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Why Bay Trail makes more sense for Chromebooks than Haswell chips

Jared Newman and Mark Hachmann | Sept. 13, 2013
By using Haswell instead of Intel's low-powered Bay Trail chips, the new Chromebooks may be targeting a use case that doesn't yet exist.

Still, it's unclear what kind of use cases these Haswell-based machines will open up. Baker mentioned better gaming and video playback as possibilities, but Bay Trail is no slouch in these areas, especially for the kind of games you get from a Web browser. More powerful applications may someday arrive as Chrome Apps, but we've yet to see anything that really demands a huge boost in power.

In theory, a PC maker could create a premium Chromebook by using high-quality build materials and a high-res display, but could still use Bay Trail to bring the cost down. All Bay Trail processors support 2560-by-1600 resolutions, for example.

That may still happen eventually. Intel has not ruled out Bay Trail-based Chromebooks, and when asked about the possibility at a reporters' roundtable this week, Intel's Navin Shenoy said to "Watch this space."

It's just a question of when, than if. As last year's $200 to $300 Chromebooks start to get stale on store shelves, hopefully the answer is "soon."


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