USI (Universal Stylus Initiative) devices are most certainly an emerging tech. While there are some big-name players on board with the cross-device technology, finding computers the feature USI compatibility is still a tough task to take on. Getting your hands on an actual USI-capable stylus is even more difficult. The USI product showcase lists three companies said to produce the styli and HP is supposed to be releasing one with their own branding. Unfortunately, finding them available anywhere is all but impossible.
Still, USI technology is coming and HP is the first out of the gate with not one but two Chromebooks that feature the tech. Announced last month, the HP Chromebook X360 14b popped up on Amazon over the weekend and now the 12″, 3:2 model has arrived there as well as HP’s online store. Before you go grabbing your wallet, there are a few things to point out about the new devices.
First, the price. While the new X360s keep the styling and design of the more premium X360 14, they are still priced around $350. That’s not a bad deal but it’s difficult to recommend when you can still grab the Core i3, 8GB X360 14 for around $450 on a good day and even less on other days. Speaking of price, the 12″ version of the HP Chromebook X360 offers nothing that the 14″ won’t give you apart from the 3:2 screen ratio. Yet, the 14b with the exact same specs is currently on sale at Amazon during a limited time deal and it’s $40 less than the 12b. I’m not telling you which one to buy but it seems like a no-brainer if you’re seriously considering one of these.
Next is the USI factor. Yes, you will eventually be able to get a stylus from multiple manufacturers that will work on these devices as well as any other USI-capable computer. However, as I mentioned above, you’ll be hard-pressed to buy one of those at the moment or even find information on how to identify a USI stylus. It is my sincere hope that this will change as the tech is more widely adopted. One thing is for sure, pen makers would do well to make sure they are clearly branding their products with the USI label it anyone is to take an interest.
In the meantime, if you’re still interested, you can check out the all-new HP Chromebook X360 12b at the links below. The retail price is $359.