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Budget Chip Could Make Chromebooks Even Cheaper

Toshiba Chromebook-Logo

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.

Chromium Engadget

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...