HP announces new Elite Chromebooks and thin clients for business
HP has announced a pair of new Elite Chromebooks geared towards business users, powered by the latest hardware from Intel and AMD. The company also announced a handful of thin clients – cloud-focused PCs running HP’s proprietary operating system.
HP also announced the availability of the Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, which was first introduced at this year’s CES. This is a premium convertible powered by Intel’s 12th-generation processors and featuring a 13.5-inch display with a tall 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s planned to be available in the summer, and it will start at $1,149. If you opt for the Chromebook Enterprise version, it starts at $1,254.
HP Elite Chromebook c645 and c640
Starting with the Chromebook side of things, there are two new devices. First, there’s the HP Elite Chromebook c645 G2, which is powered by the new AMD Ryzen 5000C series that have just been announced. These processors are designed specifically for Chromebooks and they feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads, so you can get plenty of performance out of them. The HP Elite c645 comes with processor options from a Ryzen 3 to a Ryzen 7.
If you prefer Intel processors, there’s also the HP Elite Chromebook c640, which is essentially the same, but powered by Intel’s 12th-generation processors with vPro support. HP hasn’t said whether these are U-series or P-series processors, but either way, you’re getting Intel’s new hybrid architecture and a big performance improvement over the previous generation.
Beyond the processors, these two Chromebooks are nearly identical. You can configure them with up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a 512GB SSD for storage. They have a 14-inch display that starts at HD+ (1366 x 768) resolution but you can upgrade to Full HD and even add touch support if you want to. They also feature a 5MP webcam above the display so you can look your best during video calls and meetings.
The Intel model (Chromebook c640) comes with two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a combo audio jack. The Chromebook c645 has a similar setup but the USB-C ports won’t have Thunderbolt, as you’d expect. Both of the laptops are the world’s first Chromebooks to have the option for a Smart Card reader, though, which is potentially big news for businesses.
Both of these laptops will be available as standard Chromebooks or as Chromebook Enterprise devices. The Elite Chromebook c640 will be available in mid-May starting at $509, while the Elite Chromebook c645 will be available in early June starting at $559 for the standard version. pricing for the Chromebook Enterprise variants wasn’t announced.
HP Thin Clients
If you’re more interested in HP’s Thin Clients, there are some big news for you, too. These are computers that run HP ThinPro, a custom operating system developed by HP designed with security and reliability at the forefront. They’re also available with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, if you prefer that.
First off, there’s the HP Elite mt645 G7 Mobile Thin Client, which is powered by AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It has a 14-inch Full HD display with optional touch support and HP Sure View Reflect, plus an HD webcam for video calls. The battery can be either a 42Whr or a 51Whr unit, depending on your needs. For security, you can add a fingerprint sensor or IR camera, though these features require Windows 10. For ports, you get three USB Type-A ports, USB Type-C, RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, a combo audio jack, and a nano SIM slot if you opt for the LTE-enabled version.
Stepping things down a notch, there’s the HP Pro mt440, powered Intel’s 12th-generation Celeron processors, meant for less demanding tasks. It can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, plus it has a 14-inch HD display and an HD webcam. Similarly, it has two battery options, 42Whr or 51Whr. For security, there’s the option for a fingerprint reader to unlock the PC. Finally, the ports include three USB Type-A ports, USB-C, HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, a combo audio jack, an optional nano-SIM slot, and your choice of a USB-C or barrel-type charging port.
For the desktop, there’s also the HP Elite t655 Thin Client, a small desktop PC powered by “next-gen” AMD Ryzen Embedded R-series processors with integrated Radeon graphics. It can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, too. Connectivity is abundant in this one, with a total of six USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C, three DisplayPort outputs, split 3.5mm audio jacks for input and output, and an RJ45 Ehternet port with gigabit speeds. There are also configuration options for even more ports including Serial I/O, HDMI, and more.
HP didn’t announce pricing for any of these devices, though they’re planned to be available in the summer. The HP Elite t655 specifically is planned for August.
HP also announced an update to the ThinPro OS itself, which is reaching version 8.0 this summer. This new version adds new security features like drive encryption and remote device management support, plus it has improved support for cloud computing and collaboration tools. Additionally, there’s the new HP Cloud Endpoint Manager, a tool for IT admins to manage fleets of HP Thin Clients, including real-time device monitoring and instant alerts. This is now available in preview.
Aside from the new computers, HP also announced the Universal USB-C Multiport Hub, which is exactly what it sounds like. It connects to your PC using a USB Type-C port and it gives you seven ports in total: two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C for data, another USB Type-C for passthrough charging up to 65W, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and RJ45 Ethernet. The hub should work with any laptop that has a USB Type-C port, and it’s available now for $99.