When you think of Chromebooks, you may start picturing these very low powered laptops that will typically barely be good enough for students to use. However, Chromebooks are actually on the rise, with many parents getting one for their kids during the pandemic. Since then, both laptop makers and chipmakers themselves have begun introducing better products into the market, with the latest of which being the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 system-on-chip.
MediaTek are positioning the Kompanio 1380 processor as one for ‘premium Chromebooks’, and claims to offer new levels of performance with ‘best-in-class’ features. The 6nm Kompanio 1380 comes with four Cortex-A78 performance cores with another four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores, while graphics get handled by a five-core Arm-Mali G57 GPU. It uses 2133MHz LPDDR4X RAM and has a multi-core AI processor for AI acceleration too. The chip also supports up to two 4K60 HDR displays as well as AV1 hardware decoding for 4K streaming.
It should be pointed out that while MediaTek could be right in saying that the Kompanio 1380 is ‘best-in-class’, that’s also in part due to Qualcomm. Late last year, Qualcomm introduced two new processors for laptops, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3. The former is built on four Cortex-X1 cores and four Cortex-A78 cores, and on paper at least should be much more powerful than the Kompanio 1380.
However, Qualcomm is targeting Windows laptops with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, while the weaker Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is meant for Chromebooks instead. The latter comes with four Cortex-A78 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores, similar to the Kompanio 1380. Incidentally, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 could still be more powerful in some workloads compared to the Kompanio 1380, as the Qualcomm silicon is capable of 6.5 TOPS in AI tasks, while the Kompanio 1380 is rated for just 4 TOPS. Funnily enough, Qualcomm markets the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 as a chip that’ll ‘upgrade the entry-tier laptop’, while MediaTek says the Kompanio 1380 is a ‘flagship-grade processor for premium Chromebooks’.
Nevertheless, we should be seeing the Kompanio 1380 in action very soon. Acer has already announced that they’re refreshing their Acer Chromebook Spin 513 soon, and it’ll come with the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 under the hood. At USD599.99 (~RM2,518.46), it’s priced barely under the higher end Chromebooks using Intel processors, but I guess does seem to fit MediaTek’s idea of it being the best in its class. We could be seeing the Kompanio 1380 in Android tablets soon too.
For more information on the MediaTek Kompanio 1380, you can check out its product page on the MediaTek website.
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