HP has announced a new family of Chromebooks, which  are powered by Intel’s high-performance processors and feature stylish design, aluminum body, high-resolution display and even Bang & Olufsen speakers. The new laptops will not be as affordable as many other mobile PCs running Google Chrome OS and will not be as powerful as Google’s Pixel, however, this is what HP believes to be the right balance between performance, style, portability and price.

When Acer and Samsung introduced their first notebooks based on Google’s Chrome OS in mid-2011, they praised their low price and mainstream computing capabilities. At the time, Chrome OS was a mystery for most people, netbooks were relatively popular and it made sense for the aforementioned PC makers and Google to address the entry-level segment of the market with something very affordable. As Chrome OS gained traction, PC makers began to install higher-performing components into their Chromebooks. However, they were still not ready to address the high-end market segment with such PCs, which is why Google released its Pixel laptop in 2013. The Chromebook Pixel is one the most advanced and stylish Chromebooks ever made because of its Core i7 “Broadwell” CPU, a display with 2560×1700 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. But, the Pixel costs $999 and not all users are ready to invest that sum in a Chromebook. Fortunately, different PC makers offer various systems that attempt to replicate some of the Pixel’s features. HP decided to build its own competitor for Google’s Pixel and while the product is not exactly affordable, it has a better screen than most Chromebooks and a number of other advanced features.

The HP Chromebook 13 sports a 13.3” IPS display with 3200×1800 resolution (QHD+), 170-degree viewing angles and 16:9 aspect ratio, which is good for multimedia applications and video. HP’s latest Chromebook comes in brushed anodized aluminum chassis, it is 12.9 mm thick and weighs 1.29 kilograms (2.86 pounds), which is thinner and lighter than Apple’s MacBook Air 13”. Despite the very high resolution screen, the laptop works up to 11.5 hours on one charge of its 45 Wh battery, according to the manufacturer.

To enable long battery life, HP used Intel’s Skylake-Y system-on-chips to build its Chromebook 13. Various versions of the system are powered by either Pentium or Core M SoCs with two cores, Intel’s HD Graphics 515 (Gen9) core with 24 EUs (execution units) as well as 6W or 4.5W TDP. The system will likely be considerably faster than other Chromebooks running Atom, Celeron or Pentium processors because of the high-performance CPU architecture.

HP Chromebook 13 Specifications
Screen Resolution 3200×1800
CPU Intel Core m7-6Y75 Intel Core m5-6Y57 Intel Core m3-6Y30 Intel Pentium 4405Y
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 515 (Gen9, 24 execution units)
RAM 16 GB 8 GB 4 GB
Storage NAND flash storage
Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi module (?)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2 (?)
USB 2×USB-C, 1×USB-A ports
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack
Thickness 12.9 mm/0.5 inch
Weight 1.29 kilograms / 2.86 pounds
Price $1029 $819 $599 $499

Depending on the model and price, the HP Chromebook 13 can be equipped with 4, 8 or 16 GB of RAM, an unknown amount of solid-state storage as well as wireless connectivity technologies (a 802.11ac Wi-Fi module with Bluetooth 4.2 is likely, but is not confirmed by HP). HP notes that its system has a full-sized backlit keyboard as well as Band & Olufsen-tuned speakers, which is something new for a Chromebook. The system also has a webcam, three microphones, a 3.5 mm audio port, a SD card reader, one USB Type-A port as well as two USB Type-C ports. The Chromebook 13 uses USB-C for charging and is therefore compatible with a variety of third-party chargers.

With its advanced Chromebook 13, HP offers its Elite USB-C Docking Station ($149), which plugs in to a USB-C port on the PC and enables to connect up two Full HD displays, Gigabit Ethernet as well as multiple USB Type-A devices, such as keyboards or mice.

Four versions of the HP Chromebook 13 should hit the U.S. retail shortly. The most basic model running the Intel Pentium 4405Y processor and equipped with 4 GB of RAM will cost $499, whereas the top-of-the-range system featuring the Intel Core m7-6Y75 and 16 GB of RAM will cost $1029, which is even more than Google’s Pixel.

Sources: HP and Engadget.

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  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    I don't like how Chromebooks are locked down to Chrome. The same laptop, with the ability to install Linux or Windows would be a pretty good deal. This is just a bit too limited for the price.
  • savagemike - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Most of them aren't locked down. It's pretty popular to co-install Linux actually. You do have to put up with a warning at boot. But that's a security feature and a damned nice one. If you boot a Chrome OS device and see no warning then you know its running a verified copy of the OS. And you know it's the only thing it's running.
  • okay - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Cjrome books are not locked down the chrome! It is very easy to install Ubuntu on most Chromebooks! Obviously, Crouton is super easy and versatile but I'm sure you're talking about a proper dual boot scenario. It is very easy to create a proper dual boot or even a complete wipe and install only Ubuntu on most Chromebooks.
  • mrochester - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    How easy is it to install Windows?
  • okay - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Sorry, I have no idea. If I needed windows I'd VM it on ubuntu/crouton. Its pretty easy to re-partition the whole thing and tweak the boot loader for linux-based OSes, suggesting it is *probably* easy to install Windows, but I don't know if there is some OS specific gotcha. Maybe ask google?
  • gd22 - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - link

    lot of tutorials on how to do it. I did, and also easy to revert to ChromeOS, The 6 seconds from off to on changes things, and is an important measure of speed
  • dsraa - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Wow. Ridiculous......and I thought the Pixel was overpriced. Why would you need specs like that for something than can run on 5 year old laptops? What's the point of 16gb of RAM? If its all browser related function....your use would never go beyond 4gb.....absolute waste.....And don't you guys start giving me bs about what could possibly need 16gb of RAM on a chromebook. Absolutely nothing on a chromebook needs or can even use that much RAM.

    It's not like it runs Visio, or Project, or photoshop or anything adobe.....
  • djw39 - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Well, unlike the Pixel, the HP has a $499 version with 4gb of RAM and a pentium processor. No need to get upset over the existence of a (potentially) over-specced option.
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Never go above 4GB?????


    I am almost always using more than 4GB with chrome.
  • okay - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    I run IntelliJ on my Chromebook and it's really nice having all that Ram.

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