Tuesday, 21 October 2014 11:28

Acer adds to Chromebook choices


Acer has announced two new Chromebooks and a Chromebox.

Acer's Chrome OS range has grown with the arrival of its Chromebook 11, Chromebook 13 and Chromebox CXI.

Chrome OS isn't right for everyone, so please don't bother with comments along the lines of "why would anyone buy a Chromebook when they could get a real Windows notebook for a similar price?"

But if Google's web-oriented OS does make sense for you or your organisation, Acer has announced three new Chrome devices.

The Acer Chromebook 11 features an Celeron N2830 (Bay Trail) processor, an 11.6in 1355x768 screen, 16 or 32GB SSD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 and 2.0, an SD card reader and an HDMI port.

It comes in two versions. The consumer edition (CB3-111; pictured above) weighs in at 1.1kg. Prices start at $329.

There's also a toughened version (C730) aimed at the education and commercial markets that can withstand a 60% greater fall than the consumer edition. It also features a keyboard that's water spillproof up to 330ml.

This improved robustness comes at the cost of added weight (1.4kg) and another three to five millimetres in each dimension. Prices start at $399.

The Acer Chromebook 13 is the first Chromebook to use the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor.

Acer Chromebook 13

Two versions are available, giving the choice of 1920x1080 or 1366x768 13.3in displays.

Other specifications include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and an HDMI port. It weighs 1.5kg. Prices start at $379.

For deskbound users, there's the Acer Chromebox CXI. Priced from $359, it is a small-footprint device (zero footprint if attached to the back of a monitor using the included VESA mount) that's said to suit "libraries, cube and classroom environments as well as businesses with task-based user terminals." It is Citrix certified for virtualised desktops and applications.

Acer Chromebox CXI

Based on the Celeron 2957U (Haswell) processor, the Chromebox CXI's specifications include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, HDMI, DisplayPort, combo audio jack, and USB keyboard and mouse.

"Because Chrome devices are simple to use, they are ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business," said Acer ANZ head of commercial products Daniel Goffredo.

"Users can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information.

"Storage on Google Drive 4 protects files, documents and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chrome device is lost or stolen.

"Plus, users of Acer Chrome devices can view, edit, create and collaborate on- and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Office documents and Gmail."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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