Chromebooks with MediaTek chips to appear 'very soon'

MediaTek demonstrated a non-functional Chromebook with its 64-bit MT8173 processor at Computex

Chromebook with Mediatek ARM chip at Computex 2015

Chromebook with Mediatek ARM chip at Computex 2015

Chip maker Mediatek is preparing to enter the laptop business, with the first Chromebooks based on its processors due to appear soon.

So said Mediatek senior vice president Jeffrey Ju at the Computex trade show in Taipei. The company also showed a non-working Chromebook with its 64-bit MT8173 quad-core processor and a USB Type-C port.

Ju didn't say exactly when PC makers will release Chromebooks with MediaTek's chips, but another MediaTek representative said the laptops could appear in the second half of this year or early next year.

Chromebooks, which run Google's Chrome OS, are catching on as a low-cost alternative to Windows PCs for users who do most of their computing on the Internet. The usage model is much like tablets and smartphones, with most applications requiring an Internet connection, though Google is making more offline applications available.

But if a Chromebook were to appear with the top-line MT8173 chip, it would be a computing powerhouse. The chip -- which has four Cortex-A72 CPU cores -- is able to deliver PC-like performance, and can process 4K video. But Chromebooks would run just fine with slower processors as most of the computing takes place in the cloud.

MediaTek already has a strong presence in the low-cost smartphone and tablet space with its ARM processors. Mobile devices will remain MediaTek's main focus, but the company wants to go higher up the computing foodchain by putting its processors in Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are a beacon of hope in an otherwise stagnant PC market. Chromebook shipments worldwide will touch 7.29 million [M] this year, growing by 27 percent compared to the previous year, according to Gartner. However, growth will slow down in 2016, with shipments expected to tally 7.95 million units, Gartner said.

Thin designs and low prices have made Chromebook attractive to buyers. The most inexpensive Chromebooks are 11.6-inch models from HiSense and Haier, which are priced at $149 and have ARM-based processors from Rockchip. Chromebooks with MediaTek's chips could fall into the same price range. MediaTek will also compete against Intel, whose x86 processors dominate Chromebooks.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags computexMediaTekGooglehardware systemsComponentslaptopsprocessors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?