Intel inside new Chromebooks from Dell, Samsung

A new Chromebook 2 configuration features a Bay Trail Celeron processor instead of Samsung's Exynos chip, while Dell's Chromebook 11 gets a Core i3 Haswell CPU option.

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Chromebooks continue to explode in the laptop market, which has certainly caught the attention of chip giant Intel. With many of these dirt-cheap Chrome OS notebooks being powered by ARM-based processors, there's been thought that this new niche could threaten Intel's bottom line . While ultimately we won't know the impact for some time, it hasn't stopped Chromebook makers from embracing the company's CPUs along with ARM processors.

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Just yesterday, two major manufacturers dropped new Chromebook configurations featuring Intel inside. Samsung shouted the news far and wide that its Chromebook 2 will include a Celeron processor, though Dell was more discrete about adding a Core i3 version of the Chromebook 11 to its lineup.

The Chromebook 2 is probably most notable for its stitched design , which mimics the faux leather look of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 devices. Previously available only with the company's own Exynos 5 eight-core processor , the 11.6-inch version now can also come with a Celeron N2840 dual-core Bay Trail CPU. Otherwise, it sports typical specs for a Chromebook: 2GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, and a screen resolution of 1,366x768. One other notable new feature is live video chat support from Samsung, more details of which can be found in CNET's preview of the Celeron-powered Chromebook 2.

For its part, Dell is going a little more current with its latest Chromebook 11. It already offered the Haswell Celeron 2955U processor, but has just added a Core i3 option, though it's unclear which specific CPU it will be. Dell's Chromebook offers twice the RAM of Samsung's Chromebook 2, though it also comes with 16GB of solid-state storage and a 1,366x768 11.6-inch display.

Not surprisingly, it's also far pricier than the new Samsung. While the Chromebook 2 with Celeron is available for a typical Chromebook price of $249.99, the Dell Chromebook 11 with the Core i3 costs $379. (In comparison, the Acer C720 Chromebook with a Core i3 is priced from $349.99.) At that price, it's competing with many budget Windows laptops; it's also unclear how much the stripped-down Chrome OS demands higher specs like a faster processor. Nonetheless, it doesn't look like Intel is worried much about said issues, as it plans to stuff its chips into even more Chromebooks by year's end .   

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