HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report) launched what it claims to be its “thinnest Chromebook convertible device” — the HP Chromebook x360 14 — yesterday.
The new Chromebook features 8th generation Intel (INTC - Free Report) Core i3 or i5 processors, a 14-inch diagonal high-definition (HD) touch display, 8 GB RAM, 64 GB solid-state drive, two USB Type-C ports, a USB Type-A 3.1 port, a microSD slot and audio jacks. The device also has up to 14 hours of battery life.
Moreover, the product comes with 100 GB of free storage on Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google Cloud and also provides access to the entire range of Android apps on Google Play.
Reportedly, the device has been built keeping in mind the need for productivity and entertainment. Rising demand for entertainment on convertible devices is touted as the reason for the development of visually and audibly enriched Chromebook x360.
Starting at $599, the 16mm thin device with four different models is up for pre-order and is expected to hit stores on Oct 21.
Although the price of the new device is on the higher side compared with other Chrome devices, it appears to be a better buy given the configuration that it offers.
Chromebooks Gaining Traction
Chromebooks have been Google’s way of entering the very low end of the tablet/notebook market. In 2012, Google with its nascent Chromebook had merely 1% of market share while Apple enjoyed 50%. The popularity of Chromebook in schools, driven by its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, led to a surge in its market share to 50% by 2015.
Per Future Consulting, Chrome OS continues to hold the majority share in the U.S. K-12 Mobile PC Market with 58.3% of devices shipped in 2017. Moreover, the share of Chromebook shipments to K-12 schools was 87% in the United States.
Chromebooks have been gaining momentum in sectors other than education such as retail and financials and therefore have been a source of optimism in the United States. Notably, HP's product has been instrumental in adding variety and functionality to some older Chromebooks.
HP is likely to face challenges from Google itself, which is planning to launch its first Chrome OS tablet, Google Pixel Slate.
Acer also recently unveiled its first line of high-end laptops running on Chrome OS, in an attempt to help Google win over business users.
Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is reportedly coming up with a new version of its laptop, MacBook Air. The laptop will have “thinner bezels around the screen.” The display will have a higher resolution Retina version and the screen will be around 13 inches.
Per Bloomberg, the new range of MacBook Air will be targeted toward consumers looking for lower-priced Apple laptops as well as educational institutions, which buy products in bulk. It is expected to have an October release as well.
HP currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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