Acer has upped the Chromebook stakes, revealing its most premium-looking Chrome OS-powered laptop yet.
Unexcitingly called the Chromebook 14, its headline feature is its battery life, which Acer is pegging at 14 hours for the most power-efficient model. What’s more, despite its longevity, it’ll weigh just 1.55kg and sit at just 17mm thick when closed making it seriously svelte for a 14in machine. That battery life figure is based on the lower-spec, non-Full HD version of the machine, while higher-specification versions will last around 12 hours.
The body is ‘all aluminium’, although I’m unsure whether I should interpret this as ‘pure aluminium’ or some form of composite to bring the cost down. Either way, from the pictures Acer has provided, it looks very attractive.
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Of course, because this is a Chromebook you’re hardly treated to a high-end set of internal components. A dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 will do the business if you have very basic needs and spend your time web browsing with just a handful of tabs open, but if you have bigger multi-tasking ambitions you should look elsewhere. Specifications will vary, with some models getting 2GB of RAM while others will get 4GB. Based on previous form, I’d expect Acer to stick with 2GB for models on sale in the UK, but there’s currently no confirmation of what we’ll see in our local PC superstores. Storage will probably be 16GB of eMMC, although some markets will get 32GB. All models come with 100GB of free Google Drive storage for a year.
There’s also a choice of 1366×768-pixel or 1,920×1,080-pixel screens, although, again, which model will be found in the UK remains to be seen. I’d personally like to see the Full HD model as it’ll provide welcome competition for the excellent Toshiba Chromebook 2.
There are also two USB 3.1 ports on the side of the device. Don’t get too excited, though, these are ‘Gen 1’ USB 3.1 ports, which are largely the same as USB 3.0 and don’t offer any faster theoretical transfer speeds.
With a starting price of €249 (about £220 inc VAT) for the bottom-specification models, expect these 14in machines to be at the pricier end of Acer’s line-up if they do indeed appear in the UK.