Before this week, nearly all Chromebooks either ran on ARM chips, mostly Rockchip, or Intel CPUs. They will launch during CES 2019 this week as it looks to crack the growing popularity of Chromebooks.
Intel has dominated the Chromebook market since its 2011 inception, with the duo-core Celeron N3350 and the quad-core Pentium N4200 being the two most common processors in models from the past two years. This 14-inch AMD-powered Chromebook will be available in 1366 x 768p non-touch and 1920 x 1080p touchscreen models - and at $30 more, the touchscreen is indeed the model you should be grabbing. The laptop is powered by AMD's A4-9120C processor, supported by 4GB of DDR4 RAM. Curiously, it's rather meager on the storage with only 32 or 64 of slower eMMC storage.
In terms of wireless connectivity, you get 802.11 a/b/g/ac 2x2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Beside those is a full-size keyboard that ships with backlighting as a standard feature while the edge houses two USB 3.1 Type-C charging ports pulling double duty as a means for data transfers and display-out capabilities.
With Chromebooks remaining popular with schools around the world, Asus wants a bigger piece of that pie, introducing its Chromebook Education series that updates some existing models while adding its first Chrome-based tablet.
The first laptops built with the new silicon will start arriving later this quarter. Although AMD Ryzen is better for productivity, Intel CPUs are better than AMD Ryzen in gaming performance thanks to superior single-core performance.
Just like the tablet, this entry-level device with an 11.6-inch display features a rubberized chassis with thick bumpers and is similarly resistant to minor drops. There's also an option to pick one with a full-HD display. This port configuration will serve users well as we all try to make that transition to USB-C. It will be available for purchase in North America in February with a price tag of $279.