Talked about for nearly a year the nVidia Tegra K1 Chromebook arrives via the Acer Chrombook 13 (CB5-311).
How will this Chromebook stack up against the competition? The newly announced nVidia Shield Tablet gives us a glimpse of what the K1 is capable of.
Despite the largely similar clock speeds compared to the Snapdragon 800 we see that the Tegra K1 is generally a step above in performance. Outside of Apple’s A7 SoC and x86 SoCs, NVIDIA is generally solidly ahead of the competition.
When it comes to GPU performance, there’s really no question: the Tegra K1 is easily the fastest in all of our GPU benchmarks. It handily beats every other ARM SoC, including the newest generation of SoCs such as the recently introduced Snapdragon 805 and its Adreno 420 GPU. It’s worth noting that the Snapdragon 805 is likely aimed more at smartphones than tablets, although we are looking at its performance in Qualcomm’s tablet development platform here. Until we get a look at Snapdragon 805 power consumption we can’t really draw any perf/watt conclusions here. Ultimately, the only thing that can top the Shield Tablet is Surface Pro line, which uses more powerful laptop-class hardware.Source: AnandTech
For $279 you get the following.
- NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core 2.1 GHz Processor
- 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 16 GB Internal Storage
- 13.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA Kepler GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA cores
- 1366 x 768 pixels Screen Resolution
- Chrome OS
- 802.11 A/C WiFi
- 13-hour battery life
For $379 you get all of the above and the following.
- 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 32 GB Internal Storage
- 1920 x 1080 pixels Screen Resolution
- 11-hour battery life
As good as the above looks, I do not expect the early reviews to be kind.
The first complaint will be the anticipated K1 Google Octane score of 7628 (some are suggesting it may achieve 8000). The new Acer C720 (Core i3-4005U, 4GB RAM) boasts an Octane score of 14530. The Acer C720 (Celeron 2955U, 2GB RAM) boasts an Octane score of 11502. Admittedly this added power comes at the expense of battery life but the rated 7.5 hours from these Intel powered Chromebooks is adequate and many feel an Octane score of 11000 is the minimum required to support a quality Chrome OS user experience.
TN Screen Panel
Manufactures are reluctant to offer IPS screen panel options. The reason is the Education market and cost. Education is a big driver in today’s Chromebook market and TN quality displays are considered adequate.
For a laptop priced at less than $400 unibody polycarbonate plastic is acceptable as long as it doesn’t flex or bend. Historically Chromebooks from Acer have been criticized for their build quality.
As noted in the Shield Tablet review the Kepler GPU is best in class. Assuming the keyboard and track pad perform well and the TN panel does a reasonably good job in displaying content, the GPU could move this Chromebook to the head of the class.
You don’t really think of a Chromebook as a gaming console but if you are targeting a teen to young adult audience, gaming may be the item which closes the deal.
We game on all our devices, so why should a Chromebook be any different? With the upcoming launch of addicting games like Miss Take and Oort, along with the promise of great titles thanks to the adoption of WebGL in Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5, the future of Chromebooks is looking really fun.Source: TegraZone