Chromebook Plus gets a free AI upgrade that makes it smarter, last longer, and become much more useful

Gemini has come to Chromebook at last

Google Chromebook Plus with Gemini
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
Quick Summary

Google has pushed a new update to its Chromebook Plus laptops that introduces a raft of new AI features.

These including Gemini built into the devices for the first time, plus Magic Editor with unlimited edits available.

Chromebook Plus owners will be thrilled by the latest update as it introduces Gemini to Google's laptops for the first time.

As of today, a suite of AI tools are available on Google's premium Chromebooks, including Magic Editor – the photo correction software that's also available on Pixel phones. It is available to use without restriction, with unlimited edits, unlike on some third-party devices.

In addition, Help Me Write enables users to use AI to create headlines or bodies of text, based on simple instructions. And, your Chromebook Plus can now use generative AI to create background wallpapers, whether that be for the desktop or to use during a video call. This works across multiple apps, including Google Meet (naturally) and Zoom.

Chat with Gemini now ships with Chromebook Plus models, which allows users to talk to the AI system from the home screen, rather than over the web. And, all new Chromebook Plus laptops come with 12-months of free Gemini Advanced, which includes the ability to ask questions about documents stored on the device, no matter where.

This is part of a Google One AI Premium plan with 2TB of cloud storage that would otherwise cost £18.99 per month.

Also added in the latest software update are a GIF recorder, enhanced launcher search functionality, calendar view and tasks integration, and a new game dashboard that even enables keyboard mapping for Android games.

And, even though you won't immediately notice, the AI upgrade includes better battery management, making your laptop last longer.

Future Chromebook features

At an event in London, Google told T3 that other new Gemini features are coming in the future too, including Help Me Read. This will scan a webpage or other body of text you're looking at and answer questions you have on it.

Gemini Help Me Read screen

(Image credit: Google)

This could summarise a Wikipedia page, for example, giving you the most important bullet points. Or you could find out measurements for an item without having to scan the whole page yourself.

A Where Was I? feature will show you your last desktop screen when you log in again, so you can pick up from where you last left off. And Live Transcription is coming that will detect multiple voices and transcribe them as such. What makes this most different to existing solutions is that it will be performed on the device itself.

Live Translation is coming to Chromebook Plus as well, and it'll even work with the likes of Netflix and Zoom. And finally, hands-free control is on its way, so you can use your laptop without needing to type – it'll recognise gestures and even mouth movements, which is great for accessibility needs.

As well as the software update and new features, a selection of new Chromebook Plus models have been launched too – from HP and Acer. And, unlike the Copilot+ notebooks recently revealed by Microsoft, you won't need to shell out a grand or more to benefit.

The new batch of Chromebook Plus models with Gemini built-in start at £379.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.