On the very first day of CES 2016, Acer announced two Chrome OS powered devices: Chromebook 11(CB3-131) and Chromebase 24.
The Chromebook 11 is, as far as I know, the first rugged Chromebook that looks premium yet offers durability. In a press release Acer claimed that the Chromebook, “can handle up to 60kg of downward force on the top cover, while the corners can tolerate up to 60cm drops without damage. The reinforced case results in greater resistance to twisting and stress.”
The Chromebook 11 has an 11-inch 1366×768 resolution display; it’s powered by a quad core Intel Celeron processor. The Chromebook comes in two variants: 2GB or 4GB of RAM. You can get either 16GB or 32GB of storage. (Chromebooks are intended to be cloud devices, but you can always use the SD card slot to expand storage up to 128GB.)
Unfortunately, the device is still using the older USB technologies instead of USB Type C. It comes with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports along with an HDMI port and Bluetooth 4.0, plus fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
As much as I love the idea of this rugged Chromebook, I am not excited about the display. I am addicted to ultra high definition (UHD) or, as Apple calls it, retina-like displays. I sincerely hope that hardware vendors just kill these low-res displays and make at least 2048×1536 the base resolution.
The Chromebook 11 will be available in February 2016 at $179.
The second device Acer announced is the Chromebase 24, which the company claims is the world’s first Intel Core powered Chrome base device. The device showcases a 23.8-inch HD (1920×1080) touch-enabled display (still no UHD) with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. The device comes with up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, 802.11ac wireless or Gigabit Ethernet. Acer has not yet announced the pricing and availability of Chromebase 24.