Back in October, HP announced it will have versions of its Chromebooks that come with touchscreens. Today, HP announced that its Chromebook 14 now comes with touch and a few other improvements.
The old Chromebook 14 came with a Tegra K1 processor (quad-core Cortex A15 CPU), 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, and the device cost $300. The new Chromebook 14 with touch also has a Tegra K1 processor, although HP is not clear whether it's the same Tegra K1 version as in the old Chromebook, or the new Denver-based model (which is in the Nexus 9).
The new Chromebook 14 also has a 1080p resolution display, while the old one only had a 1366 x 768 resolution. This is a notable upgrade, as 1366 x 768 is quite low for a 14" screen size. It also comes with twice as much RAM and storage (4 GB and 32 GB, respectively). The new model will see a commensurate cost increase, resulting in a higher $439 price tag.
Chromebooks are usually known for being inexpensive machines, but the $439 price tag might not match that description for many potential customers. Touchscreens tend to add significantly to the cost of a low-end machine, although the device does come with twice as much storage and RAM. However, the increase in price seems significantly higher than what those improvements should cost.
The closer you get to the $500 threshold, the more people will expect to see at least an Intel Core i3 processor in the machine, too. ARM chips make more sense at the $200-$300 level, where they have adequate performance for that price range. When the machine costs close to $500 or more, people expect not only significantly higher performance, but also a more advanced operating system.
Chromebooks remain a solid choice for education where their simplicity and security are real strengths. In the mainstream market, those features appeal to a smaller subset of customers, while the rest just wants the operating system they've used before (usually Windows).
The HP Chromebook 14 with touchscreen will probably find a market with those who love Chromebooks but weren't happy with the current low-spec'd models. They wanted a higher-resolution screen and 4 GB of RAM and are willing to spend a little more to get it.