Chromebooks are finally getting AMD Ryzen 5000 C-series CPUs
Acer and HP are among the first manufacturers to use the chips.
AMD has at last made chips with its Zen 3 architecture for higher-end Chromebooks. It created several C-series Ryzen 5000 processors that are designed for Chrome OS. All of the CPUs in this lineup were built on a 7nm process and have Vega graphics.
At the top of the line is the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 5825C. It has eight GPU cores and tops out at 4.5GHz with max boost — just below the 5700G's 4.6GHz. AMD says this is the first Chromebook processor with eight high-performance cores.
A step below that APU is the Ryzen 5 5625C, which has six cores, 12 threads, seven GPU cores and a max boost speed of 4.3GHz. Next up is the Ryzen 3 5425C, with four cores, eight threads and six GPU cores. That maxes out at 4.1GHz. Lastly, there's the Ryzen 3 5125C, which has a top speed of 3.0GHz. That model has two cores, four threads and three GPU cores.
The Ryzen and Athlon 3000 C-series chips, which top out at eight cores and eight threads, use the Zen architecture and are being positioned as mainstream-level options.
With the Ryzen 5000 C-series, AMD is promising up to 94 percent better battery life than you'd get with Intel chipsets. It says machines with the processors will run for up to 13 hours before they need to be recharged. The chips also have multi-monitor support for up to three 4K monitors, fast charging support and Chromebooks using them can instantly wake from sleep.
Among the first manufacturers to use the new chips are Acer and HP with the Chromebook Spin 514 and HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook.
The latest version of Acer's Chromebook is a 14-inch, full HD 2-in-1 that can house up to the Ryzen 7 5825C processor. It has support for WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and up to 256GB of PCIe gen-3 NVMe SSD storage.
Acer says its device has military-grade MIL-STD 810H durability and a 100 percent sRGB color range. It has a 1080p webcam with a shutter, two USB-C gen-2 ports and optional HDMI. The battery will run for up to 10 hours on a single charge, Acer claims.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-3H) will be available in Q3 in North America and the EMEA region, starting at $580/€749. An enterprise version will also be available in the third quarter, starting at $900 or €849.
As for the HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook, there are multiple display options, including a 14-inch 1080p IPS touchscreen with 250 nits of brightness. There's also a non-touch 1,000-nit panel with low blue light and HP's Eye Ease tech.
This model can be equipped with up to 16GB of soldered LPDDR4X memory, up to 512GB of PCIe SSD storage and an optional smart card reader. It has a 5MP webcam, along with two mics and dual speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen.
In addition, there's support for fast charging and WiFi 6E. The c645 G2 has passed MIL-STD 810H durability tests as well. HP is also guaranteeing Chrome OS support through June 2030.
The HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook should be available in early June and it will start at $559. On top of that, the company announced the HP Elite c640 G3 Chromebook, which has similar specs but runs on Intel chips. That should arrive in mid-May with a starting price of $509.
Enterprise versions of both the AMD- and Intel-powered Chromebooks are expected to go on sale in the same timeframes. Pricing for those will be announced later.