Acer’s first Chromebook with an Intel Core i3 Haswell processor is priced at $350 and up. The new Acer C720 Chromebook models feature 11.6 inch screens, up to 8.5 hours of battery life, and up to 4GB of RAM — just like the cheaper models with Celeron chips.
But the new models will be among the speediest Chrome OS laptops to ship so far.
Both models feature 1366 x 768 pixel displays, Intel HD 4400 graphics, 32GB of solid state storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and stereo speakers.
The notebooks are powered by a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3-4005U dual-core processor.
A Core i3 processor might actually be overkill for Chrome OS at this point — models with Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processors boot in seconds, resume from sleep instantly, and have no difficulty handling HD video playback and most other tasks. But as a growing number of web apps tap into native hardware a Chromebook with a more powerful CPU might look pretty good — especially at this price point.
While the Google Chromebook Pixel has a Core i5 processor, it’s a 3rd-generation Intel Core chip while the Acer C720 has a 4th-generation Core chip. Acer’s Chromebook is also more than three times cheaper than a Chromebook Pixel.
I know a lot of Liliputing readers also see Chromebooks as cheap laptops that ship without Microsoft Windows. I suspect it’ll be just as easy to load Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems on the new Acer C720 Chromebooks as it has been with most other Chrome OS laptops to date.