HP announced its latest Chrome OS products this week and they aren't what we were expecting: a new 21.5-inch HP Chromebase All-In-One desktop, the HP Chromebook X2 11 detachable hybrid with always-on 4G/LTE connectivity, and a new Chromebook-certified HP M24fd USB-C Monitor.
The past year and a half has seen an explosion in popularity for Google's Chrome OS as Covid lockdowns and social distancing shut down schools facilities around the world, forcing school districts to hasten the adoption of distance learning technology to accommodate students.
Chromebooks, with their lightweight functionality and affordability were perfectly suited to the task and Chromebook sales-by-volume outpaced every other mobile computing platform in the latter half of 2020.
This widespread adoption of Chrome OS products has been a long time coming and given our fondness for a well-made Chromebook, seeing their popularity increase has been encouraging. That's why we were rather upset to hear that some laptop manufacturers were intending to scale back their Chrome OS offerings later this year in favor of Windows 11 laptops.
The economics of this are hard to argue with given the ongoing semiconductor shortage, so we're very excited to see that HP isn't just releasing new Chrome OS products this year – they're also trying to innovate and bring this incredible OS to more people in more ways.
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This isn't the first Chromebase to hit the market, as Acer, LG, and Lenovo have all come out with Chromebase AIO models or Chromebox-touchscreen setups. This is the first Chromebase AIO to have a rotating display, however, so you can enjoy content in both landscape and portrait mode. It also comes with Intel Core processors and up to 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM, so it will have decent power to boot.
Even better, the dual 5W speakers look strong enough to easily fill a room and the 5MP camera will likely handle casual basic photo and video needs, even if it's not the best camera available.
It's great to see more manufacturers move in this direction, as family-oriented desktop AIOs are pretty much the ideal platform for something like Chrome OS.
The HP Chromebook X2 11 isn't the first detachable Chromebook either, but we're thrilled to see another one of the market. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has been one of our favorite devices for more than a year now, and we love a good convertible.
From what we can tell, the biggest draw for the Chromebook X2 11 is going to be the optional 4G/LTE connectivity, offering an always-on experience pretty much wherever you go. We'd love to see 5G in one of these someday, but like Godot, we'll just have to continue to wait a little while longer. It'll be here any day now, we're sure of it.
There's also the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c compute platform which features and 8-core processor with up to 2.4GHz base clock, so it should be pretty fast on an 11-inch tablet. We won't be able to say for certain though until we actually get to test the thing out for ourselves.
Add to that the HP M24fd USB-C Chromebook-certified monitor and we're seeing HP make a solid investment in the Chrome OS platform across different devices, which is exactly what we want to see more of.
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