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First Gaming Chromebooks Announced – 144Hz Display, RGB Keyboards, GeForce Now, and More

It seems like yesterday when Google announced the discontinuation of Stadia and exit from the Cloud Gaming segment, but apparently, they had other plans. The company announced the world’s first Gaming Chromebooks coming from partners including Lenovo, Acer, and ASUS with essential gaming laptop features. The gaming part, however, surprise surprise, is based on Cloud Gaming.

gaming chromebooks

World’s First Gaming Chromebooks Are Here

Google is leaning towards the same idea Microsoft has relied on for years now. Get the experts to make the laptops, make the operating system, and perhaps get a few extra partnerships to make the end package more appealing. After canceling the 2023 Pixelbook, Google took a detour toward Cloud Gaming in Chromebooks but left the hardware to its partner OEMs who have been making Windows gaming laptops for a while now.

gaming chromebooks

The first batch of Gaming Chromebooks includes the Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Gaming Chromebook 16.0“, Acer Chromebook 516 GE, and the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip. Because these are gaming laptops, the OEMs have included displays with fast refresh rates (120Hz and above) and RGB keyboards, which again, is a first for Chromebooks.

Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Gaming Chromebook 16″

The IdeaPad 5i Gaming Chromebook 16″ is currently the cheapest device in the line-up. There is a 16-inch 120 Hz (2560×1600, 16:10) IPS display and you can choose from an Intel 12th gen Core i3-1215U or a Core i5-1235U. It also gets 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 256GB or 512GB PCIe SSD (the 128GB variant is eMMC) storage, a 1080P webcam, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5, and a 71Wh Battery.

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The Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Gaming Chromebook 16″ with an i5-1235U, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD is priced at $599.00 while the i3-1215U base variant with 128GB eMMC storage should cost $399.99.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE sits in the middle and also features a 16-inch (2560×1600, 16:10) 120Hz IPS display while stepping up the CPU department with the 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P.

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You also get 8GB DDR4X RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and a 1080P webcam to go with that. Thanks to the more powerful CPU, it costs a bit more around $649.99.

ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip

ASUS takes things up a notch with the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX55 (CX5501) Flip and offers an Intel Core i3-1115G7, i5-1135G7 as well as a more powerful Core i7-1165G7, but do keep in mind that these are still 11th gen G-series CPUs. That means even the i7 and i5 CPUs only have 4 cores while the i3 has 2 cores, so even though it has more flexibility, I wish it was using the 12th Gen CPUs like the rest of the devices.

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Alongside that, you’re getting up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 512GB of PCIe SSD storage. However, the biggest upgrade comes to the display as the 15.6-inch (1920×1080, 16:9) IPS panel gets a higher 144Hz refresh rate and also has touch & flip capabilities. The device also has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, a 720P webcam, and a 57Wh battery.

The price for the i5-1135G7 variant of the Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage should be around $699.00.

Also Read: 5 Best Laptops For Graphic Design in 2022 (RTX A3000)

Google’s New Approach To Cloud Gaming Is Gaming Chromebooks

Google figured out that Stadia wasn’t capable enough to compete against the big players of the Cloud Gaming industry, so they’re killing it off and partnering with NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Amazon instead. That means, all these new Gaming Chromebooks come with support for GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta), and Amazon Luna (US only).

If you were confused about all of the above laptops not having a dedicated GPU, it’s like that because all the graphics-intensive stuff is getting handled by the cloud servers. This allows smooth gaming on any decent laptop. You just need a fast internet connection to make this work.

gaming chromebooks

Google was really smart to opt for the high refresh rate displays, better CPUs, and faster storage, which are nasty bottlenecks for regular Chromebooks. The RGB keyboards are just another cherry on top. They even announced dedicated gaming peripherals coming from brands like Corsair, HyperX, SteelSeries, Acer, and Lenovo.

Does this make the laptops better than their Windows competition? Not exactly! Microsoft’s Windows 11 is still leaps and bounds ahead of Google’s ChromeOS But for these prices, you don’t necessarily get 120Hz/144Hz displays on Windows laptops and that’s where new ChromeOS-powered gaming laptops are making their stand.

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Ronit Roy

Ronit Roy is a Tech Reviewer, Writer, and Science Nerd from India. He specializes in Smartphones, Laptops, Televisions, Audio, and AI. Ronit has worked with Multi-national Tech OEMs and has a first-person understanding of how Modern Technology is shaping the world.

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