Got yet another rumor concerning the possibility of an Asus Chromebook. It’s through Digitimes, though, so…take it with a grain of salt.
Turns out the Taiwan-based computer giant Asus has its eye on Nvidia’s newest ARM-based System On Chip; code-named Kal-el. This little piece of hardware packs a rather hefty punch, running a quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU, a 12-core GPU, 3D stereo and support for a display resolution of up to 1900×1200. Now, a lot of you are probably wondering just what that’s supposed to mean- and why I’m telling you all about it. After all, this blog is supposed to be about Google’s Chrome OS and browser, isn’t it? What does Asus have to do with Chrome?
At the moment, not much. But that could very well change. See, there’s quite a lot they could do with this new Tegra 3 system. First, we’re going to go over what we know they’ll do with it. Then, we’ll extrapolate.
Currently, Asus is prepping to release the Eee Pad Transformer 2, which will run a quad-core Tegra 3 along with Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich (still can’t get used to that name) Android OS. This pretty package is going to arrive in October, at the earliest. Again, you’re probably still trying to decipher what any of this has to do with Chrome, aside from the company that owns the OS. We’ll get to that.
See, in yet another blow to Acer’s pride (not that they haven’t taken enough already lately, given the rather abysmal train wreck that was the Acer Chromia’s not-launch), Asus is going to be taking over Acer’s position as Nvidia’s largest client for ARM-based CPUs. Asus is estimating that they’re going to be ordering somewhere around 2.5 million Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 CPUs in 2011. What’s more-and here, we get to the good stuff- word is that Asus is planning to launch a notebook that runs Nvidia Tegra 3, and-you guessed it- Google Chrome, by the end of 2011.
And now you see why I’m excited, right? Asus has a good reputation, and a generally good standing, to my knowledge. Looking at what they’ve got on the market right now (Eee Pad Transformer, anyone?) and at some of their history…Yeah, I think letting them design and manufacture a Chromebook is a rather excellent idea. It’s a pretty safe bet they’re not going to botch the attempt, in any case.
Anyway, as for how this theoretical Chromebook might look…Cristian of Techconnect estimates that the theoretical Asus Chromebook will have a display around twelve inches in size. I’m inclined to agree with him, and willing to extrapolate a bit further- it’s likely going to have specs that are very, very remniscient of the Chromia/Series 5. Maybe it’ll pack a bit more RAM, but other than that, it’ll likely be pretty much what you’d expect of a Chromebook- other than the shiny new Tegra 3 microarchitecture, anyway.
The best part about this news, if it turns out to be true? This Chromebook might actually launch on time.