HP & # 39; s latest Chromebooks, the x360 12b and 14b, are the first in the company to support the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI), the new standard that allows compatible styluses to work seamlessly on different devices. The Chromebooks were released as part of one first wave of USI 1.0 devices, which means they must be compatible with one of the USI styluses that have been released, in addition to HP's own $ 70 stylus to be released in November.
The launch of the first USI devices took a long time. The initiative started in 2015, but it wasn't until the beginning of last year that Google signed up to support the standard. Yesterday, the Universal Standards Initiative announced that 12 companies were launching their first USI-compatible devices, including styluses from Hanvon, Maxeye and Sunwoda, as well as these Chromebooks from HP. Unfortunately no mention is made of a stylus from Wacom, a prominent stylus manufacturer, but the company is listed as a member of the USI together with Samsung, maker of the stylus-equipped Note devices.
A promotional video released in 2017 contains many benefits of USI. Not only can you use the same stylus on multiple devices, but a USI stylus can also transfer your preferences between them, such as brush stroke and color settings. Up to six styluses can draw on one display at the same time and communication is in two directions, which, according to the USI organization, offers consistent performance in areas with a lot of radio interference.
In addition to their support for USI 1.0, HP & # 39; s Chromebooks are a more typical budgetary issue. Both models have 360-degree hinges so that they can flip their displays and use them as a tablet (which is handy given the stylus support), 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 1.1 GHz processors. The most important difference between the two is their representation. The x360 12b model has a 12-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 912 and the 14b has a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
The HP Chromebook x360 12b starts at $ 359, while the 14-inch x360 14b is $ 20 more at $ 379. Both will be available in the US later this month.