New chip support means that Chromebooks could get cheaper than $199

Google Chromebooks are amongst the most affordable laptops on the market and they offer a pretty great web experience at low prices starting at just $199. Well, it looks like future Chrome OS powered notebooks and desktops could get even cheaper owing to the recently added support for a low-end processor.

Chromebooks currently on the market are powered by Intel’s Core and Celeron processors or high-end ARM-based chipsets most notable the Exynos 5 series (based on the cortex A15 or A15/A7 in big.Little) from Samsung. A recent addition to the open-source Chromium OS repository by MediaTek hints that we could see new laptops come with the popular low-cost Cortex A7 chips that will alone power up the OS.

Google Chromebook

This processor is found in the majority of entry-level and mid-range handsets mostly from Asian countries. Engadget notes that with its addition, the cost can theoretically be reduced below the $199 market, but at the price of a huge drop in performance. Clearly, MediaTek is working on a Chromebook based on the SOC, but there’s no concrete evidence whether such a device will reach the production stage.

Also see: Acer C720 Chromebook gets performance boost through Core i3 chip, more memory

MediaTek isn’t the only one experimenting with the processor in question for use with the Chrome OS. Just last month, Rockchip showcased a functioning notebook that was powered by a quad core Cortex A7 SOC with the Chromium OS onboard.

Rockchip Prototype Chromebook

OMGChrome notes that the chipset is the RK3288 and was configured to run at 1.8GHz with Mali-T674 graphics that support 4K displays. Additionally, the prototype laptop was somewhat of a MacBook Air clone featuring a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768p display. Check out the video below for a better look at the notebook from Rockchip.

We might see the cheaper Chromebooks arrive by the end of 2014, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.