Chrome Unboxed | Guest Contributor
It’s no secret that Chromebook popularity has exploded over the last year. Surprisingly, bargain basement devices aren’t the most sought after models for the average consumer and other segments looking for a new laptop. Premium flagship models are popular, but there’s a middle ground in between the two that hits the sweet spot for most Chromebook users. As a utility device, this makes sense on some levels. For some users, having the latest and greatest that Chrome OS has to offer is a big selling point but that also means you have to be willing to pay premium prices to get that experience. For many users, however, the standard, cloud-centric Chromebook experience is more than enough to get the job done and that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Thanks to improvements in CPU power and efficiency, Chromebook users now have more options than ever before to get a device that checks off all (or at least most) of their respective boxes without breaking the bank. Thus, for many, the lower-priced Chromebook has become very, very attractive. The mid-range market offers a great value proposition without all the sacrifices that used to come with buying a device with an entry-level CPU and that is thanks largely in part to the massive number of small-core Intel Chromebooks available today.
A new era for small-core Intel chips
With the release of Intel’s Gemini Lake and Gemini Lake-R CPUs a couple of years ago, speeds have increased. The Intel N4020 processor found in devices like the CTL Chromebook NL71 actually made a moderate workload manageable. These CPUs weren’t blazing fast, but they didn’t get in your way, either. That’s all you can ask of cost-cutting processors after all, and Intel really delivered on that. Prices stayed down and performance went up.
In 2021, Intel® Jasper Lake arrived and improved on what Gemini Lake already did well. You can expect low prices, faster performance, and Chromebooks that have slightly-better build quality at the same price points you saw with Gemini Lake devices. According to what Intel shared at CES 2021, big performance enhancements like up to 144% improvement in overall Chromebook performance, 162% faster web application performance, Wi-Fi 6, and better camera performance are all part of the package. Take a look:
The best news is that there are now more than thirty Jasper Lake devices on the market including a variety of rugged EDU devices from CTL. These Chromebooks combine ruggedness, versatility, performance, and the lightweight footprint that only Chrome OS can offer.
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