Phones and Tablets. These two are the places where the little green ‘Droid (Couldn’t resist the Pun) dominates. But there is another side of Android, which is unexplored: That of PCs.
Yeah, it is an odd place for a smartphone-OS to be in, but it is surprisingly usable. Dual Boot devices are not allowed by Google and Microsoft, but Android PCs are popping up lately.
Also, for portable devices, Android provides the best battery life and is relatively less resource-hogging, making for a faster and more power efficient device.
HP has announced a 14 inch Android Laptop and an update to its Chromebook line.
First, let’s start with the Android Laptop, since it is the more interesting of the two.
It is named the Slatebook PC and has a 14 inch 1080p Touchscreen display. Underneath is a Tegra 4 processor (Which is pretty beefy) and 2GB of RAM. Of course, you are seeing standard high-end tablet fare specifications in a Laptop, but you are running a mobile-OS on a Laptop, so why not Mobile Specs too for good measure? We reckon that Android will run silky smooth on it and you will be hard-pressed (If not impossible) to find it lagging behind.
It is 16mm thick, which is thicker than most Android devices, but thinner than most laptops around. But it weighs 3.71lbs, which makes it considerably hefty to carry.
You have the option of having upto 64GB of internal storage, which should hold up pretty well even if you are a power user.
HP also announced the Chromebook PC, which like it’s predecessor has a 11.6 inch screen with 1366*768 resolution. It has a Samsung Exynos 5250 ARM processor. You may cringe at the mention of ARM processors in a Laptop, but since this one runs ChromeOS (Google’s Custom OS which is fast and is light on resources), it should hold up pretty well.
It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of Internal Storage, which is pretty low and should fill up fast (Referring to the amount of Internal Storage). Google evidently wants you (Or pushes you) to use the Cloud for your storage needs.
It is a thicker and bulkier than it’s predecessor (20.5mm vs 17.6mm and 2.69 pounds vs 2.3 pounds)
Battery Life is a mediocre with HP pegging it at around 6 hours. There is an additional 3G model for always-on internet connectivity.
The Slatebook PC comes in only one color: The one you see in the picture, i.e a combination of Yellow and Black (Yes it reminds us of Bumblebee too). It will be available from August 6th, for $399. The price is in the league of high-end tablets, but this packs some power too (For an Android device), so it is worth it. And it is definitely better than most of the slow and clunky devices available in that price-tag (With the possible exception of the Chromebooks. )
The Chromebook PC will come in only White and Turquoise Blue for now and will start at $249.
We think the Slatebook offers more value, despite it’s higher price tag due to it’s better screen and Android being a more better overall-system than ChromeOS with much wider-app support, whereas ChromeOS still feels a bit half-baked and looks like primarily an OS for running webapps.