Acer announces Chromebook 13 -- world's first Chrome OS laptop with Nvidia Tegra K1
The concept of a Chromebook is awesome. All of your files are stored in the cloud -- family photos, office documents and videos to name a few. This opens up an entire new way of thinking, where nothing seems impossible. Hell, even most of the apps are web-based and that is enough to blow someone's mind. Since local apps cannot be installed, this makes Chrome OS extremely secure and an ideal platform for accessing sensitive information.
Unfortunately, as great as the operating system is, the hardware has been lacking. Most models require the user to make a compromise for the sake of cost. Poor quality screens, not enough RAM and questionable build quality are the issues that are most apparent. For some reason, manufacturers equate Chromebooks with "cheap" and this is not the case. People really do want a midrange Chromebook and not just throwaway, disposable tech. Today, Acer announces a Chromebook that may be the one we have been wishing for (fingers crossed); the unimaginatively named Chromebook 13. It is the first-ever Chrome OS laptop to have the Nvidia Tegra K1 ARM processor.
"The combination of additional real estate on the vibrant 13.3-inch display, industry-leading battery life of up to 13 hours, and a thin and light fanless design makes the Acer Chromebook 13 the ideal choice for customers who want additional screen real estate along with a portable and productivity-boosting design. The Acer Chromebook 13 is available in two options -- one with a full HD display with 1920x1080 resolution and another model with a 1366x768 display", says Acer.
The manufacturer further says, "customers will enjoy faster data transfers of photos and video with the Acer Chromebook 13’s two USB 3.0 ports. Plus, streamed video and movies can be shared on a larger display or home TV using the Acer Chromebook 13’s HDMI port. Video chats and Google Talk are all enhanced by the Chromebook's HD webcam that provides 720p HD audio/video recording as well as the two built-in stereo speakers and microphone".
Acer lists the following 4 models:
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 has the 1920x1080 full HD display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at only $299.99 and is available now for pre-sale at BestBuy.com.
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU has a 1920x1080 full HD display, 4GB of memory and a fast 32GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at only $379.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com.
- The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T7NN has a 1366x768 display, 2GB of memory and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at only $279.99 and is available now for pre- sale at Amazon.com.
- A configuration for resellers that will be sold to commercial and education customers only. That model comes with a 1366x768 display, 4GB of memory, a fast 16GB Solid State Drive and will be priced at $329.99.
While I am sure all of them are nice, I would only bother looking at the CB5-311-T1UU. Why? Chromebooks need at least 4GB of RAM for a quality experience. The models with 2GB should be non-starters, reserved maybe for very young children as a first computer. However, I urge you to spend the extra money to get 4GB of RAM and a 1080p screen.
How Chrome OS will perform on a Nvidia Tegra K1 is anybody's guess at this point; it is the first model, after all. One thing is for sure though -- it is sexy! The manufacturer really stepped it up in the design department. I have been very happy with Acer products in the past, Chromebooks included, and expect the same quality here.
Is this the Chromebook we have been dreaming of? Tell me in the comments.