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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  • quielo - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    I have a Samsung i5 chromebox and it is a trouble free little thing for my kids. Sizzling performance, great parental controls, and NO minecraft.
  • yowlingcat - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    It's interesting to see the traction Chromebooks are getting - I am a recent "convert" and proud owner of a Pixel 2015. I love: it updates fast; Google Apps are getting better and better without getting bloated; that it just works without having to think about it; it boots fast; it works fast nd you don't need awesome kit to get the best out of it.

    Some of the CB kit these days is cheap and you get more for your money because Chrome OS doesn't have the overheads required by W10. This comes from an Asus T100HA - it is fine as far as it goes, but for speed and absence of "stutter" is not a patch on my Asus Chromebook Flip - better all round. I am not saying that a CB will replace Windows or Mac any time soon, but for carrying around and taking notes, doing emails, reading attachments and getting things modest amounts of things done, they are more than adequate.

    When I got my first CB (Acer C720P) a couple of years ago, they were still unusable, the integration with MS Office apps wasn't there, now it is, I don't have any problems in reading attachments. I don't think I would take a CB alone to a meeting, but I am getting there.

    So yes, they are here and they are worth a look.
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    I would buy the crap out of this if I could upgrade that ssd.
  • pberger - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - link

    I guess there is no problem to install a fresh copy of Windows, Linux if not a Hackintosh OS X El Capitan over this hardware?
  • WatcherCK - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - link

    Can anyone give me an idea of the battery life they get out of their chromebooks? (mild websurfing/stremaing media usage scenario...)

  • jabber - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - link

    Mine runs into a couple of days usage from a charge if not more. Basically the OS isn't trying to do 145 things at the same time in the background.
  • gd22 - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - link

    My Toshiba Chromebook 2 gets heavy usage. Its got a sharp good quality screen, it started out about 9+ hours, but I think the battery is wearing out, now its down to about 6 hours of good usage. (15-17 months old). The declining battery is a problem, but I've gotten a lot of usage out of that machine for what I paid.
  • webergti - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - link

    Seem like this chromebook is targeting play store and android apps running nativity from the up coming chrome os updates other then that why having 16gb of ram & those type of cpu for a web browser base os
  • JamesU - Sunday, May 8, 2016 - link

    Well it certainly seems that Chromebooks do inspire particularly enthusiastic evangelists. Every Chromebook article has dozens of comments from people who want everyone to know they love Chromebooks and that more people should use Chromebooks.
  • milkod2001 - Friday, May 13, 2016 - link

    Some of them might get paid for promoting useless Chromebooks i guess

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