Feeds

Acer's new Haswell all-flash Chromebooks sip power for less than $200

Low-end Chrome OS king to keep its crown this holiday season

Reducing security risks from open source software

As the holiday shopping season looms, Acer is once again looking to undercut the budget Chromebook market with a new low-end model that retails for $199.

This isn't the first time Acer has lowballed Google's other Chromebook partners on price. Last Christmas it rolled out the 11-inch C710, the first Chromebook to break the $200 barrier. But that model kept its cost down by shipping with a 320GB spinning-platter hard drive, a battery-sucking superfluity when running Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS.

Acer quietly swapped out the hard drive for an SSD in June, and now its newest bargain-basement model sweetens the package even further by swapping in a new CPU and adding a more generous memory option.

Like its predecessor, the new Acer C720 is no speed demon. Its 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U offers roughly equivalent performance to the most recent C710's 1.5GHz Celeron 1007U.

Because the new chip is based on Intel's Haswell microarchitecture, however, users should see a significant improvement in battery performance. Acer claims it offers 8.5 hours of run time, a real boost over the SSD-equipped C710's 4 hours or the original hard-drive model's 3.5 hours.

Acer Chromebook C720

Intel's latest chips mean Acer's Chromebooks can keep their low price tags but deliver better battery life

Otherwise, this entry-level Chromebook offers few surprises. It has the same 1366-by-768 display as its predecessors, a 16GB solid-state flash drive (which is all you really need for Chrome OS), and 802.11abg Wi-Fi. Unlike the C710, it only has two USB ports, but one of them has been upgraded to USB 3.0.

One thing that is new, however, is that Acer offers a version of the C720 with 4GB of RAM instead of the 2GB of its past Chromebook models. The catch is that this model will cost you 25 per cent more, at $249.

Both models are available beginning on Friday from some US retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy, although supplies appear to be limited for now.

If you're interested in a Chromebook but would prefer something a little more upscale, however, you may want to wait a little longer. Intel says several other vendors are planning to ship Haswell-based Chrome OS devices by the end of the year, including Chromebooks from HP and Toshiba and a new desktop model from Samsung. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.