Samsung Chromebook Pro was first discovered last October on some reseller’s website with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, 4GB RAM, and a $499 price tag. The company has finally announced two new Chromebooks at CES 2016 with Chromebook Pro actually based on an Intel Core m3-6Y30 “Skylake” processor, and Chromebook Plus powered by “OP1” hexa-core ARM Cortex-A72/A53 processor.
We’ll that apart from the different processor, both new Chromebook have exactly the same specifications
Processor / Chipset
OP1, Made for Chromebooks.
Hexa-core (Dual A72, Quad A53)
12.3″ 2400×1600 LED Display (3:2 aspect ratio) with Touch Screen Panel
4GB LPDDR3 Memory (on BD 4GB)
Internal Dual Array Digital Mic
Stereo Speakers ( 1.5 W x 2 )
720p HD Camera
802.11 ac (2×2)
1 Headphone out/Mic-in Combo
2 USB-C [up to 5Gbps*, 4K display out with optional adapter, Charging]
MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader
30 W USB-C™ Adapter
280.8 x 221.6 x 12.9 ~ 13.9mm (11.06″ x 8.72″ x 0.51″ ~ 0.55″)
※ Software can be changed without notice.
Google Play Store (Beta)
AirDroid Premium (free one-year subscription, full version)
It’s very likely that OP1 processor is Rockchip RK3399, also using a 2xA72 + 4xA53 configuration, or a modified version, as Rockchip processor with Chromebooks used to have the “C” suffix, e.g. RK3288C. Charbax has a video of Chromebook Plus model showing the screen with an impressive viewing angle.
Chromebook Plus (ARM) is available now for $449 on Amazon US, while Chromebook Pro (Intel) will be released this spring at a yet-to-be-disclosed price.
Acer Chromebook R13 was unveiled in September as one of the first 64-bit ARM Chromebook. Based on Mediatek MT8173C quad core Cortex A72/A53 processor with 4GB RAM, the “Chromebook” now ships in three variants running either Chrome OS as expected, but also Windows 10 Home.
All three models share the same specifications, except for storage and operating system options:
SoC – Mediatek M8173C quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.1 GHz, 2x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU
Considering Linux kernel commits related to RK3399 processor almost always involves developers with a chromium.org email address, beside rock-chip.com ones, we had to expect a Rockchip RK3399 based Chromebook sooner or later, and based on various leaks, Samsung Chromebook Pro appears to be one the RK3399 Chromebooks to come to market very soon.
We’ll see some of the key features and pictures, and technical details on websites such as Adorama, so we can have a pretty good idea of Chromebook Pro OP1 / 513C24I specifications, even though Samsung and Google have yet to officially launch the device:
SoC – Hexa core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores (Which has to be Rockchip RK3399 SoC, or a special RK3399-C specific to Chromebooks)
System Memory – 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM
Storage – 32 GB eMMC Flash Storage
Display – 360°-rotatable 12.3” LED touchscreen display; 2,400 x 1,600 resolution; 400 nits brightness
Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
Camera – 1x front-facing webcam
USB – 2x USB type C ports
Misc – Power and volume buttons, digital pen
Battery – Up to 10 hours of battery usage; 70% battery capacity retention expected after 3 years
Dimensions – 280 x 221 x 12.9 to 13.9 thickness (All metal body)
Weight – 1.08 kg
Chromebook Pro will run the latest version of Chrome OS, include Google Play Store to let you use Android apps, as well as “value added software”, such as a one-year subscription to AirDroid browser-based web app service to easily access files from any of your devices.
It’s also the first Chromebook that I’m aware of coming with digital pen input to interact with the touchscreen. Samsung Chromebook Pro won’t be the first ARM Cortex A72 Chromebook to be launched, as Acer Chromebook R13 was already launched with a Mediatek processor for $399 and up. Adorama list Chromebook Pro OP1 for $499, and Chrome Unboxed also noticed a now-deleted B&H listing for Chromebook Pro (referred to Kevin to the codebase) going for the same price, and allegedly starting to ship on October 24th.
The just announced Acer Chromebook R13 is both the first Mediatek Chromebook and the first 64-bit ARM Chromebook thanks to its Mediatek MT8173(c) quad core processor with two ARM Cortex-A72 cores, and two ARM Cortex-A53 cores. The Chromebook is also fitted with a 13.3″ touchscreen display, 4 GB RAM, and up to 64GB internal storage.
Acer Chromebook R13 specifications:
SoC – Mediatek M8173C quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores, 2x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU
Camera – HD webcam (1280×720 resolution) with HDR and 720p HD audio/video recording
Wireless Connectivity – 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
USB – USB 3.0 port, USB type C port for data, video, and power
Battery – Up to 12 hours of battery life
Dimensions – 326 x 228 x 15.5 mm
Weight – 1.49kg
The Chromebook will also support Android Apps via Google Play Store (WIP). The 360-degree hing will allow you to use your Chromebook as a “ChromePad”/”ChromeBlet”, or “ChromeTent” as show in the picture below.
Just like Rockchip made a specific RK3288C processor for Chromebooks out of its RK3288 processor, Mediatek provided MT8173C specifically for Chromebook, but it’s unclear what the differences are with the original MT8173 processor. You can find part of the source code, including the device tree file on Chromium OS public repositories.
Acer Chromebook R13 will sell for $399 and up in North America, and in Europe, Middle East and Africa zone for 399 Euros and up starting in October.
There’s been talks about Android and Chrome OS merging for many years, and while it’s unclear whether it will ever happen, both operating systems’ features are converging, with the latest development officially bringing Android apps and the Google Play store to Chromebooks.
Developers will have very little to modified on their Android apps, except possibly setting touchscreen support, and a few other options in the manifest file. Google listed a few benefits of Android apps on Chromebooks:
Android Apps can be shown in 3 different window sizes
Users can multi-task with multiple Android apps in moveable windows along with a full desktop browser within Chrome OS interface.
Keyboard, mouse, and touch input will seamlessly work together
Users will get Android notifications on their Chromebooks
Android apps benefit from the Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity setup by the user or the administrator
File sharing is seamless between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app
Performance of demanding apps such as games or design apps is excellent
The company will launch the features in stages, starting with Asus Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and Acer Chromebook R11 in early June, mostly to let developer time to test their apps, before being enabled on other recent Chromebooks, Chromebases and Chromeboxes later this year.
HP Chromebook 13 G1 is the middle ground between Google’s $1000 Chromebook Pixel and the cheap Rockchip RK3288 chromebooks, thanks to a choice of low power Skylake Core M processor, plenty of memory, and for people who loathe 1366×768, or even 1920×1080 displays, a 13.3″ display with 3200×1800 resolution.
System Memory – 4 GB (Pentium and Core m3), 8GB (Core m5), or 16GB (Core m7) LPDDR3
Storage – 32 GB internal storage + micro SD slot
Display – 13.3″ IPS screen with 3200×1800 resolution (non-touch)
Camera – Front camera
Audio – Line out, speakers, and microphone
USB – 2x USB type-C ports for power, data, and display, 1x USB 2.0 port
Battery – 45 or 67 Whr Li-ion Polymer battery good for 11.5 hours based on power LoadTest
Dimensions – Approx. 32 x 23 x 1.3 cm (aluminum lid and palmrest)
Weight – 1.22 kg
A few Chromebook 13 G1 has been sent to popular US blogs such as Arstechnica, who quickly checked out the Core m3 versions, and were rather positive about the device, although noting it’s targeting business and enterprise users.
All four models can be ordered on Promevo, with the Pentium, Core m3, Core m5, and Core m7 selling respectively for $499, $599, $819, and $1029. HP Chromebook 13 G1 is also listed on Google.com, where they mention a $50 management fee for the first year.
We already knew Rockchip RK3399 was going to be a powerful processor with two Cortex A72 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz, and four Cortex A53 cores teamed with a Mali-T860MP4 GPU. The processor was also said to support 4K H.265 video decoding up to 60 fps, HDMI 2.0 video output, and Gigabit Ethernet. But the company is now at Mobile World Congress 2016, and has disclosed more details. Some of the newly introduced features include:
4K @ 60fps 10-bit H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoder
1080p video encoding with H.264 or VP8
HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 1.4/2.2
DisplayPort 1.2 and eDP 1.3 with PSR (Panel Self Refresh)
Dual channel MIPI-DSI
Camera – 8MP ISP, dual channel MIPI-CSI2
2x USB 3.0 ports with type-C support
PCIe 2.1, 4 lanes, 5Gbps per lane
8 channels TX/RX audio for playback and record
Embedded low power MCU for other applications (power control?)
There’s no SATA interface, but thanks to USB 3.0 and PCIe interface this should not be an issue. Beside Android mini PCs, it’s highly likely Rockchip RK3399 will be found in the next generation of ARM based Chromebooks, once the SoC is launched in Q2 2016.
Chromebooks are used by all kind of people, but they appear to be especially popular in classrooms. However, pupils can be “brutal” with their toys and tools, so that’s probably why CTL designed NL6x rugged Chromebook which can basically be walked on as the top cover resists up to 365 pounds pressure, includes anti-peel keys and a water-resistant keyboard, as well as reinforced ports, hinges, and power plug ports. It can also withstand 70cm high drops, and the back of the screen also doubles as a whiteboard.