Dell is expanding its line of Chrome OS laptops with what the company says is the first enterprise class Chromebook. The Dell Chromebook 13 has a full HD display, support for up to 8GB of RAM and up to an Intel Core i5 Broadwell processor, and a premium materials including a carbon fiber cover, mangesium alloy palm rest, and aluminum base.
So how much does a business-class Chromebook cost? It depends on how you configure the system, but prices range from $399 for an entry-level model to $899 for a top-of-the-line system.
Dell knows that Chromebooks aren’t for everyone. But Dell already offers a computers with a range of operating systems including Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Now Dell’s business division says a growing number of the company’s business customers have been looking for a Chrome OS solution that’s more powerful and durable than the low-cost Chromebooks that currently dominate the market, while costing less than the uber-expensive Google Chromebook Pixel.
The Chromebook 13 is designed to meet the needs of those customers — although it will be available for purchase by anyone who wants a high class Chromebook.
The notebook has a MIL-SPEC tested case, an optional extended warranty for up to 4 years, and premium support options including battery replacement and accidental damage services.
Speaking of the battery, as with most thin and light laptops, the Dell Chromebook 13 has a battery that’s not designed to be easily swapped out. But since this is a business-class device, Dell will sell replacement batteries to customers that want them, and you won’t necessarily void your warranty if you decide to service the battery yourself.
Of course some enterprise customers interested in Chromebooks might still have a few Windows-only apps that they need to run. There are some remote desktop utilities that let you remote control a Windows machine or virtual machine to run legacy apps from Chrome OS. Dell also plans to offer its own solutions, including server hardware that companies can set up as an appliance, allowing up to 350 users to connect to the server to run legacy Windows programs.
So how much Chromebook do you get for the starting price of $399? Here’s what that price covers:
- 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel anti-glare display
- Intel Celeron 3205U Broadwell processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of M.2 solid state storage
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port
- HDMI 1.4
- MicroSD card slot
- Headset jack
- 720p webcam and dual-array microphones
- Stereo speakers
- Backlit chicklet keyboard and precision glass touchpad
- 6 cell, 67 Whr battery for up to 12 hours of run time
The Dell Chromebook 13 measures 12.9″ x 9″ x 0.7″ and weighs 3.2 pounds. If you opt for a model with a touchscreen display, it features Corning Gorilla Glass and adds a little more weight, making the laptop about 3.6 pounds.
Here are some of the configurations that will be available at launch:
- Celeron 3205U / 2GB RAM / 16GB SSD for $399
- Celeron 3205U / 4GB RAM /16GB SSD for $429
- Core i3-5005U /4GB of RAM / 16GB SSD for $529
- Core i3-5005U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD for $629
- Core i3-5005U / 4GB RAM / 32GB SSD + touchscreen for $649
- Core i5-5300U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD for $799
- Core i5-5300U / 8GB RAM / 32GB SSD + touchscreen for $899
Note that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, so if you want more than 2GB of RAM in your Chromebook, you’ll have to buy one of the more expensive models.
The Dell Chromebook 13 will be available in the US and Canada starting September 17th.