You can chalk this one up to questionable at best, but there is some pretty staunch evidence that HP is shipping Chromebook x360 14s with a Core i5 instead of the Core i3 that is listed online. To be clear, this is the exact same HP Chromebook x360 14 that has been on the market for over a year at this point. That device should ship with an 8th-get Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage and has done so for well over a year at this point.
In fact, we can’t find a listing anywhere that shows HP actually makes a Core i5 variant of this Chromebook. Sure, the HP Chromebook x360 14 G1 (an enterprise version of the same device) has a Core i5 model, but the consumer model has never sold with a Core i5 processor. The users reporting the Core i5 in the box have clearly bought the standard model available from Best Buy and Amazon as the model number in the following photo shows.
Additionally, there is a screen grab of the internal system of one of these devices out in the wild, and it all checks out. The processor specs line up, the model lines up, and it looks pretty legit overall. The model number on the boxes is the exact same 14-da0012dx that is sold at Amazon and Best Buy, so that all lines up as well. Sure, this could be a fake, but who would bother going to that amount of work to lie about a processor bump in an average Chromebook?
How could this happen? Honestly, we don’t really know. According to the comments thread over at SlickDeals, there are quite a few users who are reporting the same luck and only getting charged the same price for the Chromebook as the standard Core i3 model. After all, HP is shipping this as the same SKU and model number, so it wouldn’t make sense for retailers to change the price. What seems to be hit-or-miss is the availability of these devices. Your best bet is to go into the Best Buy physically and ask a rep to see every single HP Chromebook x360 box so you can check for yourself if you are interested in getting your hands on one.
If you find one and have one of these unicorn Chromebooks, definitely let us know. While there aren’t massive performance gains to be had in the Core i5 versus the i3, it is still an odd move by HP and has us a bit curious. As a matter of fact, it almost feels like a mix-up or a mistake. With the baseboards being the exact same in this device and the G1 Enterprise version, it almost feels like there was a bit of confusion at the factory and HP just sent them out the door anyway. The device is currently going for a bit over $400 right now on most sites off and on, and even if you just get the Core i3 variety, it is still a fantastic Chromebook experience. It seems either way, the user wins here.
THANKS David S. for the tip!