It was a little over a month ago that we uncovered a new, mysterious MediaTek chip entering development for Chromebooks. Since late in 2020, we’ve been aware of MediaTek’s ambitions in the Chrome OS space with their new MT8192 and MT8195 chips (Kompanio 820 and 1200, respectively) and, honestly, we’ve been waiting patiently for some of those new devices to begin showing up as we hope there will be some great upsides to Chromebooks having these SoCs inside.
At Acer’s Global Press Event, there was mention of a new 14-inch Chromebook that will be shipping with the Kompanio 828 (MT8192) and we can’t wait to get our hands on that device to see how things perform. Keep in mind MediaTek has built both of these new chips with Chromebooks in mind from the get-go. While not completely in-house silicon from Google, these Chromebook-specific Kompanio chips are the next best thing and with the way the current MT8183 performs in devices like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, I’m pretty excited to see what the latest from MediaTek can do.
A new chip and some new Chromebooks
In sharp contrast to the upcoming MT8195 and MT8192, this new MT8186 is a bit of a mystery in the MediaTek strategy right now. They’ve not announced anything about this chip, but my guess is it will fall into the Kompanio 500 series. Right now, the only chip in that series is the MT8183 that is in the Lenovo Duet, so I’d put money on the MT8186 simply being a revamped version of that chip.
When we first found it, there was only one development board tied to the MT8186 – ‘Corsola’ – and not much info could be gleaned from that device. It turns out that there are now two new Chromebooks in development that are nested under ‘Corsola’: ‘Krabby’ and ‘Kingler’. For those of you keeping tabs, these are all Pokemon names.
Again, there’s not a ton we can know about these new Chromebooks at the moment, but that will change in the coming weeks. For now, it looks like ‘Corsola’ will be the main reference board and ‘Krabby’ and ‘Kingler’ will be the first offspring of that board. Just like we had with all the MT8183 devices – ‘Kukui’ being the baseboard all of them were spawned from – we will likely see a handful of ‘Corsola’ Chromebooks beginning development in the coming weeks.
With the MT8195 looking to shore up the higher-end Chromebook segment for MediaTek and the MT8192 competing favorably with the Snapdragon 7c, there’s likely going to be a need for a new MediaTek chip in the affordable Chromebook segment moving forward. If this new MT8186 can refine and improve on the MT8183, keep prices down, and deliver solid user experiences moving forward, it could end up being a very, very popular SoC in the Chrome OS ecosystem. We’ll obviously keep digging to learn more. Stay tuned.