At a joint press event, Intel and Google promoted the growth of Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices, showing off new and recently updated models from Acer, Lenovo, and others.
The primary purpose of the showcase was to point out the growing diversity of Chrome OS systems, especially when paired with Intel Core i3 and Bay Trail (Atom) processors. This allows for either better performance or longer battery life, depending on your primary need, and you'll also start seeing Chromebooks with mainstream features such as faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 ports.
The specific Chromebooks highlighted today include:
Lenovo Chromebook N20 and N20p
The Lenovo N20p and N20 are the first consumer Chromebooks from Lenovo. Both have 11.6-inch 1,366x768 screens, but the N20p adds a touchscreen, a feature found on only a handful of Chromebooks, and a hinge similar to the one used on the IdeaPad Flex line. That means the display can fold back up to 300 degrees to sit in a kiosk-like mode.
Asus C200 and C300
This line of new Chromebooks comes in two sizes, the the 11.6-inch C200 and 13.3-inch C300, making the latter only the second 13-inch Chromebook we've seen. Unlike many other Chromebooks, these new Asus models add some higher-end features usually only found on mainstream laptops, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB 3.0. The 11-inch model will start at $249.
HP Chromebox (Haswell)
Coming to the US in June, this small box, available in several colors, includes newer Intel Haswell-generation CPUs. HP intends for it to work for consumers in a living room setting, and also to power commercial kiosks and displays.
This $349 all-in-one desktop PC is the first Chrome OS we've seen in this form. The 21.5-inch IPS screen has a full 1080p resolution and represents a risk move for Chrome into a more traditional desktop space.
Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook
Previously announced, this slim education-targeted Chromebook is available in a non-touch version, but the touch screen model is much more interesting, and includes a Yoga hinge, which allows you to flip the display back into a tablet mode. The Bay Trail processor from Intel should provide long battery life and access to features such as 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Acer C720 Chromebook (Core i3) and Acer Bay Trail Chromebook
Acer has two new Chromebooks coming soon. The first is a standard-looking variant on the popular C720 line, this time with a powerful Intel Core i3 CPU. We first spotted the Core i3 at an Acer press event in late April. A second upcoming Acer model will use Intel's very power efficient Bay Trail processors.
Dell Chromebook 11 (Core i3)
According to Google, Dell is planning to update its education-targeted 11-inch Chromebook with a more powerful Core i3 processor in the near future.
The new and recent Chromebooks highlighted today are part of growing partnership between tech giants Intel and Google, intended to capitalize on the faster-than-expected growth of this low-cost computing category.