Review: Acer and Haswell give Chrome OS the battery life it deserves
The technology year runs in cycles. CPUs and GPUs, SSDs and SoCs, phones and tablets—once product lines get established, new models tend to come out just about every year or so. Now that Google's Chromebooks are finding their groove, they're falling into the same kind of pattern. Last year we saw an ARM Chromebook, followed shortly after by a cheaper and better-performing Intel Chromebook from Acer. This year we got another ARM Chromebook, followed shortly after by a cheaper and better performing Intel Chromebook from Acer. And so it goes.
Acer's newest Chromebook is only a modest improvement over last year's product in most ways, with one exception: it gains a new CPU based on the Haswell architecture, along with the power-saving enhancements that implies. The original C7 was already faster than both ARM Chromebooks with an older Sandy Bridge-based processor, and by leap-frogging the Ivy Bridge architecture and going straight to Haswell, Acer is only going to widen that gap.
This is the kind of thing we are going to see more and more of. Intel besting ARM on performance AND power efficiency AND price. The battleship has turned and the big guns are pointing at ARM. With the really, really big 14nm FinFET guns right around the corner.
2013: Year of the Intel Tablet (full capability Windows 8.1 Intel tablets on-sale now)
2014: Year of the intel Smartphone (Merrifield/LTE arrival is imminent)