Finally: An AMD Chromebook, Courtesy of HP

HP has announced today something long-rumored and hoped for but not actually available in stores: a Chromebook powered by an AMD processor. We saw it for ourselves, the Chrome OS-backed HP Chromebook 14 runs on a dual-core AMD A4-9120 CPU with integrated AMD Radeon R4 graphics. It starts at $269 and arrives later this month.

HP Chromebook 14 Specs

CPU & Base Frequency / BoostAMD A4-9210 @ 2.2 GHz / 2.5 GHz
GraphicsAMD Radeon R4 (integrated)
RAM4GB (DDR4-1866 SDRAM)
Storage32GB (eMMC)
Display14 inches, HD resolution
SVA panel with anti-glare & WLED backlight
Ports

2x USB Type-C
2x USB 2.0
1x MicroSD
1x headphone out/mic in combo

Battery47.4 Wh
ConnectivityQualcomm Atheros QCA6174A-5 802.11a/b/g/ac 2x2 Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2 combo (MU-MIMO support)
Audio2x B&O speakers
WebcamHP TrueVision HD
Dimensions (WxDxH)13.3 x 8.9 in x 0.7 inches  (33.8 x 22.6 x 1.8 cm)
Weight3.4 pounds (1.5 kg)
PriceNon-touchscreen: $269
Touchscreen: $299

Intel has been holding a firm grasp on the Chromebook CPU space, with most Chromebooks today sporting their Celeron, Pentium or older-generation Core i3 or i5 processors. But HP has broken the mold with its latest Chromebook. As a low-cost Chromebook, it’s meant for basic productivity and only runs Android Apps, so you can't expect HP to pack much performance power into the 3.4-pound lightweight. The Chromebook 14’s CPU has a 2.2-GHz clock speed and can reach 2.5 GHz at turbo boost. It has a solid, for a Chromebook, 4GB of memory and integrated AMD graphics.

In-person the laptop was surprisingly light with the thick, rounded edges and the relatively tough exterior of a kid-friendly device but the sleek color and finish of a grown-up PC. HP calls it chalkboard gray with a textured finish. It impressively has not one, but two USB-C ports, for charging and data, and a 180-degree hinge for laying the machine flat. 

HP claims the laptop gets up to 9 hours and 15 minutes of battery life. In addition to its 802.11a/b/g/ac connectivity, the Chromebook also supports MU-MIMO for better internet connectivity.

With AMD under the hood, HP may have just given some Team Red enthusiasts reason to consider a Chromebook as a secondary or kids' device.