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Google Introduces Haswell Chromebooks

By - Source: via Engadget | B 41 comments

Google's next line of Chromebooks will run on Intel's fourth generation Core i-series of CPUs.

IDF is wrapping up today but the conference has yielded plenty of juicy announcements in the two days it was running. Among those was Google's unveiling of new Chromebook laptops running on Intel's fourth generation Core i-series of CPUs, also known as Haswell. We had heard rumors of Chromebooks running on Haswell ahead of IDF and the show didn't disappoint.

 

The company said that new Chromebooks from Acer, HP, Toshiba, and Asus would hit the market over the next few months but offered little in the way of real information regarding any of the upcoming models. However, Mountain View already has a splash page for a new model from Acer that boasts an 11.6-inch display, 100 GB of Google Drive storage space, and up to 8.5 hours of battery, but nothing on pricing or availability.

There's also a page for an HP offering dubbed the HP Chromebook 14 (pictured above). It, predictably, has a 14-inch display, 100 GB of Google Drive storage, 9.5 hours of battery, and weighs just over 4 lbs. According to HP, it also has 16 GB of onboard storage, HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, a 1366 x 768 resolution, optional 4G (with 200MB of free data every month from T-Mobile), and weighs just over 4 lbs. It will be available this holiday shopping season with a $300 price tag.

Google's Chromebook Pixel was the first Chromebook to pack a Core i-series CPU. All other models have been ARM- or Atom-powered solutions. The hope is that Haswell will boost battery life without affecting performance.

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  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , September 12, 2013 5:26 PM
    How have Chromebooks typically sold? I haven't seen anyone use one. Did they need/would they benefit from a haswell processor? The computers don't even run stand-alone programs for the most part, so I can't fathom what sort of processing power they'd need beyond capable video playback/acceleration.
  • 6 Hide
    JD88 , September 12, 2013 5:42 PM
    Quote:
    How have Chromebooks typically sold? I haven't seen anyone use one. Did they need/would they benefit from a haswell processor? The computers don't even run stand-alone programs for the most part, so I can't fathom what sort of processing power they'd need beyond capable video playback/acceleration.


    The Samsung series 3 Chromebook is currently the #1 selling notebook on Amazon. I picked mine up open item from best buy for $200 and it's the best money I've ever spent. It's thin, lightweight, and fast. I use most of Google's services anyway so the Chromebook comes naturally to me. In fact, aside from Gaming the occasional photo editing it nearly replaces my Lenovo Y400 (a great laptop and I feel bad for letting it go days at a time without use).

    Mine has the dual core Samsung ARM SOC with 2GB of RAM and it performs just fine. I can stream Netflix and it can play any web game I've tried so far. It's not unusual for me to have 6-8 browser tabs open at once. Knowing this, a Haswell chip seems way overkill in this purpose. I would think that Bay Trail would be a lot more suited for the tasks a Chromebook would ask of it.

    The only performance issue I've noticed is the inability to stream a Netflix browser tab to my Chromecast without some lag. The Chromecast plug-in even tells me my system is holding back performance. That's my only complaint as this thing would be great for that purpose.






  • 1 Hide
    nitrium , September 12, 2013 10:16 PM
    Since it x86, I wonder if you could load Windows on them...
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    JD88 , September 12, 2013 10:34 PM
    Quote:
    Since it x86, I wonder if you could load Windows on them...


    You can't. Chromebooks are locked down to specifically prevent that. Why would anyone want to though?
  • 0 Hide
    Durandul , September 12, 2013 10:57 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Since it x86, I wonder if you could load Windows on them...


    You can't. Chromebooks are locked down to specifically prevent that. Why would anyone want to though?


    Windows software maybe? Personally, I would rather use mint or ubuntu to easily interface with my home server, as well as access a plethora of high quality applications. If I could install Windows, it would be great fun to program on this using Visual Studio, then remotely compile them on my Desktop using the server ability.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 12, 2013 10:58 PM
    JD88, plenty of people Bootcamp their Macs to get Windows, why would a Chromebook user be any more zealous? If Google starts going down the road of preventing users putting whatever software they want on their hardware then how is that different than all the anti-trust garbage that MS had to go through
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 12, 2013 11:04 PM
    Quote:
    JD88, plenty of people Bootcamp their Macs to get Windows, why would a Chromebook user be any more zealous? If Google starts going down the road of preventing users putting whatever software they want on their hardware then how is that different than all the anti-trust garbage that MS had to go through


    There are cheap Windows laptops in a similar price range. Additionally, Windows would require more than the 16GB included storage, not to mention what an abomination it would be.

    It's not Google's hardware, these are OEM devices. In fact, Google is known for releasing it's hardware with unlocked bootloaders just in the sense of freedom of choice. Just look at the Nexus line.
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 12, 2013 11:10 PM
    F**k Google, and the Chromebook
  • 4 Hide
    JD88 , September 12, 2013 11:16 PM
    Quote:
    F**k Google, and the Chromebook


    That's what Ballmer says every morning when he wakes up surrounded by piles of unsold Surfaces.
  • 1 Hide
    nitrium , September 12, 2013 11:29 PM
    Quote:
    There are cheap Windows laptops in a similar price range. Additionally, Windows would require more than the 16GB included storage, not to mention what an abomination it would be.

    What absolute TOTAL uninformed rubbish. I have Windows 7 Basic installed on a 4 GB SSD on my EEE 901. You're reading that right, FOUR GB - something that just about every EEE 901 user has done if they're not using Linux. Sure the EEE 901 also has a 16 GB (super slow) SSD that you have to install apps on (which would be slower than any current 16GB memory key), but it works just fine. A 16GB Chrome Book with Haswell would be FANTASTIC for Win 7 plus a few apps (e.g. Office).

  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 12, 2013 11:41 PM
    There are better laptops, sure they cost more, but I am less interested in giving money to bottom-feeders. Plus with a Windows machine I get to use the 6.5 million strong software back catalogue. Oh, and all of Googles services too, seeing as they all run on Windows.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 12, 2013 11:50 PM
    Whilst you are dissing Surface sales, see if you can find how many Chromebooks have been sold, despite the pathetic figures for the RT I will lay even money MS have still sold more.
  • 1 Hide
    joe nate , September 13, 2013 12:36 AM
    "The hope is that Haswell will boost battery life without affecting performance. "

    Without affecting performance? Because core i series processors, along with the Haswell architecture, are known for their horrible performance especially when compared to the atom, celeron and ARM processors traditionally found in Chromebooks... (Very harsh sarcasm for those of you who don't detect it over the internet)

    Somehow the inflection of that statement seems a bit off. If anything, it should read "The hope is that it will give just as good or better battery life with even better performance."
  • 1 Hide
    Fredrik Aldhagen , September 13, 2013 2:20 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Since it x86, I wonder if you could load Windows on them...


    You can't. Chromebooks are locked down to specifically prevent that. Why would anyone want to though?


    Actually, Chromebooks are not locked down to Chrome OS. You can install a custom OS, however you will get a warning screen every boot up. It still wont run Windows because it expects UEFI or BIOS, not u-Boot. But it's not locked down, Windows is just by design incompatible with it.
  • -2 Hide
    azz156 , September 13, 2013 4:56 AM
    hahaha there are 5 windows rt users for ever 1 chromebook user. why don't they ditch it in favour of a desktop android, makes sense.

    http://www.geek.com/news/chromebook-sales-are-terrible-even-compared-to-windows-rt-1552333/
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 13, 2013 5:21 AM
    Azz156, many thanks, i'll collect my winnings from JD88 and buy him a large humble pie, he can have it as a starter before the main course of eating crow
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 13, 2013 8:19 AM
    I think you misunderstood my comment. Never once did I claim the success or relative advantage of Chrome OS over RT or the surface or whatever.

    Having said that, Chrome OS is a minor side project that hasn't really cost Google much of anything VS the $900 million Surface debacle but I digress.

    I have a Chromebook and a 2 Win 8 Pro machines so I'm hardly anti-Microsoft. I do think Win RT is a completely unnecessary product given where Intel and AMD are with x86 chips currently.

    My entire point was the Chrome OS has some very strong merit through simplicity and I wouldn't want to ruin that by installing bloated Windows. Google isn't trying to make money on Chrome OS, it's trying to encourage the development of web apps for the Chrome browser.

  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 13, 2013 8:51 AM
    "I think you misunderstood my comment. Never once did I claim the success or relative advantage of Chrome OS over RT or the surface or whatever."
    However, you said this:-
    "The Samsung series 3 Chromebook is currently the #1 selling notebook on Amazon. I picked mine up open item from best buy for $200 and it's the best money I've ever spent."
    But then went on to say:-
    "That's what Ballmer says every morning when he wakes up surrounded by piles of unsold Surfaces."

    Now, i'm no English Professor, but I think I can spot when someone is telling fibs
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 13, 2013 9:15 AM
    I said that in response to your juvenile comments toward Google. It wasn't a comparison to Chrome OS. Regardless of how the Chromebook is doing, it doesn't change the abyssal failure that was (and looks like is going to be again) the Surface RT. Android is beating the Surface, that's not (and never was) the job of Chrome to begin with.

    I don't understand how Microsoft thinks releasing the same product they just lost $900 million on again with a slightly faster processor is going to change anything. If they released the RT form factor with an Intel Bay Trail or AMD Temash chip running full x86 Windows, I think they would have a big hit on their hands. The problem with Microsoft currently is that they have no plan or direction. They, (similar to the post-Jobs apple) are becoming a largely reactive company.
  • 1 Hide
    Fredrik Aldhagen , September 13, 2013 9:43 AM
    Quote:
    hahaha there are 5 windows rt users for ever 1 chromebook user. why don't they ditch it in favour of a desktop android, makes sense.

    http://www.geek.com/news/chromebook-sales-are-terrible-even-compared-to-windows-rt-1552333/


    Android and Chrome OS are two different things. They both run Linux kernels and are backed by Google, but that's pretty much where similarities end.

    Android is designed as a general purpose mobile OS, running apps in a Dalvik Virtual Machine.
    Chrome OS is designed to boot and run Google Chrome as fast and secure as possible, without having to consider compatibility with third party software.

    While you could install Android on a laptop, there are many GNU/Linux distributions that would be more suitable for the purpose.
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