HP Chromebook 11 with LTE Arrives at Best Buy, Altair's LTE Modem Insideby Brian Klug on January 15, 2014 6:32 PM EST
We reviewed HP's Chromebook 11 a while back in the WiFi-only variety and found it to be an interesting value play for Chromebooks, even though the Exynos 5250 left a bit to be desired when it came to performance while multitasking. Earlier I also wrote about seeing Altair's single mode LTE platform at CES which powers the Ellipsis 7 tablet on Verizon, and that they had alluded to another upcoming device headed to Verizon with their cellular connectivity inside – the HP Chromebook 11 with LTE.
Today the Chromebook 11 with LTE is available on Best Buy's website for $329 after a $50 account activation rebate with Verizon. Inside is the same Altair FourGee 3100 and 6202 RF transceiver as the Ellipsis 7 tablet we took a look at. This is a category 3 LTE device capable of attaching to Verizon's Band 13 network, again there's no 3G EVDO or 1xRTT to fall back onto, just pure LTE, which is partly what allows the Chromebook 11 to include cellular without a much larger premium over the WiFi-only variant. I had a brief opportunity last week to play with a prototype LTE-enabled HP Chromebook and run a couple speedtests, which were comparable to what I was getting on other Verizon LTE devices. Verizon opening up the opportunity for OEMs to go LTE-only will make 2014 an interesting year with even more devices shipping with cellular options sans hefty premium.
Source: Best Buy
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iwod - Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - linkI was too late to ask the question in the original Altair' article.
What is single mode LTE platform? A Modem that only support LTE? Does Qualcomm have any? Broadcom? Any advantage Altair held over these two?
DanNeely - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkCorrect, it's an LTE only modem. At a guess Qualcomm and Broadcom weren't rushing them out because they're cheaper lower profit margin chips compared to a conventional 2/3/4g modem. Also, since these modems aren't really suitable for phone use yet because until VoLTE is out you still need 2g or 3g (GSM only) for voice service; and an LTE only phone would be problematic for global roaming; are hotspot/embedded laptop data/hotspot markets even big enough for BC or QC to be putting much effort into instead of phones.
Brian Klug - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkThat's right, no 2G GSM/EDGE or 3G EVDO/WCDMA, just LTE. (multimode – more RATs, single mode – just the one RAT, oh and RAT is Radio Access Technology)
The result is (in theory) less expensive since there's no interoperability testing with the 2G and 3G modes, no inter-RAT (cross technology) handovers, and less money spent to license the patents required for those other technologies. There are a bunch of players who only have single-mode LTE modems and are trying to move into this space with data-only devices, and hope to eventually add voice with VoLTE.
damianrobertjones - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkPretty poor machine when you look at the cost :(. 16GB eMMC ssd! 2Gb ram? No thank you. If you like it then fair enough... .
extide - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkYeah they need to get the price of these down to ~$250. I Could see doing $299-$320 if it had a bay trail or a big arch celeron in there, but not for just the 5250 Dual A15. 4GB of RAM would probably be beneficial too.
lmcd - Friday, January 17, 2014 - linkBuild quality was good apparently.
I'd like it if they switched to the Exynos 5420 instead of the 5250 or whatever this is. Aren't those pin-compatible?