Asus launched its first Chrome OS device this year: the $180 Asus Chromebox. It’s a tiny, affordable desktop computer with a Celeron CPU that’s a surprisingly capable device for the price. An even more powerful model with a Core i3 Haswell CPU should be available any day now.

Now Asus is getting ready to expand its line of Chrome devices with two new laptops. We already knew the Asus C200 and C300 Chromebooks were on the way. But now that retail shops are starting to list the devices, we have a better idea of what kind of hardware to expect.

Asus Chromebook

Asus C200 Chromebook – $249

The Asus C200 is an 11.6 inch laptop with a 1366 x 768 pixel display, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.

It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N2830 processor, a Bay Trail chip that has a maximum TDP of 7.5 watts.  That would help explain why Asus promises “all-day battery life.”

I’ve seen a variety of prices for this model, but it looks like the suggested retail price is about $249.

Asus C300 Chromebook – $350ish

Asus will also offer a model with a larger, 13.3 inch display, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.

This model sports the same Celeron N2830 processor as the smaller Chromebook, but seems to have a higher price tag with most stores listing the Asus C300 Chromebook for between $330 and $360.

It’s not clear if this model will have a higher-resolution display, but the higher price tag seems to suggest that a full HD screen could be a possibility (or maybe Asus is just charging a premium for the extra RAM and storage).

via Notebook ItaliaOMG Chrome, Neobits, ShopBTL, and Antares Pro

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38 replies on “Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up”

  1. $350 is WAY too much when I can get a fully capable PC for that price.

    1. Mind, that’s in the possible price range of the model with 13.3″ screen, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB SSD… which can be as low as $330 and high as $360…

      While the 11.6″ model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB SSD is set for about $249 for the actual starting price… and, of course, people could just put it in developer mode and boot a Chromebook optimized Ubuntu or similar to get more full PC capabilities out of it…

      1. Yeah but I just don’t see the benefit of ChromeOS when I can do everything it can do with a chrome browser on windows or mac.
        Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

        1. The main benefit is having a easy to use device that isn’t that much of an investment and can be easily replaced with minimal trouble to the user as they can just log in on a new replacement system and pretty much start off where they left off on the previous device…

          For some people who don’t need a lot it could be ideal and the fact you can run another Linux Distro means you don’t have to be limited to just the Chrome OS and potentially make more use of the hardware…

          It’s an option anyway… If it gets easy to replace the firmware with a standard BIOS or UEFI then people could make even more use out of it…

          1. I get the minimal investment part but thats my point. For $199, i get it. But for $350 and up I could just buy a regular laptop
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          2. Yes, you could but it would be hard to find anything with equivalent hardware specs that is also newly released… and you seem to be ignoring that this product actually starts at $249 for the more basic model…

            While even ARM based Chromebooks don’t start at $199… the only one that did was the Acer Chromebook that used last gen parts and was cheaply designed… but these models are using recently released parts and those don’t go down in value right away…

            Mind, OEMs can get ARM SoCs for less than $20 but the tray cost of a Bay Trail Celeron N2830 is $107… So it’s actually good they can get it to a starting price similar to the ARM based Chromebooks…

            Otherwise, I agree, it’s not for everyone and there could arguably be better choices but I disagree that it’s something to get upset over as it’s mainly just another choice and for certain usages there are people who would find it a viable option…

            Basically, there’s nothing wrong with having choices…

          3. I don’t mind choices. Windows, OSX, Linux, whatever. It just bugs me when devices are sold for the same cost as others that have more value. For me its as simple as cost vs capability. And for me ChromeOS just doesn’t stack up. If they put android on it however that would be a totally different story.
            I’m pretty sure I could find a laptop which spec wise would beat out a ChromeBook. Even a baytrail chip. You can get an i3 system for pennies compared to ChromeBooks. But like I said, at $250 I get the value of ChromeOS. Just not more than that.
            As for Baytrail, I believe Intel will start drastically reducing the price (just like how windows 8 went free for certain devices) because Intel is having a very hard time competing against ARM.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          4. I understand the question of the value of the Chrome OS, I disagree that even Android would be better because it’s a mobile OS optimized for touch screens and doesn’t work as well in a laptop design without a touch screen (not to mention the lack of long term support), but the hardware is being sold for a fair market price and no… There’s no such thing as a Core i3 that can be gotten for pennies that isn’t a much older model…

            A Haswell Core i3 easily goes for over $225 just by itself! Not counting the rest of the system BOM…

            While Intel is only subsidizing the mobile chips and the Celeron/Pentium branded Bay Trails are not one of the mobile versions and ARM has yet to really expand beyond the mobile range to warrant Intel expanding that program… Also, MS is only giving Windows for free to devices 9″ and smaller and all these Chromebooks are 11.6″ or larger…

            So they’re not going to push the pricing lower for this generation at least… aside from possibly offering lower spec models or models using older off the self parts they can get more cheaply…

            Besides, beware the rush to the bottom for pricing as OEMs are more likely to cut corners rather than take a hit on their profit margins…

          5. well yeah it would be an older model but who cares? Even an Ivy Bridge i3 system would beat the pants off of a ChomeBook. And you can get one on amazon for between 3 – 400 bucks pretty easily. Again I’m not saying the $250 range because at that price I agree there is a case for ChromeBook.
            Regarding Andriod, I don’t mean the flavor of it that you would get on a phone. Something more akin to the samsung galaxy pro tablet, but refined for the cursor. It wouldn’t really be all that hard to do and Chrome in Android I suspect could handle anything ChromeOS does anyways.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          6. Who cares? If you’re going to make comparisons then at least make them equivalent and fair… Otherwise I could just counter that you can get old models of Chromebooks that are cheap too and still invalid your intended point!

            Never mind other factors like the $269 worth of extras people can get with a Chromebook purchase that includes 12 free Gogo in-air internet passes and 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years… Something most other companies wouldn’t offer…

            While features like the remote desktop that lets you control either a Windows or Mac system, gives some built in flexibility for those who mainly get the Chromebook as a secondary device…

            So it’s really not like they don’t offer you anything but the system with Chrome OS thrown on top of it…

            As for Android, even the version for the Galaxy Pro, with side by side app views, etc would still not be well optimized for a laptop without a touch screen… Not to mention the lack of a WACOM style digital pen puts most of those extra features that the new Pro Samsung models offer to waste on a laptop… but adding that to a laptop could easily raise the price by up to another $100…

            Besides, you can also dual boot Android as well as Ubuntu on a Chromebook…

            Btw, some of the newer Chromebooks are adding a touch screen… which would make Android more of a option but it’s also another reason why it’s still harder to lower the price any further with the newer models…

          7. All I am saying is $$$ vs capability. not older model or newer model. You couldn’t counter with “buying an older chromebook” because that would not invalidate my point at all. You could get a used chromebook for like $100 bucks and as I said sub $300 I DO see the value in Chromebooks. So it wouldn’t invalidate my point. Since the beginning I have said that #350+ is too much but below that makes sense. Rather than arguing back and forth let me show you what I am talking about:
            Here is a second gen core i3 system for $379. Not old, not refub, brand new. https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8870189&CatId=3982
            If I can get this system for that price, no way am I buying ChromeBook for $350. $300 or less? Sure, maybe. And I know that there are add-ons like Google storage and thats all well and good but I’ve got the same from Skydrive for free. MS has been giving away storage left and right lately (not because they are nice but to compete with Google). If I didn’t maybe it would be another story.
            Regarding Android, I was only using Galaxy as an example of what you COULD do with Android which makes it work drastically different than out of the box. What I am in fact suggesting is, rather than ChromeOS, Google make a version of Android that would be cursor friendly. It would still be way more powerful and capable than ChromeOS is.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          8. “You couldn’t counter with “buying an older chromebook” because that would not invalidate my point at all.”

            Yes, I most definitely could because the whole point is the value of the actual hardware being bought!

            You’re not paying for Chrome, it’s a free OS like Android! So you’re only paying for the hardware and like I pointed out you’d also get $269 worth of extras on top of the hardware value…

            As for that HP, it’s an old model… Second gen is Sandy Bridge, not Haswell… it’s not even Ivy Bridge! And at 5.39 lbs it’s hardly comparable to laptops that are barely above 3 lbs for even the 13.3″ model… You’re comparing a model with discounted off the self parts and lower build quality to models using new parts that aren’t discounted!

            And no, Android is still a mobile OS and so doesn’t really have any real advantages over Chrome OS… Many Android apps are web centric too and Chrome also supports native apps as well with its native client and isn’t limited to just web apps and cloud services!

            Really, let’s be clear that the only reason you don’t think this is a viable deal is because you have such a low regard for the Chrome OS but the OEMs can’t provide laptops cheaper than the hardware is worth! Thus it’s not a fair comparison…

            Sure, Chromebooks used to be priced too high but that’s no longer the case… Besides, competition is good and it helps get OEMs to push the margins for even systems with Windows installed… After all, it’s not just Intel and MS determining pricing but the OEMs themselves, who also need a profit margin to justify making the device in the first place…

          9. “Really, let’s be clear that the only reason you don’t think this is a viable deal is because you have such a low regard for the Chrome OS”

            I really thought you knew me better than that. I don’t have a “low regard” for ChromeOS. In fact I am not a fan of ANY locked down os, be it ChromeOS, Windows RT or iOS. The open ones such as OSX, Windows 8 and Android I can get on board with. And this is the point I have been making all along. Given the same $$ I would not buy a locked down OS when I can get an open one. I’m not ok with my device being used how MS or Apple or Google tell me how, I will do with it as I please.
            And yes I know the model I showed you was an older (but still not used) model. Again, so what? You keep arguing points I never made. That “old” system will run circles around a modern ChromeBook. And 5 lbs vs 3? Now you’re talking like a person who thinks decreasing a device by a few millimeters or lbs suddenly makes it the best thing ever. 3 lbs vs 5 lbs mean nothing in a laptop bag. Nothing at all. We aren’t talking about a tablet or a phone you have to hold in your hands here.
            And Android has several advantages over ChromeOS. COS only has “web” apps where as Andoid can do that and more. It has a file system, it can be rooted, its basically touch linux. ChromeOS is a bootable browser and little else.
            “Sure, Chromebooks used to be priced too high but that’s no longer the case”
            Cyber, I have just said that, like 4 times now. 4 times I have said a $250 – $300 ChromeBook is a good value. Why do you keep arguing with me? Again my point since the beginning was that a ChromeBook at $350+ is too much money for me. Thats it. Thats all I said.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          10. “I really thought you knew me better than that. I don’t have a “low regard” for ChromeOS.”

            Now let’s be honest, you wouldn’t be arguing for value limit if you had a good opinion of Chrome OS! Because, as I already pointed out you’re clearly ignoring the value of the hardware when putting a set limit on what you think would be fair to pay for a Chromebook!

            So this isn’t about knowing you but pointing out what you’re actually arguing for versus what’s actually being offered… Besides, you should know me well enough to know I always argue for what’s fair and the most truthful…

            While OSX and Android aren’t really that open… Apple doesn’t really allow 3rd parties to use OSX on none apple branded/approved hardware, they’re just don’t always enforce it but that doesn’t change that they limit its use… And Google similarly imposes restrictions on Android and is why no fork of Android can get the full Android experience unless it’s lock step with Google’s definition of the platform…

            Besides, under either Android or Chrome you’re still under Google and if you’re really fine with their usages then there’s really no reason to complain when the main pricing difference is just the hardware and the OEMs have to make profit too and even Chrome benefits from better specs on the system…

            You’d have to go to a Core based system before you hit overkill performance…

            And no, Chrome OS is not limited to just web apps… I already stated that! Chrome has a native client that allows developers to make native apps!

            And Chrome can be rooted too, it’s using a Linux Kernel just like Android and is why you can dual boot Android and other Linux distros to it without needing to change the firmware…

            In fact, Chromebooks have more in common with GNU/Linux systems… The only problem they face is the same one MS does with W8 modernUI/metro apps in that they still have a way to go to develop their app ecosystem but Chrome is capable of a lot more than what they’re doing with it now!

          11. Thats why i’m said i don’t think you know me. I agree you always argue for what is fair and most truthful. Thats why I like conversing with you. But I would have thought by now you felt the same of me. What argument am I presenting that is not fair or truthful? I have been very clear in the “value proposition” of ChromeOS. The OS has come a long way but it is still the MOST limiting OS there is, even over iOS which frankly i’ll admit I didn’t think was possible. My feelings on this are simple. If the device is cheap, sure give me less capability for savings sake. If you charge me the same amount as what I can get a regular laptop for, I just do not see the value there. I’ll take windows or OSX (which admittedly is way out of the price range we are discussing) or Linux.
            And I’m not ignoring the hardware. What I am saying is that many times the hardware is overkill. Look at the Pixel. My lord that is SO overkill for what ChromeOS needs. The greatest benefit of ChromeOS (other than cost) is that it is sooo lightweight. Which is why I use Android as a comparion, you can run ChromeOS on a phone if you wanted too. It doesn’t need a core i series processor or 8 GB of RAM etc… Sure it helps to have it, but like I said if I am paying for that kind of hardware I want the OS capability to fully utilize it.
            And I know Android and Windows and OSX aren’t truely open. This is my fault for not explaining myself clearly. But basically when I use the word “open” I mean its open enough where the company who makes it can’t dictate to me what I can and can’t do. For example, I don’t like Apple imposing restrictions on what apps I can and cannot run by blocking them from the store, aka the only Apple approved way of getting an app. On Windows and Android and OSX this is not an issue.
            And I realize that ChromeOS is technically capable of more than they are doing with it now because its a linux variant like anything else in the non-MS world. When they give it greater capability I will revisit my opinion on it.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          12. “But I would have thought by now you felt the same of me. What argument am I presenting that is not fair or truthful?”

            I know you argue for what you think is right but I wouldn’t be arguing with you if on this case I thought you were being completely fair in your analysis…

            The very basis of your argument is that the system is not worth the price because of what OS it’s running and what limitations you think it has but that ignores the value of the hardware it’s being sold with and the points I made showing it’s not as limited as you’re trying to emphasize…

            Key problem is you’re basically using the same argument/mindset as someone who would rather buy a system with GNU/Linux rather than Windows… defining what you perceive as weaknesses and ignoring the strengths to justify a price range you think would be fair…

            In either case you’re ignoring the actual value of the hardware, the fact that in either case you’re not limited to the OS the system comes installed with and that the OS isn’t as limited as you’re trying to emphasis…

            Users of Chromebooks are free to dual boot Android or a Linux distro like Ubuntu… Since it’s original release, Google has continued to advance Chrome and grant it off-line capabilities and the ability to take advantage of native apps… This puts it on equal footing with something like Android…

            While most Android devices aren’t supported for more than 2 years and you can’t easily run a linux distro on most of them… Unlike most Chromebooks…

            And specs like 4GB of RAM aren’t wasted on Chromebooks… Native apps can definitely take advantage of the hardware and even a web browser can make use of 4GB of RAM for better multi-tasking.

            If anything, Google is more likely to merge Android and Chrome anyway… They’re not going to give up on either and both are limited in their own way…

            Android may have a better app ecosystem, but that took years to develop and it still doesn’t have any professional productivity apps… and for web browsing it doesn’t officially support Flash anymore and eventually the old plug-in will stop working with new versions of Android… So there’s not much reason to argue it’s any better than Chrome…

            Especially, by ignoring Chrome strengths of requiring less support, can be supported for the life of the system, and easier for users to not lose their data if their system gets damaged or stolen…

            Really, I can agree that Chromebooks are still very much a niche market but they’re not automatically fully inferior to so called similar priced full PC’s when most people would be using PC’s in those price ranges for mostly the same things!

            If I wanted a PC for real productivity, I’d still have to get something that comes in at significantly more than $500… and the value in flexibility depends on what you need flexibility with to begin with…

            This may change in the next two years… Intel does plan on significantly improving what they off in the low price ranges and Windows devices are set to get even cheaper…

            Then, you’ll have a stronger argument but only if Chromebooks continue to be priced at today’s price ranges but they’re likely to get cheaper too…

            Btw, you would have had a much better argument if Google didn’t make it pretty easy for people to dual boot another OS and it wasn’t possible to change the firmware for even more options but since those are possible then it’s only fair to factor in the actual value of the hardware, which could be used for anything the user wants with just a little bit of effort…

          13. Ok if you can dual boot that’s a different story. I heard that the UEFI blocks that but if thats not the case then I agree the hardware deserves consideraton. But if you can’t dual boot frankly the hardware means nothing to me. So if I was wrong about that part I will claim ignorance.

            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Bay Trail-powered Asus Chromebooks to sell for $250 and up

          14. Yes, Google has support for knowing how to dual boot right on their forums… Developer Mode is something Chromebooks have been able to do right from the start…

            Remember, Google is mainly using Android and Chrome to leverage their market share and influence but their main bread and butter income is from alternate revenue sources via their services, targeted ads, etc.

            Chromebooks just mean people are more likely to heavily use their services but Google is happy as long as most of the market is using their services, either directly through something like Chromebooks or indirectly either through the Chrome browser on another OS or even limited to just Google search…

            Google even makes more money on iOS than they do Android because of this…

            So they’re not too fussed about people making more use out of products sold under their name as they mainly only worry about their bottom line and as long as people keep on using their services, regardless of which platform, then their bottom line is still served…

            The only thing that’s hard is altering the firmware… So you can replace it with traditional BIOS… but you’d only really need to resort to that if you want to install Windows and in that case then you’re better off just getting a Windows device in the first place but it’s not impossible to do for those really determined… While there is some leeway with working with the default firmware to allow a greater range of Linux distros to all be usable and there are people working on increasing the number of those choices all the time…

  2. The 13″ must have a 1080p screen to raise the bar for chromebooks and to get my money. Could be a highly compelling device.

  3. They really need to bump the specs on these things up to a minimum of 64 gigs internal storage and 4 gigs of ram. 16 gigs of storage is just a ripoff.

    1. Why is that? Most of the “apps” in Chrome OS are web apps anyway and need minimal local storage. The 16GB memory size is much more of a limitation on a device-based operating system device like an iPad or Android tablet (or Windows tablet, though they all have a minimum of 32GB because the operating system takes up more space) than it is on a browser-based operating system device like a chromebook.

      1. Because I’m buying this as an OpenSUSE notebook. Let’s face it, a good chunk of people who even know and buy these Chrome OS devices are running full desktop Linux distros on them either in parallel or as a complete OS replacement. I’m just hoping adding those extra storage and memory optons (if they’re not user upgradeable) are cheap enough to make them still cost less than a regular notebook. I’m a bargain hunter and use many things not originally for what they’re intended for.

        If I’m only using Chrome OS then I agree that 16 GB of local storage is enough except for those who like to keep all their videos and music on local storage instead of in the cloud (at least for the ones currently being watched/listend to).

        1. I understand your point but “a good chunk of people are running full desktop Linux distros on them either in parallel” is not a the target audience for this computer. Most who own chromebooks are not going installing another Linux distro. That’s a niche audience and you can’t expect manufactuers to focus on this audience, they won’t make money that way.

    2. 4 gigs of RAM. Yes, please. 64 GB of internal storage would cost money I’d rather they spent on the keyboard, screen, or touchpad. It’s a cloud device. I barely use local storage. I suspect most Chromebook users are the same. Otherwise, they’re not going to be happy with the Chromebook experience.

    3. Which is probably why Google adds 2 years of 100GB Cloud Storage for free with the purchase of a Chromebook… Along with a few other extras (Unlimited Music from Google Play & 12 free Gogo in-air internet passes)

      Mind, one of the selling points of a Chromebook is if it is either damaged or stolen then you can easily replace it and just log in to start where you left off from the previous unit… So they don’t want you to rely on local storage… but depending on the Chromebook, it may be a fairly simple matter to just replace the drive yourself, albeit you may need to follow certain specific procedure to prepare the drive, if you really rather have a larger drive and usually because you’re going to run something besides Chrome on the system…

      But whether you can replace Chrome depends on the firmware and how hard it is to alter/change… Developer mode is pretty standard though for dual boot at least…

  4. add extra 2GB RAM and full HD IPS screen to the 11.6 inch version and I am ready to pay for the machine extra money. Like this it is questionable whether to upgrade. I see reasons why chromebook manufacturers focus on low-cost but it is not way for me. 🙁

  5. I have to imagine Bay Trail is significantly cheaper than the Haswell-based Celerons found in other recent Chromebooks. Nice of Asus to pass on those savings to consumers.

    1. Well, initially there wasn’t too much difference… Since, Haswell based Celerons are lower spec than the Core models and have features like Quick Sync disabled to help justify a much lower pricing and Intel isn’t subsidizing the pricing of their Bay Trail M/D models like they are the mobile range models.

      However, these are being based on the second wave of Bay Trail models that have been recently released and that brings some price reductions, N2830 is $107 vs $132 for the previous N2820, but also some improvements…

      Namely, features like Quick Sync are now enabled in the newer Bay Trail based Celeron/Pentium models… and they’ve made other improvements like new core stepping, that fixes a number of USB
      defects… RAM support is now up to DDR3L-1333 memory instead of 1066… and CPU and GPU clocks have been tweaked a little…

      Having Quick Sync enabled is a interesting bonus as well as it means even if you don’t video edit that you’d at least have the option to have related features like Miracast, which requires Quick Sync for encoding video streams, also enabled…

      1. The thing is that the 4 core BayTrail devices may look good on benchmarks, posting similar results to the 2 core Haswell Celerons, however the 2 core Haswell Celerons completely smoke BayTrail on single and dual thread workloads, which are predominant in terms of UI responsiveness, especially for web browsing – which is why I think Google went for Haswell rather than BayTrail. BayTrail may not be so bad compared to Haswell at video, tasks like listening to music while browsing, and games though.

        1. You are correct that Bay Trail has a significant disadvantage in per core performance compared to Haswell but are mistaken to believe it matters a lot to the Celeron/Pentium range…

          First thing to consider is the fact that Haswell Celeron/Pentium are scaled down versions of the Core series and have multiple features, like Turbo Boost, Hyper-Threading, Quick Sync, AVX and AES-NI, disabled.

          So many Haswell Celeron/Pentium chips will lack Hyper Threading and often come in dual core, rather than quad core configurations that limits their multi-threading capabilities… This puts them a little closer to Bay Trail, which also lacks Hyper Threading, but Bay Trail SoCs are more likely to come in quad core configurations to help compensate.

          Second thing to consider is that Haswell Celeron/Pentium chips often have pretty low clock speeds… The Haswell Celeron 2955U is an example you’d find in a Haswell based Chromebook and it’s only a dual core at 1.4GHz… But the Bay Trail Celeron N2830 is a quad core with a base clock of 2.16 GHz and a Max Bust Clock of 2.41GHz, which it can also maintain for prolonged periods (unlike typical for Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost)…

          Meaning, even if the Haswell still manages to still have a single thread performance advantage that it won’t be that big of a difference, given the compensating factor of the higher clock speeds for the Bay Trail…

          All of which is before even considering the fact the Haswell Celeron 2955U is a 15W max TDP part and the Bay Trail Celeron N2830 is only 7.5W… So we can add a performance per watt difference that further helps put the Bay Trail in a better light…

          Then, finally, we can consider the fact that the N2830 is one of Intel’s newer Bay Trail model releases and with that comes the fact it’s one of the first Celeron branded products to have Quick Sync enabled…

          Now, you were also generally right about browsers as well but Chrome is a bit of exception as it takes advantage of multi-threading and is why it’s possible for it to keep a crash isolated to a single tab and not effect the other tabs you may have open at any given time… which, along with the benefits of having Quick Sync enabled for more hardware acceleration options is probably why Asus decided now was a good time to come out with a Bay Trail Chromebook…

          Besides, the ARM Chromebooks are even weaker on CPU performance…

          1. Chrome does run each tab as a separate process – for security and to limit crashes to a single tab instead of the whole browser, but very rarely does this result in concurrent processing, because most of the time you are looking at one active one tab, and the rest are tabs that have loaded and have loaded are doing nothing – so their processes are sleeping. The most common case where you are doing concurrent processing would be in the case where you are playing music on the music player or on one tab while loading and browsing web pages in another. Games may also involve concurrent processing. Concurrent processing is of more benefit on Windows than Chromebooks because you have longer running processes tied into other slow processes like disk access and paging virtual memory to/from disk.

            As I said, I believe this is why Google picked dual core Haswell Celerons rather than quad core Bay Trail Atoms with a similar benchmark performance – they will be more responsive to user input, and render web pages faster. Personally I would always go for a dual core processor than a quad core processor if the benchmarks were similar because the cores will not scale linearly, particularly on UI stuff which tends to be very peaky. Having said that, having more cores will definitely prevent the jitter in videos caused by switching tabs or opening new web pages that some have complained about on the HP Chromebook 11 – if you are doing this however, you are probably not watching the video too intently and so the jitter may not be too important. The Acer C720 does not have these problems though.

          2. “As I said, I believe this is why Google picked dual core Haswell
            Celerons rather than quad core Bay Trail Atoms with a similar benchmark
            performance”

            What are you talking about? Google doesn’t choose the hardware, the OEMs do… and Asus chose Bay Trail for their Chromebook release and I already pointed out that the Haswell Chromebooks the other OEMs, like Acer with their C720, are using has such low specs that they’re more comparable to the Bay Trail’s than have an actual advantage!

            Again, a 1.4GHz dual core Haswell Celeron 2955U, with no hyper threading, no Quick Sync, and no Turbo Boost, compared to a 2.16-2.41GHz quad core Bay Trail Celeron N2830, which does have Quick Sync and the Burst mode version of Turbo Boost, means they even out more than they stand apart… The Haswell part may have much more efficient cores but at a much lower clock that advantage isn’t being taken advantage of…

          3. The OEMs do not choose the hardware, they only get to choose from the list of hardware Google decides to support for ChromeOS. Google provides and updates the ChromeOS images for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, and Linux operating systems intended for specific devices (believed to be Arch Linux (a source distro) in the case of ChromeOS) are compiled for specific architectures unlike Windows which is compiled for generic i386 or x64 Intel architectures, so the specific hardware Google supports will determine exactly what hardware manufacturers will need to provide if they want to use ChromeOS. This is why Chromeboxes and Chromebooks have such similar hardware specs, and why pundits have been able to predict future hardware from the CPU compile flags in the ChromeOS development repositories. The fact that Google is now supporting Bay Trail and ARM >2 core CPUs probably means they have updated ChromeOS to take advantage of these.

            With regard to threads and processes, a multi-core/multi-thread CPU can only use these to advantage if the software spawns concurrent processes or threads. With regard to Linux, most Linux applications use multiple separate processes rather than multiple threads for concurrency because Linux processes are fairly lightweight, more secure than threads, and because Unix/Linux applications tend to use pipes for IPC rather than shared memory. Linux does support lightweight threads, but the most common use for this is to support the Java thread model.

            The important thing to note is that Chrome used to run one process per tab, and I am not sure if Chrome’s processes or Javascript engine now support multiple threads per process – I have not heard anything has changed recently. It does not matter how many cores or threads the CPU supports – if the software only spawns out one process concurrently or two processes concurrently, then that is all the CPU will be able to run. I am pretty sure that is why Google chose to support Haswell dual core Celerons rather than Chromebooks rather than Bay Trail quad core CPU, and why they didn’t support quad core ARM CPUs up until recently. The fact that Samsung’s Octacore (effectively quad core plus four little cores) Chromebook and the Asus quad core Bay Trail Chromebooks are being introduced probably means multi-thread support has now been added to Chrome’s browser processes, but we will need to wait for the browser benchmarks to see.

            The basic point I am trying to make is this – if you have a two core chip and a four core chip that have been benchmarked using benchmarks utilizing all cores fully and they are about the same speed, then it means that the dual core cores are about twice as fast as the quad core cores on a single thread/process. In fact the benchmarks for single and dual thread/process on Haswell Celeron vs Bay Trail shows this for 4 core Bay Trail CPUs where the fully utilised 4 core benchmarks are similar. I do not know how much “Turbo Boost” will boost speed, but I doubt it will be a factor of two.

            As I said before, personally if I was given a choice between two core CPU and a 4 core CPU with similar synthetic benchmarks for all cores utilised, I will always go for the two core CPU, especially for web browsers and UI applications. I have seen benchmarks for Bay Trail CPUs which were around in 2013 at the same time as the Haswell Chromebooks, and the 4 core BayTrail CPUs benchmarked about the same as the 2 core Celeron Haswells for benchmarks using all cores. I couldn’t find any comparative benchmarks for the N2830. The N2830 is based on the Atom architecture while the 2955U is based on the iCore architecture (Celeron is just a name for lower end low cost Intel CPUs), so clock speeds may not correlate directly – we will just need to wait for comparative benchmarks.

          4. Nonsense, even having to choose from a list doesn’t negate the fact the OEMs still make the final choice… Besides, a list means Google doesn’t choose only one option and Asus chose the Bay Trail Celeron… Which by your own logic means Google chose it too!

          5. Google has chosen Bay Trail now, it didn’t last year. That is why there were no Bay Trail CPUs last year when Bay Trail CPUs were available in surplus because of the poor sales of Windows 8 tablets and when OEMs would like to have used them on other devices.

            Why didn’t Google pick Bay Trail last year? Why didn’t Google support Quad/OctoCore ARM last year when the Q3 2012 ARM dual core processor was getting old? Probable answer – multi-threading wasn’t ready on Chrome, until now.

            You are talking absolute nonsense when you say that OEMs can choose what hardware goes onto a Chromebook. The CPU is the least of the worry as far as support is concerned. Bay trail requires specific drivers for the SoC, and the OEM or user cannot install anything on Chromebooks or Chromeboxes – the ChromeOS image has to come from Google, and it is updated every few weeks from images on Google’s servers. Not only that, but if OEMs or users attempt to put their own drivers on Chromebooks, then the bootloader will check the OS image on booting, flag it as corrupted when the checksum doesn’t match those on Google’s server images, and a clean (Google) image will be installed from the cloud. The only way to get around this is to enable developer mode, but if you do this, you do not get any updates, which removes the zero maintenance advantages of Chromebook.

            In 2013, there were just three CPUs which Google supported for new Chromebooks the Sandy Bridge 1.1, 1.3, 1.7 MHz Celeron, the Haswell 2955U Celeron, and the Exynos 5250 ARM. The chipset and other hardware support specified would also be specific.Chromebooks aren’t anything like Windows PCs. They are even more tightly than mobile phones. The OEM’s cannot supply their own OS customisations, updates, or driver support.

          6. “Google has chosen Bay Trail now, it didn’t last year.”

            What does that matter, it doesn’t change the point that it’s available now and Bay Trail hasn’t been out for a year yet anyway!

            Getting the Linux kernel optimized for Bay Trail took time, which is also why we’re only starting to see Android devices based on Bay Trail start to come out now as well…

            “You are talking absolute nonsense when you say that OEMs can choose what hardware goes onto a Chromebook.”

            No, I’m talking simple facts… Google can set guidelines but it’s ultimately the OEM’s choice what they use and how they configure the final device!

            Besides, you’re ignoring the simple fact this all discounts your theory and attempt to try to suggest the Haswell Celeron is somehow automatically the better choice!

            “and the OEM or user cannot install anything on Chromebooks or Chromeboxes”

            Sure they can, they just couldn’t call it a Chromebook or Chromebox then! This is little different than Intel’s requirements for what can be called an Ultrabook… It doesn’t stop OEMs from still making laptops, they just don’t always call it the same thing even if most of the specs are the same!

            While Google wouldn’t allow easy to follow instructions to set Chromebooks/Box into developer mode to dual boot either Android or similarly optimized GNU/Linux distro, if they didn’t allow users to put what they wanted on these systems!

            Never mind allow all the community efforts to be able to flash their own BIOS or make firmware changes… So it’s technology possible to still be able to install and boot even Windows on most systems that come with Chrome OS pre-installed…

            “In 2013, there were just three CPUs which Google supported for new
            Chromebooks the Sandy Bridge 1.1, 1.3, 1.7 MHz Celeron, the Haswell
            2955U Celeron, and the Exynos 5250 ARM.”

            Multiple models of Sandy Bridge Celerons is not just “three”! You’re also forgetting that the list includes the Intel Core i5-2467M and Intel Core i5-3427U!… Pretty much anything from Intel…

            Never mind the old chips used in the older Chromebooks were never taken off the list… or the fact any image that works for all of those will still work with many other chips from Intel!

            The Haswell 2955U Celeron is chosen mainly because of its low price, not because Google set it aside as a optimal chip to use! Many OEMs can easily use any equivalent Intel chip that still uses the same drivers and that would be quite a number of them!

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