AMD launches first Zen-based Chromebooks

Written by Jennifer Allen

September 23, 2020 | 11:00

Tags: #chromebook #ryzen-c-series

Companies: #amd

AMD is pushing further into the Chromebooks market with the introduction of Ryzen chips to the Chromebook fold.

The company has announced five new processors in its Athlon and Ryzen families, all aimed squarely at boosting productivity via an ordinarily humble Chromebook. While previously the firm had its A-series lineup devoted to Chromebooks, this new C-series lineup is focused on mid-level and premium models of the portable devices. It also marks the introduction of the first-ever Zen architecture-powered Chromebooks. 

A handy graphic explains all about the new chips including the Ryzen 7 3700C with its four cores, eight threads, and up to 4.0GHz/2.3GHz right down to the AMD Athlon Silver 3050C with two cores, two threads, and up to 3.2GHz/2.3GHz. 

AMD has adjusted things so that the A-Series is designed for entry level Chromebooks, the Athlon series is for mid-level devices, and the Ryzen series is for premium Chromebooks. It reckons that the best chips will offer up to 178 percent faster web browsing than before with the AMD Ryzen 3000 C Series also providing up to 212 percent better performance across the board when it comes to multitasking and content creation. The latter will also feature built-in AMD Radeon graphics - currently the most powerful option for graphics within a Chromebook - leading to AMD suggesting a 251 percent graphics performance boost compared to previous generation AMD Chromebooks. 

The 3000 C-Series should be power-efficient too according to AMD, plus they'll be thinner and lighter than previous AMD Chromebook designs, as well as offer Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. 

So, it's an all-round better experience then, in theory. Right now, AMD has 21 percent of the market share for all Chromebooks so this is clearly a move to expand upon that. Chromebooks have seen a huge upswing in sales since the start of the pandemic with some US retailers struggling to keep up with demand. The market is continuing to grow too and as Robert Hallock, AMD's director of technical marketing, has bluntly put it, "that’s an opportunity for AMD. We want to be in big, growing markets."

There aren't a huge number of premium Chromebooks out there just yet with the series of devices tending to err on the cheaper end of people's budgets. AMD is clearly keen to shake things up here and demonstrate that they can do more than just be cloud-connected productivity devices. 

HP is one of the first manufacturers to jump on board with the HP Pro c645 offering Athlon C-Class and Ryzen C-Class processors. AMD has also announced that Lenovo and Asus will be joining in on the action shortly.

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