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HP Announces Chromebook x2, First-Ever Chrome OS Detachable

While the first Chromebook tablet, announced by Acer just last month, is aimed squarely at the education market, HP’s new Chrome OS detachable has a wider audience in its sights. In fact, early previews of the Chromebook x2 indicate it could pose a threat to Apple’s iPad Pro.

HP is touting the $599.99 Chromebook x2 (pictured above), set to hit the U.S. market in June, as a premium device that’s built for both work and entertainment. The company said it’s also designed for both flexibility and durability and includes an HP Active Pen and a magnetic hinge design that allows the device to be used effectively as either a laptop or a detachable tablet.

By comparison, Apple’s 10.5-inch, iPad Pro starts at $649, not including the additional cost for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard accessories.

Detachable tablets will be the bright spot in an otherwise stagnant or declining market for personal computing devices over the next five years, according to a recent forecast from the analyst firm IDC. The organization predicts that by 2022 detachable tablets will account for 9 percent of all personal computing devices shipped, compared to 5.2 percent in 2017.

Detachable, ChromeOS, and Android ‘Trifecta’

Today’s news from HP underscores the growing importance of the tablet and detachable market to equipment manufacturers, as well as the solid appeal of Chromebooks, particularly for use in schools. It also follows two major tablet announcements from Apple and Acer made on March 27, when Apple unveiled an updated $299 9.7-inch iPad for school buyers and Acer launched the $329 9.7-inch Chromebook Tab 10, the first-ever tablet to run Google’s Chrome OS instead of the Android operating system.

In a statement, Kevin Frost, HP’s vice president and general manager for consumer personal systems, described the Chromebook x2 as a “trifecta” that combines…

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