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Acer's Chromebase: A Touchscreen AIO With Chrome OS (Updated)

Chrome OS has been floating around for a number of years now, being used primarily on Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, but it hasn't been used much in the AIO space. That changes today with what Acer claims is the first touchscreen AIO to come pre-loaded with Chrome OS.

Acer plans to release its Chromebase DC221HQ Chrome OS AIO in two slightly different models that differ only in touch screen support -- one of the models will come with a 10-point touch display, while the other will not.

Because the system uses Chrome OS, which doesn't require fast hardware to run smoothly, Acer opted to steer away from the more typical x86 hardware and utilize ARM-based hardware instead. Nvidia's Tegra K1, with its quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and 192 CUDA cores based on the Kepler architecture, should provide ample performance for the Chrome OS system. The CPU and GPU are paired with 4 GB of DDR3-1600 MHz RAM.

The OS is stored on a small 16 GB SSD to allow the system to boot up fast -- according to Acer, in about 10 seconds. For additional storage, users get 100 GB of Google Drive capacity for a two year period, which should be sufficient for an average users' basic storage needs.

The display in use is 21.5" with a resolution of 1080p and a wide viewing angle of up to 178 degrees. The stand is adjustable from 15 to 75 degrees, and there is an optional VESA-compatible stand for mounting on walls. Two 3 W speakers are used inside of the system for audio. For connectivity options, the system has USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and an HDMI output for a second display.

The entire system is powered by a 65 W AC adapter and comes bundled with a white USB keyboard and mouse.

Some will likely question the idea of a Chrome OS system with an ARM SoC entering the desktop market, which is dominated by much faster systems. Often, current desktops are purchased by users who want more performance and speed, and laptops are purchased for more basic tasks such as simple web browsing. That is why Chromebooks are often very practical, because they're inexpensive systems that are basically just used for Web browsing and moderate productivity.

In a desktop, however, this actually starts to make a lot more sense the longer you consider the idea. People tend to buy desktops less often because they take up so much space, they often can cost more, and the added performance isn't always used by people who just want to browse the Web. An AIO Chrome OS system overcomes these issues by being extremely small, and the weaker hardware and lack of an HDD save on costs.

The non-touch model should be available this month at $329.99, and the multi-touch version will be out sometime in July with an MSRP of $429.99.

Update, 6/23/15, 7:50am PT: Acer claimed that this is the first Chrome OS touchscreen AIO, not the first Chrome OS AIO. We've adjusted the text accordingly. Thanks to ScottMiller171 for pointing out the error.

Follow Michael Justin Allen Sexton @LordLao74. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • ScottMiller171
    Correction: They are not claiming to be the first ChromeOS AIO, just the first ChromeOS AIO with touchscreen. The LG ChromeBase was the first ChromeOS AIO.
  • kawininjazx
    Love chrome os, nothing like a 3 second boot up