If you always thought Chromebooks were lacking a certain oomph, you’re not alone. Discerning whether they’re good for you (or your kid) has never been easy, though Google’s recent introduction of a ‘Chromebook Plus’ certification should make the process a little simpler. A Chromebook is only eligible for the ‘Plus’ moniker if it meets Google’s minimum device requirements, with those devices getting a bigger boost in the form of exclusive software and AI features from Google itself.
To enter the Chromebook Plus Hall of Fame, devices must have:
- An Intel Core (i3 and up) or AMD Ryzen 7,000 processor
- An IPS panel with 1080p resolution (and up)
- A 1080p webcam
- 8GB of RAM
- 128GB of storage
As of today, there are only nine devices that fit the Chromebook Plus bill. Those include two devices each from HP, Asus, and Acer, with Lenovo taking up the last three spots. Each comes with a starting price of $400 in the US (aside from Lenovo’s gaming-centric one), though South Africans won’t be lucky enough to get away with paying R7,000 and up for these.
Acer leads the Chromebook pack
We know that because Acer is one of the only companies on that list to, so far, announce their Plus devices for South Africa. The Acer Chromebook Plus 514 and 515 will hit South African shelves sometime in October for R10,000 and R11,000 respectively. Those names refer to the display sizes you’ll be getting in inches, with the 515 getting a 15.6in FHD display, while the 14in gets a WUXGA screen.
Both share the ability to pack up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, combined with up to 256GB of SSD storage. The 515 is primarily an Intel Core machine (going up to core i7), and the 514 is an AMD man, rocking up to a Ryzen 5 7520-C processor.
Lenovo, HP, and Asus are yet to announce any of their Chromebook Plus devices for the South African market, though Lenovo does mention that its IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook Plus is available in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). It’s unclear whether South Africa will make the cut, but we don’t see why any of those companies would miss out on selling here.