HP has a new pair of enterprise Chromebooks, which come with Parallels Desktop

The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook Enterprise isn’t the only Chrome OS laptop HP is bringing to business this year. The company has launched a pair of new business models, with a choice of 12th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 5000 processors. Say hello to the HP Elite c640 G3 Chromebook Enterprise and HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook Enterprise. Both models come with a year of Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS, which is handy for running Windows as needed.

If you’re familiar with HP’s existing Chromebook Enterprise models, you’ll probably recognize their names. That’s because this is the third iteration of an Intel model and the second powered by AMD. Hence the G3 and G2 in the names. These are more like updates or refreshes than completely revamped options.

Still, there’s a lot to offer here, so let’s review both options.

HP Elite c640 G3 Chromebook Enterprise

This Intel-powered Chromebook looks a lot like the last generation, but with one obvious exception. HP has included an integrated smart card reader, Chromebook first, for businesses that use them.

The 14-inch screen is still there and with a handful of options. The only touchscreen choice is a 1920 x 1080 resolution with 250 nits brightness. The Elite c640 G3 can be fitted with a 1366 x 768 display (please don’t buy this for your employees!) or 1080p with a choice of 400 or 1000 nits.

Inside HP says you can opt for a 12th Gen Intel processor ranging from a Celeron all the way up to a Core i7. Yes, the whole Intel family is on board. Graphics will depend on processor choice. Up to 16 GB of memory and storage options between 64 and 512 GB are available. Note that the 64GB option is eMMC flash memory, while all other choices are NVMe SSDs.

Connectivity comes with a 6E WiFi radio, and although HP didn’t mention it in the specs, Bluetooth is probably there too. LTE connectivity is also an option. The 5 MP webcam uses HP’s Privacy Shutter, which I like on the HP Chromebase 21.5. The expected range of input ports are also there: 2 USB Type-C, 2 USB Type-A, HDMI and a microSD card reader. This package should stand up to daily work, having passed 19 MIL-STD 810H specification tests.

HP Elite G640 G3 and Elite G645 G2 with smart card reader

What’s really good is that since this is a new chipset for Chromebooks, Google will offer Chrome OS software support until June 2030. HP says to expect the Elite C640 G3 in June with a starting price of $509. It’s probably for a Celeron unit with minimal memory and storage.

HP Elite c645 G2 Enterprise Chromebook

The Elite C645 is almost identical to the C640 G3, but with a secret sauce inside. This enterprise Chromebook supports the new AMD Ryzen 5000 line of processors announced this week. Essentially, they offer similar speeds to Intel’s 11th Gen Core lineup, but have more processor cores than even Intel’s 12th Gen chips. You can buy the Elite C645 with an AMD Ryzen 3, 5 or 7 processor.

All other options are essentially the same as the Intel version: the same choices for display, memory, storage and connectivity. Even the smart card reader is there.

This AMD-powered model also gets Chrome OS software upgrades through June 2030. You’ll see it in June with a slightly higher starting price of $559.

I would consider this version if you or your employees plan to take advantage of the Parallels Desktop license for Chrome OS. It’s nice to have more CPU cores than you can dedicate to a virtual machine running Windows on Chrome OS. It’s also worth noting that consumer models of these devices will follow, although likely with the removal of the smart card reader. Pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

About Jon Moses

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