One of the best things about buying a Chromebook is that they’re already some of the most affordable notebooks on the market, and they could be about to get even cheaper. Budget chip maker MediaTek has been testing a device with an entry-level processor that could lead to Chromebooks that cost significantly less than $200.
The chip MediaTek has been testing with Chrome OS is based on Cortex-A7 technology, which is cheaper than the already inexpensive Cortex-A15/A7 hybrid that Samsung uses in its Chromebooks — and indeed the Intel Celeron chips used by manufacturers like Acer. There’s a good reason why Cortex-A7 chips are cheap, however.
The technology, codenamed “Kingfisher,” first made its debut in late 2011 (that’s a long time ago in the processor world) and these days it’s far from snappy — even inside phones and tablets. It could well lead to some pretty sluggish Chrome OS devices, then. Nevertheless, it may well serve a purpose for those seeking a super affordable route into the ecosystem.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that MediaTek’s testing will indeed lead to Chromebooks or Chromeboxes with Cortex-A7 processors, but the move could certainly benefit the Taiwanese firm. Its existing chips are already popular in developing markets like China and India where budget mobile devices are big business.