After a successful stint in school, the HP Chromebook x360 is ready to take on the real world. Last week, HP announced that their 360-degree 2-in-1 Chromebook, once sold exclusively to schools as an Education Edition device, is now available to all.
If you’re familiar with Chromebooks, you know the drill — this is a low-cost device with modest hardware, running Google’s stripped down Chrome OS. Chrome OS only runs Google’s apps and doesn’t support installation of third-party programs, which can be a good thing — schools love them because students get into too much trouble using them, and they’ve proven great devices for first-time laptop users that might not be as adept at sniffing out online hazards like malware.
The HP Chromebook x360 is an 11.6″ device with a 1366 x 768 IPS touch display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It’s outfitted with a low-power Intel Celeron processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. 32 GB seems low, but cutting down on storage helps cut the price down quite a bit, and Google does provide 100 GB of their cloud storage for free for two years with purchase. Around the edges, it’s got two USB Type-C ports, a microSD card slot for a little extra local storage, and a 3.5 mm port. One unexpected luxury is an HD TrueVision webcam, which should prove a little nicer than a lot of other laptop webcams. A 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna guarantees that you can take advantage of faster Wi-Fi networks that a lot of newer routers are equipped with.
When HP originally released the Chromebook x360 to students, they made it extra-tough, too. The 2-in-1 has kind of a bumper frame that helps protect the internals from shocks and drops, and the Gorilla Glass over the display should help keep it intact when faced with the rigors of backpack life. It was built kid-tough, anyway, and if it can hold up to the damage a middle school kid can do, it can probably hold up against anything anyone else can throw at it.
HP is selling the Chromebook x360 in smoke grey and snow white for $300, and it can be found now at Amazon, Costco.com, Micro Center, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart.com.