We’ve been telling you that low-cost Chromebooks with Rockchip processors were in the pipeline, and this week the first models have been finally announced by Google and its partners.
All the models we’ll be discussing below take advantage of the Rockchip RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core platform and sell for affordable price tags.
The chip offers a reasonably strong performance at a low cost, so some of these products might make for an interesting choice. Now, let’s see what's what.
ASUS C201 Chromebook
The new notebook is very similar to the ASUS C200 Chromebook, with the exception that instead of an Intel Bay Trail chip, we have a Rockchip ARM-based processor on the inside.
The model arrives with a 11.6-inch display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, 16GB of internal storage, either 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and a battery said to be capable of pumping juice for up to 13 hours.
The new ASUS Chromebook should be available starting this May for $169 / €157 and up.
ASUS Chromebook Flip
ASUS also released a 10.1-inch convertible with a 10-point touchscreen display that can be flipped 360 degrees to be used as a tablet (Lenovo Yoga vibes anyone?). The hybrid boasts 1280 x 800 resolution and can sustain 10 hours of life.
The Chromebook Flip comes in 2GB of RAM plus 16GB of internal storage versions, which will cost $249 / €231. If you feel you need more, there’s also the model with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that sells for $279 / €259.
The CTL Chromebook uses an 11.6-inch anti-glare HD display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. The model is also offered with 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, 1.3MP camera, Bluetooth 4.0, and a battery that can provide up to 9 hours of run time.
CTL is offering two models: the version with 2GB of RAM will cost you $179 / €166, while the 4GB of RAM one goes on sale for $209 / €194. You can pick up the cheaper version today, but the 4GB variant is coming in mid-May.
Haier Chromebook 11
When word of Rockchip Chromebooks first surfaced online, we were told to expect models with price tags as low as $149 / €138. And the Haier laptop is one of them.
The laptop packs in the standard specifications including an 11.6-inch display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, SD card ports and a 720p camera.
The Chromebook is said to be able to sustain a life cycle of up to 10 hours. The model can be currently purchased from Amazon.
Haier has also rolled out a rugged model called Chromebook 11e for education.
This laptop will also go on sale for a meager $149 / €138, and pre-sales for it are starting today. Interested parties can pick one up from Walmart.
The notebook packs similar specifications to the model we outlined above. But keep in mind that the Hisense model promises up to 8.5 hours of battery life instead of 10.