If you trace Chromebooks back to their period of origin, you’ll laugh at the hardware they came pre-built with. Fast-forward to 2022, though, that is not the case anymore. Some Chromebooks, such as the Asus Chromebook CX9, have their CPU going as specced-out as the Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor 2.8 GHz, which, suffice to say, is on par with terrific quality.
Now, there are varying kinds of processors out there that accommodate different user bases. So, for instance, a person whose work with their Chromebook is limited to surfing the interweb or checking their Twitter account from time to time will not need to purchase a device with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.
So, how much processor speed do you need for your Chromebook? That is precisely what we’ll discuss at the heart of this article, so let’s get down to it with no further ado.
- Recommended read: How to set up a new Chromebook in 2022.
What is a processor in a Chromebook?
A processor is short for CPU, an acronym for Central Processing Unit. Sounds pretty significant, right? Well, it is. The processor is one of the major hardware components of any computing device, whether a Chromebook or a Windows PC. Therefore, it’s usually a significant factor to consider when purchasing a new laptop.
Commonly regarded as a computer’s ” brain, ” a CPU’s major work revolves around data procession. It’s capable of running the various operations of devices and relaying correct information from one component of the PC to the other. In addition, it stores the necessary information needed to perform instant actions and provide further instructions.
Without the presence of a CPU, a PC wouldn’t be able to function. No processing unit would act as a center for all the flowing information to make sense. Now, the higher the quality of your CPU, the better the PC will perform as a whole and be able to calculate operations faster.
A CPU holds noteworthy gravity when a person goes out in the market to purchase a new Chromebook. The situation can be figured out in tandem with the budget you’re willing to spare. Better CPUs tend to cost more than their lower-quality counterparts. Moreover, the use case of the person buying must be factored in heavily when picking the suitable processor.
Some processors are fast while others are slower, but none are outright unusable. There are just varying degrees of usability here. For instance, an Intel Core i3 processor — provided that it’s one of the recent generations — is capable enough to host and run the best Linux apps along with tip-top Google Play Store games on ChromeOS.
Furthering the write-up is the next section that will talk you through the decision you should make in this due regard. Picking the right processor speed can help you save money and get desired performance out of your purchase just as well.
Picking the suitable processor for your Chromebook
Chromebook variety is gracious plenty in 2022. Thankfully, there are no shortages of these devices coming in with different types of configurations. What is troubling, though, is making the right purchasing decision that you will know will turn out to be neither underwhelming nor overwhelming.
Instead, your bought Chromebook will strike the perfect balance between the two ends of this spectrum, leaving you content and a happy ChromeOS user. Now, we’ll divide the commonly pre-configured Chromebook processors into three sections, so you can make the right call that corroborates your general requirements.
Starting the discussion is the swath of bottom-tier processors that come in-built on cheap Chromebooks. The good news is that ChromeOS is manufactured to handle low-end hardware like a champ, thanks to the optimizations pushed out by Google consistently.
We’re mostly talking about Intel Celeron and MediaTek processors here, with the latter being offered by Lenovo Chromebooks. Now, don’t mistake these devices for being as good as nothing. As iterated earlier, ChromeOS is configured to run with low-grade hardware, so you’ll still be able to receive a reasonably appreciable Chromebook experience.
However, there are certain things that you should bear in mind regarding Chromebooks with low-tier processors. First, you cannot hope to work them beyond their limit. While multiple opened Chrome tabs or one or two Google Play Store apps running concurrently won’t dent the overall performance, anything beyond that will.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of Chromebooks with such processors to clarify the scenario further.
- It can be bought for cheap.
- A decent performance standard is upheld, provided you’re not running anything graphically intensive.
- Perfect for lightweight internet browsing and other similarly-natured web-based tasks.
- Terrific battery life.
- No higher level of performance.
- Won’t be able to multitask like a pro.
- Unlikely to run multiple resource-intensive apps concurrently.
Next comes the swath of mid-tier processors, such as the Intel Core i3 and the Intel Core i5 CPUs for Chromebooks. We’re talking about devices like the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 here. Plenty of other fish in the sea, but it’s worth discussing these two Chromebooks as a starting point.
We would say that the word “mid-tier” does not corroborate these two devices’ performance, even though they feature configurations that come with the Intel Core i3 CPU. Thanks to their SSD setup and RAM, both the Spin 713 and the Inspiron Chromebook 14 put up terrific levels of performance day in and day out.
However, these devices are not so cheap and are priced north of $500. If you’ve got the budget to spare for such a purchase, we’re sure you’ll be happy and content with purchasing a Chromebook that hosts this level of processor speed.
In our opinion, a Chromebook with an Intel Core i3 CPU or the Ryzen 3000C processor equipped with the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 AMD will offer a remarkable performance level in this price range. The standard here is maintained for a versatile array of facets, such as gaming, running several software, and web apps.
Therefore, the mid-tier range of CPUs is the right choice that users should opt for. Neither do these devices cost a hefty ton of money, nor do they live up to a disappointing level of performance. Anyhow, the choice still rests in your hands whether you’d have no problem settling for something cheaper or going all-out on an expensive machine.
In addition, it’s imperative to mention that processors comprise architectures that define the basis of their working capacity. Some Chromebooks come with ARM processors, most of which are mid-tier.
If you’d like to discover the differences between these and the regular Intel x86 Chromebooks, check out our complete guide on ARM Chromebooks vs. x86 Chromebooks for a detailed tutorial. The gist of it is that ARM processors are generally recommended because of their low power consumption, higher Android app optimization, and smooth performance.
On the other hand, x86 Chromebooks are encouraged to purchase for programmers who must undergo heavy workloads with high-end software, better Linux distro installation options, and widespread availability. Do read the interlinked guide for more information.
- Great performance.
- Appreciable price bracket.
- It can allow users to multitask.
- It makes it possible for multiple applications to run at the same time.
- Not as cheap as low-tier processor Chromebooks.
This brings us to the last tier of processors, particularly those exceptionally high-end. Top-of-the-line CPUs guarantee a like-minded performance stature but do prepare to break the bank if you’re thinking of buying one of these. The Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise‘s most specced-out configuration goes as high as $1,700 on the official website.
The latter features a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10610U processor with a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD. As for another Chromebook that manages to make the cut here, we’ve got our eyes turned toward the HP Elite c1030 Chromebook. This is yet another profound beast that carries an Intel Core i7-10610U processor for maximum efficiency output, among other quality traits.
- Top-of-the-line performance.
- The outstanding ChromeOS experience.
- Can painlessly run graphically intensive programs.
- The terrific overall build quality of the Chromebook.
- Usually equipped with other high-quality hardware specs as well.
- Overly pricey, thereby defeating the very purpose of ChromeOS.
The processor speed isn’t the last of your worries
You read that subtitle, right? To make a sound purchasing decision, you also need to look at other important parameters of your Chromebook. These include internal memory, storage, and graphics, among other components. RAM, in specific, holds paramount importance over storage if you only care about your device’s performance.
We’ve discussed why this is so in our guide on “Is it better to shop for more RAM or storage on Chromebook?” so do check that out for more information. Choosing the right Chromebook for yourself is daunting, but you can get there with a handy set of instructions and the help of your extensive research.
Chromebooks are the next big thing in terms of the most popular operating systems on the planet. They’ve not only dominated the educational space in the United States thanks to their speed, simplicity, and security, but the novel concept of these sleek devices is making quite the headway in the enterprise department as well.
Now that you’re all caught up on the best processor speed for your Chromebook, don’t forget to let us know what device you ended up with. It’s all a matter of perspective, so we’re confident you’ll make the right decision. As always, Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!
- Before you go: Chromebook Review in 2022 – Is it better than a laptop?