Chromebooks are basically just laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system rather than Windows, macOS, or another operating system. But historically Chromebooks have also been relatively cheap computers that don’t include a lot of storage or many customization options.
That’s started to change in recent years — with some PC makers offering Chromebooks with up to an Intel Core i7 processor, ample storage, and… higher price tags.
Now Dell is getting on the premium Chromebook lineup with a new line of Dell Latitude 5000 series Chromebooks aimed at enterprise customers (but available for anyone to purchase). Probably the most interesting thing about these laptops is that they’re just as customizable as Dell’s Windows machines… in fact the hardware on these laptops is virtually identical to what you’d get if you bought a Dell Latitude 5000 series laptop with Windows 10.
The Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise and Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise (clamshell) will be available starting Augist 27th.
The Latitude 5300 2-in-1 features a 13.3 inch, full HD touchscreen display with 255 nits of brightness, pen support, and a 360-degree hinge, while the Latitude 5400 is a 14 inch clamshell with a choice of 1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080 pixel touch or non-touch displays, all of which top out 220 nits.
The 14 inch demo unit Dell showed me also had a matte, non-glare display.
What makes these laptops unusual by Chromebook standards is that both models support:
- Up to an Intel Core i7 Whiskey Lake processor
- Up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM (2 SODIMM slots)
- Up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage (M. 2230 card)
They’re also the first Chromebooks I’m aware of to come with a choice of batteries — Dell offers 42 Wh and 60 Wh battery options for the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 and 42 Wh, 51 Wh, and 68 Wh options for the 14 inch Latitude 5400.
Dell also offers a choice of power adapters — the laptops have both a 7.4mm charging port and support for USB-C charging and can work with 65W or 90W chargers.
The laptops feature 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI and USB 3.1 ports, and there’s even an RJ-45 jack for Gigabit Ethernet on the 14 inch model.
Other features include backlit, spill-resistant keyboards and optional support for 4G LTE.
The Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise measures 12″ x 8.2″ x 0.7″ and has a starting weight of 3 pounds for a model with a 42 Wh battery, while the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise is a 12.7′ x 8.5″ x 0.8″ laptop with a starting weight of 3.2 pounds for a model with a 42 Wh battery and a non-touch display.
Since these laptops ship with Chrome OS, they’re expected to be a little cheaper than a Windows laptop… but only a little. Dell says to expect starting around $699 for the Latitude 54000 Chromebook Enterprise when it goes on sale August 27th, and $819 for the Latitude 53000 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise, which should be available the same day.
The company is also pushing these as Enterprise edition devices — Dell has partnered with Google to make Chrome OS Enterprise services available out of the box for companies that access to Google’s management and IT services. But there’s nothing stopping you from picking one up for yourself if you’re just looking for a Chromebook with robust hardware and more customization options than you’ll find for just about any other model released to date.