HP has announced the third edition of its Chromebook x360. Like the previous iterations, the new x360 is a two-in-one hybrid -- half laptop, half tablet, courtesy of a 360-degree foldable display -- that runs Google's streamlined Chrome operating system. But where the first two x360s were compact, rugged convertibles designed and priced for the classroom, the newest edition steps things up -- with a larger display, more stylish design, superior specs and a significantly higher price.
Starting at $500, the new x360 enters a market chock full of competitors -- including HP's own Chromebook x2, announced back in April. (The company hasn't announced pricing or availability for other regions, but that converts to roughly £380 and AU$700.) On paper, the HP x360 compares favorably, with a strong collection of components and a 14-inch touchscreen display (with a 1,920x1,080 resolution), that could help it find a sweet spot between the legions of 13-inch and 15-inch machines.
Where the x2 features Intel's 2017-vintage Core CPUs, optimized for performance, the new x360 comes equipped with Intel's current eighth-gen M series processor, which is supposed to deliver a balance of speed and long battery life. And HP says the new x360 is rated for up to 13.5 hours -- which would place it among the longest-lasting Chromebooks we've seen.
HP also makes a line of higher-end convertible and touchscreen-enabled laptops under the Spectre x360 umbrella. Running higher-end components and Windows 10, they're significantly more expensive; the most affordable model -- the 13-inch Spectre x360 13 -- starts at $1,150.
With the new Chromebook x360, HP appears to be further exploring the convertible Chromebook midrange landscape -- potentially fertile territory. The x360 offers considerably more than other convertibles in the $200 to $400 range and it's hundreds of dollars less expensive than Microsoft's new Surface Pro 6 or either of Apple's iPad Pros. Stay tuned: We'll make a more decisive assessment once we spend some time with a review unit.