Intel has just unveiled a big range of new Celeron-powered Chromebooks at a press conference in San Francisco. The Chromebook market is about to get much more capable and much more competitive—here's what's in store.
Intel has already established itself as a major player in the ChromeOS landscape and now aims to expand its reach to even more to include a wider variety of devices.
The first such Celeron-branded Chromebooks will be made available based on Intel's Bay Trail-M SoC, a chip that offers enough power to run a full-on Chromebook, but also more battery life, all—ostensibly—for a pretty low price. There aren't many details on most of these upcoming devices but we know they're coming from Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, and Toshiba.
What's more, the chip maker has also announced the advent of a new high-performance class of Chromebooks from Acer and Dell that will sport Celeron i3 processors. The Acer version will be available for $349 (£205) later this summer. The Dell Chrome 11 will also offer an i3 option when it hits market later this year.
And that's in addition to even more new products with standard Haswell chips. The Lenovo N20P will come out at $329 (£193) in August. A 116 from Acer is also in the works. Plus a pair of ASUS Chromebooks, the 13-inch 300 model hits this summer while an 11.6-inch with a reported 11 hours of battery life is supposed to enter market in the second half of the year. They're all supposed to include thinner, lighter, fanless designs, and will be the first to offer 802.11 A/C connectivity.
This is an interesting strategy. Not only is Intel working to shrink the performance gap between Chromebooks and "real" laptops with the Core i3 architecture, but it is simultaneously expanding its reach through its entry-level chips. It's becoming more and more likely that whatever you're looking for when it comes to price and power that there's a Chromebook for you.