Acer America announced on Thursday that it is the first company to offer Chromebooks with an Intel Core i3 processor. The company actually updated its popular Acer C720 Chromebook, producing two new models with starting prices of $349.99 and $379.99.
According to the specs, the difference between the two models is in the memory. The cheaper Acer C720-3871 will have 2 GB of memory; the slightly more expensive Acer C720-3404 will have 4 GB of memory. Both will pack the fourth-generation Intel Core i3-40005U dual-core processor (1.7 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache), and a 3950 mAh battery promising up to 8.5 hours on a single charge.
"This is an incredibly exciting time to be a leader in the Chromebook market, since customers are responding with tremendous enthusiasm for the product's performance, capabilities and value," said Eric Ackerson, senior product marketing and brand manager, Acer America. "We've been breaking new ground with our Chromebooks since 2011, and our new Intel Core i3 model will deliver more of what our customers love about our Chromebooks, including excellent performance and all-day battery life."
The specs also show that the Chromebooks will have an 11.6-inch ComfyView LED-lit screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. They will also include 32 GB of internal storage, an SD card slot for even more storage, embedded Intel HD 4400 graphics, and Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. There is also a built-in webcam, microphone, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and HDMI output.
Looking for a cheaper Chromebook? Acer has plenty right here in its C720 Chromebook family. Except for the two new models, this lineup is based on Intel's Celeron 2955U processor (2.40 GHz, 2M Cache). They all also have 11.6-inch screens (some have touch), 2 GB or 4 GB of memory, and 16 GB to 32 GB of internal storage. Pricing starts at $199.
"Acer has been a leader in the Chromebook space and the new C720 based on 4th generation Intel Core i3 processors marks a new class of Chromebook with enhanced performance and battery life," said Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of Intel Mobile Client Platforms Group. "Students, families and business users will recognize the difference in how snappy the new Acer C720 is with Intel Core i3."
Both C720 Chromebooks introduced on Thursday will be made available later this month in North America.
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Are the SSD's soldered to the board or can they be changed for something a bit larger, like a MX100?
EDIT: If anyone is like me and interested in trying out Chrome OS before buying one of these or to just breathe new life into an old laptop, check this out: http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/
further edit: That is not an official build of Chrome OS so you don't get the full experience. It may not be possible to do this legally with the full version... :(