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Acer Chromebook goes on sale for $350

Jun 28, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Acer began accepting pre-orders for its Wi-Fi only AC700 Chromebook for $350 on Following Samsung's $430 Series 5 Chromebook — and again based on Google's Chrome OS — the AC700 notebook offers the same dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, a slightly smaller 11.6-inch display, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 16GB solid-state disk, a multi-card reader, and a webcam.

Acer America began selling the Acer AC700 Chromebook, the company's first machine based on Google's Chrome Operating System (OS). The notebook is available in the U.S. from for $350, with shipments due in July or August.

Acer AC700 Chromebook
(Click to enlarge)

Google introduced the Acer AC700, which includes an 11.6-inch display, along with Samsung's 12.1-inch Series 5 Chromebook May 11 at the Google I/O developer event in San Francisco. Samsung shipped its Series 5 system two weeks ago priced at $430 for the Wi-Fi-only model and $500 for the 3G version.

Samsung Chromebook Series 5 (left) and Acer AC700 Chromebook
(Click on either to enlarge)

For $349, Acer's Wi-Fi-only AC700 Chromebook might prove to be a bargain among cost-conscious consumers. Acer said it will produce an AC700 with a 3G wireless radio later this summer.

Both the Acer AC700 and the Series 5 Chromebooks were scheduled to be available online from and Best Buy June 15. The Series 5 launched that day, but Acer's machine, at the time dubbed with the now dropped "Cromia" nametag, did not. In its brief Cromia incarnation, the device jumped up to $380, but has now dropped back to the originally listed $350 price.

The Linux-based Chrome OS is designed to be the backstop for web applications such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Chrome-specific versions of games such as Angry Birds, all of which run on the Chrome web browser. Chromebooks boot within 10 seconds and use a verified boot process, sandboxing for apps, and data encryption to secure user data.

The machines are essentially hardware shells, with the bulk of data residing in Google's cloud of servers, which provision apps over the web. If a Chromebook is damaged, it may be easily replaced with no valuable data lost.

Two more views of the AC700
(Click on either to enlarge)

Acer promised "a sleek, thin and light form factor, long battery life and excellent HD playback" for the AC700, which is powered by the same 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 dual-core processor that fuels the Series 5. The AC700 also boasts 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), as well as a 4-in-1 card reader that accepts popular flash storage cards.

Two USB 2.0 ports are also said to be available, along with 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. There'a also the Google-dictated Chrome keyboard, with its dedicated web keys and oversize multitouch touchpad.

The 11.6-inch CineCrystal LED-backlit LCD display offers 1366 x 768 resolution, says Amazon. The Acer AC700 includes an HD-ready 1.3-megapixel webcam with LED indicator for video chat, and supports Adobe Flash 10.1 and later video. The Chromebook also features an HDMI output that lets users port video and other content to high-definition TVs and displays.

Acer promises battery life of up to six hours compared to the 8.5 hours logged from the Samsung Series 5 that eWEEK tested earlier this month. The AC700 weighs just 2.95 pounds, compared to 3.3 for the Series 5.


The AC700 is available on for preorder for $350, with shipments slated for July or August.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.

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