Asus may finally enter the Chromebook market early next year, possibly with an ARM-based Chromebook. With Samsung surprisingly missing from the Chromebook market this year, and Acer and HP not delivering the quality we all want, even at these low prices, I was hoping Asus would start making Chromebooks, too.
According to a new report, Asus will enter the Chromebook market with Chromebooks that cost $199 and $249, with the latter model supposedly helping them make "reasonable profit margins."
It's not clear yet where it will have x86 chips or ARM ones, but I'd be more inclined to believe they will be ARM chips. The question is which ARM chips? Knowing Asus, they will want to use a cutting edge chip (unlike HP), so it may be Tegra 5 (if it will be ready for Q1 2014, which is uncertain right now, although we'll probably learn more about that at CES this year), or Qualcomm's Adreno 400-based chip (also to be announced at CES 2014).
Asus also tends to adopt higher resolution panels earlier than other OEM's, and I think 2014 is about the right time to start seeing 1080p panels in Chromebooks. I wouldn't say such a panel would be more important than having 10+ hour battery life, but if they can have that battery life and a 1080p resolution, then that's fine by me. A 1080p panel would definitely give Asus that competitive edge over any other Chromebook manufacturer, and I could see them get quite a lot of buzz over it.
I don't see the storage changing from 16 GB since it's not that needed on a Chrome OS device as it is even on an Android device, and Google will want to push users towards using the 100 GB of Google Drive storage instead anyway.
I also think it's a little earlier for such low-cost Chromebooks to receive 4 GB of RAM, so we'll probably see 2 GB of RAM again, which I think is fine right now. But I can see 4 GB of RAM Chromebooks showing up in late 2014, especially if they start using ARMv8 64-bit chips like Cortex A57, or whatever Qualcomm comes up with.
With the HP Chromebook 11, which is the only new ARM-based Chromebook right now, experiencing issues, it's the perfect opportunity for Asus to come into the market with an ARM-based Chromebook and gain some decent sales.