Intel boasts that more than a billion users worldwide have 11th Gen CPUs packed into their devices for productivity and gaming, leaving Chromebook users to ask, "What about us? We want some of that new-gen goodness, too!"
The wait is over, Chrome OS users. As CES 2021 is in full swing, Intel has announced that Chromebooks will pack 11th Gen processors, too, bringing advancements to Chromebooks' performance, browsing capabilities, content-creation power and gaming prowess.
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Intel 11th Gen CPUs are coming to Chromebooks
Chrome OS laptops are skyrocketing in popularity. The Chromebook industry saw 122% of year-over-year growth in Q3 of 2020. More than nine million Chromebooks were sold last year. With Intel observing Chromebook's through-the-roof demand, the chipset giant is packing its latest and greatest processors into upcoming Chrome OS devices.
The first Intel 11th Gen CPU-powered Chromebooks will arrive in Q1 of this year. Intel flaunted the improvements of its newest processors compared to its 10th Gen CPUs.
On the Speedometer 2.0 test, a benchmark that tests devices' responsiveness to web applications, the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU proved to be 1.28 times faster than the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10610U processor. The 11th Gen CPU also bested its predecessor when it comes to multitasking prowess (i.e. multiple Microsoft Office apps), outputting scores that are 2.5 times better.
Intel EVO-certified Chromebooks will be introduced this year
So what, exactly, is Intel EVO? Think of it as the FDA of tech. In the same way that you may be relieved when you spot the "FDA-approved" badge on a product when a laptop is Intel EVO-certified, you'll know that you're getting a well-vetted device.
Requirements for an Intel EVO certification badge include Intel 11th Gen Core i5/i7 CPUs (or later), at least 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, nine or more hours of battery life, fast charging, modern connectivity options, biometric security (e.g. a fingerprint scanner), Precision touchpads, good speakers and more.
Some of the best laptops that we've reviewed have an Intel EVO certification badge, including the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Envy x360 13, so trust us when we say that EVO is legit. When you see that Intel EVO badge on a laptop, you can rest assured that it's a state-of-the-art device.
Intel has announced that some Chromebooks will earn an Intel EVO-certification this year, which will usher in the delivery of Thunderbolt technology to Chrome OS for the first time ever. This is excellent news for shoppers who hate comparison shopping — they can simply look for an Intel EVO badge and know that they're buying a stupendous Chrome OS device.
With more companies investing in Chromebooks, my anti-Chrome OS stance is weakening. Chromebooks are definitely becoming cooler. Windows 10 is slowly being eased into the Chromebook world, more video-game streaming platforms such as GeForce NOW and Google Stadia are being featured on Chromebooks, and Intel is now packing Chromebooks with its latest processors.
Chromebooks may not be so bad after all.