Intel today announced a new lineup of Google Chromebooks that will be powered by the chip maker's new Haswell processors. The Chromebooks, which will be offered by the likes of HP and Acer, as well as first-time partners ASUS and Toshiba, promise to provide up to two times the battery life of previous generation Chromebooks. Google estimates that users could get as much as a full day's worth of use out of the new Chromebooks. The introduction of the Haswell chips could also mean that Samsung may give up on using ARM chips in their Chromebooks in favor of Intel's CPUs.
According to the search giant, quoting a survey by research firm NPD, Chromebooks make up 20 to 25 percent of the $300-or-less notebook segment. Running on Google's Chrome operating system, Chromebooks meet the needs of users looking for a lightweight, low-cost productivity platform. Previous iterations of the Chromebook model relied heavily on Web connectivity, limiting their usefulness when away from a hotspot or hardline Internet connection.
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More recently, Google has revamped the Chrome OS to allow for offline functionality, including offline document editing. There hasn't been much word on what other improvements Intel's Haswell chips will provide for Chromebooks beyond increased battery life. Based on the chip's capabilities, however, we're guessing you'll see improved performance and load times across the board.
Google's partner companies are also keeping mum on pricing for their new Chromebooks for now. That said, current pricing puts Chromebooks anywhere from $199 for the most budget-friendly models to upwards of $1,299 for the Chromebook Pixel. That notebook, however, is a special case as it offers a Retina Display-like 13.86-inch, 2560 x 176- resolution screen.
According to Google the newest batch of Chromebooks will hit stores in the coming months, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
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