How important is processor speed in a Chromebook?

I am very out of touch with processor speeds and how they are calculated and how they impact the speed of current machines, especially Chromebooks.

I remember all the speeds of my computers in the 90’s(100Mhz-1.0Ghz or so). However, I am aware that computers today have multiple processors that share the load and so the calculation of the overall speed can be confusing.

My daughter needs a Chromebook and I want to know how much emphasis I should put on processor speed vs. other things.

I see some around 2.6 Ghz and some around 2.45Ghz and those seem similar. However, a more recent and more expensive model I saw only is rated at 2.2 Ghz.

This device is for school, but she needs it to not run massively slow when she is working on it.

What is the best way to determine speed and ability to handle multiple tabs, etc. on a Chromebook?


I don’t think I have a direct answer, but the difference between 2.2 GHz and 2.6 GHz isn’t very much. I think you should look at the underlying processors – “real” processors, like Core i5 or even Core i3 are probably a lot faster than ARMs. ARMs are more optimized for power consumption instead of speed.

I looked for Core-type processors over ARMs for the two Chromebooks I bought over the years. My first one is a Core i3 and it’s at its end of life for updates and still plenty fast for anything I want to do with it. The new one is a Core i5.

I would steer clear of the Pentium Mobile ones. My impression, maybe it’s faulty, is that those are the slowest of the bunch.

One thing to be wary of with Chromebooks is that they are only supported for 5 years from the release date, not the purchase date. Beyond that date, you won’t receive any updates including for security issues.

I’m a longtime Chromebook user, and this is by far the most important thing to know when buying one. This page lists the end-of-life date for every model:

Chromebooks offered on Black Friday tend to be older models (yes, I know it’s only June).