Another Microsoft partner plays the field: HP outs a $329 Chromebook

Folks looking for a Chromebook that offers a large display need only turn to HP(s HPQ). On Monday, the company began selling its first laptop running Google’s(s GOOG) Chrome OS and it boasts the biggest display amongst its peers: 14 inches. Expect to pay a little more, however, both in cost dollars and battery life.
The new HP Pavilion Chromebook is priced at $329, which gets you the bigger screen but the same internals as most other Chromebooks on the market: a 1.1 GHz Intel(s INTC) Celeron chip, 2 GB of memory that can be doubled, 16 GB of flash storage, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Although the display is large by comparison — most Chromebook screens range between 11 and 12 inches — it doesn’t offer higher resolution. It’s the same 1366 x 768 that most Chromebooks offer.
The kicker with a larger screen is that the device is heavier and will likely run less on a charge. Indeed, the Pavilion Chromebook tips the scales at 3.98 pounds and is advertised as running for up to 4 hours and 15 minutes on a charge. But, there’s a benefit too: Since the laptop is larger, it provides a full-sized keyboard and trackpad.

Pair of HP Chromebooks

Will that help HP’s new Chromebook stand out from the crowd? Perhaps, but it’s sure to catch the attention of Microsoft(s MSFT). Every Chromebook sale is one lost opportunity for a Windows sale, even though Chromebooks are generally considered secondary computers. With one of these, a primary PC could be the old desktop at home that’s kept alive for another few years, instead of getting replaced.
Microsoft is also heavily pushing the cloud with Windows 8 SkyDrive integration as well as its new Office 365 Premium service that recently launched with some networking snafus. Chromebooks with integrated Google Drive storage and Google Apps take dead aim at Microsoft’s cloudy future for far less money up front. Of course, HP is playing both sides of the fence here as evidenced by this screen grab I took on the Pavilion Chromebook order page:
HP recommends Windows