Verizon launches Snapdragon-powered Chromebook with LTE

It’s not uncommon to see an “off-brand” Chromebook popping up here and there. As the Chrome OS ecosystem continues to expand, we are seeing more and more white label devices produced in overseas markets. Many of these Chromebooks look like other devices from companies like ASUS or CTL, but have a different brand name and possibly some minor changes in design or port selection. Why is that, you ask? Let me explain.

White label chromebooks

White label devices are produced by an ODM manufacturer with a certain set of design elements, features and specifications. These devices can then be changed for an OEM who then brands the device with their own company name. Perfect example? The Acer Chromebook Tab 10. It was the first Chrome OS tablet powered by RockChips OP1 SoC. It was later duplicated by ASUS and CTL but the devices other than the brand’s label are identical. They all come from the same factory and are essentially the same device.

These white label manufacturers make it easy for smaller OEMs to enter a new market without the expense of designing a product from scratch. Brands like Viglen, Lava, EduGear and many more have been producing these renowned Chromebooks for years, but now it looks like Verizon is putting a horse in the race with an LTE-enabled device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c compute SoC.

Before you get too excited, it won’t be a high-end device like the ones you’ll find at Best Buy. The new Chromebook appears to be produced by the Orbic company, which specializes in budget smartphones and devices designed specifically for carriers like Verizon, AT&T and others. This new Chromebook, as Kevin Tofel describes it, has minimally viable specs with 4GB of RAM and barely 32GB of eMMC storage. Here’s a look at the unannounced Orbic Chromebook that may arrive at a Verizon store near you in the future.

This Chromebook is a basic 11.6-inch foldable laptop with a 1366 × 768 display and very little to say. It’s plausible that it could feature some sort of MIL-Spec rating if Verizon seeks to sell it to businesses. I guess this Chromebook will end up being a premium product for the mobile operator. Verizon already offers three Chromebooks with LTE connectivity from CTL and Samsung, but that would give them a budget-friendly device that they can maintain in-house and use to sell data plans for connected devices. It wouldn’t surprise me if Verizon offers this Chromebook for free when you add a new data plan to your existing account.

Either way, there’s not much to get excited about here other than it reinforces the idea that Chrome OS is finally reaching the mainstream. If Verizon is ready to launch a device under its own brand, we’ll likely see more OEMs and even mobile carriers launching their own Chromebooks in the near future. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one and let you know when you can get your hands on it.

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