Two weeks ago, Acer announced the first tablet with Chrome operating system. And today, HP announces the second, and is much higher.
It's called Chromebook x2 and is designed to go after the iPad Pro. It has a 12.3-inch screen (the larger iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch screen), bases with a keyboard cover, and supports pen input.
The great benefit here is that the full package is available by much, much cheaper: the Chromebook x2 costs $ 599 in its base configuration and comes bundled with the keyboard cover and the stylus. The iPad starts at $ 649 for the tablet (smaller) and you'll have to spend $ 1,067 if you want the 12.9-inch model with keyboard and pen. So, if you are thinking of using a tablet (with a non-traditional operating system) as a laptop, HP will take you there in a more economical way.
The Chromebook x2 has a Core m3 processor from Intel's previous generation of Kaby Lake chips, 4GB of RAM (can also be configured with 8GB), 32GB of storage, 2400 x 1600 resolution, stereo speakers, front-facing camera, 5 megapixels, a 13-megapixel rear camera, two USB-C ports, a Micro SD card slot, a headphone jack and an estimated 10.5 hours of battery life. It weighs a little more than an iPad Pro, and is a little thicker than an iPad Pro, but not by much.
In a briefing, HP also emphasized that the keyboard was designed to hold the tablet firmly enough that it should feel like a folding laptop when the two are connected. I have not seen the Chromebook x2 in person, but the HP images make it look pretty nice, like a combination of the Google Pixelbook, with its shiny metal and white top, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop, with its soft keyboard and colorful.
The Chromebook x2 seems to have great potential, but there are some important questions, and not only if the hardware is as good as it seems. The real open question is whether Chrome OS is cut to work on a tablet. Google has been reviewing the operating system to make it work better with touchscreens for a couple of years, but it's still largely a desktop system (it's based on the Chrome desktop browser and on its desktop web screen, after all). It is likely to limit how useful it is, especially compared to an iPad, which was designed to play from scratch.
And although the Chromebook x2 seems a bargain compared to the iPad, it's expensive for a Chromebook, which people usually buy for around $ 300. With $ 600, enter the world of low-cost Windows computers, with which this product will have to compete too.
HP plans to launch the Chromebook x2 sometime in June. And by the looks of it, we could see some Chrome OS tablets earlier.