Google is reportedly planning to upgrade its current lineup of Intel Atom-powered Chromebooks with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
The devices run a stripped down operating system known as Chrome OS, which is based on an always connected (Web) browser interface.
Nevertheless, as CNET's Stephen Shankland points out, a number of Chromebook users have found current models to be "painfully slow" despite the lack of OS bloat.
Fortunately, as noted above, Mountain View is apparently planning a major revamp with faster Intel x86 chips tapped to power next-gen Chromebook devices.
Indeed, Michael Larabel of Phoronix recently spotted a Google contribution to Chrome OS Coreboot that allows the OS to recognize Cougar Point and Panther Point, the Intel chipsets that accompany Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.
Besides performance, both Google and end-users are undoubtedly worried about battery life. Hopefully, Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge will be up to current power-sipping expectations.
Of course, Google isn't only planning to refresh its Chromebooks with x86 processors. A number of reports indicate that Mountain View is currently prepping at least two new models that will feature RISC-based ARM chips.
ChromeStory recently spotted a Chrome-powered device dubbed "Daisy," which may be either a Chromebook or Chromebox. Either way, the system comes loaded with Samsung's Exynos 5250 - an ARM Cortex-A15 processor clocking in at a speedy 2.0GHz.
According to Samsung, the powerful chip is capable of processing 14 billion instructions per second - making it almost twice as fast as a 1.5 GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. In addition, the chip offers four times the 3D graphics performance, twice as much memory bandwidth and an impressive 2560 x 1600 resolution.
Meanwhile, LaptopReviews reports that Sony is prepping a Vaio-branded Chromebook that will sport an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra processor. Additional specs are said to include an 11.6" diagonal screen, 2GB of RAM, two USB ports, SD card reader, headphone port, microphone, HDMI, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth and a 16GB SSD.