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HP Chromebook 11 G3 Ditches ARM for Intel Bay Trail Processor

The Doctor Who of Chromebooks Regenerates Again

hp g3HP is quietly gearing up to unleash a third iteration of its 11-inch Chromebook, this time in an attempt to attract education buyers. 

In a data sheet detailing the full specifications of the upgraded model uncovered by eagle-eyed Chromebook enthusiast Alvin Chin, HP introduces ‘G3′ with a telling pitch:

“Keep students engaged and empower staff to easily manage classroom assignments with the affordable, powerful, and productive HP Chromebook 11 G3. From research to collaboration, this thin and light Chromebook gets top marks.”

Education continues to be a significant driving force behind Chromebook sales in the US, so it’s no surprise that HP would want to remain competitive in this area. It’s possibly for this very reason that HP has — wisely — ditched the ageing Exynos 5250 ARM processor used in the previous two generations of this device and instead gifts the G3 with a more performant Intel Celeron N2830 CPU.

‘HP has wisely ditched the ageing Exynos processor’

Switching to an Intel Bay Trail will do wonders for performance versus the Exynos model, without impacting on battery life. So while the switch does add a little bit of weight (though barely enough to notice) the trade-off is more than worth it.

HP Chromebook 11 Weight

  • Gen 1: 2.26lbs
  • Gen 2: 2.69lbs
  • Gen 3: 2.83lbs

Other Changes

Other changes are more subtle. The HP Chromebook G3 will support up to 4GB of RAM and up to 32GB of SSD storage. Aesthetically it keeps the fairly stylish casing introduced with the G2 edition, but this time furnishes it with black rather than white accents.

The HP support document also makes reference to an embedded TPM 1.2 security chip, and a wider selection of ports, including HDMI out and an extra USB 3.0.

There’s no official word on how much the new model will cost, nor whether it will be sold direct to consumers.

But with so many similarly spec’d devices already on the market from the likes of Dell, Lenovo and ASUS, would it be much of a loss if the G3 did remain an education exclusive?

Read HP Chromebook 11 G3 Data Sheet (.pdf)

  • moe

    I can’t believe it took them this long to do that, don’t ditch arm as a whole but use other processors and there are plenty that they can use. Have an Intel and arm option for consumers to choose from, i think this will be the way most chromebooks will be. And step up that resolution already.

    • googoolo

      Agree. I also hate the additional 300gram increase. Why??

      • Seth Gill

        Perhaps they put in a fan?

        • googoolo

          I thought bay trail as cold as ARM CPU and don’t need extra fan

        • Josh Tatro

          Ya, no fans needed for Bay Trail processors, as googoolo points out. Supposedly one of their main advantages, i.e. that they run fanless but offer more computing power.

      • Frederic MANSON

        Maybe it’s due to the size of the motherboard itself and from the whole design of this laptop.

        • mgamerz

          Doesn’t it have a fan?

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Exactly. They could do a cheaper ARM version and a little bit more expensive (but not too expensive) Bay Trail version.

  • fuzzylumpkins

    it’s amazing, consumers noted the CPU was underpowered from the get-go, and just now they’re changing it. it’s almist like, if you listen to consumers, you could design a product they want!

    • googoolo

      Consumer also want IPS, 1080p, and usb charging, and micro sd slot

      • Smallwheels

        Regular SD for me please. For an extra $75 I would go for a touch screen.

        • googoolo

          Why regular SD?
          Its bigger and not cheaper.
          And you can use the small microSD memory on regular SD (your other device?) With converter

          • Smallwheels

            My camera uses the larger SD card. In time more data will be able to be put onto a large size SD card than a micro SD card. The larger size will have more space for bigger flash memory. It’s just a hardware reality.

          • Smallwheels

            My camera uses regular size SD cards. In the future a regular SD card will have more space for improved chips. Thus it will hold more data.

    • Heimen Stoffels

      If they’d listen to customers, the HP 11 would end up costing $2000 because of all the feature requests…

      • googoolo

        Seeing Samsung Galaxy note 10″ 2014 with QHD, IPS, microSD slot & microUSB charging, 600gram less than $450 (Wi-Fi version). I don’t think what customer want will increase the price to $2000.

        • Josh Tatro

          Well, the necessity of TouchWiz is also debatable, right? I quite prefer stock Android personally, and as numerous Google Play Editions of flagship devices (including the GS4) have proven, the user experience and performance is often improved by removing the overlay.

          In any case though, I think you’re right that desirable hardware combinations don’t necessarily equate with four-figure price tags. That said, $450 vs. $279 makes a difference with target markets such as college students and schools–both of which are looking for inexpensive (or, for places like elementary schools, replaceable) laptops that merely get the job done. For a lot of people, and especially for schools and businesses where the Chromebook boom is really happening, the idea that one couldn’t have 20 tabs open while streaming music or that the screen isn’t “retina” worthy is probably less important than the bottom line. That ultimately means the sub-$300 price takes precedence, which is why we see these seemingly ridiculous compromises, you know, like a great screen but a utilitarian processor (or vice versa).

    • RGS

      At the time the first gen Chromebook 11 was launched, HP was trying to reduce it’s dependence on the dominating duo of Windows and Intel (Wintel), hence the choice of ARM processors.

  • atat

    Looks like it also ditches the micro USB power port. Wish they would add an SD card slot in there.

  • Frederic MANSON

    It’s bad that it has not kept the “old” G1 design. It would have been a “must have” for a majority of students (and Chromebook users too!!!!). Anyway, I keep my HP 11 ARM based despite its flaws. The only bad point of this Chromebook is that mine is loosing wifi signal when the CPU is really hot.

    About the apps and the number of tabs open that slow the Chromebook, it’s mainly due to a non optimized Chrome OS because when I use Ubuntu Unity on it, it’s really much faster and I do not have this problem of slow CPU when I have a lot of apps AND a lot of tabs open…

    • Heimen Stoffels

      I think it has more to do with RAM because on my Samsung Chromebook 2 13.3″ w/ 4 GB RAM I have never ever experienced a slowdown with apps and/or multiple tabs opened. Or is ChromeOS optimized for the CB2 instead of the HP 11?

      • Frederic MANSON

        I do not think, it’s the same Exynos 5. I launch COG (an article is on OMGChrome) and… the RAM is used at its maximum of capacity. 2 gigs should have been better. BUT when I launch Ubuntu Unity, with the same kind of apps, no slowdown at all. Stange, Chrouton use the same kernel as Chrome OS.

        • Heimen Stoffels

          Still, nothing at all slows my CB2 w/ 4 GB RAM down. So I’m not sure what’s the difference then…

  • LiamTHX

    Seriously? They FINALLY put in a relevant processor and then make the design about 10x worse? The ONLY flaws with the original were no SD card slot and a underpowered, terrible processor, and they fixed those, but ruined everything else? It’s thicker, heavier, probably doesn’t have cool Micro-USB charging and probably doesn’t have the gorgeous IPS screen that the original did. Smooth move, HP.

    • mgamerz

      Eh. Kinda doubt you could power an intel processor at full load on MicroUSB.

      • LiamTHX

        Okay, you have a point there, but still.

  • andreas.arambasic

    Come on HP! Right decision, wrong Chromebook. HP11 G1.

  • JusticeL

    I actually like the design of the new HP 11 G3. Adding the Intel processor makes it more appealing. I am also disappointed there isn’t a SD card slot, but I can get a 32 GB SSD and 4 GB of memory so it’s not the end of the world. If HP offered this Chromebook with 4G LTE I would purchase it.

    I think all of the current Chromebooks have similar flaws. As of right now there is no perfect Chromebook except for the Pixel. However, it comes with a perfect price.

    • JusticeL

      So I was totally wrong about the HP 11 G1. I went out and purchased on and fell in love with it. Sure it could use more power, but I love it.

  • ReyMaxwin

    Wonders for performance?? How about some numbers. The bay trail Asus laptop has fared very poorly against haswell processors and the Nvidia K1.

  • workless

    “”Switching to an Intel Bay Trail will do wonders for performance””

    NOOOOOOOOO, IT WILL NOT, it’s ALMOST as fast as a nvidia tegra 1, BUT:

    – doesn’t have a decent integrated video card: tegra k1 video card is FASTER than high end i7 integrated video card, you can guess how fast is this celeron video card then

    – this atom cost around 100$ and intel is now giving them away for 20$ to kill arm market, the next year you won’t pay chromebook 300$ anymore, and there won’t be any competiton by then

    – nvidia tegra k1 consume AT MOST 3.6W, atom consume AT MOST 7.5W, do your math…

    “”will do wonders for performance””??? THIS IS SOO STUPID!