HP's Chromebook 13 is the MacBook Air of the Google world

HP's Chromebook 13 is the MacBook Air of the Google worldHP is taking a stab at building a premium Chromebook, packing a better processor and high-end features into its new HP Chromebook 13.
Designed in collaboration with Google -- the godfather of the Chrome OS operating system -- the Chromebook 13 has an all-metal body made of brushed aluminum that's merely 12.9mm thick. It weighs 2.86 pounds (1.29 kg), which is very portable, but still near the top end of what we'd expect from a slim 13-inch laptop. That said, it's thinner and a tad lighter than Apple's MacBook Air, which is 17mm thick and weighs 2.96 pounds (1.34 kg).
HP's Chromebook 13
HP's Chromebook 13 - Sarah Tew/CNET
With a sixth-generation Intel Core M processor, a 13-inch display with a 3,200x1,800-pixel resolution and charging via a tiny USB-C port, this almost feels like it's inspired by Google's last Chrome showpiece, the pricey Chromebook Pixel. But the Pixel is still $999, while the HP Chromebook is going to start at half that: $499 in the US when it launches at the end of April. Pricing and availability for other countries wasn't provided, but that directly converts to about £345 or AU$655.

Like other Chrome OS laptops, the Chromebook 13 offers a simplified computing environment, built around Google's Chrome Web browser. That means aside from some basic file-management tools, you'll be generally restricted to cloud-based apps, such as Gmail for email, Google Docs or the online version of Microsoft Office for productivity, or services such as Netflix and YouTube for video.
Sarah Tew/CNET
HP promises up to 11.5 hours of battery life from the system. Combined with the higher-end design and features, that may help justify the higher price when compared to typical Chromebooks, which often sell for just $200-$300. Windows laptops -- such as the admittedly plastic 13-inch HP Stream -- are available in that same price range, too.