According to a very reliable inside source, we’ve learned that highly-upgraded versions of two popular Chromebooks are coming. There are some caveats that apply, but these devices most certainly exist and could see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.
We’ve done full reviews of both the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 and the Samsung Chromebook Pro, so you can check out those articles and videos if you need more info on either device. Don’t expect to see much difference in the way of external hardware with these two new versions.
What is changing? Internally, both devices are getting a massive upgrade.
We saw earlier evidence that the Samsung Chromebook Pro could see this massive boost in internal ability, but we’re just now hearing that this same treatment is happening with the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302. Both devices currently house an Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB of RAM. For most users, this is enough to maintain a nice, snappy experience with little to no slowdowns.
But, who am I kidding? We all love more power, right?
Both devices are looking to get upgraded in the way of a Core m7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Yeah, 16GB.
That would put both of these devices on par with the performance of the highest-tier Pixelbook.
Pricing & Availability
Here’s the part we don’t know anything about right now. With this sort of spec line, they won’t be cheap. They will, however, need to mind their prices if any are to be sold at all, though.
I say that because the entry-level model of the Pixelbook comes in at $999 and will be a beast in its own right. Sure, a Core m7 will be faster than a Core i5 (what the entry-level Pixelbook comes with), but both the Samsung and ASUS are using motherboards that house Skylake chips. It is highly likely that they will both be using the Skylake Core m7 chip while the Pixelbook uses the newer 7th-gen Kaby Lake chipset.
If this processor and RAM upgrade push the $499/$550 pricetags upward too far, the natural move for most users will be to go with the Pixelbook instead as the performance drop-offs won’t likely be too severe in comparison to these new super-charged Chromebooks from ASUS and Samsung.
However, if these upgraded versions of the Flip C302 and the Pro came in somewhere around $700 to $800, they could really make a dent in the Pixelbook’s sales. Sure, the Pixelbook has a few tricks up its sleeve that these others won’t, but if it saves a few hundred dollars and sacrifices zero productivity and overall user experience, it almost becomes a no-brainer.
If, on the other hand, ASUS and/or Samsung allow the prices to balloon up anywhere near $1000, I don’t see how it is even a thought to buy either one over the Pixelbook. Let’s be honest, the Pixelbook does everything both of these devices do and more. If the budget is anywhere close, both of these upgraded devices might be DOA.
As far as when we’ll see these new offerings from ASUS and Samsung, we really don’t know. From what we’re seeing, I’d bet by the end of the year or at CES 2018 in the first week of January. But, as I said, we really don’t know at this point.
Additionally, there is a chance that these devices get marketed at the enterprise crowd and don’t see a standard consumer-facing rollout. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to buy them, but they may not get the high-level announcement and quick, mainstream availability that standard Chromebooks get.
Only time will tell, and as we learn more we’ll be sure to report.