chrome-20

Earlier today, Google, Intel and a few key partners hosted a Chrome OS event where they formally unveiled a slew of new Intel-powered devices. While some of the devices like the LG Chromebase and HP Chromebox were announced a while back, today we learned that HP’s Chromebox will land in stores in June and the LG Chromebase 21-inch all-in-one will hit Amazon, NewEgg and other partners on May 26th for a price of $349.

As for the new stuff? For one thing, we’re about to get two somewhat higher-end Chromebooks, as i3 variants of the Dell Chromebook 11 and Acer C720 are on their way in time for “back to school” priced at $349.99. The biggest news, however, is that Intel will be pushing forward with several next-gen Intel Bay Trail-M devices that will offer up to 11 hours of battery life and a fanless design.

In addition to the recently announced Lenovo N20 and N20p, there’s also a Bay Trail-powered Acer Chromebook 2014 and two Asus models: the 11.6-inch C200 Chromebook and the 13.3-inch C300. Both the Asus and Acer Chromebooks are expected to arrive sometime this summer, though no exact release details are given.

20-chrome-brands

Google and Intel also touched on the fact that we’re about to see the number of Chromebook partners increase dramatically with as many as “20 designs”, including products from lesser known brands like Hexa and CTL.

On the software side, Google also revealed a bit about its plans for new Chrome OS features. This includes the promise of easier voice activated features and even a new Google Play update that brings the Play Movies and TV app to Chrome OS, alongside support for offline viewing.

Bottom-line, Google, Intel and several other manufacturers are dedicated to greatly expanding the reach of Chrome OS. Considering the brand was once only limited to a handful of models with a very limited consumer reach, things have certainly come a long way.

Are you excited for the future of Chromebooks, or not quite sold on the idea just yet? Should Microsoft be worried by now?