HP Chromebook x2 is the first detachable Chromebook, takes aim at iPad Pro

HP's two-in-one device is a high-end Chromebook with 12.3-inch screen: can it take on Apple's iPad Pro?

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HP's Chromebook x2 in action.

Image: HP

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HP Inc has unveiled what it's describing as "the world's first Chromebook detachable" -- the Chromebook x2.

The device can either be used like a conventional laptop with the keyboard attached, or with the keyboard removed in tablet mode.

With the keyboard attached, the Chromebook x2 is 15.3mm thick and and weighs 3.14 pounds (1.42kg), while in tablet mode it's 8.2mm thick and weighs 1.62 pounds (735g). The 12.3-inch touchscreen has Quad HD resolution, and uses Gorilla Glass 4 for increased durability. The device comes with the Intel Core M3-7Y30 processor and up to 8GB LPDDR3 of memory. There's 32GB of internal storage, with MicroSD expansion available up to 256GB.

HP claims up to 10 hours of battery life for the Chromebook x2, which features dual speakers with "audio custom tuned by B&O Play", plus front (5MP) and rear (13MP) cameras.

There are two USB-C ports for data transfer, charging, and display, a MicroSD card slot and audio jacks, plus a digital pen on some models. The Chromebook x2 starts at $599.99 and will be on sale from June 10, said HP.

While the PC market in general is flat at best, one of the few areas of growth is Chromebooks -- albeit starting from a low base. While mostly aimed at education until now, vendors are making an effort to boost the business credentials of these devices too.

At $600, the Chromebook x2 is priced above many of its Chromebook rivals, although Google's Pixelbook is even more expensive. However, its detachable format and stylus support suggests that the Chromebook x2 may also be designed as a rival to Apple's iPad Pro. The question is whether users would rather choose a device running Chrome OS and offering access to Android apps, or a tablet running iOS.

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