The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is helping usher all-in-one PCs into the mainstream market, and it’s about damn time. Even now, most AIO PCs on the market are pricey and tend to target professionals who need a minimalist yet powerful solution for their demanding computing workloads.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t all-in-one computers on the market that are affordable enough to the general public. But, you also have to dig deep to find them, as the likes of the iMac (24-inch, 2021) and the HP Envy 34 All-in-One tend to outshine them all.
Also, anything under $800 / £800 tends to feel slightly underpowered, especially when running a full-fledged operating system like Windows 11.
Here is the HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 configuration sent to TechRadar for review
CPU: Intel Core i3-10110U (2.1 GHz up to 4.1 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache, 2 cores)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 16 GB DDR4-2666 MHz
Screen: 21.5" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), touch, IPS, BrightView, 250 nits, 72% NTSC
Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Ports: 2x SuperSpeed USB Type-C (with Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.2), 2x SuperSpeed USB Type-A, 1x headphone/microphone combo
Connectivity: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2), Bluetooth 5 combo
Camera: HP True Vision 5 MP privacy camera and integrated dual array digital microphones, 1.4 ųm camera sensor
Weight: 15.37 lb (6.97 kg) tablet, keyboard and mouse included
Size: 19.98 x 6.87 x 17.89 in (507.5 x 174.5 x 454.4 mm, WxHxD)
The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 fixes all that by using similar specs, but utilizing the lightweight Chrome OS instead. Bridging the gap between the popular (and usually affordable) Chromebooks and the minimalist appeal of AIOs, it offers a snappier performance than its Windows 11 counterparts – not to mention, an attractive design – while keeping its price within easy reach of most consumers.
Among its many notable features are its 21.5-inch touchscreen display with portrait mode, a 2,592 × 1,944-resolution webcam with impressive noise reduction, a two-step privacy cover, and a pair of 5W speakers with plenty of volume.
There are some compromises here – unsurprising considering its price – but there excellent premium features as well, namely its beautiful compact design and its browser multitasking prowess. Finally, users whose daily needs largely involve browsing, streaming, and sending emails now have a budget-realistic AIO option.
If you're looking for an all-in-one for everyone in your household, your work-from-home setup, or the matriculating member of your family, the HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is a tough contender to beat.
How budget-friendly is the HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 exactly? At the moment, it’s available in several configurations in the US, starting at $629 / £629. This base configuration comes with an Intel Pentium 6405U, Intel UHD graphics, and 8GB of memory as well as 128GB SSD. While that might sound a little underpowered, remember that it’s also running a lightweight operating system that doesn’t need robust specs.
If you do need something more robust, the most kitted-out configuration – the same configuration that was sent to TechRadar for testing – will give you an Intel Core i3-10110U, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and the same integrated graphics for $699 / £699.
Unfortunately, consumers in the Australia would have to wait to get their hands on an HP Chromebase as it’s currently unavailable in the region. It's also currently unavailable in the HP UK store, but you should be able to find some configurations available at some UK online retailers. On the bright side, the UK HP store suggests that it will soon become available.
Value: 4 / 5
HP doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the HP Chromebase All-in-One 22’s design. This is meant to be a space-saving, minimalist, and appealing all-in-one, and it succeeds in that regard with its 21.5-inch display, compact conical stand that stores all the innards, ports, and speakers, and beautiful white finish that makes it look pricier than it is.
The display size might not be ideal for power users and multi-taskers, but it’s certainly enough for this computer’s target market. Plus, its touch capability is beautifully responsive, something you’d expect from pricier models.
There’s also a decent port selection that’s more than enough for the average user. Not that you’d be needing peripherals as it does come with its own Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, both of which get the job done.
The keyboard is comfortable to type on, despite lacking some keys, including media keys (apart from the volume buttons). The mouse could be better – there’s a little more resistance on its buttons than we’d like – but it also does what it’s supposed to do. Users who aren’t very particular with their peripherals will be satisfied.
There are thoughtful design features as well, some of which even the iMac 24-inch doesn’t have, namely the pivot-capable display that will let you switch from landscape to portrait mode with just, quite literally, a finger.
There aren’t any swivel or horizontal adjustments here, but if you require that vertical space to read news articles, work on your book, or help the kids with their essays, you’ll appreciate the fact that portrait mode is on hand and just a push of a finger away. There’s also some up and down tilt for more comfortable viewing.
Another thoughtful design feature is its webcam’s privacy shutter, which allows you to block any video feed and turn the mic off completely when not in use.
Having this feature prevents hackers and other malicious people on the Internet from using your webcam and mic to spy on you, or worse.
Design: 4.5 / 5
Here is how the HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Jetstream 2: 134.5
It proves that in practice as well. On test, we often have it run 20 or more tabs at the same time, several of which have Google Docs Editors suite pages and online publications open, as well as shopping sites and streaming services, and it handles those without signs of a slowdown. This is an all-in-one made for demanding browser needs and multitasking.
Meanwhile, the built-in 5W stereo speakers, which again are housed in the stand, are good as well. They aren’t as crisp and detailed as the speakers you’d find on pricier all-in-ones, but they get pretty loud with decent bass response to fill a room… or at least a small- to medium-sized one.
Fair warning, however: pump that volume up to 100%, and they’ll sound as if tiny little ice picks are stabbing at your eardrums. So, best keep that volume under 90%.
Performance: 4 / 5
If you plan on using the webcam and mic for work meetings and video calls with loved ones, you’ll be happy to know that you’re getting a decently high 2,592 × 1,944 resolution here. It’s not the most detailed webcam we’ve used, and there’s not a lot of contrast or dynamic range. However, it excels in noise reduction, keeping that luminance and chromatic noise well-controlled even in low lighting.
The mic is also great, although it comes with its own compromise. Your voice will come out crisp and clear, but as will any background noise since there isn’t any noise rejection – not surprising since this isn’t a premium all-in-one PC.
Webcam: 4 / 5
|Value||All-in-ones tend to be pricey, but this AIO brings that price back down closer to the ground in Chrome OS form.||4 / 5|
|Design||It has adopted that minimalist AIO design and premium feel without upping the price. Thoughtful design features are also on hand.||4.5 / 5|
|Performance||Excellent browser and multitasking performance allows this Chromebase to stand out, despite more powerful rivals. Its built-in speakers are plenty loud as well.||4 / 5|
|Webcam||With a resolution higher than 720p and great noise reduction capabilities, its webcam is deserving of praise. Especially with that two-step privacy cover.||4 / 5|
We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.
Read more about how we test
HP Anyware will be available somewhere in the coming months. The solution’s based on technology from Teradici, which HP acquired last year. HP Anyware should eventually replace HP’s existing zCentral Remote Boost solution.
Teradici is a cornerstone of the upcoming solution. The company provides virtual desktop environments using Cloud Access Software (CAS), allowing companies to remotely host PCs in their on-premises environment and the cloud.
Teradici uses its own PC-over-IP (PCoIP) protocol. The protocol streams the contents of a display. The data travelling over a network is unlike the data exchanged by traditional remote desktop tech, which promotes security.
HP Anyware is the next release of Teradici’s CAS solution. New functionality includes support for Arm-based M1 processors and Macs. In addition, HP and Teradici optimized the tool for Windows 11.
HP told The Register that HP Anyware will replace zCentral Remote Boost, HP’s existing solution for remote work. HP Anyware will have equivalent functionality by mid-2023, after which zCentral Remote is to be discontinued. Though the solution will receive security fixes for some time, users eventually have to migrate to Anyware.
Tip: HPC software company Teradici acquired by HP Inc.
Having been on the market for more than a decade now, Chromebooks present consumers with an inexpensive, streamlined alternative to Apple and Windows laptops. They work beautifully with Google apps and services. While Chromebooks were initially intended only for casual use, there’s a growing number of options that come with more speed and power. Chromebooks are produced by several brands, with HP and Acer being two of the most popular.
HP is a pioneer in the laptop industry and one of the most trusted brands in electronics. HP’s hardware is consistently reliable, and both its plastic and aluminum laptop models are sturdy and well-made. Regarding standard laptops, HP is comparable to Dell in terms of design, quality, and popularity, though HP Chromebooks typically outperform Dell Chromebooks.
HP released its first Chromebook, the Pavilion Chromebook, in February 2013. Early on, HP prioritized larger, more powerful Chromebooks, though they have since released models across the size, price, and performance spectra. HP’s Chromebooks tend to be cheaper than their laptops running Windows OS. As is typical with Chromebooks, most HP options will be in the $200-450 price range, though larger models with more advanced processors can sell for more than $600.
One of HP’s biggest strengths is the wide variety of Chromebooks they sell. They have a reputation for more deluxe and expensive computers, but their more basic options are some of the best starter Chromebooks on the market. A particularly good option is their HP 14-inch Chromebook HD with an Intel Celeron N3350. With 32GB of SSD, it has great performance for its price point, and customers have loved the quick startup and ease of use. It is both lightweight and easily portable at 14 inches, and the impressive 10-hour battery life makes it great for anyone hoping to take their Chromebook on the go. The slightly faster HP 14-inch Chromebook HD with an Intel Celeron 4000 processor is another great option with the same display size.
HP also excels at producing amazing 2-in-1 laptops, which can be used as both standard laptops and touch screen tablets. These Chromebooks are typically foldable, meaning that the touch screen display can be rotated behind the keyboard using a folding hinge. This gives a 2-in-1 laptop a thin, tablet-like frame that allows consumers to utilize the touch screen without the keyboard getting in the way. These laptops are perfect for students, commuters, and creatives who value both content creation and visual design.
HP’s Chromebook X360 is easily one of the finest 2-in-1 Chromebooks on the market, with its 12-hour battery life and Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Processor ensuring extended, reliable use. The design’s chassis and general hardware are also incredible for the price, showing that HP’s reputation for well-built devices still means something.
HP Chromebooks can sometimes be on the higher end of the price spectrum, and this is especially true of models with nicer processors. While most HP Chromebooks are similarly priced to comparable models from other brands, HP’s occasionally superficial hardware features can lead to higher costs. The HP Chromebook 14c 2-in-1, for example, offers an i3 processor at a greater cost than many Acer models.
As is the case with all Chromebooks, HP Chromebooks are not designed for high-level professional use, and performance won’t hold up to pricier HPs that run on Windows OS.
Historically, Acer is known for giving consumers affordable computer options, but they also sell more deluxe models. Acer excels in academic and casual business use, and their laptop designs set them apart from HP and Dell.
Acer has been involved in Chromebooks since the beginning, selling the earliest models along with Samsung back in 2011. They have been steadily growing their Chromebook selection, and their most recent Chromebooks are 2020’s Spin 713 series. As is the case with HP, Acer’s Chromebooks are in the $200-650 price range, though most are less than $500.
Despite sometimes being thought of as an affordable alternative to more popular brands, Acer has come out with several sturdy, excellent Chromebooks. The Acer Chromebook 14 is a great, midpriced option that shows off Acer’s commitment to high-quality Chromebooks. The aluminum material is both durable and lightweight, and the 14-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution is a step above most similarly priced Chromebooks. The SSD storage adds a nice boost to the performance.
For those seeking portability, Acer has some very impressive smaller models. The Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible Laptop has everything you need in a smaller Chromebook, and its 11.6-inch touch screen display is attractive and practical. In addition, the R 11 is a 2-in-1 model, solidifying its position as one of the absolute best Chromebooks for customers who will be commuting frequently.
Acer also stands out for selling Chromebooks with more powerful processors at affordable prices. While most basic Intel Pentium or Celeron processors are suitable for the kind of casual use that Chromebooks are designed for, having an i3 processor or higher can do wonders for a laptop’s overall performance. Many Acer models prioritize performance over features, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713: Intel Core i3 is one of the best Acer Chromebooks available. Fast and portable, this Spin 713’s processing power gives it an edge over most other Chromebooks in the same price bracket, and it strikes a great balance between performance and affordability.
Acer Chromebooks are less likely to have as many features and hardware flourishes as HP models. While there are plenty of sturdy Acer Chromebooks, some Acer models are relatively flimsy, and Acer’s cheapest Chromebooks are typically inferior to HP’s cheapest models. HP models often have more thought put into the keyboard spacing and bezel design. In addition, Acer doesn’t have as much to offer in terms of 2-in-1 options.
Specifications are the most important considerations when purchasing any computer, but there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both brands. If you desire simplicity and speed and you’ll be using your Chromebook most at home or in an office, then Acer will likely be the brand for you. For those who want top-shelf hardware and 2-in-1 options for a creative or academic environment, HP will have the most options.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Henry McKeand writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.
Submitted by HP Inc.
In a conference room at HP’s Silicon Valley campus, a cornucopia of materials is placed all around. On the table and walls are swatches in fashion-forward colors (teal green, scarlet, rose gold) and novel textures (mycelium foam, crushed seashells, recycled rubber from running tracks, fabric from recycled jeans). Even more unexpected: pairs of high-end athletic shoes, and lots of them; luggage and backpacks, teapots and totes; stacks of gorgeous coffee-table books on subjects ranging from furniture to architecture — all to inspire the look and feel of devices that HP has yet to imagine.
Being able to touch, test, and debate about these items in person is part of the process, a creative collaboration Global Head of Design & Sustainability Stacy Wolff and his talented team of designers are grateful to be able to do side by side again inside their light-filled studio in Palo Alto. With each iteration of an HP laptop, desktop, or gaming rig, they endeavor to push the bounds of sustainable design while offering consumers a device that they’re proud to use each day.
For the last few years, HP’s design work has gained recognition, evidenced by the studio’s gleaming rows of awards. But there’s not a single name listed on any of them. “Everything we do is by collective effort. We win as a group, and we lose as a group,” says Wolff. “If you won an award, someone else had to do maybe a less glamorous job to give you the freedom to do that.”
The team of 73 creatives in California, Houston, and Taipei are from backgrounds as varied as design, engineering, graphics, anthropology, poetry, ergonomics, and sports journalism. There’s one thing they have in common, though. Disagreements are dealt with by amping up their communication and doubling down on what they know to be their source of truth. “If we let the customer be the North Star, it tends to resolve almost all conflict,” Wolff says.
HP’s head of design has led a massive shift in how HP approaches design since its split from HPE in 2015, steering the company toward a more unified, yet distinct, visual identity, and a willingness to experiment with both luxury and mass-market trends. Wolff’s team is responsible for delivering the award-winning HP Spectre and ENVY lines, including the HP Spectre 13 (at the time of launch, hailed as the world’s thinnest laptop); the HP Spectre Folio (the first laptop with a leather chassis); the HP ENVY Wood series (made with sustainably-sourced, genuine wood inlays); and the HP Elite Dragonfly (the world’s first notebook to use ocean-bound plastic). Among the honors: In 2021, HP received seven Green Good Design Awards from the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
Today, Wolff and his team are in their recently outfitted studio, which opened late last year in HP’s Palo Alto headquarters. In the common areas, there is an inviting atmosphere of warm wood and soft, textured surfaces. Designers are tapping away at their keyboards, breaking off to share quick sketches and notes in an informal huddle around a digital whiteboard. In the gallery — an airy space that looks a lot like an upscale retail store — foam models, proof-of concept designs, and an array of laptop parts, keycaps, speakers, and circuit boards are splayed out on stark white countertops. Light from the courtyard pours in from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“The studio has become a home,” says Wolff, who’s been with the company for 27 years. “When you think about a house, where does everybody go? Where is the love, and creation, and the stories being told? All that is shared in the kitchen.”
Granted this kitchen also has a really, really nice espresso maker.
The new space, like the kitchen, bubbles with energy and fuels the collaborative process, which was somewhat stifled when everyone was working remotely. “Creativity is a magical thing,” Wolff says. “That’s why it’s so important to design in a common space. We took for granted the process of organic product development. When you work from home, it becomes almost serial development. There’s no serendipity.”
After months of improvising the tools they needed to work together, the team finds that being back in the office is where they can be most creative and efficient. “Designers are very hands-on,” says Kevin Massaro, vice president of consumer design. “Everything in the studio is tactile.”
Yet, the time spent working remotely produced valuable insights that are informing future products, such as a PC camera disaggregated from the monitor so it can be manipulated to capture something on a person’s desk (like a sketch); super-wide-screen displays with integrated light bars that offer a soft backlight for people working late at night; and monitors that adjust to taller heights, to better accommodate a standing desk.
In recent years, the team has also turned its sights toward defining — and redefining — what sustainable design means for HP. In 2021 HP announced some of the most aggressive and comprehensive climate goals in the technology industry, bringing new complexity — and new gravitas — to what Wolff and his team are aiming to accomplish.
“You’re no longer just a company that’s manufacturing technology, you’re a company that’s helping to better people’s lives,” Wolff says. Working toward HP’s goal to become the most sustainable and just technology company is less about integrating greater percentages of recycled materials into new products, and more about an accounting of the entire life cycle of a device, from the electricity used over its lifetime and the minerals mined for its batteries, to the chemicals used in its painted powder coating and what exactly happens to a product when returned for recycling.
When a customer opens a box made of 100% recycled molded fiber packaging to reveal the premium Elite Dragonfly PC, which made waves for being the first notebook with ocean-bound plastic, that’s where this team’s efforts become tangible.
The Dragonfly isn’t only a triumph of design, it proved that circularity can be an integral part of mass-manufacturing for personal electronics. The third generation of that same device, released in March (see “How the HP Elite Dragonfly Took Flight,” page 36), raised the bar for battery life and weight with a new process that fuses aluminum and magnesium in the chassis, the latter of which is both lightweight and 100% recyclable.
This was a feat of engineering alchemy, says Chad Paris, Global Senior Design Manager. “Not only do you have different properties of how these metals work together, it was a challenge to make sure that it’s seamless,” he says. The team innovated and came up with a thermofusion process that lends a premium feel to the Dragonfly while keeping its weight at just a kilogram.
This inventiveness dovetails with Wolff’s pragmatic approach to sustainability. Not only does each change have to scale for a manufacturer the size of HP, it has to strike the right balance between brand integrity and forward-leaning design. “We can take waste and make great things,” Wolff says, gesturing at a pile of uniform plastic pellets that used to be a discarded bottle. “But ultimately, we want our products to live longer, so we’re designing them to have second lives.”
A sustainable HP notebook, no matter what materials it’s made from, needs to look and feel like HP made it, says Sandie Cheng, Global CMF Director. The CMF (colors, materials, finishes) library holds thousands of fabric swatches, colored tiles, and paint chips and samples, which Cheng uses as inspiration for the look and feel of fine details such as the touch pad on a laptop, the smooth glide of a hinge, or the sparkle of the HP logo peeking through a laser-etched cutout.
Cheng and her team head out on scouting trips to gather objects from a variety of places and bring them back to the studio, composing their own ever-changing mood board. In the CMF library, there are Zen-like ceramic-and-bamboo vessels picked up from an upscale housewares boutique in San Francisco alongside scores of upholstery samples in chic color palettes, hunks of charred wood, and Nike’s Space Hippie trainers.
Most of these materials will never make it to production, but they offer up a rich playground for the team’s collective imagination. Foam made from mycelium (i.e., fungi threads) is an organic material that can be grown in just two weeks. Perhaps one day it could be used as material to cover the Dragonfly chassis, even if right now it couldn’t survive the daily wear and tear we put on our PCs. Or its spongy, earthy texture might inspire a new textile that lends a softer feel to an otherwise hard-edged device on your desk.
“We as designers have to think outside the box to stay creative and inspired, but we also have to develop materials that can be used for production,” Cheng says. “It’s a balance of staying creative and also being realistic.”
The same holds true for how the materials are made. Manufacturing with fabric is notorious for producing massive amounts of waste because of the way patterns are cut, but HP wants to change that with its own soft goods, such as the HP Renew Sleeve. It’s made with 96% recycled plastic bottle material, and importantly, the 3D knitting process used to make the laptop sleeve leaves virtually zero waste, generating only a few stray threads.
Earlier this month, Cheng and her team went to Milan, Italy, for fresh inspiration. They attended Salone del Mobile 2022, one of the industry’s largest textile, furniture, and home design trade shows, to get a sense of the big design trends of the next few years, including what Cheng calls “the centered home,” which evokes feelings of comfort, coziness, and calm.
She explains that the blurring of work and life means that what consumers want in their next device, whether it’s one issued by their company or selected from a store shelf, is something that looks and feels like it fits into their personal spaces. “Your PC should be really versatile and adapt to whichever environment you’re in and how you want to use it,” she says.
Consumers also want to feel good about their purchase, which increasingly means choosing brands that care for the finite resources on our shared planet. A 2021 report by research firm IDC found that 43% of 1,000 decision-makers said sustainability was a critical factor in their tech-buying choices.
As the Personal Systems designers charge ahead into a sustainable future — whatever it brings — they’ll surely do it in their iterative, measured, and collaborative way.
“When it comes to sustainability, it’s all about forward progress, and everyone’s job is a sustainability job,” Wolff says. “As founder Dave Packard said, ‘The betterment of our society is not a job to be left to the few. It’s a responsibility to be shared by all.’”
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
Sustainable Impact at HP, Inc.
Sustainable Impact is our commitment to create positive, lasting change for the planet, its people and our communities. Click here for more information on HP’s Sustainable Impact initiatives, goals and progress.
More from HP Inc.
In 21st century classrooms, blackboard chalk is on the endangered list, the pop quiz has been replaced with clicker questions, and bowling alley technology (overhead projector transparencies) has disappeared, thanks to digital projectors and document cameras.
But if you’re going to point to any aspect of the classroom that still hasn’t covered much ground on its trip into the 21st century, it has to be the textbook. This ubiquitous accessory has been beset by editorial controversy as we have seen recently in Texas; has seen consistently high price increases of an average of six percent per year; and still inspires parental derision for the outdated information often portrayed.
And then there’s the matter of weight. The heft of textbooks was the subject of a 21-page report written in 2004 in California for the state’s board of education. According to researchers, the combined weight of textbooks in the four “core” subjects (social studies, math, reading/ language arts, and science) ran, on average, from eight pounds at the first grade level to 20 pounds at the 11th grade level. Legislation to mandate weight limitations quickly followed in that state.
As this comparison of two school districts on opposite sides of the country and economic spectrum illustrates, in a world rich with alternative methods of delivery of content exemplified by digitized conversation, Google books, the Kindle and iPad, the textbook is the next classroom object worthy of transformation.
“Everyone has a different 1:1 approach,” says Gary Brantley, chief information systems officer for the Lorain City School District. “Ours was to eliminate the books.”
Lorain City Schools is located in a city 35 miles from Cleveland. The district has 18 schools and 8,400 students. By moving to digital delivery of textbooks Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson saw an opportunity to address several larger district challenges than simply replacing outdated texts. A majority of families are low-income; its schools were struggling to meet yearly academic progress measures; and the district had just come out from under a state-mandated “fiscal watch.”
And, recalls Brantley, Atkinson was sincerely concerned about the weight of the textbooks being hauled around by the kids in her schools.
That was the atmosphere under which initial discussions began, he says. The district quickly realized that adopting a 1:1 program with digital textooks at the heart of the initiative could reduce textbook expenses and help bring students into the 21st century. “We’re an inner city school district,” says Brantley. “We saw this as a way to level the playing field for our kids and give them equal access and opportunities with technology.”
After a pilot program in 2007 and 2008, the district went after a federal grant to partially fund a full rollout to 9th and 10th graders for the following year. In January 2009, the district used federal Title 1 and Ohio state educational technology grant funds to lease Dell Inspiron 910 netbooks. The following year that program was expanded to 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th grades, and the district switched to Acer Aspire One AOD150-1577 netbooks. This fall the district hopes to add 12th graders to the program.
The publishers the district is working with on the program are the traditional ones: Pearson Prentice Hall; Holt McDougal; and McGraw-Hill/Glencoe. They have provided versions of the texts, Brantley says, that go beyond simply being a PDF of the book. “It’s interactive. For example, if you have someone like Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy in a history book, you can click on a picture, and it will tell you information about [that person] or [you can] do a search from the book to get more information about that particular person.”
Brantley is quick with numbers. He says that for 2,600 math books—the number of texts needed for grades nine through 12—the cost was going to be about $182,000. That’s $70 per book. The e-book edition for that same math book was about $15,000. The savings on that one text alone covered a large part of the expense of that first rollout of digital textbooks. The savings don’t stop there. An English textbook was priced at $163,673.05 for 2,475 books—about $66 per book. The digital version of the same volume was a fourth of the cost—$36,554.45.
Explains Brantley, Superintendent Atkinson “was very persistent” that the district find a content supplier for the program, even if it wasn’t one of the three or four big textbook publishers. The publishers were willing to try the program in pilot mode. “A lot of trust was built on both sides to make this happen,” he says.
Now, says Brantley, students don’t have to travel to labs to gain access to computers. “Basically, there’s a lab in every classroom. Every kid is using that netbook as a textbook and as a computer.”
Brantley knows the technology is making an impact. “I think it’s pushed us a long way. It’s allowing the students to become a lot more creative in what they do and how they do it. It’s also leveled the playing field. A lot of these kids don’t have computers or internet access at home. Because the books are loaded on the hard drive, [Superintendent Atkinson] has given kids the ability to work on things they’d only have access to in a limited time within the classroom or in the lab.”
Although Brantley says student testing scores have gone up, he can’t confidently point to quantifiable results tied directly to the digital textbooks. “We brought different pieces of technology into the district in the same period, so we have to let the program run for a little while,” he explains.
The Campbell Union High School District, next door to San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley consists of six sites, five of which have been designated by the state as excellent. During the 2009-2010 school year, they performed a pilot program to experiment with the replacement of textbooks with e-readers. Director of Technology Charles Kanavel and his IT team of five distributed 270 Sony Reader Touch model PRS-600s into English classes across the district’s sites.
“These kids get technology. They go home and look at YouTube all day. An e-reader isn’t that hard for them,” Kanavel explains. The goal of the pilot was to get a “true sense of what’s it like for the everyday student to use one of these things in terms of wear and tear and what they wanted to see on the device.”
The effort was spurred by the Williams Settlement, Kanavel says. That California statute calls for California schools to have sufficient educational materials and conditions to meet curriculum standards. In order to meet standards of currency, textbooks need to be replaced every seven years—an expensive proposition in a district with 8,000 students. “It’s $180 for a biology textbook. That’s just one. With e-readers and how ubiquitous they’ve become,” Kanavel recalls asking, “Why do they need to carry 80 pounds worth of books around, when we have the technology to do this differently?”
But that initial test might never have come about if Kanavel hadn’t persisted in trying to woo Sony to participate in the proof of concept, a process that took seven months. The Campbell director focused on Sony because of its durability, price, and open platform. “Kindle, if you drop it, it’s game over,” he says. “With the Nook you have to buy everything from Barnes & Noble. The [Apple] iPad with 32 or 64 Gb, that’s $600 to $800. With one iPad, I can get four e-readers from Sony at around $200 each.”
But persuading the manufacturer to pay attention to education’s needs wasn’t an easy sell. Kanavel, who has a background in investment banking, studied the company’s financial reports and figured out how many e-readers had probably been sold through its nearby Silicon Valley area store, the largest Sony store in the United States.
When he approached the company about doing a test, it replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, interesting. But why do we care?” In response, he used this argument: “You sold 14,000 at the Valley Fair store in a three month period. Those are respectable numbers. But realistically, our district is 8,000 kids. You’d sell me 8,000 units. Then I’d have to buy a quarter of that every year forever. Once I start on it, I can’t get off.” He also pointed out that Campbell was only a medium-sized district. “Take San Jose Unified —55,000 students right next door. That would make your store numbers look like nothing. And there are 32 districts in Santa Clara County alone. Think of the entire country. Then they started caring.”
Once Sony was on board, the next hurdle was the textbook publishers trying to safeguard the pricing model, according to Kanavel. He estimates that a single school might have 300 copies of a particular book. On average the textbook will cost $120 on the low side and $180 on the high side. That’s a total outlay of $36,000 to $54,000 for a single textbook in a single school in the Campbell district.
For English classes, however, many of the books contained classic works of literature that are now in the public domain and available on various digital book websites. “Shakespeare is Shakespeare. The guy’s not writing a new version,” Kanavel says. He has been able to make a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for some digital textbooks in PDF format; but others—particularly novels —came from the Sony Reader Store; on Project Gutenberg (a good source for Shakespeare, he says); and via the OverDrive School get Library.
The challenge faced by textbook publishers, he points out, is that they have to change their business model. Kanavel wants to set up a site license with the publishers, but so far those negotiations are still on-going, and, besides, many still have to convert their textbooks into the epub format.
But the financials, as this former numbers guy points out, still work out nicely for the district. “For example, historically we have paid $9 a book for paperback copies of Macbeth and 70 to 80 percent of them come back unusable at the end of the year. Now with the e-reader, that replacement cost goes to zero.”
On average 15 out of every 100 books in the district need to be replaced because they’re damaged, lost, or stolen. Often, the same student loses multiple books when he or she loses a backpack. “If you’re a parent, you have to pay to replace all of those books. If your student loses a history book, biology book, math book, and English book, that’s about $600,” Kanavel says. “If they lose an e-reader or it breaks, you pay for the replacement cost of the e-reader —$200 -- then we just get the content.” This, he adds, “has long-term implications for budgeting and funding.”
So far, Kanavel says, the pilot has been successful with students. “They’ve taken good care of them. I’ve only had three break out of 270, which is pretty good.” He plans to add an additional 200 e-readers to the district for the next school year. “One thing I’ve been very focused on with this pilot is offsetting the cost of textbook replacement with this device and making it easier on the kids.” He believes the district is on the right track.
Teachers and students are discovering other advantages. The e-readers have built-in dictionaries. If a reader has a visual impairment, text can be upsized quickly. Users can annotate, draw, and take notes—something that’s forbidden with traditional textbooks. When the year is over, the kids will return the devices, and that added material can be wiped from the hard disk.
But e-readers still aren’t perfect, he adds. First, not every book is available in a digital format. He cites a high school classic, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, as an example. Many textbooks have already been put on CD, but those are designed to be used in a PC. Publishers haven’t made huge inroads into converting their materials into the standard epub format that works with the major e-readers. But Kanaval is hopeful those gaps will diminish with time.
With the expected expansion of the pilot, negotiations with Sony continue. “We’ve proven that the kids can take care of them. The technology does work,” Kanavel says. “The next thing is to get Sony to build something bigger—an eight and a half by 11 inch format. And there are a lot of features that we don’t use. We’ve given them feedback on those things. There may be ways to cut cost by eliminating feature sets that can help them balance the cost of manufacturing.”
So given the experiences of these two districts—and others—how does a standard textbook stack up against an e-book? If a publisher needs to repair the mistakes introduced in the text, as happened with math books issued in Sacramento County in spring 2010, it won’t have to arrange to destroy the outdated books and incur shipping costs for the new ones; it can correct the errors and electronically distribute new versions of the content. In the face of a quickly evolving business model, publishers will be forced to adjust their pricing schemes—no doubt, to the advantage of the districts. In the matter of weight— well, the Acer netbook comes in under three pounds, and the Sony device is a little over 10 ounces. Those are metrics anyone can use no matter how much digital content sits on the devices.
In order to have a successful 1:1 implementation, you need hardware, bandwidth, content, and teacher professional development and buy in. But each district will be unique in its approach to implementing each aspect and the entire program. The question of when in implementation a district allows connection to the internet is a case in point. Campbell Union High School District in Silicon Valley wants students to stay on task as it implements e-books. Therefore, the Sony Reader Touch devices being used there don’t include web access. Although Sony does make a model of its e-reader that includes WiFi, according to Director of Technology Charles Kanavel, the decision to leave that feature out helps simplify the transition teachers have to make in integrating the device in the classroom.
“If I’m a teacher and I have these new devices in class, it affects my lesson planning,” he explains. “Without administrative control of access to the internet, some smart kid will make the thing text another e-reader. Then once that kid knows, all the kids will know. In class, instead of reading, they’re texting each other, surfing MySpace, and doing everything else. Have I just disrupted an entire class with this device? So let’s get the adoption in first. Let’s get the hurdles out of the way surrounding usage of content, usage of technology, and how it integrates into your standards in the classroom. Once that’s outlined, then we’ll figure out how to do WiFi.”
That absence of web access has also streamlined professional development. The district had 270 devices, which it handed out in English classes spread fairly evenly across its six sites. To ensure that the pilot wouldn’t get put on the back-burner by teachers uninterested in using the ereader, Kanavel had the principals at those sites nominate teachers to participate who were a “little bit tech savvy.”
From there, his IT team called teachers in for a demonstration of the Sony product they’d be using with their students. “That was it,” he says. “Maybe 30 minutes of Q&A with teachers, and off we went. The devices aren’t that complicated. You turn it on, pick your book, turn to the page, and that’s it.”
To make sure the program is on track, Kanavel has been doing evaluation of it in “real time.” “It’s not something we threw out there and said we’ll come back to you in six months. Every couple of weeks I’m pinging these teachers. They have direct lines back to me. As they’ve noticed things, they’ve emailed me.” Along with that, device maker Sony has put out surveys for the users too.
What complicates implementation of digital content in a 1:1 program is when the device being deployed is used for other purposes too. That’s the case at Lorain City School District in Ohio, which has distributed Acer netbooks to 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. The goal there is to give its students access to technology and the wider world it can deliver. Many don’t have computers or an internet connection at home. Therefore, Chief Information Systems Officer Gary Brantley has chosen to implement WiFi on the devices.
The devices, which cost about $300 with software and maintenance, are loaded with a gigabyte of RAM, a 150 Gb or 160 Gb hard drive, an Intel Atom processor, a webcam, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office, a couple of calculators, 802.11 b/g WiFi, and, of course, digital textbooks.
Teachers have an interest in educating students about social networking, so, although access to the internet is filtered, the devices do allow access to sites such as Twitter, and Facebook. But that, says Brantley, “is being carefully monitored.”
Also, connectivity is necessary for implementation of CompuTrace, a program from Absolute Software that provides a service for tracking down lost, stolen, or missing devices. “We were finding that we were spending a lot of money replacing textbooks,” Brantley explains. “Now, we actually are spending less. If CompuTrace doesn’t find the netbook within 60 or 90 days, they pay for it. I can tell you they have found every single one.”
To simplify operations, the district uses only two images for the netbooks. Every middle school book in use is on every middle school netbook; and the same with all high school books. That approach, says Brantley, makes IT’s work easier since they don’t have to worry about granular inventory or “fool around” with what books any given student should be able to access.
The district has tackled the challenge of teacher acceptance from multiple sides. First, there was a teachers’ union aspect. Would it promote the change in teaching approaches necessary for success? To gain support, Brantley took the head of the union to a 1:1 conference to show her what could be done. After that, he says, “She came on board for the professional development piece.”
The next aspect was putting together programs and teams for professional development. Since the district has an “early release” day once a week, “that’s the block of time that increasingly is being dedicated to helping teachers learn how to integrate the technology into their classes. Gaining traction in that area is a longer haul,” Brantley admits. “It takes a while to get teachers on board with this.”
Next up for the Lorain district: implementation of a teacher recognition program and some type of graduate credit to motivate the teachers to try out new methods of instruction.
An area where Brantley has seen success is having the kids teaching the teachers. “That’s one thing that we’ve been trying to push,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to let the kids show you something as well. It becomes a collaborative effort.”
Challenges have surfaced in two IT areas. First, the sheer number of new devices has put a strain on Brantley’s department, which has 10 employees. “We’ve doubled the number of computers in the district but didn’t add one staff member,” he says. Second, IT has to be able to supply technical support to students in a timely manner. “Turnaround can’t be longer than a day. Even though we have spares, we still have to turn around these machines really quickly, so kids aren’t left without their books.”
But these burdens aren’t slowing down the district’s dreams. Brantley says eventually the netbook and digital textbook program could be expanded to every student in the district, from the fourth grade up.
PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) (“HP” or the “Company”) announced today that it has extended the expiration date of the previously announced offer to exchange (the “Exchange Offer”) any and all outstanding notes (the “Poly Notes”) of Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: POLY) (“Poly”) for up to $500,000,000 aggregate principal amount of new notes to be issued by the Company (the “HP Notes”). HP hereby extends such expiration date from 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on August 1, 2022, to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 15, 2022 (as the same may be further extended, the “Expiration Date”).
At 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on July 18, 2022 (the “Early Participation Date”), the previously announced solicitation of consents to adopt certain proposed amendments (the “Amendments”) to the indenture governing the Poly Notes (the “Poly Indenture”) expired. The requisite consents were received to adopt the Amendments with respect to all outstanding Poly Notes at the Early Participation Date, and Poly executed the supplemental indenture to the Poly Indenture with respect to the Amendments on July 25, 2022. The Amendments will become operative only upon the settlement of the Exchange Offer.
The Exchange Offer is being made pursuant to the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the offering memorandum and consent solicitation statement dated June 27, 2022 (as amended from time to time prior to the date hereof, the “Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement”), and is conditioned upon the closing of the Company’s acquisition of Poly (the “Acquisition”), which condition may not be waived by HP, and certain other conditions that may be waived by HP.
The settlement date for the Exchange Offer will be promptly after the Expiration Date and is expected to occur no earlier than the closing date of the Acquisition, which is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Except as described in this press release, all other terms of the Exchange Offer remain unchanged.
As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 1, 2022, holders validly tendered $490,556,000 in aggregate principal amount of Poly Notes pursuant to the Exchange Offer. Tenders of Poly Notes made pursuant to the Exchange Offer may be validly withdrawn at or prior to the Expiration Date.
Documents relating to the Exchange Offer will only be distributed to eligible holders of Poly Notes who complete and return an eligibility certificate confirming that they are either a “qualified institutional buyer” under Rule 144A or not a “U.S. person” and outside the United States under Regulation S for purposes of applicable securities laws, and a non U.S. qualified offeree (as defined in the Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement). The complete terms and conditions of the Exchange Offer are described in the Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement, copies of which may be obtained by contacting D.F. King & Co., Inc., the exchange agent and information agent in connection with the Exchange Offer, at (888) 605-1956 (toll-free) or (212) 269-5550 (banks and brokers), or by email at email@example.com. The eligibility certificate is available electronically at: www.dfking.com/hp and is also available by contacting D.F. King & Co., Inc.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or purchase, or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, or the solicitation of tenders or consents with respect to, any security. No offer, solicitation, purchase or sale will be made in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The Exchange Offer is being made solely pursuant to the Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement and only to such persons and in such jurisdictions as are permitted under applicable law.
The HP Notes offered in the Exchange Offer have not been registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws. Therefore, the HP Notes may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and any applicable state securities laws.
About HP Inc.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is a technology company that believes one thoughtful idea has the power to change the world. Its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions helps bring these ideas to life. Visit http://www.hp.com.
This document contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions.
All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, any statements regarding the consummation of the Acquisition; the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions by governments, businesses and individuals in response to the situation; margins, expenses, effective tax rates, net earnings, cash flows, benefit plan funding, deferred taxes, share repurchases, foreign currency exchange rates or other financial items; any projections of the amount, timing or impact of cost savings or restructuring and other charges, planned structural cost reductions and productivity initiatives; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, including, but not limited to, our business model and transformation, our sustainability goals, our go-to-market strategy, the execution of restructuring plans and any resulting cost savings, net revenue or profitability improvements or other financial impacts; any statements concerning the expected development, demand, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products or services; any statements concerning potential supply constraints, component shortages, manufacturing disruptions or logistics challenges; any statements regarding current or future macroeconomic trends or events and the impact of those trends and events on HP and its financial performance; any statements regarding pending investigations, claims, disputes or other litigation matters; any statements of expectation or belief, including with respect to the timing and expected benefits of acquisitions and other business combination and investment transactions; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Forward-looking statements can also generally be identified by words such as “future,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “projects,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “can,” “may,” and similar terms.
Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include factors relating to the consummation of the Acquisition and HP’s ability to meet expectations regarding the accounting and tax treatments of the Acquisition; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions by governments, businesses and individuals in response to the situation, the effects of which may give rise to or amplify the risks associated with many of these factors listed here; the need to manage (and reliance on) third-party suppliers, including with respect to component shortages, and the need to manage HP’s global, multi-tier distribution network, limit potential misuse of pricing programs by HP’s channel partners, adapt to new or changing marketplaces and effectively deliver HP’s services; HP’s ability to execute on its strategic plan, including the previously announced initiatives, business model changes and transformation; execution of planned structural cost reductions and productivity initiatives; HP’s ability to complete any contemplated share repurchases, other capital return programs or other strategic transactions; the competitive pressures faced by HP’s businesses; risks associated with executing HP’s strategy and business model changes and transformation; successfully innovating, developing and executing HP’s go-to-market strategy, including online, omnichannel and contractual sales, in an evolving distribution, reseller and customer landscape; the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet evolving customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; successfully competing and maintaining the value proposition of HP’s products, including supplies; challenges to HP’s ability to accurately forecast inventories, demand and pricing, which may be due to HP’s multi-tiered channel, sales of HP’s products to unauthorized resellers or unauthorized resale of HP’s products or our uneven sales cycle; integration and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the results of the restructuring plans, including estimates and assumptions related to the cost (including any possible disruption of HP’s business) and the anticipated benefits of the restructuring plans; the protection of HP’s intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties; the hiring and retention of key employees; the impact of macroeconomic and geopolitical trends, changes and events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its regional and global ramifications and the effects of inflation; risks associated with HP’s international operations; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its suppliers, customers, clients and partners, including logistical challenges with respect to such execution and performance; changes in estimates and assumptions HP makes in connection with the preparation of its financial statements; disruptions in operations from system security risks, data protection breaches, cyberattacks, extreme weather conditions or other effects of climate change, medical epidemics or pandemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and other natural or manmade disasters or catastrophic events; the impact of changes to federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations, including environmental regulations and tax laws; potential impacts, liabilities and costs from pending or potential investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described (i) in “Risk Factors” in the Offering Memorandum and Consent Solicitation Statement and (ii) in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the risks described under the caption “Risk Factors” contained in Item 1A of Part I of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, as well as in Item 1A of Part II of our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2022 and the fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2022. HP does not assume any obligation or intend to update these forward-looking statements.
HP and Google really, really want you to think of Chromebooks as fit for the corner office as well as K-12 classrooms and cash-strapped consumers. The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook (starts at $1,149; $1,734 as tested) is a corporate 2-in-1 convertible laptop built for cloud-first hybrid work. It's the first Chromebook with Intel's vPro IT manageability and security tech and the most advanced Chrome OS laptop to date. The Elite Dragonfly is unabashedly expensive, replacing its 2020 predecessor the HP Elite Chromebook c1030 Enterprise as the priciest Chromebook we've seen. But if you're not impressed by its exotic haptic touchpad and Wi-Fi 6E, you might perk up at claims like "three hours less downtime per week" and "zero ransomware attacks in history." The HP claims our Editors' Choice award for Chromebooks for business.
Like our consumer Editors' Choice winner the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook has a 13.5-inch IPS touch screen with a squarish 3:2 aspect ratio, which lets you see more of a document or webpage without scrolling and feels more like a pad of paper when held in tablet mode. The $1,149 base model's display has 1,920-by-1,280-pixel resolution and 400 nits of brightness; it's paired with a 12th Generation Intel Core i3 non-vPro processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB NVMe solid-state drive.
For $1,734, our Chrome Enterprise Upgrade test unit also has 8GB of memory but steps up to a Core i5-1245U vPro CPU (two Performance cores, eight Efficient cores, 12 threads), a 256GB SSD, and a 400-nit Gorilla Glass 5 screen with 2,256-by-1,504 resolution matching the Acer's. A third display option has the lower pixel count but is a 1,000-nit panel with HP's Sure View privacy screen. The RAM and SSD ceilings are 32GB and 512GB respectively; flagship models have Intel's Core i7-1265U and 4G LTE mobile broadband. (HP says 5G is coming this fall.)
The Elite Dragonfly claims to be both sturdy and environmentally friendly, two must-haves for enterprise computing these days. Not only has it passed MIL-STD 810H tests against road hazards like shock and vibration, HP boasts, but it also has a 90% recycled-magnesium top, 50% recycled-aluminum bottom, and 50% recycled-plastic keycaps. The Chromebook measures 0.65 by 11.6 by 8.7 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds, a bit trimmer than the Spin 713 (0.67 by 11.8 by 9.3 inches, 3.2 pounds). The competing 13.3-inch Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook is 0.61 by 12.1 by 8.4 inches, and the heaviest of the trio at 3.3 pounds.
The side screen bezels are thin, though the top one is thicker to accommodate a webcam with sliding shutter. The system feels robust and sturdy, though as with most thin convertibles there's a bit of flex if you grasp the screen corners or mash the keyboard. The display also wobbles a bit when tapped in laptop mode—the annoying but impossible-to-eradicate "screen bounce" phenomenon. A fingerprint reader in the palm rest speeds sign-ins.
On the laptop's left side are USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 and HDMI ports—the latter a big Chromebook bonus for connecting an external monitor without fussing with a USB-C dongle—plus a microSD card slot. You'll also find the power button and a volume rocker for use in tablet mode.
A second Thunderbolt 4 port joins an audio jack, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and SIM-card and security-lock slots at right. The AC adapter has a USB-C connector; the Elite Dragonfly is compatible with HP's Thunderbolt docking stations.
The 5-megapixel webcam puts most notebooks' cheap 720p cameras to shame, capturing 1080p videos (and, in a nifty new Chromebook option, five-second GIFs) and 2,560-by-1,920-pixel stills. Images are sharp and colorful, though a bit dark in rooms that aren't brightly lit.
The Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers above the keyboard are surprisingly loud without being boomy or distorted at top volume. Highs and midtones are crisp, and bass is stronger than I expected; you can easily make out overlapping tracks. One of the top-row keys mutes the mic and all apps so you won't disturb conference calls.
Backlit for use in those dim rooms I mentioned, the keyboard follows the standard Chromebook layout with top-row browser, brightness, and volume controls, plus keys for switching among virtual desktops, capturing screens, and locking the system. Windows migrants will be frustrated by the lack of Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys (worsened by HP's trademark placement of the cursor arrows in a row instead of the proper inverted T), but the keyboard has a comfortable, responsive typing feel, even if it is a bit noisy.
The large, buttonless touchpad uses haptic technology, like that of Apple's MacBooks and just a few high-end Windows laptops, so clicks are registered equally wherever you press (even at the top edge) and indicated by feedback instead of physical movement. The feedback is rather faint, but you quickly get used to it, and is a welcome addition when you drag or snap windows to the sides (halves) of the screen.
As with most Chromebooks, the display offers a range of faux or "looks like" resolutions (the default is 1,410 by 940 pixels) if you find that its native resolution of 2,256 by 1,504 pixels makes screen elements and text too tiny. The panel is nicely bright (though I stuck with the top two or three backlight levels), with clean white instead of grayish backgrounds, and rich, well-saturated colors. The 5.5-inch pen clings tightly to the Dragonfly's right edge and charges wirelessly; it kept up with my fastest swoops and scribbles, and exhibited good palm rejection.
Thanks to Intel vPro, IT managers can revel in remote manageability and security, including total memory encryption (TME) and Keylocker. The vPro functionality also includes approving and blocking apps and extensions, and remotely wiping or disabling misplaced machines.
In addition, HP provides QuickDrop software, used to transfer files between your Chromebook and iOS or Android phone; a trial of the Concepts sketching app; and one year of Parallels Desktop, so Chrome Enterprise customers can run Windows programs.
For our benchmark charts, I compared the Elite Dragonfly with four other Intel Core-powered Chromebooks. Besides two additional 13.5-inch convertibles with 3:2 aspect displays—the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Enterprise—I chose two 14-inch clamshells aimed at consumers and business respectively, the Acer Chromebook 514 and the Asus Chromebook CX9. You can see their basic specs in the table below.
We test Chromebooks with three overall performance benchmark suites—one Chrome OS, one Android, and one online. The first, Principled Technologies' CrXPRT 2, measures how quickly a system performs everyday tasks in six workloads such as applying photo effects, graphing a stock portfolio, analyzing DNA sequences, and generating 3D shapes using WebGL.
The Elite Dragonfly trailed in PCMark Android but scored a win in Basemark Web and more or less tied for first in CrXPRT 2, so it's a great performer for the Google Workspace and other office tasks it's destined for. It's one of the quickest Chromebooks we've tested.
Sadly, the Dragonfly balked at our Android CPU benchmark, Primate Labs' Geekbench (likely a software glitch, not a deficiency with the laptop specifically). It did run our Android GPU test, GFXBench 5.0, which stress-tests both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering that exercises graphics and compute shaders, reporting results in frames per second (fps).
Finally, to test a Chromebook's battery, we loop a 720p video file with screen brightness set at 50%, volume at 100%, and Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting disabled until the system quits. Sometimes we must play the 69GB video from an external SSD plugged into a USB port, but the HP had more than enough room on board.
We've never seen a Chromebook with a dedicated GPU instead of integrated graphics, so we've never seen a Chromebook with blazing gaming performance, though the Dragonfly is more than quick enough for browser and Android games. More important, it delivers solid if not record-setting battery life. You should easily get through a day's work without worrying about staying close to a wall outlet.
Google is serious about selling Chrome OS to corporations, touting its continuous, automatic updates; no need for third-party antivirus software; swift startup, voice support, and cloud profiles that work across devices; Google Workspace's compatibility with Microsoft Office; and built-in Google Meet videoconferencing and Screencast screen recorder with auto-transcript. With the cutting-edge, vPro-compliant HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, the platform has its best example yet for enterprise deployment.
The rather large drawback is that the Dragonfly is shockingly expensive, or at least will seem so to anyone not used to premium Chromebooks. Even with HP currently discounting the $1,149 base model to $979.99, it'll make consumers turn away and prospective business buyers hesitate. But if they take the plunge, IT managers will find the Elite Dragonfly the best Chromebook ever and an Editors' Choice-worthy showpiece for cloud and flexible work.
Fifty years ago, Hewlett-Packard introduced the first handheld scientific calculator, the HP-35. It was quite the engineering feat, since equivalent machines of the day were bulky desktop affairs, if not rack-mounted. [Rob Weinstein] has long been a fan of HP calculators, and used an HP-41C for many years until it wore out. Since then he gradually developed a curiosity about these old calculators and what made them tick. The more he read, the more engrossed he became. [Rob] eventually decided to embark on a three year long reverse-engineer journey that culminated a recreation of the original design on a protoboard that operates exactly like the original from 1972 (although not quite pocket-sized). In this presentation he walks us through the history of the calculator design and his efforts in understanding and eventually replicating it using modern FPGAs.
The HP patent ( US Patent 4,001,569 ) contains an extremely detailed explanation of the calculator in nearly every aspect. There are many novel concepts in the design, and [Rob] delves into two of them in his presentation. Early LED devices were a drain on batteries, and HP engineers came up with a clever solution. In a complex orchestra of multiplexed switches, they steered current through inductors and LED segments, storing energy temporarily and eliminating the need for inefficient dropping resistors. But even more complicated is the serial processor architecture of the calculator. The first microprocessors were not available when HP started this design, so the entire processor was done at the gate level. Everything operates on 56-bit registers which are constantly circulating around in circular shift registers. [Rob] has really done his homework here, carefully studying each section of the design in great depth, drawing upon old documents and books when available, and making his own material when not. For example, in the course of figuring everything out, [Rob] prepared 338 pages of timing charts in addition to those in the patent.
One section called the “Micro-Programmed Controller” is presented as just a black-box in the patent. This is the heart of the systems, and is essential to the calculator’s operation. However, all the other parts that talk to the controller were so well-described in the patent that [Rob] was able to back out the details. The controller, and all sections of the calculator, was implemented in Verilog, and tested on an instrumented workbench he built to test each module.
Once everything was working in the simulations, [Rob] set out to build a working model. TInyFPGA models were used, one for each custom chip. A few understandable departures were made from the original design. An 18650 lithium ion cell powers the board, kept topped off by a modern battery charging controller. The board is larger than the original, and yes, he’s using the Hackaday-obligatory 555 chip in the power-on circuit. In this short demonstration video, you can see the final prototype being put through its paces side by side with an original HP-35, working through examples from the owner’s manual.
This is an incredibly researched and thoroughly documented project. [Rob] has made the design open source and is sharing it on the project’s GitLab repository. [Rob]’s slides for Remoticon are not only a great overview of the project, but have some good references included. Its clear he has a real passion for these old calculators and has done a fantastic job exploring the HP-35. But even after three years, there’s more to come. He’s thinking about making a PCB version, and a discrete implementation using individual logic gates may be in the works.
We wrote about the history of the HP-35 before. And if you like hacking into these old calculators, check out our writeup of a similar dive into the Sinclair scientific calculator.