Why HP’s New Chrome OS Computers Are Exciting

Chrome OS is (finally) branching out

Key Takeaways

  • HP has unveiled two new Chrome OS-based devices: a Chromebook with a detachable keyboard and an all-in-one desktop computer.
  • Both devices are exciting for Chromebook users because they bring more versatility to Chrome OS.
  • HP’s Chromebook x2 11 looks to borrow a lot of ideas from Apple’s iPad, giving Chrome OS a solid tablet-like laptop for artists and consumers to enjoy.
two people using HP's chromebook x2 11

HP

The world of Chromebooks has been steadily growing as manufacturers release new computers, but HP’s latest Chrome OS-based devices have me especially excited about the future of the platform.

In early August, HP unveiled two brand new Chrome OS computers, including a Chromebook with a detachable keyboard and a new all-in-one desktop that uses Chrome OS as its primary operating system. Chromebook 2-in-1s and all-in-one desktops aren’t a new thing, but HP’s newest additions are especially exciting because of how much they look to borrow from mainstream devices like the iMac and Apple iPad.

One could even go so far as to say this is the first time we’ve seen a real contender in the Chrome OS area that better lines up with the look and feel of the iPad. This is a part of the computer world Chromebook manufacturers haven’t been digging into much, and doing so could lead to more innovative Chrome-based smart devices.

Learning From the iPad

The iPad is one of the biggest tablet computers available in the world, and for good reason. It’s easy to use and it offers a lot of functionality. By focusing on delivering something more akin to the iPad than a traditional 2-in-1 computer, HP is setting itself up for success.

First, being able to use the computer easily in tablet mode is a huge win. The included stylus also helps close the gap for artists or other users who might use it for work-related tasks. Additionally, Chrome OS continues to increase the number of Android apps it supports, meaning more accessibility to apps similar to those you might see on the iPad. Tie in the steadily improving Linux support, too, and Chrome OS is becoming more versatile as an operating system. 

HP Chromebook x2 11

HP

The main reason this is so exciting to me, though, is because HP’s push to make Chromebooks even more versatile could be exactly what it needs to propel the platform forward. Sure, Chromebooks are doing perfectly fine as they are—businesses and education systems love them. However, their use outside of just standard internet browsing, menial tasks, and streaming for everyday consumers has been extremely limited. 

If HP and other companies can incorporate what makes the iPad so beloved, Chrome OS devices could become more appealing as alternatives to the Apple tablet, especially when looking at how underwhelming Android tablets can be by comparison.

Upping the Quality

Make no mistake, HP isn’t reinventing the wheel with either of its new devices. However, it is learning from the competition and trying to utilize more mainstream features to make Chromebooks more appealing.

This is important because the market has become stagnant, especially in the past couple of years. Most Chromebooks look similar to each other, and none really try to push beyond offering a basic computing experience. But, because Chrome OS is so lightweight, there’s a lot of room to make a device that performs exceptionally well, without bogging down the actual hardware, itself. 

HP's new Chromebase 21.5 inch All-in-One Desktop

HP

HP’s new all-in-one could leverage that cloud-based OS well, especially with some of the features that it has to offer. On top of an Intel-based processor and DDR4 RAM, the HP Chromebase 21.5-inch All-in-one Desktop also includes a built-in set of dual speakers from Bang & Olufsen, a company known for creating high-end audio tech. This, along with the rotating screen, help deliver a more premium-feeling device. This is nice for a Chrome OS-based device, as many run on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to build quality and feel.

This is just another point where HP is learning from other computer manufacturers on the market, by taking some of those qualities and offering its own spin on them. Ultimately, these devices are still only as powerful as the apps and software Chrome OS provides. With that in mind, though, I hope this means HP is pushing for more premium-styled devices that stand out above the current offerings consumers have to sift through.

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