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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  • osxandwindows - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

  • skavi - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    You serious? That's a great price for the specs and build.
  • fanofanand - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    You are both right. Those are great specs and it is overpriced. The problem is Core M. Intel wants way too much money for the performance, all in the name of being thin. I will take a few extra mm to double the performance please. Even if I lose an hour of battery life and "only" get 10.5 hours out of it.
  • gorash - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Actually Core M give similar performance to the Core i.
  • rahvin - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Everything is Core M going forward, it's the name of the Core architecture replacement. You are thinking of the old Core M which was Celeron like until they reactivated the Celeron name.
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - link

    Thank you for providing insight! I will have to do a bit more research, I was unaware that Core M had essentially tripled it's performance overnight. That's about what it would take, as the previous Core M were vastly underpowered in relation to their price.
  • Samus - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    The m3-6Y30 for $599 is actually pretty good considering all the specs. I really don't know why anybody other than a developer would need more than 4GB of ram in a Chromebook, but the 16GB model is the real headscratcher.
  • jospoortvliet - Thursday, May 5, 2016 - link

    It is indeed a bit odd for a chrome book but if you'do put Ubuntu on it it would indeed make for a nice development machine. I wonder why it is so heavy, though, my Samsung np900x3c is 13.3" core i5 and 1.15kg. Core M should hit 1kg or lower...
  • Samus - Friday, May 6, 2016 - link

    Considering the price, they are probably 1.6mil magnesium frames like Envy and Spectre instead of 2.2mil magnesium like Elitebooks which are even heavier. Your Samsung has a 0.8mm aluminum clad chassis (the aluminum is wrapped around plastic) which makes it look nice while being extremely light at the sacrifice of some durability and thermal performance, neither of which really matter to a light machine with no mechanical parts.

    I think HP went a little overboard on the premium build. But I like when HP goes overboard because rarely does anybody else (Google with the Pixel, HP with the Spectre x360 and the Elitebook 1020\1040, Dell with the Adamo and the initial XPS13, Microsoft with the Surface and of course Apple with the slightly ridiculous New MacBook)

    Those crazy premium machines are always a lot of fun, at least for me, because they make me absolutely dread touching any sub $500 notebook.
  • akmittal - Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - link

    Premium chromebooks doesnt make sense. Why would anyone spend $1000 with stripped OS and no good way to install other OSes

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