, and charging mechanism, with the only difference being a screen. But this screen is far less impressive than the one HP shipped with the original Google Chromebook, and so if we had to choose, we’d say the Google Chromebook beats this one without questions, and they even run for the same price.

If this was $50 or $100 less, HP would be onto something here, providing a more value packed machine with similar technology, and a way to bring newbies into the Google Chromebook system.

But as it stands, this feels more like a way for HP to save a few bucks and try to make some money off the excellent name and reputation of its Chromebook brothers.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating1 Vote
Colourful chassis; Charges from microUSB; Decent battery life at around 5 hours;
Weak screen with dismal viewing angles; Obvious lag and slowdowns as you type or work; No microSD or SD card slot; Trackpad button is too shallow;