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Google, Intel Bring Haswell To Chromebooks

Asus and Toshiba are joining Acer and HP to make Haswell-based Chromebooks.

Google Nexus 7, Chromecast: Visual Tour
Google Nexus 7, Chromecast: Visual Tour
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Google's Chromebook soon should be able to offer even better battery life and a wider variety of models to please its growing fan base.

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, representatives from Google, Intel, Acer and HP showed off a new line of Chromebooks based Intel's Haswell processor family, noted for its power efficiency, not to mention its computational competency.

It was a Haswell-based Core i5 that helped double the battery life of the MacBook Air model launched by Apple in June. The forthcoming round of Chromebooks, which will cost much less than the MacBook Air, won't see quite as dramatic an improvement but the results will still be significant.

"The battery life on the new Chromebooks will be up to 50% better, and the trick is also doing that while delivering amazing levels of performance," said Navin Shenoy, VP of Intel's PC client group and general manager of the mobile platform division, in a press briefing. "And we'll see 15% or more improvement on performance using Haswell."

[ Where does Intel fit in the post-desktop world? Read Intel's Post-PC Strategy: 4 Takeaways. ]

That means Chromebooks should last for about nine to 10 hours on a single battery charge.

Google is gaining new hardware partners, too. Of the four hardware partners that have committed to bring Haswell-based Chromebooks to market, two are new: Asus and Toshiba.

The two hardware manufacturers join current Chromebook makers Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung. This growing stable of partners suggests demand for devices running Google's Chrome OS has created a meaningful market. Already this year, HP and Lenovo boarded the Chromebook bandwagon, in conjunction with retailers including Best Buy, Staples and Wal-Mart in the U.S.

Caesar Sengupta, product management director for Chromebooks, said Google began developing Chrome OS as a way to unify the multi-screen world through the cloud.

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Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/12/2013 | 2:40:58 PM
re: Google, Intel Bring Haswell To Chromebooks
The best use of an older iPad: A lap desk for your new Chromebook.
User Rank: Author
9/12/2013 | 5:37:00 PM
re: Google, Intel Bring Haswell To Chromebooks
If the battery life is anywhere near 50% better, that is a big deal.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/12/2013 | 8:52:08 PM
re: Google, Intel Bring Haswell To Chromebooks
Interestingly, there was no mention of Samsung, which makes the most popular Chromebook at the moment.
Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2013 | 5:42:53 AM
re: Google, Intel Bring Haswell To Chromebooks
"We regularly see cases where people have bought [a Chromebook] as an additional machine and end up spending almost all their time with us" ... Interesting quote, since that's sort of how tablet usage evolved-- i.e. started as a secondary devices but unexpectedly supplanted primary devices.

I think it's smart to market these as lifestyle devices, as their cloud-centricism lends itself to niches. But with more and more offline functionality, low prices, and killer battery life, Chromebooks are looking better and better as mass market devices.
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