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A new crop of HP laptops flip or spin, and run Windows, Chrome or Android

Melissa Riofrio | June 3, 2014
New models sport 360-degree hinges and hybrid forms. A refreshed Chromebook comes in more colors. As for Android, it comes in a buzz-worthy yellow-and-black clamshell.

Less than a year after HP debuted the Chromebook 11 (with 11.6-inch display) it's giving the line a look more similar to that of its Chromebook 14 cousins (with 14-inch display). Gone are the shiny white and classic black of the original version, designed in collaboration with Google. The new Chromebook 11 will come in Ocean Turquoise or Snow White.

The specs remain simple: a Samsung Exynos 5250 CPU, up to 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of local storage. It will weigh a pleasant 2.69 pounds, and HP says the battery will last up to 6.25 hours. HP set the price at $249, but a ship date has yet to be announced.

PC-shaped Android devices popped up at Computex in 2013, and a light trickle of models has come out since then. A recent roundup of Android AiOs shows how vendors are still experimenting with this fairly new concept.

HP introduced its Slate line of Android products last year, starting with a tablet and an All-in-One. This year, a new SlateBook delivers the Android experience (KitKat, specifically) in a clamshell design whose black and "sweet yellow" accents make me think it should be called SlateBee. The 14-inch Full HD touchscreen device will be driven by an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip and contain up to 2GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage. It will weigh a toteable 3.71 pounds. HP says the battery will last up to 9.25 hours. The new SlateBook will ship on August 6 for a starting price of $399.

I'll give HP credit this year. It's been playing catch-up in developing products for a new generation of users. The products it's unveiled at Computex show that it's assertively developing even fairly new product lines like the Slate Android devices. It hasn't given up on its Windows business, but it's responding to users' restless search for more versatile form factors and tablet-like talents.

What do you think — is HP innovating, or is it straying too far from its PC roots? Let us know in the comments.


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