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New Samsung Chromebook may use 8-core chip for power and performance boost

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The current $249 Samsung Chromebook(s goog) is already a solid value yet it may be time for a refresh. This model uses Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 5250, but sources tell Mobile Geeks that a new version is in the works. This time around Samsung’s Chromebook will get a boost to the octo-core Exynos, which will blend power efficiency with improved performance.

If Samsung can keep the price at or near the same $249 level, it should be a worthy upgrade. The current ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook tested a bit slower than Samsung’s similar device with an Intel chip when I compared the two in October. But you can get at least an extra hour of battery life out of the slower unit. I routinely saw 6 to 6.5 hours of run time on a charge when using the Samsung Chromebook with Exynos chip.

exynos-4-quadSo what’s the difference in the old Exynos and the new one that’s reportedly going to power the next Samsung Chromebook? Instead of two processing cores, the latest Exynos has eight. But you won’t be using all eight at the same time. Instead, the chip uses the ARM big.LITTLE architecture with a quad-core A15 and a quad-core A7.

For heavy-duty tasks, the faster A15 quad-core handles the load, but uses more power. So lighter tasks are intelligently offloaded to the slower but more power-efficient A7 silicon. That means better performance as needed, without draining the battery faster.

My hope is that Samsung also opts for 4 GB of memory instead of the 2 GB in the current Samsung Chromebook; that will help keep more tabs open without them refreshing when hitting memory limits.

39 Responses to “New Samsung Chromebook may use 8-core chip for power and performance boost”

  1. Juan Acosta

    Samsung’s new series 3 needs to be a balance to its original intention (the laptop for everyone). while at the same time providing the hardware specs to go on par with what google see for the long term of chromeOS as well as the segment of chrome users that actually go on these websites and speculate on chromebooks and pay attention to google I/O and native apps and know about the SWAP function.. so my guess is it will look very similar be made from similar if not more rugged materials, but provide more RAM better battery and a screen upgrade. this is me looking at the subject from a business manufacturer’s end, if the next chromebook boasts very little improvements over this 249 one why would I expect you to ditch your current one and give me another 249 or more for the new one? (me not being apple.)

  2. John S

    I don’t hate my Chromebook from Samsung. But I would have gladly gave up some battery life to have better performance. The duel core 1.7 in the Chromebook reminds me of the dreadful duel core Atom from Intel. Call it a duel core if you will Samsung. But that does not make it fast. The screen quality is mostly because Chrome OS is awful at scaling and even Linus Torvalds commented on a Google forum just a month ago how Google messed up its font choice for Chrome OS. Giving Google a lashing for making bad choices. My only complaint is that you really have limited abilities to make changes or adjust Chrome OS to your liking. I also think the Samsung CPU makes it dreadfully hard to install anything else like a full Linux version on it. Especially with the small SSD that is not up-gradable. The Acer and the HP both have Intel chips albeit not real fast plus a decent size hard drive on the Acer. Some have compared the Macbook Air 11.6 to the Chromebook which is not a fair comparison. The Chromebook is far more closely compared to a Android tablet in hardware and function then any OS X or Windows device. Maybe a Windows RT surface would compare better?

  3. Zachary McAfee

    It’s a few months later, so do you now have any idea on when they are coming out? I currently have a windows 8 toshiba which is horribly slow (I have 25 BPS Internet speed too). I was going to return it tomorrow and get the chromebook with the money. So it would much greatly help if you knew so I wouldn’t be spending $250 for a slower model than what comes out in another month, or whenever. So please respond and if you still don’t have an idea, still respond. Thanks for your time.

  4. The price on the current Samsung Chromebook dropped $20 below list on Amazon earlier this AM, so it really looks like it might be updated. Waiting for the new one though, it looks great.

  5. Linux kernel 3.10 just added official support for the ARM big.LITTLE architecture a week or two ago, so seems like shouldn’t expect a new CB on that architecture soon.

  6. Graham

    Buy one now. Buy another when the specs get upgraded. The beauty of Chromebooks is that you can hop seamlessly from machine to machine, carrying on immediately from where you left off.

    Having a couple of them round the house makes sense, not least because they’re great machines to hand to a guest.

  7. Wayne McDonald

    I am viewing this on my samsung chromebook and quiet honestly if you live on the net it handles most of anything you can throw at it. The best way to describe my experience is that it is a good laptop to grab for checking email, opening times of a the local restaurant or checking flight details. I’m not a big fan of tablets (being of the keyboard era) so for me its perfect for what I use it for. It is more of extension for my Macbook Pro than a primary laptop, so if you use it for what it was designed for, you can’t go wrong.

  8. Christopher Benson

    All I know is for the $249 price, you can’t beat the Samsung Chromebook…especially if it’s going to boost it’s performance to run better than mine already does. Obviously we’re not looking at a world-class machine if that’s all we’re spending, but pound-for-pound (or in this case dollar-for-dollar) Samsung Chromebook is the champ. Very thin and lightweight, fast, 6-7 hour battery life, and with everything moving to the Cloud, you don’t need much more than a web browser these days. I use it for all my personal and business needs. I’ve got more specifics about it on my lens for people looking for an insiders perspective before they by. Can see the info here…

  9. gund00d

    I bought the current model a couple months ago and it has become my main computer. I never spend a lot on hardware — if this line keeps the same price point but improves hardware I will upgrade my laptop as soon new models come out. This thing is cheaper than most phones (or 1/10 the price of a nice Macbook) and I can build/run server software on it. Wintel should be really worried.

    • Jedwards

      1/10 the price of a nice MacBook, but not nearly the same thing. Very bad comparison in my opinion. There is not one aspect of the Samsung that is comparable to a MacBook.

      • gund00d

        Why? They are just computers. I have enabled swap so tabs don’t reload as often which appears to improve the browser experience. I’m also running crouton which is pretty solid aside from a few minor issues. Most apple software is just as bloated and annoying as M$’s. I would be perfectly happy never looking at iTunes again. Seriously, the chromebook is awesome, they just need to upgrade the hardware and it will be even more awesome.

  10. I know you don’t have release info… But if I buy the current Samsung Chromebook tomorrow will I be kicking myself in a month for not waiting?

  11. Phil Oakley

    Is there any idea when this might be coming? I’ve been looking to buy a Samsung Chromebook, but I want to wait for this instead of buying the current model.

    • Phil, I wish I knew, but of course have no information on that. I know that Samsung is holding a London product event in a few weeks, but that is meant to focus on Galaxy and Ativ products. And I doubt Samsung would even have a launch event for a new Chromebook.

      If I had to place a guess — assuming Samsung does put the 8-core chip in a new Chromebook — I suspect it would happen at a Google announcement, perhaps in tandem with Android 4.3, which is coming soon. Wish I had more information to provide.

    • …for one third the price, that would be something.

      I do want a Pixel, but it is lacking some key basic necessities. If you’re going to out that much money into premium hardware, it should ALL be premium. Namely the USB ports. As more 3.0 devices come out, some regret will set in.

  12. Matthew Miller

    My daughter has and loves the $249 model, but I can’t deal with the screen after using my Surface and an iPad. I would like to see a Chromebook with a better quality display in that same nice compact form factor.