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Acer Chromebook 13 Hands-On – A Top of the Line Budget Notebook

by Jacob Kleinman | August 11, 2014August 11, 2014 5:00 am PST

Acer already dominates the Chromebook market, but with a little help from NVIDIA the Taiwan computer-maker’s latest laptop may just be its best yet. The two companies came together to announce the Acer Chromebook 13 today, unveiling a powerful new Chrome OS laptop at a killer price. We got a chance to play with the Chromebook ahead of time and we definitely came way impressed.

The Acer Chromebook 13 starts at just $279 and offers 13.3-inch 1366 x 768-pixel display with 13 hours of battery life, while a slightly more expensive $299 model comes with a 13.3-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080-pixel display and an 11-hour battery. Under the hood both models sport NVIDIA’s super-fast Tegra K1 processor for advanced graphics, speedy performance and efficient battery life, along with 2GB of RAM and a 32GB solid state drive. There’s even a premium $379 model, which offers 4GB of memory and a 32GB hard drive along with the same 1080p screen.

The Chromebook’s design is simple and sleek. It’s still plastic, but it’s a high quality plastic that doesn’t feel greasy or flimsy to the touch. The keyboard also has a nice feel to it and the touchpad seemed responsive. Around the edges you’ll find an SD card, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, an audio jack, a DC power jack and a webcam up top.

We only had a few short minutes to actually play with Acer’s new Chromebook, but it still left a great first impression. Everything works well from games to interactive web apps to just browsing around online. Even when multiple Chrome windows were running side by side there was no lag to be seen, and the lightweight design makes it easy to carry around. We’ll have even more coverage in the next few weeks, though for now the Acer Chromebook 13 looks ready to take on the competition with better battery life and a screaming fast processor.

The new Chromebook should be available in the U.S. by September and it’s also headed to much of Europe and South Africa in the near future. With Acer’s knack for solid hardware, NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 processor and a budget-friendly price this looks like the Chrome OS laptop to beat.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...