Acer's third-generation Chromebook has arrived at Best Buy and Amazon.
Hot on the heels of HP's release of the Chromebook 11 earlier this week, Acer has launched the Haswell-based C720 Chromebook series, promising a 30 percent lighter form factor than the previous generation, an anti-glare display, and a battery life of up to 8.5 hours of active use on a single charge.
Building on the popular Acer C710 Chromebook, the first model released in this new third-generation "C Series" line is the $249.99 C720-2800. The device sports an 11.6-inch ComfyView HD display with a 1366 x 768 resolution, backed by an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 4 GB of DDR3L RAM and a 16 GB SSD. Acer has also thrown in an SD card reader for even more storage.
The new Chromebook hardware specs include a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI output and an integrated HD webcam with microphone for chatting on Google Hangouts. The devices also provide a full-sized keyboard packed into a super-light chassis that enables an overall weight of 2.76 pounds and a thickness of only 0.75 inches. Acer's Chromebook connects to the network/Internet via Wireless N, presumably single-band only.
"Customers will appreciate that the Chrome OS is updated automatically, so it always has the latest features," states the press release. "Multiple layers of security features including data encryption and verified boot defend the Acer C720 Chromebook against online threats, malware and viruses. This is especially useful for parents and school administrators who are responsible for protecting students. IT administrators can also manage the Chromebooks remotely for speedier app roll-outs and increased efficiency."
The new third-generation C720 Chromebook series will provide a range of Intel "Haswell" processors, and up to 4 GB of memory. Acer is promising a less than seven second boot time, and battery life up to 8.5 hours long thanks to the Haswell chips. This series will also provide screens with a matte, anti-glare property so that students and families can use the device outside.
"The Acer C720 is a significant step forward for our highly-acclaimed Acer Chromebook line, as it delivers speedy performance, quick boot times, a matte anti-glare display and a slimmer design that is portable enough for anywhere use," said Arif Maskatia, chief technology officer, Acer America. "These key advances allow families and students to continue collaborating, learning and playing in exciting ways, all while staying secure since Chrome OS includes multiple layers of protection from online threats."
The first new entry of the C720 gang, the $249.99 Acer C720-2800 Chromebook, comes with 100 GB of free Google Drive space for two years, and a Kensington lock to secure the device to a classroom or mobile cart. Customers can pre-purchase the C720-2800 now at Amazon.com and Best Buy, and later on through Acer's website.
Additional configurations will be revealed in the coming weeks, Acer said.