Intel Unveils Chromebooks Based on Latest Laptop Chips

Intel Corp. (INTC) showed off a new lineup of Chromebooks that use its latest laptop processors, as the world’s largest chipmaker strives to gain ground in one of the few growth areas of the personal-computer industry.

At an event in San Francisco today, Intel said Chromebook manufacturers including Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc. are using its low-power Bay Trail and higher performance i3 chips. The laptops have Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chrome operating system rather than built-in software from Microsoft Corp., and customers access tools from the cloud -- online programs that include Google’s own word processing, e-mail and spreadsheets.

Intel is trying to guarantee its processors are central to Chromebooks, which have experienced rising sales as other parts of the PC market have declined. Worldwide PC shipments dropped in the first quarter as consumers in emerging markets opted for smartphones and tablets, with unit sales falling 1.7 percent from a year earlier to 76.6 million, market researcher Gartner Inc. said last month.

By contrast, Chromebook shipments are projected to grow to 11 million in 2019, up from 2.1 million in 2013, according to a report by ABI Research.

The Chromebooks based on Intel’s new chips will start at $349, while other models sell for less than $200. The machines have 11 hours of battery life and improved Wi-Fi capabilities, Intel said.

Intel, which is fending off a challenge from makers of chips based on ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) technology, said Chromebooks are now in almost 10,000 schools. The Santa Clara, California-based company also showed off a Chromebook design tailored for school use that it wants computer makers to use as the basis for new products.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Jillian Ward

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