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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  • nikon133 - Monday, May 9, 2016 - link

    So what do you do on your computers, and how often?
  • Kilroy420 - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Article should read - "Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers", not " Band & Olufsen-tuned speakers".
  • jardows2 - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    While an interesting product, and the lower priced one is a good start for a higher quality laptop computer (many laptops don't have this quality screen at even higher prices) I just can't see spending that much money for a glorified web browsing machine. Chromebooks need to be super low priced to justify their existance.

    The amount of storage will be key in the usability of this computer, but the software is crippling its functionality. Give me a Windows computer with similar specs and price (I know it can be done, Windows licenses don't cost HP that much!) and then I will be interested.
  • okay - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Chrome OS isn't simply a glorified web browser, though. It is a full-fledged operating system. From my point of view, it is more powerful and versatile than either Windows or Mac OS, because of the ability to install crouton. But even if you don't like Linux, it's still wrong to refer to it as simply a glorified web browser. It is a full operating system. It just hasn't had as much time to mature and have the diversity of apps that are available under windows.
  • jardows2 - Friday, May 6, 2016 - link

    I'm speaking more of the target use, not the capabilities. ChromeOS is marketed to users who will do everything in the web. You don't need a $500.00 - $1000.00 machine to do this, or even do it well.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    The last time I had my hands on a Chromebook, I didn't have much time with it. I'm curious if the OS plays nicely with Candy Crush and Angry Birds. If that's the case, then the Core m7 model might be worth putting up with instead of buying a Windows 10 laptop.
  • Michael Bay - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - link

    You`re better off with a cheap tablet if games is all you want.
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - link

    I want something with higher build quality and a keyboard. I don't think I'd be better off with a cheap tablet because, well cheap tablets are cheap. Besides, Candy Crush and Angry Birds are only one of a few things I want to do. They're the two things that will make the decision for me on buying one of these, but they're not the only thing I intend to do. Thanks to this article, I'm down to picking between HP's new Chromebook or a 13 inch MPB with a Retina panel. It's just hard to decide because I really just need something portable that will let me spend the day writing. I know both of these laptops will do the job, but the simplicity of the Chromebook appeals to me in certain ways so despite it looking as though it's not quite as high quality, I think the m7 model might be enough as long as Chrome OS plays nicely with the few games I like to play in the evenings.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    So, that Pentium SoC still has hyperthreading according to ark. That 500 USD machine doesn't look too bad. Presumably a great display, enough RAM and CPU power for most tasks ordinary people do on Chrome OS and good size and weight. If I needed something portable to take notes on while offering a bit more than an average PC of similar size and speed, I'd probably think very hard about buying this one.
  • savagemike - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    I agree. Most articles I've read about these dismiss the Pentium but actually a Chromebook would move along very well with just that Pentium. It'd be a great little machine. Just missing a touch screen.

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