Yesterday we criticized HP’s new Chromebook because it was little more than a cosmetic upgrade. So Acer following through with a better, cheaper Chromebook really just emphasizes the point.
All’s Well That’s Haswell
As you may have guessed, this refresh is largely tied to Intel’s updating of its processors to Haswell architecture. Granted, a 1.84 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U processor isn’t exactly a bulldozer on today’s market, but it’s a bit of a step-up for the Acer Chromebook, and considering the Chromebook is designed to basically send email and process documents, that’s arguably overkill. But, if you really need them, it does come with Intel’s HD Graphics built in, although we doubt this will be running SteamOS anytime soon.
And, of course, as a web appliance, which is basically what this is, it’s pretty solid. 4GB of memory is, again, probably overkill, but hey, it’s nice to have it handy if you need it. And, of course, there’s the 16GB solid state drive and the SD card slot from previous iterations to help you ensure you’ve got the onboard storage you need. It also has the usual USB 3.0 and 2.0 slots, HDMI out, Bluetooth, an 11.6 inch screen, videoconferencing capabilities, and it’s also really thin and light; it’s .75 inches thick and weighs 2.76 pounds.
And, it being Chrome, it boots in less than seven seconds and wakes up from sleep almost immediately. Also, if you really feel the need to have a real operating system on there, you can always make it hot-switchable with Ubuntu.
Also helping matters is just how cheap this is, in fact $30 cheaper than HP’s offering at $250. Honestly, with that price, it’s tempting to get one of these just to mess around with it a bit and see what it can do; after all, it may not be a speed machine, but at that price, who cares?
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.