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Chromebook X leaks: Google's new badge of excellence for laptops

Expect hardware branding, a special boot screen, and extra features for these laptops.
By
June 21, 2023
Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Chromebook showing Chromebook logo
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google is reportedly working on a Chromebook X initiative.
  • Chromebooks that meet Google’s requirements will receive special branding and features.
  • It’s believed the first models as part of this program could launch before the end of the year.

Google has made an effort over the years to tout higher-end Chromebooks, offering Plus and Premium tags on some models. Now, it looks like the company is working on a new program for more capable Chromebooks.

9to5Google uncovered the existence of a so-called Chromebook X program. The outlet revealed that Chromebooks falling under this program would get Chromebook X branding on the hardware itself, as well as a special boot screen.

Hardware requirements for Chromebook X

There’s more to this program than branding, though. It’s believed that Chromebook X devices require more RAM, a better display, and a good webcam, although specific details weren’t revealed.

These new laptops will apparently be built with AMD Zen 2+ or Zen 3 chips, and Intel’s 12th-generation Brya and Nissa processors. Newer chips in these families would ostensibly be included on the list.

Nissa support is particularly interesting as the Nissa name refers to Intel’s budget-focused N series processors. So it sounds like Chromebook X certification won’t necessarily be limited to high-end laptops but could come to mid-rangers too.

In fact, we recently reported that Steam was being tested on these chips too. So mid-range Chromebooks could be in for a boost in the coming months.

What else will these models offer?

9to5Google also reports that laptops in this program would gain some exclusive features to help differentiate them from standard Chromebooks. This includes several video conferencing features such as Live Caption for calls, a portrait blur option, and voice isolation tech.

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The company is also apparently readying an exclusive set of wallpapers and screen savers that would change throughout the day. Other supposed Chromebook X-only features include support for up to 16 virtual desks, a new retail mode, and support for pinned files in Google Drive.

A source told the outlet that the first models would launch by the end of 2023. So there’s still a while to wait for these devices. In saying so, the outlet added that Google is working to bring some currently released Chromebooks to Chromebook X status. There’s no word on the specific models, but it means you might not have to buy a new laptop to enjoy this new status.