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Remix OS Elitebook spotted at Rockchip booth

Why it matters to you

HP may expand its Chromebook offerings with low-cost, alternative Android OS backends.

An HP laptop running the Android-based Remix OS has been spotted at the Hong Kong Global Sources Fair, prompting rumors that we could see HP hardware in the near future using alternative operating systems. Other potential options include Phoenix OS and Chrome OS, both of which are based on Android, but are designed to be more fitting for a laptop.

HP is one of the world’s most prolific laptop manufacturers, and most of its portable hardware is powered by Microsoft Windows operating systems. It has produced a few Chromebooks in the past though, and it could well be that the Remix OS powered laptop seen at the Rockchip booth is a pre-production version of that.

However, it’s equally possible that this is the first hint of a new direction for HP. This is far from confirmed, however — while the laptop looks very much like an HP notebook and features EliteBook branding, it doesn’t have an HP badge on it (thanks Liliputing).

The fact that the original story on Notebook Italia has been removed at the request of Rockchip suggests this discovery was one that was supposed to be kept under wraps and perhaps not even displayed at the show at all.

The Remix OS powered laptop featured a 12.5 inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel display, with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core CPU with Mali-T864 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard flash storage.

It’s possible that the laptop will be built in conjunction with HP and sold in niche markets with alternate branding, or it may well be that HP is indeed looking to launch some lineups of alternative operating system notebooks in various territories. Such a move could be a way for it to expand its current Chromebook offerings, or provide lower cost alternatives to its Windows machines — thanks to the avoidance of a Windows license fee — with comparable hardware options.

As things stand, we still need further confirmation or a statement from HP before we’ll know anything for sure.