Google has taken a step further in the world of laptops by bringing a new category of Chromebooks to the market. Called Chromebook Plus, these productivity-focused devices are designed to enhance user experience and efficiency. Equipped with the latest features and specifications, the Chromebook Plus aims to cater to the needs of professionals and students alike.
Google has unveiled the Chromebook Plus category, a new line of productivity-focused laptops that offer minimum hardware specifications and enhanced software features. With partnerships and upcoming AI-powered functionalities, the Chromebook Plus aims to provide a comprehensive user experience. Starting at $399, these devices are set to become the go-to choice for professionals and students.
Minimum Hardware Specifications
- 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
By setting these minimum hardware requirements, Google ensures that Chromebook Plus devices can seamlessly run productivity software and AI-powered features, providing a smooth and efficient user experience.
Enhanced Software Features
Chromebook Plus devices come with several enhanced software features that further elevate their functionality. These features include:
- Video Conferencing Controls: The system offers a dedicated control panel at the bottom of the screen, allowing users to quickly mute/unmute the microphone and control the camera. Additionally, expanding the menu reveals AI-powered features, such as improved lighting, noise cancellation, background blur, and live captions.
- Automatic File Sync for Google Drive: Users can now access their files easily, even without an internet connection, thanks to the automatic file sync feature.
- Google Photos Updates: The Google Photos app on Chromebook Plus devices now boasts a range of updates, including Magic Eraser, HDR support, portrait blur, and the ability to automatically create movies from selected photos and videos.
While some of these features may eventually become available on other Chromebooks, Google has confirmed their exclusivity for the Chromebook Plus category for now.
Partnerships and Additional Features
In its pursuit to provide users with a comprehensive experience, Google has partnered with companies like Adobe and LumaTouch. This collaboration allows Chromebook Plus users to access software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Express, and LumaFusion.
Notably, users purchasing a new Chromebook Plus will receive a three-month subscription to Photoshop and Express for free. Additionally, all new Chromebook Plus devices will come with a three-month subscription to Nvidia’s GeForce NOW Priority tier cloud gaming service.
Upcoming AI-Powered Features
Google continues to explore the possibilities of AI across its product lineup. In the near future, Chromebook Plus users can expect the introduction of a new writing assistant that will work across various websites, from social networks to YouTube. Furthermore, Google plans to introduce the ability to create AI-generated wallpapers based on prompts, following the footsteps of a similar feature launched for Android earlier this year.
As an added benefit, Google has extended its offer of 10 years of software updates to older Chromebooks that align with the Chromebook Plus profile. This ensures that users can continue to enjoy the latest features and enhancements irrespective of their device’s release date.
Availability and Pricing
Asus, Acer, HP, and Lenovo are the initial manufacturers launching eight Chromebook Plus devices. These devices are available in either clamshell or detachable two-in-one form factors, with prices starting at $399. Interested buyers can place their orders starting October 8. For those in Europe and Canada, the Chromebook Plus will be available the following day.