Samsung's Higher End Models Signal More Focus on Chromebooks
There has been significant news from Samsung on the Chromebook front recently, and some observers are wondering if the company is going to concentrate on Chromebooks in an exclusive way. The company introduced the Chromebook 2 earlier this month. It has a faux leather back and comes in two sizes -- an 11.6-inch and a 13.3-inch model. The 13.3-inch model has a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Samsung's existing Chromebooks have been very popular and the Chromebook 2 is also going to make its debut in the U.K. shortly.
Meanwhile, Samsung just announced that its Exynos 5 Octa mobile application processor is providing the processing power for the Chromebook 2. It's an eight-core ARM chip that has done very well in performance tests.
“Maximizing performance in tight power and thermal budgets is critical in today’s mobile devices,” said Dr. Kyushik Hong, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “Compared to Exynos 5 Dual, our new Exynos 5 Octa application processors deliver up to 125 percent increase in computing and two times the multimedia performance. This enables designers to develop leading-edge products with significantly improved battery life.”
It's crucial for Chromebooks to start taking on high-end performance components if they are to move out of the low end of the portable computing space. There are ever more processing-intensive applications coming to Chromebooks. For example, Google and Cisco have teamed up to deliver WebEx for videoconferencing on Chromebooks.
Google also recntly announced that it is bringing its Google Now voice-assist feature to more devices, by delivering the functionality in its latest Chrome Beta version. As I covered here, we are going to see Chrome OS take on advanced speech recognition and voice features. As that effort progresses, Chromebooks are going to need more memory and more processing power.
On the Samsung front, the company continues to show signs of possibly organizing its whole portable computer strategy around Chromebooks. According to a report in DigiTimes, after cutting its targets for notebook computer sales, the company may have plans to "no longer launch conventional notebook models except Chromebooks in 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers."
Back in October 2012, we were reporting on how Samsung was going all in on inexpensive Chromebooks. The company has steadily offered under-$300 models, and gotten good reviews for them. Now, there are strong signs that the company is going to offer both low end and high end Chromebooks.