HP Designs Affordable Premium Chromebook

Chromebooks have for some time laboured under the stigma of being known as under-powered devices. There is a reason for this: they are primarily designed for education, which does not require premium processors, and storage largely takes place in the cloud. HP is seeking to change perceptions with the launch of a new model featuring Intel’s Skylake processors.

The Chromebook 13 was created in partnership with Google. The first thing that people will notice is its design: unlike the plastic casing of similar models, this unit uses brushed aluminium. The product is 12.9mm thick and weighs 1.3kg.

Once open, the other big change becomes apparent. Screen resolution is the highest of any Chromebook – even more than Google’s own Chromebook Pixel – at 3200 x 1800, on a 13.3″ display. As HP itself says, “[this] is not your kids’ Chromebook”. it is designed for professional users who need a portable, but powerful, PC.

Internally, the product features a Core M processor and 4GB of RAM. 8GB and 16GB models will also be available, with correspondingly more powerful processors (m5 and m7). Battery life is up to 11.5 hours. Like other Chromebooks, it uses a USB-C port.

HP’s own software has been installed as well, taking the form of the ‘Lucid Sleep’ feature. Essentially this means that the Chromebook will remain up-to-date with changes to documents, emails and notifications in sleep mode.

HP will launch the Chromebook 13 this month, starting at $500.