As a part of CES 2022, we have the new Acer Chromebook Spin 513 in the office and inside this handsome Chromebook is an SoC that we’ve been very, very excited to see in action: the MediaTek Kompanio 1380. To be fair, we thought the Kompanio 1200 was the model we would be looking out for, but MediaTek’s high-end ARM chips all fall under the 1000-series branding, so the 1380 is obviously in that same vein. When we found out Acer was bringing this processor to CES 2022, we couldn’t wait to try it out.
And we’ve not been disappointed. As a part of the review process, we agreed not to benchmark this Chromebook, but we can share our thoughts on the overarching performance on display here, and it has been stellar. When you consider the fact that we’ve yet to see an ARM-powered Chromebook with any real speed up this point, the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 is a breath of fresh air. It moves through my daily workflow with ease, it loads up games just as well as a flagship phone would, and it does all of it with 10 hour battery life and not a single fan in sight.
For the purposes of this video, we decided to put this Chromebook and an older MediaTek Kompanio 500 (MT8183) device through the same paces. First, we covered multitasking on the desktop with web apps and then we followed that up with a few different games. In all areas across the board, the Kompanio 1380 demolishes the 500 and that’s what we’d totally expect. Multitasking was no issue even with multiple videos up and running and games performed beautifully.
It’s no surprise that the Kompanio 500 device we used for this video – the ASUS CM3 Detachable Chromebook – struggled with the same workload, but it is refreshing to actually see this sort of performance boost in real life. For years we’ve been getting the slow end of the ARM SoC spectrum, and despite being told to expect better performance with each new chip, we’ve never seen a big jump in real world usability. Put plainly: ARM chips in Chromebooks have just been slow.
But not the MediaTek Kompanio 1380. This thing flies and though I can’t give you benchmark results, the real world testing we do in this video speaks for itself. We’re finally getting the ARM processors Chrome OS deserves, and I cannot wait for this and other devices like it to emerge in 2022. With smooth performance, great battery life, and thin, fanless designs, ARM-powered Chromebooks are shaping up to be very, very interesting in the coming months. Now, if we can just get a decent-sized tablet with this processor inside…