HP and Google have launched the first Chrome OS-powered detachable, the HP Chromebook x2.
The Chromebook x2 is a premium detachable meant to rival devices like the Surface Pro and iPad Pro in terms of mixing productivity and consumption. It comes with a Core m3 processor from Intel, 4GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a 2400 x 1600 screen, a pair of and 13 MP cameras, two USB C ports, and 10.5 hours of battery life.
In terms of design, it is a sleekly designed machine with a 'ceramic white anodized aluminium finish' and a detachable full-sized keyboard with a 'leather like surface'. HP is aiming this device at the same class of users who would buy say a Surface Pro and use it for some tablet things, and some laptop things. As a tablet, it comes equipped with the Google Play Store. As a laptop, the full power of Chrome, web-apps and the opportunity to run Linux on this hardware remain ever-present.
While the hardware of this device is most undoubtedly nice, the real test for users is in the software. Chromebooks are not yet as mainstream as Google would like them to be, though the barriers to their acceptance are being whittled down slowly.
The firm has been working to incorporate local apps via the Play Store, simultaneously working to improve the acceptance of web-apps via pushing progressive web apps. Google has also been working on a redesign of Chrome OS, bringing it in line with Android P's interface, and preparing for a touch-enabled future.
Aside from HP's Chromebook x2, a 4K Convertible code-named Atlas is rumoured to be in the works. Not much is known about it, other than that it will be a very high-end device, naturally. We'll likely find out more about that later this year.
With all that in mind, HP's device is likely the first of a new breed of Chromebooks, and consumer reception over the next few months will be the only way to gauge the success of this effort.
The Chromebook x2 will cost $599 when it is released in June 2018, and it will be one of the most expensive Chromebooks upon launch.