Today HP announced its latest Chromebook model update, this time with a budget focus. The Chromebook 11 G5 will, most notably, run Android apps and will cost just $189. Another headlining feature of the new laptop is its claimed 12.5 hours of battery life, which is top shelf in general and quite good for a laptop that costs considerably less than most of the phones our readers have. An optional touchscreen, which will increase the price by an unspecified amount, will make Android apps even more usable at the cost of just one hour of battery life.
For those who are reluctant to make the jump to Chrome OS, both Google and HP hope that Android app compatibility will ease your fears. If you aren’t a huge fan of web apps or there just isn’t a Chrome or browser-based equivalent of the software you need, then the use of Android apps can be a huge value-added feature.
Of course, a large portion of Chromebooks will get the same update, including the previous generations of this laptop. HP’s press release reads as deliberately vague about when exactly this laptop will run Android apps, suggesting it may not be much sooner—if at all—than other HP Chromebooks.
With that said, 12.5 hours of battery life is nothing to sneeze at. This is 3 hours more than the claimed battery life on the G4, suggesting that whatever the veracity of the G4’s 9.5 hour claim, you’re looking at an expected increase of over 30%. The newer G5 has a 2-cell, 43.7 WHr battery while the G4 had a 3-cell, 36 WHr one.