By Zackery Cuevas Review Source
Even premium Chromebooks rarely pack impressive computing components, and that’s especially true when you're on a budget. The HP Chromebook 11a comes equipped with just 4GB of RAM and just 32GB of eMMC storage. Those are unacceptably low amounts of storage and RAM for a Windows PC, but they're par for the course for a budget Chromebook. In what is surely a cost-cutting decision, the HP Chromebook 11a doesn’t make use of an AMD or Intel processor, instead opting for a Mediatek MT8381 processor. Mediatek and other ARM-based chips are often found in low-end Chromebooks and typically perform slower than their Intel and AMD brethren.
Besides the less-than-stellar specs, the HP Chromebook 11a is a smart-looking device. At just 2.4 pounds and 0.6 by 7.6 by 11.2 inches (HWD), the Chromebook is slim and light. Our review unit came in Ash Gray (though you’d be forgiven if you thought it was black), but the laptop is also available in Indigo Blue and Snow White.
The overall build of the machine is acceptable, though opening and closing the lid of the laptop doesn’t exactly feel the smoothest. Pushing the laptop screen all the way back actually gives the machine a slight tilt, which is nice for those who can’t stand the idea of typing on a flat keyboard. Underneath, you’ll find two rubber strips that do a good enough job at keeping your laptop stable and preventing any sliding around.
The 11.6-inch touch screen isn’t too bad, either, so long as you keep your expectations checked. The 1,366-by-768-pixel IPS panel and low 220-nit rated brightness don't impress, but the smaller screen size does keep hazy vistas to a minimum. That wouldn't be the case if the Chromebook were any larger but maintained the same screen resolution. Larger screens with resolutions below full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) tend to exaggerate pixelation and other unwanted screen effects.
We had no issues with the touch screen and were thankful for its good performance (you’ll understand why a little later). We also didn’t notice any glare, no matter what angle we viewed from. Rounding out the viewing experience is a 720p webcam, nestled into the top screen bezel.