Google has announced an addition to its Chromebook line with the introduction of Chromebook Plus. Earlier anticipated as Chromebook X, Google confirmed the news via a blog post. The new range of laptops will be available this fall, launched by various partners including Asus, Acer, HP, and Lenovo. Each brand is set to release two models. Pre-orders for these devices commence on October 8, with pricing starting at $399. Google says that these devices would deliver twice the performance compared to the best-selling Chromebooks from July and December 2022.
Enhanced Hardware & Features
The new offerings sport enhanced hardware, promising faster processors and double the memory and storage of counterpart models. This enhancement, as per the company's statement, aims to equip users with the power to accomplish more. Incorporating a full HD IPS display, these devices are poised for excellent video viewing and content creation. They also feature a 1080p+ webcam with temporal noise reduction, promising smoother video calling experience.
Chromebook Plus laptops will be equipped to match or exceed certain hardware specs. Meanwhile, a notable omission from the Chromebook Plus partner list was Dell, a principal maker of Chromebooks.
Software Innovations & Additions
Degrees of innovation also extend to software features. Google's blog post mentions that the upcoming laptops will encompass built-in AI to enrich the video calling experience, irrespective of the application being used (Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others). This feature facilitates enhanced call clarity, noise cancellation, and background blurring.
Additional software inclusions are the Magic Eraser feature, similar to the one in Pixel smartphones for use in Google Photos, and a File Sync feature that automatically downloads any stored files on Google Drive.
Subsequent to 2024, Chromebook Plus devices will acquire new AI-driven capabilities, including software to generate images, write assistance, and background removal during video calls among others. Existing Chromebook models also stand to gain from software updates set to roll out on October 17. These updates will incorporate some of the features enlisted for Chromebook Plus.
Lastly, Google confirmed its commitment to support all new Chromebooks, launching from 2024, with software updates, ensuring a decade-long software support for these devices.