MediaTek to launch cheaper Chromebooks versions with MT8173 SoC and USB Type-C

Cheap MediaTek Chromebooks with MT8173 SoC showcased in Computex 2015 to arrive in October 2015

More and more hardware manufactures are getting attracted to the ever increasing market for Chromebooks. At Computex 2015, MediaTek, the chip maker announced its first SoC to power up Google’s notebooks. It displayed a Chromebook model with a MediaTek MT8173 processor and surprisingly, a USB Type-C port, which is a very interesting feature for a budget device such as a Chromebook. It is likely to fall into the same price range as Chromebooks from Rockchip, which means it will be around $150 (Rs.10000.00).

The only two laptops that were taking advantage of the USB Type-C standard until Computex 2015 were the Google’s second-gen Chromebook Pixel 2, which is a high-end device and the new Macbook with Retina display.

While the low-end smartphone and tablet segment which is ruled by MediaTek remains their main focus, the company is looking to explore new possibilities with Chromebooks.

During Taiwan’s Computex 2015, manufacturer introduced a non-working prototype with MT8173 SoC which is quite a powerful piece of silicone, designed with a 64-bit multi-core big.LITTLE CPU that combines two Cortex-A72 and two Cortex-A53 CPUs. The SoC is capable of 4K video playback without putting a big toll on battery life and supports 64-bit set of instructions. Further, the notebook is equipped with two USB Type-C ports.

Rockchip-powered Chromebooks that were already released in April this year are currently available on the US market, but not in Europe. This only implies that other low-cost chip makers would want to make their mark.

In related news reported by Softepedia, a low-budget Windows 10 tablet with Rockchip processors was to launch soon.

Recently, one such device was spotted with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution (likely on a 7-inch display), a Rockchip RK3288 processor, and Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview software running on board.

The first Chromebooks rolling out MediaTek chips should be available in the market in the second half of 2015 (most likely October) or as MediaTek said – “very soon”.

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