Today, Google and Intel teamed up to announce some new Chromebooks that will be hitting the market later this year. The big takeaway from today’s event is that Google’s OEM partners like ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and others will be using Intel’s Bay Trail architecture. Right now, the vast majority of Chromebooks on offer utilize a Haswell-based CPU, which is why a lot of these devices are far superior to ARM CPUs in terms of performance. However, these Haswell chips cannot match the battery life and portability offers by ARM CPUs as we saw in the HP Chromebook 11. Bay Trail Chromebooks will bridge the gap where battery life is concerned and Chromebooks running Bay Trail chips will be completely fanless.
Bay Trail isn’t going to be replacing Haswell in Chromebooks and throughout today’s event, Intel stated these new chips will be an “addition” to Haswell devices on the market. Celeron processors from the Bay Trial architecture will offer as much as 11 hours of battery life, which is pretty much the “all day” battery life Google has been hoping to achieve since Chrome OS was first announced. My Chromebook 14 from HP with a Haswell CPU doesn’t have particularly pleasing battery life, but those looking for longevity in a Chromebook will want to look for Bay Trail based Chromebooks later this year.
Moreover, these devices will be thinner and later, partly due to the fact that there’s no need for a fan but also due to the fact that Bay Trail is a more integrated solution, much like ARM chips in our smartphones and tablets are. All-in-all, Bay Trail CPUs are going to be found in 11.6-inch Chromebooks that aim to provide the best balance between battery life and performance, while also keeping their very attractive price tags. Intel wasn’t exactly clear on specifics when it comes to launch timeframes for these new devices, but said that we should expect them in the coming months.