Well, today is the day. We finally have our hands on the world’s first-ever 11th Gen Tiger Lake Chromebook. We have a lot of questions and will be covering anything and everything that you can think of around this new generation of Chromebooks. Form, features, and aesthetics are all very important but I’m here for the horses so the first thing I wanted to see when the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 arrived was some benchmarks. We’ve done a lot of educated guessing around the office as to how much improvement we’ll see with Tiger Lake compared to the current 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs which why I was so excited when this device popped up at Best Buy. Intel has already touted significant gains from the CPU cores but the Xe G4/G7 graphics are equally as intriguing and Intel has set the bar of expectation very high for this new generation of integrated graphics.
So, after Robby got the ASUS unboxed and spent a few minutes tinkering, it was time for us to run the usual benchmarks and see if our hopes were to be fulfilled or dashed. There are a variety of benchmarking tools that can be used in-browser and are considered the go-to for testing Chrome OS devices. Most of these can be found at BrowserBench and you can go there and test your own device any time you like. Before we run those tests, we always default to Google’s now-retired Octane benchmark. It is no longer being developed be it gives us a relatively good idea of just how powerful a Chromebook’s CPU really is. As a reference point, the 10th Gen Intel Core i3 found in the HP Chromebook x360 14c paired with 8GB of RAM gets around 36,000 on Octane. That’s a very respectable number and honestly, enough horsepower for pretty much any user that isn’t looking to leverage resource-eating Linux packages. So, how did the 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115g4 with 10th Gen graphics and 8GB of RAM perform? Let’s just say that this was the first response when we saw the results.
The 11th Gen Intel Core i3 that’s powering the newest generation of Chromebook absolutely destroys any processor ever used in a Chrome OS device and that includes models with Core i7 CPUs and 16GB of RAM. Keep in mind, this processor is dual-core like its predecessors with two threads per core. The Core i5 and i7 in the Comet Lake family are quad-core with eight threads. You would expect that the Tiger Lake Core i3 would stand up to the 10th Gen chips but I never anticipated what we saw when we ran a range of benchmarks. Just for fun, we ran these benchmarks side-by-side with the HP Elite C1030 that just happens to have a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 and a whopping 16GB of RAM. You would expect the ASUS to come in a respectable second but as you can see below, the Octane scores for the ASUS C536 completely embarrassed the Elite C1030.
The Core i3 in the ASUS scores 37% higher than the 10th Gen Core i7 and it’s the highest Octane I’ve ever seen on a Chrome OS device. Moving on to more modern benchmarks, we turned to Browser Bench and started with the Speedometer test. This tests responsiveness of web applications which is a perfect test for an OS that runs a good portion of its applications through the web. Anything score around 100+/- is very good and you can rest assured that a Chromebook that scores above 100 is going to get the job done. That said, 116 is the best Speedometer 2.0 score that I can recollect. When we ran the two devices, we saw a similar result as the Octane test. A 34% increase in score and a benchmark, unlike anything that we’ve ever seen.
The last thing we need to do is find a tried and true method to test the actual GPU on this Chromebook. Once we can, it will be time to run some real-world tests and see how this thing handles heavy Linux packages. Robby’s in the other room working on the unboxing and we’ll have the video out for you as soon as possible with a full review in the coming days. Stay tuned. Tiger Lake Chromebooks are going to change the game and I am stoked to see how Chrome OS evolves with all of the new chipsets and features like Borealis headed our way that can leverage these new GPUs. Exciting times.