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What is Chromebook Plus? | Trusted Reviews


If you’re looking to buy a Chromebook but you’re a bit confused over the ‘Chromebook Plus’ branding then we’re here to help.

The first Chromebooks hit the market way back in 2011 and in that time they’ve become impressive, budget-friendly alternatives to pricier Windows and MacOS laptops. In late 2023 however, Google sought to shake things up by introducing the Chromebook Plus range, signalling a massive shift in the Chromebook market going forward.

If you just want to know which ChromeOS powered laptops are worth buying then make sure to check out our round-up of the best Chromebooks we’ve tested, but for all things Chromebook Plus, keep reading on.

What is Chromebook Plus?

Chromebook Plus is an initiative from Google to label ChromeOS devices that offer a minimum standard of specifications as well as dedicated software features, with a focus on AI capabilities.

These devices have a starting price of around £399/€449, and the minimum hardware specs are as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3 12th Gen or above, or AMD Ryzen 3 7000 series or above
  • RAM: 8GB+
  • Storage: 128GB+
  • Webcam: 1080p+ with Temporal Noise Reduction
  • Display: Full HD IPS or better display
Chromebook PlusChromebook Plus
Image Credit (Google)
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Google makes no promises on the performance that stems from these results, except that it is “double” when compared with the top-selling Chromebooks for July to December 2022. There is also no minimum standard for battery life, the speed of RAM or the speed of storage either. There are currently no Plus models to tout using an Arm chip, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. However, Google suggested during our press briefing that they are excited to work with Arm chips on Chromebook Plus devices in the future.

The first wave of Chromebook Plus devices differed depending on region, but these were the devices included:

Brand Model Chip Starting Price
Acer Chromebook Plus 515 Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7 £499/$399/€479
Acer Chromebook Plus 514 Up to AMD Ryzen 5 7000 C-series £399/$399/€449
Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7 £399/€449
Asus Chromebook Plus CM34 Flip AMD Ryzen 3 7000 C-series £499
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i5 $500/€679
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i Chromebook Plus Intel Core i3-N305 £349/$550/€449
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook Plus Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5 €599
HP Chromebook Plus 15.6-inch Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5 £429/$499/€449
HP Chromebook Plus x360 14-inch Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i5 $699

At launch, Chromebook Plus devices were able to offer up Google’s Magic Eraser feature in-browser. Previously an exclusive feature found on Pixel phones, Magic Eraser gives you the ability to remove unwanted objects and subjects from a picture – always handy if you’re trying to take a selfie in a crowded area.

In May 2024, Google expanded the feature-set of the Chromebook Plus line by introducing several AI-powered abilities, including on-device Google Gemini. Having the Gemini app pre-installed means that you can lean on Google’s AI program for help with any tasks you need to get done, or any questions you’re struggling with.

Chromebook Plus users can also enjoy generative AI wallpapers. It’s not quite as boundless as what you’ll find with some image generators but with a handful of prompts to choose from, you do get a fair amount of variety on a feature that just isn’t available on standard Chromebooks.

As part of the launch of Google Gemini on Chromebook Plus machines, Google is also throwing in an added incentive until the end of 2024 wherein Chromebook Plus users can get a whole 12-months of access to the company’s AI Premium plan for no additional cost.

This high-tier plan includes access to Gemini Advanced which is capable or running more in-depth requests when it comes to coding, as well as integrating itself into a handful of Google apps including Docs and Gmail.

More apps are available on Plus too, with Adobe Photoshop on the Web and Adobe Express Premium. Chromebook Plus devices will get three months free. Video-editing suite LumaFusion is coming as well, with Chromebook Plus users able to get 25% off to get it down to $29.99/£29.99.

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