Struggling computer maker Acer, whose CEO resigned recently, is going back to its low-price roots. The company just rolled out its first touchscreen Chromebook priced at $299.
The Acer C720P, a new model in the Acer C720 Chromebook line that debuted last month, brings the benefits of touch to an 11.6-inch HD LED backlit display that plays off the Chrome interface.
“Our new touchscreen C720P gives customers an intuitive way to browse sites online, enjoy apps, and do more with the Chromebook,” said Arif Maskatia, CTO for Acer. “The Acer C720 Chromebook line has been praised for its performance and battery life, and this new touchscreen model allows us to address the needs of an even wider range of customers with exciting new capabilities.”
Touchscreen and Multitasking
A confident Maskatia said he’s certain many holiday shoppers will jump at the chance to get a touchscreen Chromebook for under $300. Acer execs hope he’s right, as the company continues to lose market share in the mobile device world.
The Acer C720P’s display offers 1366x768 resolution that promises to serve up crisp Web sites, images and video. The multi-touch display lets customers use gestures such as swipe, tap and pinch to zoom so they can interact in a natural way with the Chromebook and browse Web sites, scroll through Google Docs, play games and perform other functions in the same way they interact with tablets.
On the inside, the C720P touchscreen sports an Intel Celeron 2955U processor based on the Haswell micro-architecture. That means the Chromebook is fast and supports multitasking efforts, like running multiple tabs and apps. The processor also promises up to 7.5 hours of battery life in one charge.
Meanwhile, the Chromebook’s 32GB SSD drives a boot time of less than seven seconds and fast wake up times when the device is sleeping. With 32GB, there’s also plenty of storage capacity to save video, photos and other files. The mobile device also comes with 2GB of DDR2 memory and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi.
Security and Perks
At 0.78-inches and 2.98 pounds, the C720P is portable enough for mobile workers. The HD webcam lets users conduct video chats as well as capture video and photos to share online. There are both USB 3.0 and USB 2.9 ports, along with an HDMI port to provide video and content to external displays and HDTVs.
On the security front, Chrome OS is updated automatically. The device offers multiple layers of security, including data encryption and verified boot to defend against online threats, malware and viruses. The Acer C720P Chromebook keeps data safe when the device is used by multiple users, such as for collaboration in the classroom and for projects for home, school or work. Users can have separate accounts to ensure their projects, Gmail and other information remains safe if their Chromebooks are lost, stolen, or lent to a friend.
In terms of extras, the C720P users can tap into 100GB of free Google Drive storage for the first two years after purchase. The new model also comes with 12 free Gogo Inflight passes to allow customers to stay online even while on a flight.