Google on Wednesday announced a new wave of Chromebooks powered by Intel’s battery-sipping Haswell processors. The search giant revealed the new machines at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco where they claim new generation models will ship with battery life that’s up to two times better than previous generations.
We’re told to be on the lookout for new Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, HP and Toshiba over the coming months. Google has partnered with Acer and HP in the past but it’s the first foray into Chrome hardware for Asus and Toshiba, we’re told. No specific hardware, pricing or release details were mentioned during the unveiling.
It’s a big day for Google as most Chromebooks up to this point (save for Google’s own flagship Pixel) have used low-power and low-cost processors like Intel’s Atom chips or ARM processors. This, along with low-resolution displays and plastic shells, have kept costs down but also held the machines back from being true performance competitors.
Google unveiled Pixel early this year as more of a reference design to show hardware makers what could be possible on the platform if they used higher quality components. The portable includes a 12.85-inch display operating at 2,560 x 1,700 with an Intel Core i5 CPU, a solid state drive and 1TB of storage on Google Drive for three years.
The new machines come at a time when Chromebooks represent up to 25 percent of the sub-$300 laptop market in the US.