There’s no denying my excitement for ‘Coachz’ at this point. I’ve always dreamed about a great, portable Chrome OS tablet and though my hopes were dashed pretty hard with the Pixel Slate that was too big as a tablet and too wonky as a Chromebook replacement, my interest in the form factor was rejuvenated with the Lenovo Chromebook Duet last year. That tablet was a bit too under-powered for me and the lack of external monitor options really made it difficult to even consider as a ‘get real work done’ type of device for my needs.
‘Coachz’ looks to right all the wrongs, however, with a bigger 3:2 11-inch screen, a built-in kickstand (hopefully similar to the Surface line of devices), a much faster processor than the Duet, and some nifty tricks up its sleeve with the stylus attachment (check out all our ‘Coachz’ coverage here). While I’m inclined to think this could very well be a Lenovo-made tablet (and I’m kind of hopeful it is), who eventually builds ‘Coachz’ isn’t as important as what this device will bring to the table for users like myself that would love a work/entertainment tablet all in one place.
Performance and speed matter
In that line of thought, I think one of the biggest factors in a device that will be thin, light and portable is the internal speed. While I don’t think a tablet that functions as both a versatile consumption device and competent work machine needs to be the absolute fastest Chromebook on the market, it does need to be fast enough to make the tablet mode feel fun to use while also being able to stand up to quite a few real-world work scenarios.
From the looks of it, ‘Coachz’ should be up to the task. Spotted in Geekbench 4 and Geekbench 5 results, it looks like Google is really getting things lined out with the new Qualcomom Snapdragon 7c processor. We found recent scores in both benchmarks for ‘Coachz’ and the numbers are very, very encouraging to see. Check out both below:
Just looking at the scores, it isn’t apparent why this matters at all. Put into some context, however, the numbers tell a very compelling story. First up, when compared to what most people think of with ARM Chromebooks (the Lenovo Chromebook Duet), the single-core scores are nearly double in both benchmarks. Multi-core scores aren’t as differentiated, but there are gains there as well.
As perhaps an even better comparison, I was also interested in comparing these scores to phones we’re all familiar with. Devices like Google’s own Pixels are great to score against since they don’t add too much on top of the overall software experience in Android. Judging by these same benchmarks, the new Snapdragon 7c in ‘Coachz’ appears to hold its own with the Snapdragon 845 that is in the Pixel 3 XL and bests the current generation Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G’s Snapdragon 765G.
With these types of scores, I’m looking very forward to seeing how this device – and others like it – perform in the real world. One of the biggest positives to ARM chips in Chromebooks is the fact that Android apps simply run better on them versus Intel and AMD-powered devices. The reasons are clear as to why this is but for many users, that performance bump for Android apps isn’t really a huge perk. Day-to-day performance is far more important and over the last decade, Intel-powered Chromebooks have simply been better at this.
However, with a tablet that looks to be a great media device and productivity unit all in one, the way it works with Android apps becomes that much more integral to the formula for success. For instance, most Android games are made with Snapdragon processors in mind and will run better on Qualcomm’s silicon than on others like the Rockchip processors that have been in previous Chromebooks.
With scores that rival the current Pixels and the Pixel 5, there’s a good chance that these upcoming Chromebooks with the Snapdragon 7c will be fantastic for games and media consumption. The more these mobile, thin, light Chrome OS devices can do what users currently use their phones for, the better. While the enterprise end of the Chromebook market continues to see high-end Chromebooks with premium hardware pieces, consumer-focused devices need to be great at both work and play with things like great speakers, great screens, and great multimedia experiences. It looks like ‘Coachz’ will fall right in that line and we can’t wait to see this thing show up later in 2021.