December 8, 2014

HP 14 Chromebooks - Free 4g LTE or not

I recently came to the realization that a Chromebook might be the perfect laptop for my ageing parents. They use gmail, they want to Skype sometimes, and they watch videos online (and one or the other might want to check finances from time to time to time). What they do not do is heavy word processing using MS Word, or create elaborate spreadsheets in Excel, or even use resource greedy software such as data analysis or graphics software. Thus, with the exception of Skype (this would require another post), I thought a Chromebook might be ideal for them.

As I looked over the Chromebooks, I didn't want my parents to be straining to view a 11.6" screen so I chose the HP 14" Chromebook. What I didn't realize at the time was that there are two models of this Chromebook-- one that includes 200 mb of 4G LTE data through tmobile and one that doesn't. I should point out that if you buy that the latter, you can not just add the free 200mb data option.
When it comes to the updated Chromebook 14, HP has updated the processor on the inside to sport the Nvidia Tegra K1 CPU, giving it some hefty power and performance in both graphics and processing power. This model will get you the free 250MB of 4G data from T-Mobile for life, but that more powerful CPU and included data do come at a bit of an extra upfront cost. Both Chromebooks are scheduled for launches next month, with the newly updated Chromebook 11 set to hit shelves October 5th at a price of $280, and the Chromebook 14 set to release around two weeks later for $350. HP is also offering a $300 model of the Chromebook 14 that comes without the free data for life, which might be worth saving the extra cash, but that depends on how long you keep the Chromebook and whether or not you would actually have use for the data.

w/ 4G LTE
no 4G LTE

1.4 GHz Intel Celeron
Tegra K1 (quadcore)
Hard Drive
+ 100GB Google Drive Storage
+ 1 TB of Google Drive storage
3.4 lbs
Battery Life
8.5 hours
9.5 hours
$249 $289

While the post notes that the $350 Chromebook is also supposed to have the Tegra K1 chip, that was not was noted on Amazon's site. And other places have reported that the $289 model should include the 4g LTE, but that wasn't evident on Amazon's site either (on HP's site there is a model with 4gb RAM for $439, but it's also not clear if this one would come with the data plan). Finally, according to the HP site, extra browsing data can be purchased from tmobile for about $10/1 GB using a "data top up."

I have to admit, given these prices, the weight, and convenience of 4G LTE, I was intrigued enough to think that maybe getting one would be a good thing for me for quick work related to Google. But I haven't bitten the bullet. Instead, I think I'm going to wait a few months for the full line up to be available and see if the prices go down. It seems that a model running the Tegra K1, with 4gb of RAM, 32GB SSD, and 4g LTE for about $300 might be just right for me (I know, I'm cheap and greedy, right?)-- and I'd probably pay for the 1GB extra data plan from tmobile. :)

As for my parents, in the end, I'm actually kind of glad that I didn't get the laptop with free data. The last thing I want is that my parents have to remember to turn off data or how much data they've used. Let them be tethered to WiFi until they really get the hang of all this. So what about you? Are you intrigued enough to consider getting a Chromebook?

No comments:

Post a Comment