Google has revealed Chromebook Plus, a new standard for its ChromeOS devices. Acer, HP, Asus and Lenovo are all on board. Here’s exactly what it is.
Ever considered a Chromebook and been a bit befuddled by the specifications? You can often get away with a lower-powered ChromeOS device than a Windows machine, adding an extra layer of complexity.
Chromebook Plus is aiming to help you dodge “bad” Chromebooks by creating a new minimum standard, though regular Chromebooks will still exist. These devices could shake up our best Chromebooks guide for years to come, here are the key details.
What is Chromebook Plus?
Chromebook Plus is a new initiative from Google to label ChromeOS devices that offer a minimum standard of specifications as well as dedicated software features, with a focus on AI capabilities.
These devices have a starting price of £399/€449 and are set to go on sale from October 8th. The new minimum hardware specs are as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core i3 12th Gen or above, or AMD Ryzen 3 7000 series or above
- RAM: 8GB+
- Storage: 128GB+
- Webcam: 1080p+ with Temporal Noise Reduction
- Display: Full HD IPS or better display
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Google makes no promises on the performance that stems from these results, except that it is “double” when compared with the top-selling Chromebooks for July to December 2022. There is also no minimum standard for battery life, the speed of RAM or the speed of storage either. There are currently no Plus models to tout using an Arm chip, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. However, Google suggested during our press briefing that they are excited to work with Arm chips on Chromebook Plus devices in the future.
The availability of the first wave of Chromebook Plus devices differs depending on region, take a look at the pricing below to see how much it’ll cost where you are. The range includes:
|Acer||Chromebook Plus 515||Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7||£499/$399/€479|
|Acer||Chromebook Plus 514||Up to AMD Ryzen 5 7000 C-series||£399/$399/€449|
|Asus||Chromebook Plus CX34||Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7||£399/€449|
|Asus||Chromebook Plus CM34 Flip||AMD Ryzen 3 7000 C-series||£499|
|Lenovo||IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus||Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i5||$500/€679|
|Lenovo||IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook Plus||Intel Core i3-N305||£349/$550/€449|
|Lenovo||IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook Plus||Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5||€599|
|HP||Chromebook Plus 15.6-inch||Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5||£429/$499/€449|
|HP||Chromebook Plus x360 14-inch||Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5||$699|
Along with the hardware standards, Google is touting features and AI capabilities that are exclusive to the new label. Magic Eraser is headed to Google Chromebook Plus, a feature we’ve already seen on Pixel phones, as well as improvements to video calls, such as boosted clarity and lighting, cancelling background noise and blurring backgrounds. There’s also File Sync, allowing you to continue your work offline, by automatically downloading the Google Drive files you’re working on and updating in the cloud once you reconnect.
More apps are coming to Plus too, with Adobe Photoshop on the Web and Adobe Express Premium. Chromebook Plus devices will get three months free. Video-editing suite LumaFusion is coming as well, with Chromebook Plus users able to get 25% off to get it down to $29.99.
Plus devices are set to get more features in 2024, with a focus on more AI capabilities. These include the Help Me Write feature showcased at Google I/O earlier in the year as well as image generation, such as asking Google to create a new wallpaper based on your preferences. Generative AI backgrounds for video calls are coming too.