Google’s Chromebooks are enjoying increased press coverage and title="Here’s Why Microsoft Is Worried About Google Chromebooks">interest within the business space, and Acer plans to ride that wave of exposure into this year’s CES. Next week, the Taiwanese company will release the C720P-2600 touchscreen Chromebook in Moonstone White ($299), as well as the Iconia A1-830 Android tablet ($149).
Touchscreen Chromebook in Moonstone White
Acer has been iterating on their popular C7 Chromebook line, and the latest model also introduces a new color option: Moonstone White. The 11.6″ HD LED screen features a 10-point touchscreen display, and while the resolution is only 1366×768, I’ve found that to be an acceptable quality for an 11″ screen. The device packs in 32GB of flash storage and 2GB of RAM (plenty for ChromeOS). The Intel Celeron 2955U processor is based on Haswell architecture and Acer claims this grants their new Chromebook a 7.5 hour battery life. If that claims rings true, it’s impressive for a touchscreen laptop regardless of OS.
For me, touch has become instinctive on Windows 8 hybrid devices, and after using Google’s Chromebook Pixel I can attest to it being a useful feature within ChromeOS as well, even for simple web browsing.
As always, the killer hook for Acer’s Chromebook line is the value. The Moonstone White feels like an upgrade over the achromatic grey of past models, while the touch functionality and 7+ hours of battery life combines to make the $299 price tag a compelling deal — provided you’re not married to any proprietary Windows software. Toss in 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for 2 years, and anyone curious about ChromeOS should have a safe entry point here.
Iconia A1-830 7.9″ Android Tablet
“Our fundamental goal when creating the Iconia A1-830 was to provide our customers with an optimized Android tablet that stands out from other devices,” said Jerry Kao, associate vice president of Acer’s Mobile Consumer Business Unit. “Consumers expect more than ever from value-oriented products, and the Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet delivers much more than tablets in this class with its vibrant IPS display, premium aluminum metal finish and great performance and sound.”
While the performance and sound (from dual stereo speakers) has yet to be judged, the aluminum metal finish certainly does give the tablet some pop compared to the typically plastic offerings. It carries a 7.9″ IPS display, with an Intel Atom (Clover Trail+) 1.6GHz processor. Acer rates the battery life at 7.5 hours.
If there’s one disappointing aspect of the Iconia A1-830, it’s the included 1GB of RAM. Dell’s Venue 7 offered us double the memory at the same pricepoint. Still, if the performance is there this tablet should represent yet another affordable gateway into the Android ecosystem.