Meet the HP Chromebook 13 – one of the most powerful Chromebooks ever made

By | 05/04/2016

Meet the HP Chromebook 13– a super-powerful Chromebook that ranks with the premium Chromebooks up there, such as the Google Pixel. Yes, premium. It comes with some goodies such as 16 gigabytes of RAM, a USB-C Port, an Intel Core M processor, and a 3K display. That’s a lot of power for such a little machine.

The HP Chromebook 13 is a very fast laptop.

The HP Chromebook 13 is a very fast laptop.

 

 

Typical Chromebooks only have 2 gigabytes or 4 gigabytes of RAM and come with their basic USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports along with integrated graphics and an Intel Celeron or Atom Processor. This new Chromebook by HP is the beast. It’s powerful and blows all the other competition out of the water. Premium Chromebooks aren’t anything new to the market though. The Google Pixel is also a premium Chromebook with a price tag similar to an entry-level Mac Book Pro. And now with HP coming along, there’s going to be more competition for the “best Chromebook” ever.

If you’re new to Chromebooks, we suggest you read our article on the differences between a Chromebook and Windows laptop.

The HP Chromebook 13 is one fast laptop

Let’s get under the hood and check out this beefy Chromebook.

The first thing we noticed from the pictures is that all of these Chromebooks are brushed aluminum. HP’s new line of Chromebooks all have a very modern stylistic design with a full aluminum body. We dig this look. The Samsung Series 2 and 3 Chromebooks had a leather-like stitching on the lid, which was nice and made it look moderately priced, however an aluminium body is really our thing. Aluminum looks sturdy, durable, and horribly expensive. It’s really a matter of preference. Some people prefer the leather, and others prefer the aluminum. However, we think both of them are much more aesthetic compared to traditional hard plastic.

The HP Chromebook is powered by Intel’s new high performance processors. They sport an Intel M Core CPU (except the basic model), which is much more powerful compared to the traditional Intel Celeron processors that you find in your typical Chromebook. However, this does bring up price point issue. Thankfully, HP will introduce this new line of Chromebooks in four different models to make it affordable for all levels of laptop users.

HP Chromebook 13 pricing in 4 tiers

The Chromebook 13 will come in 4 different models and prices.

The Chromebook 13 will come in 4 different models and prices.

Here’s the breakdown.

HP will be offering the Chromebook 13 in four different models at four different price points. The only variation between the four models is the processor and the RAM capacity. Everything else remains the same, other than the price.

Let’s start from the cheapest to the most expensive Chromebook 13:

The cheapest model will run at $499, and it come with an Intel Intel Pentium processor and 4GB of RAM.

The next step up is priced at $599, and it comes with an Intel core M3 processor with 4GB of RAM as well.

The next model runs at $819, and comes with an Intel Core M5 processor with 8GB of RAM.

And lastly, the most expensive model comes at $1,029 and comes with an Intel Core M7 processor and 16GB of RAM. This price is actually more expensive than the Chromebook Pixel, which runs at $999 and is currently considered to be the leading premium Chromebook that you can get.

HP’s Chromebook 13 will overtake the Pixel in terms of pricing. No doubt that this Chromebook is expensive. If you want a cheap Chromebook, read our buyer’s guide for the best Chromebooks under $200. Or how ’bout checking out the cheapest Chromebook on the market?

Chromebook specs, peripherals, and screen resolution


Although you get the variation in the processor and RAM capacities, every single model comes with a bunch of impressive features under the hood. Some examples include a 3200 x 1800 screen resolution, two USB-C ports and one USB-A port, three microphones, an SD card reader, a 3.5 millimeter audio port, Intel HD graphics 515, an unknown capacity SSD drive, and possibly Bluetooth 4.2. That’s a lot of power. Knowing HP, the Chromebook 13 will probably have a 32GB SSD drive or more.

The HP Chromebook 13 is thinner and lighter than a MacBook Air

The HP Chromebook 13 is super thin and light.

The HP Chromebook 13 is super thin and light.

The laptop itself ways only to 2.86 pounds and is only 0.5 inches thick. By comparison, that’s thinner and lighter than the Apple MacBook Air 13.

The 13.3 inch IPS display also has a 170 degree viewing angle in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is amazing for watching videos, playing games, or viewing images. The battery is also claimed to run up to 11.5 hours on a single charge. This Chromebook already beats out Chromebooks on the market today which only have about a 6 to 10 hour run time per battery charge. The core of this technology is due to the Intel Skylake-Y processor, which is more efficient compared to the Celeron, Pentium, or Atom CPUs. The high-performance architecture of the CPU allows for upgraded specs while using less power.

Chromebook keyboard and speakers

HP also stated that the laptop will have a full-sized keyboard with a backlight as well as Band and Olufsen speakers for audio output, which is new to Chromebooks. The Chromebook 14 will also use USB-C for charging so you can use a variety of different third-party chargers. HP also offers the USB-C docking station for $149, which simply plugs into the USB C port on your PC monitor and enables you to connect up 2 full-HD displays as well as an ethernet or multiple USB type-A devices.

HP Chromebook 13 availability

These four models of the HP Chromebook 13 will be available in retail momentarily. If you decide to go for this line, just from glancing at the specs, we don’t think the $499 basic model is worth it, since you can get other Chromebooks for that price with about the same performance. It seems that only the 16 gigabyte RAM with the Intel Core M7, or the 8 gigabyte RAM with the Intel Core M 5 are impressive compared to Chromebook available now. All those that are shelling out $1,000 for a Chromebook may seem like a crazy idea right now, but with manufacturers trying to put more power into Chromebooks, these machines could be giving Apple a run for their money. If you disregard the whole cult-like following Apple has, and just think about it in terms of performance and specs, Google Chromebooks are nipping at Apple’s heels. Acer has also scheduled a Chromebook that’s jam-packed with power called the Acer 14 Chromebook for Work. It seems like the new trend of Chromebooks is going for the high performance machine for a low price point. Well, low compared to other laptops with similar performance.

Should you buy an HP Chromebook 13?

HP probably decided to introduce and manufacture this line of Chromebooks because, believe it or not, Chrome OS is taking off. When Chrome OS and Chromebooks first launched, they were cheap and affordable for the entry-level segment of the market. The urge to make something that’s affordable and efficient, and that could dominate the entry-laptop space was there, so the Chromebook was created. However, Chromebooks weren’t (and still aren’t) the most powerful machines and could only perform basic tasks. PC makers started to plug-in more performance and fill that gap between power-users and casual users. The Chromebook Pixel was created and it was one of the most advanced Chromebooks ever made (and still is) because of its i7 Broadwell CPU and high-res screen, but it ran up to $999 and not many were willing to pay that price for a Chromebook- especially since you can get a much cheaper one at a lower price. The argument that it’s just a Chromebook and the ignorance of what a Chromebook can do got in the way. Performance in a Chromebook wasn’t something that a lot of people were looking for. By performance, we mean spec-wise.

Our HP Chromebook 13 preview

A Chromebook itself is an amazing machine and it’s super-fast browsing the web and getting tasks done quickly. However, it was never the most powerful machine. With HP’s Chromebook 13, power-users as well as casual users can choose from a variety of different options depending on what exactly they’re looking for in a Chromebook. The most expensive option is indeed impressive in performance and build. We already can’t wait to get our hands on one. With the way Chromebooks are headed, they could very well give Apple and Windows a run for the market- including the high-performance spectrum.


About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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