Chromebooks: Unlikely battlefield for Intel vs. ARM

Until Windows 8 and RT came along, almost all popular tablets have used ARM technology. ARM processors are in all iPads and Android tablets, even in the Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2. Tablets run reasonably well and have long battery life due to having ARM inside. ARM technology has always been much cheaper than Intel alternatives, too.

That’s a big reason why Intel hasn’t been able to make a dent in ARM’s lock on the tablet space, largely due to a large price differential. Intel has always stated it wants to go up against ARM but has found that to be hard to do.

That may be changing, but not with tablets as expected. There’s an unlikely place that may let Intel compete directly with ARM. That place is in Chromebooks.

Laptops running Google’s Chrome OS are appearing that will put Intel’s latest Celeron processor with Haswell technology directly up against those running ARM. These Chromebooks will allow us to compare Intel’s offering directly with ARM technology, both in performance provided and battery life.

HP and Google jointly unveiled the Chromebook 11 recently, a laptop running ARM (Samsung’s latest Exynos processor). This Chromebook has 2GB of system memory, the maximum currently allowed by ARM technology not counting Apple’s new 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5s.

Acer has just announced the C720 Chromebook that is very similar to the Chromebook 11 with one important exception. Acer is using the Intel Celeron processor with Haswell technology, the first device to use it. This will allow a direct comparison of a good Intel mobile solution with the heavily used ARM. The C720 has 4GB of system RAM which is possible due to the Celeron.

Intel’s latest Haswell technology has proven in the field and with benchmarks that it yields both good performance and battery life. These are key attributes for tablets and laptops, and it’s expected to do so in this new Chromebook.  See more at: zdnet