Acer Goes Back to School with New PCs, Chromebooks

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 37 Comments

Acer Goes Back to School with New PCs, Chromebooks

Acer announced a new lineup of back-to-school PCs and Chromebooks for the fall. Among them is the world’s first 15-inch Chromebook convertible.

“The Chromebook Spin 15 is the industry’s first convertible Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display, so it can be used in four modes,” an Acer representative told me. “Also, the new line of Chromebook 15 models offers large-screen Chromebook capabilities at an affordable price.”

I was invited to the Acer announcement, which was held today in New York, but couldn’t attend because of my podcasting schedule. But the firm provided me with a rundown of the day’s announcements, which also include some gaming and business PCs.

Among them:

Chromebook Spin 13 and Chromebook 13. Designed for productivity use, these new Chromebooks feature attractive aluminum designs, and 3:2 aspect ratio displays. The Chromebook Spin 13 is a convertible with 360-degree hinges, and it comes with a Wacom stylus and can be used in four modes.

Swift 5. A consumer notebook with a new design, the Swift 5 weighs in at just 2.2 pounds but features a 15.6-inch display with small bezels.

Chromebook Spin 15 and Chromebook 15. As noted above, Acer now offers both clamshell and convertible versions of its Chromebook 15.

Acer Nitro 50 Series Desktops. Aimed at the casual PC gaming market, the Nitro 50 PCs are affordable and powered by up to 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics.

Predator Orion 3000 Series Gaming Desktops. These midrange gaming PCs provide up to 8th generation Intel Core i7+ processors and up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics.

Predator Helios 500 and Predator Helios 300 Special Edition Gaming Notebooks. Powered by 8th generation Intel Core i9+ processors, these new gaming rigs are VR-ready and feature advanced thermal technologies. The Predator Helios 300 Special Edition includes upgraded specifications and a cool-looking white body.

Predator Orion 5000 Series Gaming Desktops. Designed with expansion in mind, these gaming PCs offer superior performance with up to 8th generation Intel Core i7+ 8700K processors, the latest Intel Z370 chipsets, and up to 2-way NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics in SLI mode.


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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Acer Goes Back to School with New PCs, Chromebooks”

  1. Bibbit

    up to 8th generation Intel Core i7+ 8700K processors, the latest Intel Z370 chipsets, and up to 2-way NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics in SLI mode

    Must be nice to have money to burn. I can't imagine justifying something like that (unless I hit PowerBall), though I'm sure I'd enjoying using it. I wonder what that configuration will cost?

  2. Bats

    15 inch Chromebook? I am so getting that for my mom.

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Bats:

      I would absolutely get one for my own mom...IFFFFFF it ran Android, not ChromeOS. She would need help wrapping her head around ChromeOS, whereas she is already familiar with the poking and prodding of a mobile OS. She really just needs the keyboard and a larger screen. iPad Pro is out of the question.

      • Daekar

        In reply to JG1170:

        This. If I needed a half function OS, I would much rather have Android with a keyboard than Chrome OS.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Daekar:

          You can get a cheap bluetooth keyboard for under $20 and pair it with your Android phone. Of course if you need a laptop form-factor that's another story although Android wasn't really designed for that.

          • Jorge Garcia

            In reply to skane2600:

            You always provide a contrarian view that only acknowledges YOUR (MY, OUR) specific nerd needs. As far as someone like my Mother with very basic needs would be concerned, Android IS designed for that. Also, the fact that Android still cannot switch itself into a more appropriate mode when used with a laptop form-factor is a terrible oversight on Google's part. Even Windows can switch quite easily and credibly between a tablet and desktop I see no reason why Android shouldn't be able to do the same thing in reverse, a la Samsung's DeX implementation.

            • skane2600

              In reply to JG1170:

              I find it odd that your idea of what non-tech people want is a DeX like experience that not even a significant number of nerds have experience with. That sounds to me like you're projecting your own desires on others.

              Even among non-tech people there are different levels of need. For those with the most basic needs Android, as it exists today, running on a phone is perfectly adequate. They don't need a laptop-like experience.

              I disagree with your notion that Google made a big mistake in designing a smartphone OS for a smartphone rather than some kind of hybrid experience that even today hasn't proven to be viable in the market. Apparently Apple made the same "mistake" leading to the unfortunate consequence that they make more money from the iPhone than any other company does on their smartphones.

              • Jorge Garcia

                In reply to skane2600:

                "Android, as it exists today, running on a phone is perfectly adequate. They don't need a laptop-like experience."

                ...And who are YOU to declare what others DON'T need? I am always championing more choice. I don't understand people who are against OPTIONS. We are talking about software here, and to me, in 2018 everything (that is reasonably doable) can and should be adjustable in the Android settings. To me we are at the point where if I want to run Android on ANY device, along with the obvious defaults based on the screen-size etc, it should also have more advanced settings that allow you to switch between both mobile and desktop-like interfaces. You act like this would be a BAD thing. If it's bad for YOU, then you can never activate that option, problem solved. Curiously, Best Buy is currently selling a somewhat passable 11.6" Android laptop with a decent keyboard. I decided to buy it for my mother and she could not be more delighted at finally not having to squint at her phone nor type on a small glass screen. For me personally, the standard Android "tablet" UI is inadequate...I'd like to have some windowing and dock, like a "real" PC has...but it isn't an option (yet) on Android...and that is my entire gripe. I shouldn't have to migrate to ChromeOS to have what I feel is a fairly obvious UI shifting option.

              • Jorge Garcia

                In reply to skane2600:

                I am fully aware that hybrid solutions generally stink. I have never asked for one...only the OPTION to switch away from a mobile interface when desired, and back. Windows 10 currently does this, and I feel it is executed very well. All I want is for Android to do the same, in reverse. I know it is non-trivial to do...but it is far from impossible. Samsung, Jide, Sentio, Phoenix, Leena and others have made Android into passable desktop experiences. I don;t see why Google could not buy up one of these company's IP and include it as an official OPTION for Android. This is where I think Google has seriously dropped the ball.

  3. DadCooks

    I am getting tired of this cheap under-powered non-expandable un-replaceable battery limited lifetime junk poor excuse for a computer. Consumers need to not be so gullible.

  4. macguy59

    A 15" convertible Chromebook . . . yes please. My aging MacBook Pro Retina (2013) is starting to act up and I could see this replacing it.

  5. curtisspendlove

    :: sigh ::

    These are getting interesting. Did they say anything about the SSD sizes?

    • offTheRecord

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      Other articles that I've seen for the Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 mention 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB SSD options and up to 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM. The Spin also has the option for an 8th Gen i3 or i5 (not sure about the clamshell 13" or 15" versions). It will be interesting to see some in-depth reviews on these. Everyone seems to be going gaga over them, so far. I heard prices will be $500 and below. Hopefully, we'll find out soon.

  6. FaustXD9

    Here is my "issue" most of these models while ~$300-500 cheaper than the higher end Ultrabooks out there sacrifice options for 16GB of RAM and a 4K display. Both of those seem to be "critical" going forward if you are keeping the device for a few years. So do I go with a cheaper "disposable" laptop right now for casual gaming while on the road or get a higher end model and suck up the money to buy longevity? I really wish a i7 discreet graphics Surface Book was closer to $2K than $3K with Thunderbolt.  

    Paul/Brad, I hope you write some of your thoughts and evaluations down as you make your next laptop choice!

    • coeus89

      In reply to FaustXD9:

      Have you looked at Razer computers? That may be more of what you're looking for.

      • FaustXD9

        In reply to coeus89:

        I looked at those but was higher than I could spend. I was able to find a AMD Radeon version of the 15" Spectre that might fit my requirements. It was supposed to be the equivalent of a mobile 1050 which should be good enough for me. Of course no one has actually gotten a final review unit, but I am going to give it a shot. The total was around $1600 for a 4K display, 16GB or RAM, and a 512 GB hard drive.

  7. hrlngrv

    The Acer logo being upside down in tent mode looks odd. Maybe time to change the logo to something which looks almost the same no matter the rotation angle. Maybe rotate the a 90° counterclockwise, leave the c alone, e 90° clockwise, and r 180°. Or maybe I'm just way overreacting. Maybe I should just stay away from all convertibles.

    • HellcatM

      In reply to hrlngrv: Or if they want to be different they could make it an inexpensive e-ink display when you switch it the logo also switches and also maybe you can make your own logo that switches between the Acer logo and the one you created?

    • Waethorn

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Lenovo has traditionally kept the ThinkPad logo on laptops in a readable rotation while the laptop is closed to match the position of the same logo on the keyboard bezel. But when you open it, it's upside-down.

  8. bluvg

    "the Swift 5 weighs in at just 2.2 pounds but features a 15.6-inch display"

    Holy moly.

  9. scotttech1

    I'd be curious to see a comparison between the Acer Spin and the Asus Flip and how they compare in specs and quality (I've always been under the impression that Asus was better in the build quality and reliability department than Acer but who knows)

  10. aelaan

    This was the most disappointing show I witnessed in years. No proper introduction of the machines, no real show and tell - arrogant and poorly executed. I do like the principle of the R13 or Spin 13 now (I used to have the R13) but to be honest it is getting quite interesting and competitive to Google Pixelbook and Acer need to question itself if it wants to be in that market....

  11. Daekar

    I'm still struggling to see the point of these Chromebooks, I can't think of any reason anyone would buy one since all my family tech support duties have practically disappeared with Windows 10. I'm starting to think that maybe I'm one of the dinosaurs that's going to be completely broadsided by the asteroid of next-gen OSes, and even when I see what's happening I will remain unable to understand why.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to Daekar:

      You aren't missing anything. Chromebooks do not compare to a Windows 10 system. You pay the same and you get a less capable OS with a limited software library.

      And don't worry about being caught off guard, its not going to happen from Chromebooks which have less than a 1% market share. The platform should have been canned 2+ years ago.

      • Nicholas Kathrein

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        I have to disagree. You pay around the same but you get an OS that can do 90% of everything you most need to do. Windows has the last 20 years tied up in it bringing along all that legacy code and bloat. The difference is Chrome OS is very light in the sense the software is more optimized with little bloat. It will run faster and be able to use the memory more efficiently while using chrome. As far as software you have the best web browser in the world as well as the Android Apps which are getting better for this. Google is ahead of MS on the way the Chrome OS updates. It updates in the background. When you eventually reboot it just boots up to the updated OS. No boot screens saying "configuring windows" and a % and you just have to sit and wait. It's all around the future and it's everything most people will want. The kind of people who aren't coming to this site. Normal people.

  12. PeteB

    Much as I've enjoyed windows for decades (at least until MS became hostile to users in Windows 10), the future is Chromebooks.

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to PeteB:

      Once Chromebooks hit a certain critical mass...I believe some major business software companies will start migrating their software over, for sure. Windows still has a looong way to go in enterprise, though. It's far too entrenched.

      • skane2600

        In reply to JG1170:

        Step 1 for having business software on Chromebooks is for the OS to provide a rich native API. In other words, making ChromeOS more like Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

        Of course the entire philosophy of Chromebooks revolved around the idea that web apps were enough. This concept has already started to crumble as Google allows Android apps to be installed. It would seem that the broader market (i.e. not education) has rejected that notion and Google is responding to it.

    • Daekar

      In reply to PeteB:

      So... how is Windows user-hostile compared to a product the entire purpose of which is to lock you into the Google ecosystem? Chromebooks are just as bad as Apple products in terms of being user-hostile, except they're worse because they're even less versatile.

      Seriously, you can accuse Microsoft of screwing up a lot lately, but being user-hostile compared to Chromebooks isn't one of those things.

      • MikeCerm

        In reply to Daekar:

        Preinstalling Candy Crush Soda Saga, and reinstalling it (among other apps) after the user has explicitly uninstalled it is VERY user-hostile. Forced reboots and updates several times per month is also rather hostile. I'm not saying everyone should go buy a Chromebook, but Microsoft has definitely taken numerous steps to take control of Windows PCs away from users.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to PeteB:

      Google is the aggressive company towards users - they could care less about us. Customers are simply for their fleecing. At least MS is doing things based on customer's needs and that is a heck of a lot more than anyone can say about Google.

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