New Samsung Chromebook may use 8-core chip for power and performance boost

The current $249 Samsung Chromebook(s goog) is already a solid value yet it may be time for a refresh. This model uses Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 5250, but sources tell Mobile Geeks that a new version is in the works. This time around Samsung’s Chromebook will get a boost to the octo-core Exynos, which will blend power efficiency with improved performance.

If Samsung can keep the price at or near the same $249 level, it should be a worthy upgrade. The current ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook tested a bit slower than Samsung’s similar device with an Intel chip when I compared the two┬áin October. But you can get at least an extra hour of battery life out of the slower unit. I routinely saw 6 to 6.5 hours of run time on a charge when using the Samsung Chromebook with Exynos chip.

exynos-4-quadSo what’s the difference in the old Exynos and the new one that’s reportedly going to power the next Samsung Chromebook? Instead of two processing cores, the latest Exynos has eight. But you won’t be using all eight at the same time. Instead, the chip uses the ARM big.LITTLE architecture with a quad-core A15 and a quad-core A7.

For heavy-duty tasks, the faster A15 quad-core handles the load, but uses more power. So lighter tasks are intelligently offloaded to the slower but more power-efficient A7 silicon. That means better performance as needed, without draining the battery faster.

My hope is that Samsung also opts for 4 GB of memory instead of the 2 GB in the current Samsung Chromebook; that will help keep more tabs open without them refreshing when hitting memory limits.