Intel expands its Project Athena program to include high-end Chromebooks
About five years, if you were in the market to buy a sleek new laptop, there’s a good chance a salesperson tried to lure you into buying an ultrabook. While the term “Ultrabook” has been thrown around loosely over the last few years in reference to thin, light, and powerful laptops, it was actually coined by Intel to spur laptops sales. Last year at CES, Intel announced the successor to the Ultrabook cadre with an objective to make laptops sleeker and even more mobile and this was called “Project Athena.” At CES 2020, Intel expanded the program to include two recently announced Chromebooks – ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook – to the clique.
At Computex 2019, Intel announced the key specs and “experience targets” that OEMs should aim for in order to be badged under the Project Athena. So far, it has recognized 25 laptops and expects to add twice as much this year. Some of the features that Intel looks for this categorization include:
- (unquestionably) thin-and-light or 2-in-1 laptops with quick wake features,
- at least 10th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD or Intel Optane H10 memory,
- fast charging over USB-C and low-power components
- Wi-Fi 6 and optional LTE/5G connectivity
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which were announced earlier this week, are packed with specifications that meet these requirements. Besides a light and flexible design, the ASUS Chromebook features 10th Gen Intel CPU which can be maxed to Core i7, has a USB 3.1 Type-C port apart from a regular Type-A port. The Chromebook also supports Wi-Fi 6 but lack support for a cellular network.
The Samsung Chromebook is more premium and features a 4K AMOLED display with thin bezels and a built-in S-Pen. It weighs just about a kilogram and is less than a centimeter thick. Performance-wise, the Samsung Chromebook gets Ice Lake Intel CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The premium Chromebook comes at a premium $1,000 price tag but it should definitely be a good companion for your premium Samsung Galaxy smartphone.