In a bit of a shocking move, HP has decided to make its upcoming Chromebook-focused virtual event into a public affair, issuing not only an open invite for anyone to attend, but also a sign up form to get a feel for the number of attendees expected for the event. From what we can tell at this point, the form entry isn’t required to watch the event, but by filling it out I’d assume you’ll get a followup email to confirm the details of the event before things go live on May 5th at 10AM PST.
While we will be getting the scoop on all this a few days prior, it is an interesting play by HP who, by and large, don’t hold these types of events on a regular basis for any of their products. As a matter of fact, as long as we’ve been covering Chromebooks, there’s never been any sort of public-facing device reveals for Chrome OS hardware. We’ve had a couple press-only virtual events, but that is about it. While I expect companies like Apple, OnePlus, Google, and Samsung to figure out ways to deliver their normal keynote events in an all-digital manner, it’s great to see HP dive in and do the same even though we didn’t really expect it at all.
Even more interesting is the fact that this event looks to be squarely for the new Chromebook Enterprise offerings. I could see HP putting together a whole event to unveil a bunch of stuff while including a few new Chromebooks, but to do all this for only Chromebooks? That’s a bit new to us as well.
Whether you sign up or not, we’ll be sharing the details of the event – mainly the link for your watching pleasure – at a later date when we have them. More importantly, we wanted to share with you the first look at one of the new devices HP is ready to unveil to the world as ‘The Chromebook of the Future.” That’s a bold statement and from what we can gather, this will likely be one of the ‘Hatch’-based Chromebooks like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and the ASUS Flip C436. That means all the goodies are on the table like fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5, WiFi 6, NVMe storage, and 10th-gen Intel processors.
Behold, our first look at HP’s latest, greatest Chromebook. This image is directly pulled from the sign-up form for the event we mentioned above. There are a few observations we can make quite quickly. First, this is what appears to be a very thin convertible. Second, pen support looks to be on board as well. Third, the bezels on all sides are very thin, giving the device a very futuristic look. Finally, it would appear this device will be a 16:10 or 3:2 device, making the tablet orientation a bit more tablet-like and less ridiculous when held vertically.
From some of the language in the emails we’re seeing about this event, we’re expecting more than one device to be debuted, but we don’t have those firm details just yet. My guess is we could see a convertible and clamshell device, but likely no tablets. This event looks to be focused towards the enterprise end of the market, so it will be interesting to see how HP targets these new Chromebooks both from a marketing and price point angle. Their last big enterprise effort – the HP x360 14 G1 – was basically a regurgitation of the well-liked x360 14, but did little to justify the massive price hike. I sincerely hope HP doesn’t make that mistake again and gets back to delivering cutting-edge Chromebook experiences like the HP Chromebook 13 G1 did in its day.
We’ll get more info about where to check out the event in the coming days, but if you think you’d like to attend live, make sure and fill out the form and let them know Chrome Unboxed sent you.