Acer makes a bunch of computers, and most of these tend to get Windows on them, but if you prefer your machines to be made for the web without the threat of most viruses, two models from Acer coming this year could suit.
Announced ahead of CES in Las Vegas, Acer is showing off a couple of computers made for the family unit that doesn’t necessarily need a full-featured machine, crafting both a 24 inch desktop and an 11 inch laptop made for people who don’t need to do much more than work and surf online.
From the looks of things, rather than reinvent the wheel on this one, Acer is tightening things up, moving on from the purely plastic design of the original models to be a little sleeker and more stable, with the Acer Chromebook 11 for 2016 featuring a nano-imprinted aluminium cover that can handle up to 60 kilograms of downward force.
Corner durability has apparently improved, too, capable of withstanding drops up to 60cm, while the case has been strengthened to handle more stress.
Weight, on the other hand, is being kept down, sitting at around 1.1 kilograms with a thickness of 18.6mm when closed, making it ideal for the student that doesn’t need something thoroughly complicated or heavy.
And that’s kind of what you’ll find here, with Google’s Chrome OS running on the Chromebook atop an Intel Celeron processor with up to 4GB RAM and either 16 or 32GB storage. Wireless is also a little better, too, with 802.11ac WiFi included, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, and a place to store those SD cards.
The 11 inch display isn’t a total eye-grabber, running the ho-hum resolution of 1366×768, but given that Acer is anticipating a US price of around $180, our expectation of a $299 price tag on this one will mean this could be a solid middle ground for kids and students who do everything online and inside of a web browser anyway.
At home, a second model could also be handy, and this is, as Acer claims, “the world’s first Chromebase with Intel Core processors”.
Generally, computers with Google’s Chrome OS haven’t needed much processing power, and so throwing in an Intel Core processor might seem a little strange, but given that much of the web and the power of HTML5 can be pretty processor heavy, this move could make sense.
“Intel Core processors work seamlessly with Chrome OS to deliver the incredible performance and graphics that consumers and businesses expect from an All in One desktop,” said Intel’s Gregory Bryant.
“With smooth video conferencing, a great HD video experience and ability to multi-task, the Acer Chromebase 24 with Intel Core is an exciting All in One design.”
Aside for an Intel Core processor, Acer’s 24 inch Chromebase will also arrive with a 23.8 inch display — as close to 24 inches as it gets — with the option for touch if you need it. At home, you can expect this one to be ideal for the family that uses the computer to get online, check email, use Facebook, Twitter, and saves and backup photos.
For those who don’t know, Chrome OS is basically Google’s Chrome web browser as an operating system, making it fairly secure, but also semi-limited in the apps you can load.
Essentially, any app that you “run” on a Chrome computer is essentially just a little webpage, so every website you visit can also be an app. That means if you need a Chromebase in a home where someone is used to using iTunes, you won’t get that app here.
You might get something close, and many of the apps that exist on Windows and Mac have an alternative on Chrome — such as Google Docs being used instead of Microsoft Office — but it won’t necessarily be the same.
As for when either of these new machines will arrive, that’s something we can’t tell you just yet, but give it a few months and we’re sure Acer will have release dates for you. We’ll keep asking, that’s for sure.