One of the main reasons for this is the fact that most Chromebooks, to this point, have been built with relatively modest processors, no discrete GPUs (graphics cards), and few features, if any, that lent themselves to gaming. But, all of that is about to change. With a combination of some of the most impressive hardware ever to grace a Chromebook and ground-up integration of some of the most popular cloud-based gaming services, this first wave of gaming portables is poised to define an entirely new category or products designed to let you play your favorite games on the road. Let’s go over each of these wave-one devices, including entries from Acer, Asus, and Lenovo.  More: How Microsoft and Samsung may finally take cloud gaming mainstream

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Acer’s a well-known brand among PC gamers for its Predator-branded peripherals, Nitro gaming laptops, and more. It’s coming out of the gate into the gaming Chromebook market with hardware that would fit right at home with the rest of the Nitro-branded laptops while including enough ports to put your average MacBook to shame.  Despite all the hardware and diverse cloud gaming support, the base model of the Chromebook 516 GE is available now for $649.99 in the US and will be available for EUR 999 in the EMEA region in December. Pricing and configurations will vary by region, so be sure to keep an eye on your local online and brick-and-mortar retailers when this model comes to your area.  More: Best gaming laptop deals right now

Asus Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip 

Asus’ first dive into this new world of gaming Chromebooks launches as part of the company’s Flip line. This means that it includes that line’s trademark touchscreen display that can be rotated around almost 360 degrees for a more tablet-like experience. This should be great for games that rely on touchscreen input, or just for using the device in one of the Flip line’s tent-like orientations for media consumption.  On the hardware front, the CPU selection for the Asus model is the oldest of the three debut units, with Asus opting for 11th-gen Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs. That said, all three still support Intel Iris Xe graphics, and should be more than capable of handling the games on any of the trio aforementioned cloud gaming services, which it also supports.   The Asus Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip is available now for $699.  More: Microsoft makes its case for why it’s all-in on gaming

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook

Lenovo comes to the table with what could probably best be described as the middle contender in terms of hardware. The IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook does include 12-gen Intel Core i3 and i5 options, but it doesn’t offer an i7 option like the Acer model above. However, these slightly less powerful CPUs help it achieve the longest rated battery life of the three models at 11 hours. Surprisingly, the 71Wh battery that also makes this possible doesn’t result in this being the heaviest unit of the three.  While it might lack the Acer model’s slew of ports, and its singular 8GB RAM configuration might feel a bit limiting to some, it’s got the right specs to balance everything out for the right gamer. Lenovo’s IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is expected to be available sometime in October, with an MSRP of $599.  More: The best gaming laptops: Top rigs for on-the-go gaming

Bottom line 

However, if the cloud-based services, the users’ connections, or the Chromebooks’ hardware fails to live up to the stiff standards PC gamers tend to have for their gaming hardware, the entire product category might struggle until the faults are all corrected. We can only wait and see how it goes.