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HP's New Radical, $279, Apple-Killing Laptop

Standardizing on chargers also means environmental benefits. No longer do you need to throw out the charger when you decommission your old laptop. Let's hope the rest of the laptop industry copies this long-overdue brilliant move by HP.

2. It doesn't have a fan, and it's cool.

Unlike almost all existing laptops, this $279 HP doesn't have a fan. Therefore, there is no noise, nothing blowing hot air into your lap and no spinning part that eventually fails.

Yet, this laptop runs cool as a cucumber. It's like holding cold fusion in your hand! No more burning your skin when you use it in bed or on your lap.

3. It uses a Samsung CPU.

In the past, HP's PCs have tended to use CPUs from Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD), sometimes paired with GPUs from Nvidia (NVDA). Not this one. This is one reason this device runs so cool that it doesn't require a fan -- and can be charged by a cell phone charger.

This one marks a trend from being dependent on Intel, AMD and Nvidia. It's got a Samsung CPU. This is probably not a good sign for Intel and AMD.

Other than that: It's a Chromebook, ok?

There really isn't much to say about the software and its performance. Essentially all current Chromebooks run the same software, and they tend to be set up with similar memory/storage hardware -- even if the CPUs differ. If you've used one, you've used 'em all.

As with most of the other Chromebooks, the 16-gig local storage is augmented with whatever you have in Google's (GOOG) cloud, and you get another 100 gig for 2 years as part of your $279 purchase. You also get a dozen in-flight WiFi passes, which at $12 apiece is a $144 value.

On the software side, Chrome OS is for those who are not in need to run significant local apps, including iTunes, photo editing software and advanced games. It's best for general web surfing, email, calendar, address book and running basic business productivity services such as Google Docs in particular.
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