Premium Chromebook X Laptops Powered By AMD And Intel Are Coming, What To Expect

Chromebook hero
Google's original pitch for the Chromebook was a cheap, low-power device that connected to all your tools and data in the cloud. Consequently, most Chromebooks have modest hardware, and what few high-end Chromebooks we've seen have scarcely taken advantage of the extra power. That could be about to change with Google's alleged Chromebook X branding. According to a new report, Google plans to prominently feature these X-branded laptops to show they are more capable than the regular Chromebooks we've come to know and love.

9to5Google has pulled together multiple code commits and sources in the Chromium project to paint a picture of the Chromebook X program. While Chrome OS does have features for power users, like Steam and Linux apps, it's hard for buyers to know if the Chromebook they're looking at will be able to run them. The Chromebook X program would clearly designate which machines are capable of high-performance local computing.

These machines will reportedly need to have certain hardware specs to get the X branding. We expect these will include minimum thresholds for RAM, webcam quality, and display features. Chromebook X machines will have to be built on one of four hardware platforms with high-end x86 CPUs: AMD Zen 2+ (Skyrim), AMD Zen 3 (Guybrush), or Intel Core 12th Gen (Brya & Nissa). The Nissa chips are the Intel N-series, which are usually scattered around the $350-550 price range. So, not all Chromebook X devices will be $1,000 Pixelbook replacements.

Don't expect a Pixelbook Go refresh as part of Chromebook X.

All we have to go on are some additions to the Chromium project and anonymous chatter, so it's possible Google will change the branding before launch, but it sounds like this is going to be a major shift in Chromebook marketing. These more powerful machines will have the X branding on the chassis, as well as on the boot-up screen instead of the standard Chrome OS logo. That's a lot clearer than slapping an RGB keyboard on a Chromebook to make it a gaming laptop.

Sadly, there is no indication that Chromebook X will include a new Google laptop. The company hasn't made a Chromebook of its own since the Pixelboook Go in 2019, and it swore off the form factor when the device flopped. It has been content to let Samsung and Asus take over high-end Chromebooks, but maybe a successful Chromebook X initiative will coax Google to give laptops another shot.