MediaTek has been an up and coming manufacturer in the SoC market, providing powerful yet cost effective options to mobile device manufacturers. Normally we tend to see MediaTek chips inside of smartphones and tablets, and more commonly those that launch internationally outside of the U.S. Just a few days ago though MediaTek announced they would be entering into the Chromebook market and that they had more than one model preparing to launch. MediaTek showed off a non-working model at Computex this week, and now a demo has popped up on YouTube which showcases the first ever MediaTek powered Chromebook, powered on and running for all to see.
According to video, this particular Chromebook is running on MediaTek’s MT8173 System on Chip, which MediaTek states is the fastest ARM processor right now, and it’s listed as the first ARM Cortex A72 processor. That’s a bold claim to be sure, but if there’s any truth to it then this is likely to be one fast Chromebook model with plenty of processing power behind it. It’s also listed has supporting hotwording, and it is also using the USB Type C standard for at least one USB port for this prototype, although they state that a final model should have two USB Type C ports and one standard USB port. While this may be MediaTek’s first Chromebook, the machine is listed by the MediaTek representative in the video as being a Google sample so it isn’t a floor ready product that can be released for consumers just yet.
They also briefly mention that consumers should expect to see at least the model shown in the video by the beginning of next year, so it will still be some time before we can expect to order or pick one of these up. What isn’t listed is who the manufacturers are that will be building machines off of this design with the MediaTek processor inside. The first part of next year seems like quite a ways away still as it’s more than half the year, but the MediaTek rep states that Google certification still has to be completed as well as Google defining the final specifications with the manufacturers. It’s also mentioned that the prototype model has multi-screen support embedded, and it’s fully functional. It all seems very easy to set up thanks to the USB Type C ports, and you can quickly see the Chromebook’s multi-screen function in action thanks to the USB Type C connector that is outputting to an external display next to it. It’s also running an imagination SGX6250 GPU, which makes it the first Chromebook to be running an imagination GPU inside. There is now word yet on pricing for these MediaTek powered Chrome OS machines, but according to the rep prices are expected to be competitive.