HP is likely to be the second manufacturer outside the original two Google partners (Samsung and Acer) to unveil a device based on Chrome OS according to that report from The Verge. The original PDF datasheet has been taken down by HP but it still resides on Google.
Both the Acer C7 and the Samsung Chromebooks have received some fairly good reviews and have demonstrated, after a few hiccups, that (a) Google is ready to compromise as it did for example on offline file access and (b) Chrome OS is a fairly mature OS.
HP’s leaked Chromebook, the Pavilion 14-c010u, will apparently cost $329.99 which is significantly more than Acer’s ($199 at BestBuy in the US, £200 in the UK at Currys) or the Samsung’s ($249 at BestBuy US and £229 at Currys).
A closer look at that Pavilion reveals that it uses an Intel Celeron 847 CPU clocked at 1.1GHz, with 2GB of RAM, a big 14in BrightView display with a 1,366 x 768 resolution, A HD TruVision webcam, a card reader, a 37WHr battery (that can power the laptop for up to four hours) plus a 16GB SSD. Samsung uses an ARM solution with SS while Acer uses an Intel CPU with a mechanical hard drive.
It is therefore very likely that HP will have to adjust its pricing in order to become more competitive with the two other established models.
In addition, Samsung’s Chromebook has been a consistent best-seller (in the laptop category) at Amazon US, a possible bellwhether of what lies ahead which could well mean that other big guns could possibly launch their own Chromebooks.
Dell already ships a number of laptops with Ubuntu which means that a Chrome OS install is not as far-fetched as it seems and Lenovo has already announced a Thinkpad Chromebook, the X131e, which will target educational clients and costs $429, a hefty premium over other Chromebooks rivals.
More importantly though, more Chromebooks will give Google extra support as it tries to establish Chrome OS and eventually Android as an operating system that goes beyond mobile devices, an OS to rule them all. One must not forget that more than three years ago, Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, confirmed the fact that both OSes are likely to merge over time.