Premium Chromebooks are no longer a scarcity and the best part is, you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to get some really great hardware and powerful internals. As a matter of fact, you can pick up HP’s flagship Chromebook x360 14c at Best Buy for only $429. That’s $200 off and you’re getting a 10th Gen Intel CPU, 8GB of RAM, and plenty of features for very little money. That said, I know a lot of users that are looking for a little more out of their next Chromebook. For those buyers, there are options as long as you’re willing to pony up the cash. If you’re looking for the ultra-premium experience, you could always pick up Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook and you may even luck out and find it on sale but you will have to deal with the poor battery life and possibly some thermal issues thanks to the lack of a CPU fan.
Personally, I would steer buyers to the HP Elite c1030 if they want the best of the best with little if any, caveats. Like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, HP’s enterprise-grade Elite c1030 offers up a 13.5″, 3:2 display that is very popular with many users and you get USI compatibility along with all the other great features that come with the c1030. You get the B&O-branded audio, 400 nit display, fingerprints sensor and privacy switch for the camera and this all comes wrapped in a beautiful aluminum chassis that is built better than most Chromebooks on the market. If you want to go all out, you can even outfit the c1030 with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and an eye-seering 1000 nit display. All together, that configuration will run you a cool $1,451. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can find the configurable model over on the HP Store.
The aforementioned c1030 is available to anyone who wants to purchase and you don’t have to buy the $150 Chrome Enterprise upgrade if you don’t need it. You simply have to have some deep pockets and the desire to have the most options available on a Chromebook. HP never mentioned selling the c1030 via consumer retail outlets but a recent Best Buy listing appears to have brought a very interesting configuration of the device to the general public. Discovered by one of our awesome Patrons, HP has dropped the “c1030” nomenclature and has branded this model the HP Chromebook x360 13c. It comes with a $949 price tag but you’re getting a whole lot of Chromebook for just under a thousand bucks.
This particular model comes rocking the 10th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of NVMe storage. That’s similar to what the Acer Spin 713 offers but you’re getting twice the storage and this HP has another feature that is rare to see on any consumer Chromebook, regardless of the price. LTE. When I first looked over the listing, I missed the tell-tale SIM card slot. It wasn’t until I looked up the spec sheet on HP’s website that I discovered that this model does, in fact, have a nano-SIM slot that makes it mobile data ready when you slap in a data card from your mobile provider. Upon further inspection of the listing’s photos, you can see the card slot as well as the LTE antenna bands toward the front of the device. These are absent on the model we reviewed because it wasn’t LTE-enabled.
Everything else on this device is identical to the HP c1030 down to the 400 nit display and fingerprint sensor. Why HP chose to rebrand it is anyone’s guess but I’m very happy to see a retail model of this Chromebook available. If you go to HP’s site and build out a c1030 with these specs, you’re going to pay nearly $1,400. While $949 may still sound pricey for a Chromebook, this is one of the best models available from any manufacturer and it has enough horsepower to handle anything you might throw at it and that includes resource-heavy Linux applications. Here’s a quick rundown of the specs for the newly listed HP.
HP Chromebook x360 13c
- Chrome OS
- Intel® Core™ i5-10210U
- 8 GB DDR4-2666 MHz RAM
- 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
- 13.5″ diagonal (1920 x 1280), edge-to-edge glass display @ 400 nits, 100% sRGB
- Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2×2) and Bluetooth® 5 combo
- 2 x USB-C, 1 x SS USB-A, 3.5mm audio
- 1 microSD media card reader
- 1 nano-SIM*
- Audio by Bang & Olufsen; Dual speakers
- 2.99 lbs
This is probably more Chromebook than the average user needs but when you consider the fact that many users have dished out the same money for the Galaxy Chromebook or a Pixelbook, this Chromebook makes a lot of sense. What’s more, it offers LTE which is hard to come by in a premium Chrome OS device unless you go through enterprise channels. We don’t expect this device to vary at all from the one that we reviewed but we’re going to get our hands on one just to test out the LTE and see how it handles on the go. If you’re interested, you can find the listing from Best Buy at the link below.