In context: Chromebooks vary wildly in terms of price and quality, and Google apparently isn't happy that all its ChromeOS devices are currently painted with the same brush. To change the status quo and help buyers clearly differentiate between high-quality Chromebooks and sub-standard ones, the company is reportedly working on a new branding that would signify premium devices with a high-end experience.
The new branding, which Google is internally referring to as 'Chromebook X,' will reportedly replace the confusing 'Premium' and 'Plus' brandings that are currently employed by the company to denote better-quality Chromebooks. The new label is aimed at ending the confusion over the existing labels and making it easier for consumers to tell the good-quality Chromebooks from the rest.
According to 9to5Google, the new label will only be given to select Chromebooks that meet Google's stringent new hardware requirements. While the exact standards are yet to be revealed, this could mean that Google would specify a particular amount of RAM as the bare minimum for smooth functioning of the system, as well as a particular type of display and a high-definition webcam.
The Chromebook X devices could also be built on a select array of processors carefully handpicked by Google. That includes AMD's Zen 2 and Zen 3 lineups, as well as Intel's 12th-gen Core CPUs. There's no mention of the latest processor lineups from either AMD or Intel, like the Ryzen 7000 (Zen 4) series and the 13th-gen Core (Raptor Lake) lineup, but those will also very likely be part of the program, as will future releases, like the upcoming Meteor Lake and more.
Apart from hardware, Google will also pay special attention to the software in its Chromebook X devices. As per the report, these will include several notable features, including Live Captions for video calls, portrait blur effects, and voice isolation. They will also reportedly include a set of 'Time of Day' wallpapers and screen savers, as well as a special boot screen instead of the standard ChromeOS logo. The report states that these might be exclusive to Chromebook X devices as part of Google's plans to make them stand apart from the madding crowd.
The Chromebook X initiative will also likely include certain build quality standards. While hardware specs and software features go a long way toward making a good laptop, you also need durable build quality to offer a premium ownership experience. One would, therefore, expect Google to pay attention to that aspect as well. Either way, the Chromebook X program is an interesting development, and one that could potentially make it easier to spot feature-rich, high-quality Chromebooks in an increasingly confusing market.