Since we first came across the ‘Geralt’ baseboard back in February, I’ve been beyond excited thinking about the devices this development unit will end up producing. With the new MediaTek MT8188 on board and what looks to be at least a follow-up to both the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 and Duet 5 both on the list of actual devices that look to be coming from ‘Geralt’, I can’t wait to see what using a ChromeOS tablet for both work and consumption will be like.
I’ve talked about it many times before and I’ll continue to have it as a pipe dream, but I really want a speedy Chromebook tablet that can be docked at my desk without a bunch of caveats and still taken with me to the couch for some leaned-back content consumption. There are great Android tablets like the Pixel Tablet that do the consumption part well, but their desktop functionality is not good. And then there are Chromebook tablets that I can get some stuff done on, but their consumption abilities are limited by their overall performance and that same performance lack takes away from them being full desktop replacements.
‘Geralt’ tablets could be the sweet spot
And even though I want a tablet with lots of speed, we all still expect these types of devices to have great battery life and portability, so there’s always a trade-off in these situations. With a few changes to the tablet mode on ChromeOS, I think the experience could be quite good in both tablet and desktop modes if the processor inside any given Chromebook tablet simply had a bit more pep under the hood. That extra power could make gestures more fluid in tablet mode and make work more doable on the desktop as well.
And it looks like ‘Geralt’ will be a step in that direction. Thanks to some benchmarks that have been run on Geekbench 5 and Geekbench 6 back in April, we can see some marked improvements over the current Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 that powers both the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 and Duet 5. For reference, we’re comparing these by baseboard name, so ‘Geralt’ is the MT8188 and ‘Strongbad’ is the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2.
As you can see, the single-core score improvements are significant in both the single and multi-core, especially on the Geekbench 6 side of things. While Geekbench 5 shows a 27% bump in single-core and a 14% improvement in multi-core, Geekbench 6 shows an impressive 40% jump in single-core and 33% jump in multi-core scores for the MT8188 over the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2.
Adding in the fact that these results for ‘Geralt’ are now two and a half months old, there’s even a good chance that they’ll improve a bit from here. But even if things stay in this range of performance, when you consider that ‘Geralt’ is capable of higher-res outputs, there’s a good chance that the MT8188 inside these Chromebook tablets will be fast enough for all the things you’d want to do with a Chromebook tablet both at the desk an on the couch.
Out of curiosity, I looked up Geekbench 6 results for some 10th-gen Intel Core i3 Chrombooks, and ‘Geralt’ is right in the same performance range. Now, when we talk about raw speed, a 10th-gen Core i3 isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but for most people on any given day, it’s plenty to get the job done. Now imagine that sort of speed matched with a thin/light tablet that has all-day battery and you see why I’m so hyped for these devices to finally arrive.
Obviously, build quality and outer components like the screen, keyboard, and trackpad matter greatly in this equation, too, so a faster processor won’t solve the entire equation. And I do think Google needs to sort a few things out for the tablet mode, specifically the home screen layout. But if the existing Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 and Duet 5 are anything to go by from a hardware perspective, the future for ChromeOS tablets is brighter than it has ever been. And I cannot wait to see where we end up later this year!