In an event held in Japan on Friday, Dell revealed its plans to update the Dell Chromebook 11 with an Intel Core i3 processor. The current Chromebook 11 configuration features an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor. The pricing and availability of the new version is unknown at this point.
A short spec list shows that the version with the Core i3 processor will have an 11.6-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution, Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and 4 GB of RAM. Powering all of this is a battery that promises up to 10 hours on a single charge. The updated Chromebook will also sport two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, 720p webcam and HDMI output.
This week, Acer launched the very first Chromebook with an Intel Core i3 processor. There are actually two models: the cheaper Acer C720-3871 and the slightly more expensive Acer C720-3404. They both have an 11.6-inch ComfyView LED-lit screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768, 32 GB of internal storage, an SD card slot for even more storage, embedded Intel HD 4400 graphics, and Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. There is also a built-in webcam, microphone, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and HDMI output.
News of the update to Dell's Chromebook arrives as Chromium evangelist François Beaufort offers a quick peek at an "Athena" update to the Chrome OS user interface. The provided image shows that the Material Design-inspired UI is in its early stages, but also shows some similarities to the multitasking Android L interface.
"Athena is a brand new project the Chromium OS team is experimenting with in order to bring a new kind of user experience," Beaufort says on Google+. "As you can see below, the first draft consists in a collection of windows with some simple window management."
The screenshot shows an extremely early view of the platform's card-based multitasking interface. An app drawer resides at the bottom along with a search field so that users can quickly switch between apps. The battery icon and network status info resides in the top-right corner.
Consumers looking to purchase a Chromebook can find four models listed on Google Play here. These include the Acer C720, the Chromebook Pixel, the Samsung Chromebook and the HP Chromebook 11.