One of the most interesting Chrome OS devices to come out of 2020 didn’t come in the form of a premium convertible or a sleek tablet. Instead, one of the most unique and interesting devices actually comes in one of the least familiar form factors in the Chrome OS ecosystem – The Chromebase. Chromebases are Chrome OS all-in-one desktop devices designed to be a primary PC for the workstation or as a kiosk for interaction from multiple users. Acer has been the only company in the past few years to actually produce a Chromebase but HP threw us all curveball this year with its own “twist” on the form factor. Needless to say, we’ve been quite impressed with the attractive all-in-one.
All-in-one desktops may not be everyone’s flavor but the form-factor is really growing on me and I can easily see a variety of use-cases for a device like this. HP’s addition of a rotating display adds a certain charm and expands the capabilities of the Chromebase by giving users vertical desktop space that can be used for work or play. When announced, the entry-level Pentium model was quickly listed at Best Buy for $580. That’s a solid price for a versatile desktop device with great audio and an attractive design. Even now, you can pick this model up for only $499 and it’s worth every penny. The only real drawbacks of this model are the minimal 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. If you’re simply using the Chromebase for basic tasks like Google Docs, social media, and a little Stadia, it will get along just fine.
For users wanting a little more out of their Chrome OS desktop, HP has released the configurable version of the Chromebase 22 on the company’s website and you can spec this thing out with a ton of RAM and storage to make the most out of your workstation. For this model, you can select the same Pentium Gold CPU and upgrade the RAM and storage if you don’t need that extra horsepower from the CPU. Or, you can bump up the 10th Gen Core i3 from Intel and you’ll have enough processing power to handle nearly any task with ease. If you go all out, you can equip your new Chromebase with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD (which should be upgradeable but we haven’t cracked on open yet so, stay tuned for that).
Maxing out the specs on this model will bring you to an MSRP of only $739. Now, you may be thinking “that’s a little pricey.” Perhaps but let’s look at buying a Chromebox. A Core i3 Chromebox with half the RAM and half the storage will run you around $500. That does not include a mouse, keyboard, or monitor. The HP Chromebase 22 comes with all of that and the built-in display is really good. If you happen across a really good sale, you may get an entire Chromebox set up for around the same money but you’re still missing the unique rotating display along with one more feature that’s very important to a desktop setup. Speakers. The Chromebase houses dual 5W speakers that are going to give you great audio for whatever you’re doing. Oh, did I mention the 5MP webcam? Yeah, you won’t get that with a Chromebox. You’ll need to buy an external camera. Anyway, that’s my take on the new Chromebase. I’m liking this device more and more every day and I’m seriously considering one for a future home office setup. You can find the configurable HP Chromebase 22 below.