HP launches Chromebook x360 12b, 14b with Universal Stylus Initiative support

The new laptops are among the first products to support the USI standard, which will allow one digital stylus to be used with multiple compatible devices rather than being tied to a single one.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

HP Chromebookx x360 12b and 14b

HP yesterday launched a pair of Chromebooks that support the new Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) standard for digital styluses. The Chromebook x360 12b and 14b are among the first devices supporting USI, which allows non-proprietary features to be used across different devices with the same stylus.

The idea behind USI works like this: With the purchase of a USI 1.0 stylus, you can not only use it with multiple USI-compatible devices from different manufacturers, but those devices will also support the use of multiple styluses. Google has built USI support into the Chrome OS, with HP being the first manufacturer to release a Chromebook taking advantage of it.

In terms of the actual laptops, they come with an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The 12b ships with a 12-inch display with 1,366x912 resolution, while the 14b features a 14-inch 1,366x768 screen. Like other notebooks in the x360 lineup, these come with a 360-degree hinge to flip the screen over to allow tablet-like functionality.

Though USI support is the new Chromebooks' most notable feature, neither actually comes with a stylus. Instead, you'll be able to purchase a new HP USI-compatible digital stylus for $70 in November. The laptops will be available later this month, with the Chromebook x360 12b starting at $359 and the 14b at $379.

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