When HP unveiled its latest lineup of enterprise-ready Chromebooks for 2020 back in May of this year, the one that clearly had everyone’s attention was the Elite c1030 Chromebook. This device comes equipped with basically every bell and whistle you could want and we were told by HP that availability would happen in the August time frame. Well, here we sit mid-August, and it seems HP is making good on its word by putting the Elite c1030 Chromebook up for order already over on its own website.
As we mentioned, there are a few caveats we need to sort through before you go hit that buy button. Before we do that and discuss what will likely be a few reasons you should maybe hold off on that purchase, let’s run down the specs and features this new potential King of Chromebooks will offer.
HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Key Specs
- Up to 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
- 8GB or 16GB RAM
- 128GB or 256GB NVMe SSD
- 13.5-inch 1920×1280 3:2 screen @ 400 or 1000 nits
- Wi-Fi 6
- Bluetooth 5
- Fingerprint scanner
- 720p camera with privacy switch
- Integrated digital privacy screen
- USI pen compatible (included)
- 50WHr battery
- 2x USB Type C ports
- 1x USB Type A port
- Headphone/mic port
- microSD card slot
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Gorilla Glass trackpad
- Fast charging (90% in 90 minutes)
- 295mm x 217mm x 16mm
- 2.87 pounds
- All aluminum design
- MIL-STD 810H tested
As you can clearly tell, this Chromebook is packed to the gills with features and it looks the part, too. With very narrow bezels all around that gorgous 3:2 screen, the 16mm frame is thin, attractive and modern. With an all-aluminum chassis, light weight, and massive internals (both processor and battery), this device could easily become the new Chromebook measuring stick.
We’re clearly excited about this one and I think anyone who is a Chromebook fan should be, but we do need to get back around to those pesky caveats. You see, I put that in the title, so we unfortunately have to talk about a few oddball things with this new Chromebook that could cause some real hesitation when considering this ultra-premium device.
First up, we have to discuss that price. If you head over to HP’s site, you can see their informative landing page that tells you all about this great new Chromebook. But, if you dig past that to the configuration page (as spotted by a Reddit user), you are met with a jaw-dropping price tag. In its base config (that is still impressive), you are looking at a whopping $1574 for the Core i3, 8GB RAM, 128GB NVMe model. It still comes with all the privacy extras, fingerprint scanner, 400 nit screen and a pen…but ouch! Yes, I know these enterprise-focused Chromebooks can balloon in price, but this is crazy.
Taking a step back, however, when the already-launched HP Pro c640 Chromebook first showed up for order, it was quite overpriced as well. Not long after that order page went live, HP did the standard price cut that we see on most enterprise Chromebooks and that put the Pro c640 back into line with more standard Chromebook pricing. For reference, the entry-level model of that Chromebook started at $794 and is basically on an always-reduced markdown to $555. Much more palatable.
If we spec out a Pro c640 and get it close to the Elite c1030’s starting price, then we see what we might expect the Elite c1030 to actually start at once the obligatory price reductions happen. Opting for the Core i7 variant on the Pro c640, we get a starting price of $1563 that is slashed immediately to $1095. If a similar price cut happens with the Elite c1030, I’d assume we’ll see a starting price closer to $999-$1099 for the base model. At that sort of price, I think it is far more reasonable. For a durable, spill-resistant, all-aluminum Chromebook with these specs, features and build, $999-$1099 is completely within reality. $1574 is not.
Second, we need to discuss the availability dates being displayed. We’re unaware of why this Chromebook is showing a ship date in the middle of October. HP’s initial guidance pointed towards a late August release and the appearance of this landing page and configuration page would lend credence to that claim. While we don’t have official word yet on actual availability on the Elite c1030, I’d imaging the October date is likely a place holder until actual inventory begins arriving. That’s not 100% by any means, but if HP was delaying the release, there’s no reason the landing page and configuration page would be up at this point.
On the same availability note, it is worth discussing the fact that most enterprise-ready HP Chromebooks don’t sell outside of HP’s own store very often. Places like CDW and Staples have them from time to time, but availability will not happen like we see with standard, consumer-focused devices. Instead, if you want to get one of these Chromebooks for yourself, you’ll likely end up buying it via HP directly. While we’re hopeful that this device may eventually break out of its enterprise shell, that simply hasn’t been the case with older Chromebooks in this mold from HP.
We’re looking forward to a review unit of the Elite c1030 Chromebook in the coming weeks as the official rollout happens and we’ll be keeping you all in the loop as availability surfaces for this insanely well-equipped Chromebook from HP.