I’ve recently mentioned that there aren’t too many LTE Chromebooks available. However, there have been a few new additions to the shortlist over the last six months or so. And it appears there will soon be another. Thanks to a tipster, a Verizon-branded LTE Chromebook is expected to launch in the U.S.
Don’t get too excited about this newcomer though. I’d say the overall package is uninspiring. That’s fairly typical of most carrier-branded mobile devices.
What do I mean by uninspiring?
Well, the device is reportedly this one, made by Orbic. It’s called the Orbic Chromebook 4G and has what I’d call minimum viable specifications.
The 11.6-inch display is HD, likely meaning 1366 x768 resolution, for example. Inside is the first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform, also found in the HP Chromebook X2 11. That silicon has already been superseded by a newer chip. That’s the one inside the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook. There’s 4 GB of memory and 32 GB of local storage. A 1 MP camera tops it all off.
Of course, there’s 4G LTE built-in, which is the key selling point here. And I would anticipate a rather low price for the hardware, perhaps even free from Verizon. The company will make up the difference on the likely required 4G data plan.
But you don’t need a carrier logo slapped on your Chromebook for a device like this today. The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 offers a larger, higher-resolution display with the same Snapdragon 7c. And it bumps the memory up to a generous 8 GB plus it includes 128 GB of local storage. I don’t think it’s worth the $699 asking price, but it’s an option.
Perhaps there will be some demand if the Verizon-branded LTE Chromebook is heavily subsidized for customers that just need a very basic laptop. I’m skeptical of a bit hit here, however.