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H-P Unveils Chromebook14

Zacks Equity Research

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) or H-P recently unveiled the first HP Chromebook14, driven by an Intel processor based on the Haswell microarchitecture. The new offering will provide faster web access and is equipped with a large display and optional 4G for enhanced connectivity.

The device will enhance the web experience and provide high-quality visuals. It is available in Coral Peach, Snow White and Ocean Turquoise. Chromebooks are Google’s (GOOG) way of entering the very low end of the tablet/notebook market and HP's product adds variety and functionality to some older chromebooks

The new Chromebook features a 14-inch diagonal high-definition (HD) screen, 16GB solid-state drive, 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive with HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports that can easily and quickly connect to displays and other devices. It also provides access to the entire range of Google Chrome apps such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts. Moreover, Chromebook14 featured with 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847processor, paired with 2GB of RAM is slightly faster than the Samsung Series 3, but falls a bit behind the Acer C7.

Chromebook14 is equipped with a removable 37Wh, 4-Cell lithium-ion battery that lasts for approximately 3 hours 36 minutes. Though the battery life is longer than the life of the first Acer C7, it lags the long lasting battery life of Samsung Series 3 and Acer C710-2055 which a demerit for the newly launched Chrombook14.

Priced at $329, the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 might not sound the cheapest option among other Chrome devices. Nonetheless, it is a better buy as one needs to shell out a lot more for most budget laptops coupled with the fact that it offers the smoothest transition to Chrome from Windows.

Founded in 1939, H-P is a leading global provider of computing products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual consumers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including those in the public and educational sectors.

H-P has been trying hard to shift its focus from its PC-centric business to the high-margin server, storage and cloud computing space. The back-to-back launches of a new BPO (business process outsourcing) solution, a host of desktop printers, two media players and the Moonshot server in the past few months indicates that H-P’s plans are well on track.

However, increasing competition from companies like Dell Inc, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) coupled with continuing macroeconomic challenges and tepid IT spending will pose challenges, going forward.

Currently, H-P has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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