The Google HP Chromebook 11 does not have an HDMI port for an external Monitor, it uses a Slimport video adapter. This uses the micro-USB port to connect to an external monitor.
The HP 11 also charges via the Micro-USB.
The need to charge and use the external monitor at the same time felt like it may be a deal breaker. I spend long hours with a 22” external monitor connected, then I need to pick up the Chromebook and go. It needs to be charged when I unplug the monitor and walk away.
Hewlett Packard have covered my needs.
Slimport is an interesting technology. Previously I purchased a rather expensive MHL adapter for my Samsung Galaxy S III phone. It was expensive, and would not work at all unless a USB charger was plugged into the MHL adapter to power it. This was cumbersome and annoying, and I have rarely used it.
The Slimport is different. I had to order a Slimport adapter online, because Harvey Norman do not have Slimport adapters in stock. It took two weeks, but the adapter finally arrived and I began experimenting. My adapter is Slimport to HDMI (you can also get Slimport to VGA) and has a micro-USB charging port on the side.
I plugged the Slimport adapter in, and immediately the Chromebook detected the 22” E2250 monitor and extended the desktop. I was able to click on the notification and go to the settings screen.
There I was able to establish the physical relationship of the two monitors. Music and sound automatically switched to the speakers connected to the monitor.
When a USB charger other than the 4 amp charger supplied with the Chromebook is plugged in, a warning pops up the the charger is low-powered and may not charge the Chromebook while it is running.
When I plugged the original 4 amp HP charger into the Slimport adapter, I got the same message. However the laptop charges happily, if a little slower, while I am using the Slimport adapter and monitor. I suspect the HP charger uses some unassigned pins to charge via the micro-USB at a higher rate.
One of the impressive things about the Chromebook is it instantly re-configures if anything is unplugged. Unplug the monitor, and all windows are squeezed down onto the laptop screen. Plug it back in, and they move back to where they were.
I tried this with my Acer Zenbook, unplugging the micro-HDMI cable and the computer crashed when it woke up on the road. I was confronted with the full Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) that has pretty much disappeared with Windows 7 and up. The machine was useless, and I had to work most of the day with my phone. When I got home, the Zenbook took over an hour to scan drives and get itself working again.
Windows 7 – 0 to Chromebook – 1
I continue to be impressed with the robust nature of the Chromebook experience. The odd crash is recovered and re-started in less than 10 seconds, and I have yet to lose a word due to a crash.