Today is the day, folks! At some point, we fully expect the roll-out of ChromeOS 118 and – more importantly – the official Stable Channel update for qualifying Chromebooks to officially become Chromebook Plus devices.
Not only did Google announce today as the day for the arrival of Chromebook Plus for the broader ecosystem back at the initial event, but the Chromium Dash that shows the timeline for ChromeOS updates also has today pegged as the arrival date of ChromeOS 118.
With ChromeOS 118 Beta already delivering the Chromebook Plus goods for those who ventured over, today will be significant because it will bring Chromebook Plus to the masses who don’t really feel comfortable switching away from the Stable Channel. And it will mark the first day of the broader Chromebook Plus movement as it truly redefines Chromebook categories moving forward.
What’s the big deal about Chromebook Plus?
If you read all of that above and aren’t fully familiar with Chromebook Plus, let me get you caught up quickly. Chromebook Plus is a new initiative announced by Google early in October that looks to designate a hardware spec requirement to deliver new, interesting software features to ChromeOS. In short, all Chromebooks that meet the Chromebook Plus spec will get targeted, updated software perks that won’t make it to standard Chromebooks.
The reason? With a set of hardware standards, Google and app developers can have a more predictable target for new features and applications. Chromebook Plus requirements (8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 12th-gen Intel Core i3 or better, 1080p IPS screen, 1080p camera) ensure that new features like the generative AI coming to ChromeOS will have the computing power needed to make the experience a good one.
But price is also part of the equation, and we have new devices launched at the Chromebook Plus event that start at just $399. And while the price tags go up from there, the general cost of Chromebook Plus devices sits in the $399 – $599 range across the board. And when you pick up a Chromebook Plus device, you can be sure that the overall experience will be a solid one.
As today’s update rolls out, we’ll welcome 25 models to the existing 8 that were announced at launch, bringing us over 30 Chromebooks that will be receiving Chromebook Plus features moving forward. Of those features, the generative AI throughout the OS is the most exciting: along with AI wallpapers and screensavers, too.
But first things first, we need to get everyone who has an eligible device on ChromeOS 118 and officially begin the transition to Chromebook Plus. There are already deals on some of the new, branded models as well, and ongoing discounts for those new Chromebook Plus models that have non-branded counterparts still on the shelves at stores. So if you aren’t in the Chromebook Plus group, there are definitely opportunities to get there for sure. Keep an eye out for ChromeOS 118 at some point today, and as those new features begin to arrive, you know where to go to find out about them.