Acer may be preparing to launch one of the first Chromebooks powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor. A 13.3 inch laptop called the Acer Chromebook CB5 showed up recently at Swedish retail site Komplett.se.

The notebook’s not available for purchase yet, and the page has been updated to say the product is “no longer in our catalog,” but the cat may already be out of the bag… or maybe the cat was always in the wrong bag and this product isn’t real.

acer cb5_02

Anyway, the listing describes a notebook with a 13.3 inch HD display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of solid state storage, and Google Chrome OS software.

It’s powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, which is a quad-core ARM-based chip with 192-core graphics. The system has two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, a headset jack.

So far only a handful of Chromebooks featuring ARM-based chips have been released, and if the Acer Chromebook CB5 is real, it might be one of the first to feature an NVIDIA processor.

On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear what benefits an ARM chip offers: Chromebooks with Intel Bay Trail and Haswell chips offer long battery life, decent performance, and nearly instant-on capabilities. I’m testing the Asus C200 Chromebook this week, and while it’s not as fast as some models, it gets up to 12 hours of battery life under real-world conditions.

The Acer Chromebook CB5 might be released sometime around August 1st. Acer is also planning to launch a Chrome OS laptop with an Intel Core i3 Haswell processor later this year.

via Android Police and +Martin Ross

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19 replies on “Acer Chromebook with NVIDIA Tegra K1 leaked by Swedish retailer”

  1. it’s awesome that this monster of a chip is getting the application it deserves, coming in a laptop (this and a Windows RT version would be cool)

    it’s just ashame it looks like ass

  2. What I have really come to hate about ARM based devices is the very limited Linux options they come with. My Samsung Chromebook1 is still on Ubuntu 12.04 (dual boot) and I don’t think it will be refreshed (it was a community effort and nobody seems to be interested in it anymore).

    For x86 based devices, I can usually put a stock x86 Linux distro on it and usually every hw component is well supported. When a new LTS Linux comes out I simply upgrade or reinstall the machine and hw support usually becomes even more refined.

    ARM should introduce some very serious standardization in this area because x86 is getting fairly power efficient these days, so their appeal is diminished. I will not likely invest into a laptop/desktop ARM machine again, unless it officially comes with Linux or the ARM hw gets standardised to x86 levels.

  3. The advantage is cost not just the SoC but some other parts too and that’s why Intel is basically giving Atom for free in tablets ,they can’t compete for now.

  4. someone needs to start putting money into improving the screens that chromebooks have (I’m talking IPS options with higher res)

      1. I’d like more for the same money, please.
        …. it didn’t seem that hard to ask. Seriously though – I think the screens are as much about differentiating more expensive products with better profit margins as they are about being able to produce better items at cheaper price points.
        As for ARM, I woulnd’t write it off en masse just yet. We’ve really only had the one ARM cpu from Samsung – now with a slight update. I’m open to seeing more.
        I’m quite hopeful that the announced Rockchip ARM ChromeOS capability bears fruit. It’s a popular chip with a lot of smaller Chinese manufacturers and I’m hopeful they might bring more features at the price points we want because they don’t have any more expensive product line to protect.
        If I can get a 13″ laptop with a good screen for $200 or under then I start to care a lot less about whether I know and feel comfortable with the company.
        For those who remember this is exactly what happened with the DVD player market back in the day. One day it was $300+ Panasonic, Samsung and Sony devices and the next it was $100 devices from companies you never heard of which could also play all kinds of codecs the major brands couldn’t. Worked out very well for consumers. I think I paid $40 for my last DVD player. Worked great.
        As for the K1 it looks pretty interesting and I’d totally be interested to see a Chromebook with it.

        1. Chromebooks are the equivalent of 40$ dvd players in terms of hardware. There’s nothing close to it. Sure the OS is limiting but I dont see where Google is making margins here.

          1. Google doesn’t focus on hardware for their margins… They profit from users using their services and apps!

            For example, Google makes more money off iOS than Android…

          2. That proves my point. Chromebooks, the actual hardware, are sold at cost. You can’t imagine having better parts at that price point.

          3. No, because the actual device is still made by a separate system maker and they are concerned about the hardware margins… Thus why we see things like a premium pricing for things like extra storage space from the base model…

            There’s just more room for the margins without the system maker worrying about the added cost of software… So closer to cost but there are still profit margins…

          4. Agreed, extra storage and extra ram are overpriced. Doesn’t mean the base ram/sdd chips are sold with profit. I’m really curious about the profit made by Acer. 250 for a haswell cpu in an overall good machine… tough.

          5. You can be sure it’s still more than cost… Base model just tends to be very close to cost but mainly because the system makers don’t expect many people to go for the base model and it’s mainly put out to give a starting price to get people interested…

            Mind, the incentives like not providing a lot of storage in the base model and often these type of products tend to be hard to upgrade or even have soldered parts that are not user upgradeable…

            Along with other limitations like they may not have options like a card reader for even that type of memory expansion…

            So, it’s not like they don’t usually sell more of the higher capacity models…

            Really, Chromebooks started out costing more than Netbooks… Even with the same hardware and the Netbooks came with Windows 7 Starter Edition…

            The cost of the hardware is just way down now and it helps that Intel is subsidizing both ATOM and other products that compete directly with ARM… Like Chromebooks…

            So the system makers are taking advantage at this time but it’s not something that’ll last forever… and everyone eventually has to worry about their bottom line, which is making enough profits to justify bothering with the product…

            While, I’ll generally be wary of Acer… Products can be okay but they tend to cut costs by reducing build quality… Though, depending on where they cut you may or may not notice… Sometimes you have to take the system apart to see where they cut corners…

          6. I searched a lot and couldn’t find a single netbook with a similar processor. The cheapest I could find were 300$+. And Acer are giving 50$ cashbacks on c720p making it 220$ (hehe and I just realized that this means they probably make more than 50$ margins … helping your case).

            The upgradability is not an issue in my case at least, it’s for my mother, who still uses an old Acer Atom netbook slow as hell. So I’d say even in 5 years, a c720p will do fine.

          7. Nope. when comparing Netbooks with Chromebooks is going back to 2011 when they were both being sold… They don’t make netbooks anymore now!

            The same hardware models are the early Chromebooks that used the N550/N570, which was a Pine Trail ATOM and one of the first dual core ATOMs…

            Prices where about over $100 more for the Chromebook than a netbook also using a N550/N570… Partly because they insisted on larger screens for the Chromebooks but all that was despite system makers having to pay for Windows on the netbooks versus the already free Chrome OS…

            First Samsung Chromebook for example started at over $429… Acer pushed that down to a starting price of $349 but netbooks were already dipping below $300 at that point…

            Btw, Netbooks pretty much standardized the near at cost products… It’s one of the reasons pretty much everyone involved wanted to stop making netbooks because of the small margins… Some chinese netbook makers even only made pennies for every unit sold and more than a few went out of business when their model didn’t sell well…

            But that’s history now… Netbooks are gone and we have to deal with their replacements now and Chromebook success is partly due to the fact it doesn’t have to compete with netbooks anymore and tablets are naturally going to cost more because of their design requirements… Never mind how they charge extra for memory and storage on mobile devices…

            Chromebooks are also limited to web apps unless you go through the trouble of entering developer mode and installing something like Crouton or installing a separate GNU/Linux desktop OS….

          8. It’s true the netbook thing faded, helping chromebooks sell.

            But first, there are still a handful of models released (thanks to new intel baytrail and amd kaveri). And on my market, Chromebooks are still the cheapest (~250), fastest (2995u > n2820), with longest battery life (>6h) I could find. So that makes CB hardware already worthy itself.

            The 2nd argument in selling is that, the limited OS is actually as much a good thing than a bad thing. It’s very light, very easy, most users dont care about MS Windows new features (they wanna consume medias and chat).

            You got a no brainer product, and IMO that’s why it sells.

            I’m looking into the deep differences between ChromeOS and the free project ChromiumOS to see how easy it could be to make it extensible without going through Google Play

          9. No, again, don’t confuse what’s available now with netbooks…

            Netbooks were specifically low margin products and that’s a different business model than they’re using now…

            The products available now are rather based on the business model established for mobile devices like phones and tablets… Thus why they do things like charge a premium for extra storage capacity, etc. and the only things that get close to actual costs for very low margins are a few base models but even then most tend to have larger margins than netbooks had…

            Cost of hardware is just lower now and thus prices are lower but their profit margins are still larger than what they would have been for netbooks…

            Besides, Bay Trail provides significantly more performance than even the most premium netbooks that had ever been released… Just because they’re still part of the ATOM series doesn’t mean they serve the same part of the market anymore…

            Modern ATOMs are prioritized to compete in the mobile market and most use the same parts as ARM devices do…

            Netbook ATOMs hardly advanced in 5 years because they were on a slow 5 year product cycle and prioritized well established technology and over the self parts… but modern ATOM are on the same two year tic-toc cycle as Intel’s Core processors that support the latest standards and advances…

            The upcoming ATOM updates (Braswell and Cherry Trail) that’ll replace Bay Trail for example will even put it on the same 14nm FAB as the upcoming 14nm Broadwell that’ll replace Haswell, along with basing it’s GMA on the same Gen 8 GPU as Broadwell as well…

            And by the end of 2015 they plan to update the ATOM again to a newer architecture for even more performance with a scalable and customizable design to better compete with ARM solutions…

            I also don’t see why you’re comparing Kaveri based systems to netbooks because that’s not even AMD’s lowest offering…

            Temash, Kabini, and the newer Beema and Mullins are what compete with Bay Trail but they’re mainly in the same range as say Intel’s Celeron/Pentium range… as AMD still doesn’t have a product that will go into devices that will compete directly with the full range of ARM products… Like there will be no AMD based Android tablets, for example…

            So low end but not fully into the mobile range…

          10. I think you’re splitting hair by not calling Bay* machines netbooks. It’s true that intel has changed its behavior a lot compared to the original Atom line but I don’t see how it’s different at the user level if they are now after the mobile / tablet market too and producing better processors for low price machines instead of dropping an old design with low TDP and calling it a day.

            For a reason I lost track of AMD naming scheme (it’s not that easier to follow than intel’s).

          11. No splitting hairs…

            Users get more now for the price not because of low margins like netbooks had but because the devices are just that much cheaper to make…

            A modern netbook would be priced around $99 to put that into perspective…

            Really, to compete with ARM means getting SoC prices below $20 and the SoC accounts for the entire chipset, or core components that make up the computer…

            Netbooks also used low cost off the self parts to minimize total system costs… So TN screens instead of IPS, slow SSDs or smaller capacity HDDs, etc. was all minimalistic…

            So, if system makers were going by netbook business model then they’d be releasing models at very near cost, instead of $50 to $100 more!

            Take an Android tablet for example, since we’re talking about the mobile business model…

            Samsung Galaxy S4 has a BOM of about $236 and about $8.50 manufacturing cost… But they charge a lot more than that for the actual sale pricing…

            Really, very few products are actually near cost and they’re mainly just to get people interested in the model and they really want people to go for the higher end version that they charge a premium for…

            And Bay Trail is multiple times more powerful than the ATOMs used in netbooks…

            Netbooks were designed around the idea of providing just the bare essentials but even mobile devices are pushing past that limitation these days…

            Remember, the Acer Chromebook in this article is suppose to get the Nvidia K1 and that uses a GPU originally meant for desktop discrete graphics but re-optimized and scaled down for mobile usage now…

            Sure, it’s a mobile SoC but the performance is much more than what covers the bare essentials anymore…

            So you may liken some of these products to netbooks but they aren’t netbooks anymore!

    1. Fully agree! Willing to pay more for it too. Holding off getting an Acer C720 in hopes of something similar with a better screen.

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