Google has introduced Chromebook Plus, a new certification aimed at helping buyers identify high-quality Chromebooks to purchase. Like Intel’s Evo program for Windows PCs, the Chromebook Plus brand will be awarded to laptops that meet a set of minimum requirements. The idea is that even a buyer unfamiliar with PC specifications can see the “Chromebook Plus” label on a product and be assured that Google thinks it’s a good product.
Chromebook Plus devices must have:
There is an interesting absence here: battery life. In fact, the phrase “battery life” doesn’t appear even once in Google’s press release. Curious! I asked Google spokesperson Peter Du about this and he provided the following statement: “All Chromebooks must meet a 10-hour battery life requirement based on internal testing standards. While it is not a new requirement for Chromebook Plus, such as the 1080p display or 8GB of RAM, Chromebook Plus laptops must also comply with this.”
I mean, I guess. I’d love to know what these internal testing standards are. Anyway, Chromebooks are generally considered portable devices, battery life goes a long way toward a product’s viability as an on-the-go controller, and I’m wondering why it wasn’t any kind of priority here.
Chromebooks that receive the Plus certification will have access to some exclusive AI-powered features, some (but not most) of which were demonstrated at a press event last week. These include a magic eraser tool in Google Photos (which can automatically remove background elements), improvements to lighting and noise cancellation in video conferencing, and offline file syncing (which automatically downloads files from Drive to your device, something I find It would make me nervous, considering the large volume I have stored in Drive).
There are more sophisticated things on the way, including AI-generated wallpapers you can create with text messages and “a personal writing assistant,” which sounds incredibly entertaining. Chromebook Plus products also come with a three-month subscription to Photoshop on the web and three months of GeForce Now priority tier. (RIP Stadiums.)
Some of the first devices to be announced include:
Look out for Chromebook Plus laptops hitting shelves in the coming weeks. (We will also review some.)
Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge