A simple Chromebook won't be enough after Google introduces Chromebook X

Say goodbye to Premium and Plus Chromebooks - this year, it's all about the X

Three people sitting around table with two Chromebooks
(Image credit: Brooke Cagle Unsplashed)

What do you think of when you hear the word “Chromebook”? For me, it brings to mind a picture of a cheap and cheerful ultra-portable laptop: no frills, no fuss, no unnecessary bells and whistles. What it doesn’t make me think of is any of the best Chromebooks, the ones with premium materials, high specifications and a completely different target market. And that’s a shame, because there are some really cracking and very powerful Chromebooks out there.

Clearly Google has been thinking about this too, because a new report says that it’s about to unveil new, premium branding for Chromebooks: Chromebook X.

According to 9to5Google, the first Chromebook X laptops could launch before the end of 2023. 

What on earth is Chromebook X?

According to the report, Chromebook X sounds a lot like Intel’s Evo. When you see that label on a laptop you know it’ll meet some key hardware requirements, such as having Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C charging. 

Google has tried this before, with Plus and Premium Chromebooks, but I can’t say it’s something I’ve ever seen on retailer websites – and Google stopped using the Plus and Premium badges last month, presumably to clear the way for Chromebook X.

The final name for Chromebook X isn’t nailed down, but whether it’s X or something else it’s going to appear on the chassis of the laptop and in a special boot screen that’ll replace the familiar ChromeOS one.

9to5google says that the hardware requirements specify a certain amount of RAM, a good quality webcam and a more premium display; it also specifies AMD Zen 2+, AMD Zen 3 or Intel Core 12th Gen processors. That suggests we’re looking at laptops somewhere around the $350-$500 range.

In addition, the report says that Google is going to offer some exclusive features that won’t appear on other Chromebooks, such as built-in portrait blur and voice isolation in video calls, wallpapers that change throughout the day, offline Google Drive files and support for up to 16 virtual desks. 

There’s no official release date yet, but the runes say one should be fairly soon. The branding says it requires ChromeOS 115 or better, and that’s already in beta with a July 2023 expected release date.

Chromebook X devices will reportedly launch later this year.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).