Acer has announced a 13" Chromebook that converts into a tablet, and is capable of running Android apps. Currently there are only three Chromebooks that officially support Google Play Store: Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T, and Google Chromebook Pixel (2015). Users have to enable beta/dev channels on these devices to install Android apps.
I am assuming that Google may bring Android support to stable channel, before the holiday season, so that users who are not tech-savvy can also start using Android apps. That would make this holiday season extremely exciting for desktop Linux. Android support makes Chromebooks more appealing than tablets like the iPad, which have very limited functionality.
What makes Chromebook R13 more exciting is that it offers a full sized (13-inch) laptop experience, as compared to Acer Chromebook R11 and Asus Chromebook Flip that showcase an 11” screen. The advantage over the full-sized Chromebook Pixel is that Acer Chromebook R13 costs less than half and doubles up as a tablet.
[ Also on CIO.com:ASUS Chromebook Flip review]
Acer Chromebook R13 is powered by the MediaTek M8173C CorePilot quad-core processor. It comes with 4GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM that’s more than enough to play resource intense Android games.
Acer Chromebook R13 doesn’t have a ‘retina’ or HiDPI display but has a 13.3” IPS display with 1920x1080 resolution that is good enough. The display has 10-point touch capabilities that allow gestures like tap, swipe and pinch-to-zoom gestures.
The Chromebook R13 comes with a USB Type-C port that can be used for charging and connecting to an external display via an HDMI adapter. In addition, R13 features USB 3.0, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, microphone and headphone jacks.
Acer claims 12 hours of battery life for the Chromebook R13, which is expected due to lack of HiDPI display and use of a power efficient ARM processor.
Acer Chromebook R13 will be available in 3 configurations: 64GB, 32GB or 16GB eMMC storage. 16GB base configuration is good enough for most people as all files and data is stored on Google cloud. Chromebook R13 will be available in October for $399.
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