HP today announced a new high end Chromebook, dubbed the HP Chromebook x2. While this may sound like just another Chromebook, it is anything but. Packed with powerful hardware, a stylus pen and a detachable keyboard it seems like a worthy competitor for the Microsoft Surface Book range and the Apple iPad Pro. And the icing on the cake is that the HP Chromebook x2 is priced at $599, including the stylus and keyboard.
HP Chromebook x2: A Premium Built and Exterior
The HP Chromebook x2 is a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet. The keyboard is detachable (not just twist-able) and it turns into a full-fledged tablet. This makes it a direct competitor to the Microsoft Surface books, and the stylus pushes it a bit into iPad territory. Although, it is marginally thicker and heavier than the iPad Pro.
The body itself is metallic with a scratch-proof AED coating, giving it a premium look and feel, and at the same time enhancing the durability. The keyboard too has a magnetic hinge connecting the display to it. A fancy palmrest is also present on the keyboard adding to the appeal.
Even the cameras and audio on the HP Chromebook x2 stands out. While the front camera is a mediocre 5 MP with WideVision support, the rear camera will have 13 MP support. The speakers feature the HP Audio Boost technology, along with B&O Play (Bang & Olufsen). Expect a rich bass and loud speakers that should at least suffice if you are one of those picky audiophiles.
Hardware: Under the Hood
The HP Chromebook x2 is at it’s strongest when you consider the inner hardware. It will be powered by a 7th Gen Kabe Lake Intel Core m3-7Y30 CPU. The RAM comes in two options, 4 GB DDR4 and 8GB. Since this is a chromebook, it won’t have any SSDs. Instead it will have a fixed 32GB NAND Flash memory, with an option of upto a 256 GB memory card.
As per HP, the Chromebook x2 will be run by a 48-watt battery that will last up to 10.5 hours after a full charge. It also has a a 3.5 mm port for headphones, and Bluetooth 4.2 support, in addition to two USB Type-C ports.
Coming to the tablet part, the HP Chromebook x2 has a 12.3 inch touch display, larger than most, but a tad bit smaller than the larger 12.9 inch iPad Pro. The resolution too is above par at 2400 x 1600 pixels and a pixel density of 235 PPI. It is an IPS panel, meaning it will be sufficiently bright, and also shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass.
Software Support: It’s Chrome and Android Against Windows and iOS
While this may come as a surprise to many, the HP Chromebook x2 will support Android apps and will come loaded with the Google Play store from the very beginning. In fact, the Chromebook x2 looks more and more like an Android tablet if you focus just on the UI. All the sensors and stylus pen further add to the Android appeal.
Conclusion and Pricing
On the surface the HP’s new Chromebook looks splendid. It offers premium hardware at a not so high price. While the exact price will vary depending upon the specs and config, the base model of the HP Chromebook x2 is said to be priced at $599 in the US. As already mentioned above, the stylus and all the accessories, including keyboard/cover will be present in all the models, without any extra charge. HP hasn’t announced when it’ll be shipping the Chromebook x2 as of now.
There is only one concern from our end. The ChromeOs is built around the Chrome browser and as such isn’t that well suited for a device set to go against the Windows powered Surface books or the iPad Pro (iOS, duh). HP has already informed the press that it’s new Chromebook x2 will support Android apps and the Google Playstore. However, how well they’ll be supported is anyone’s guess. We’ll just have to wait and see how useful and how versatile HP’s new Chromebook is when it hits shelves.