Acer’s New Business Chromebooks Arrive in September

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook with 17 Comments

Today, Acer announced two new business-class Chromebooks, one of which is a convertible form factor. The best news? Both feature 13.5-inch 3:2 displays.

“These new Chromebooks are ideally suited for business and education customers that are focused on security, manageability and ensuring a solid return on investment,” Acer’s Philip Burger said in a prepared statement. “The Acer Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 are sure to inspire colleagues to share ideas, keep teams in touch and help co-workers collaborate on-the-go.”

I’ve had Acer’s previous generation Chromebook for Work 14 on a long-term loan, and it’s excellent. But the display lacks multi-touch, which would be useful for Android app compatibility. And it’s an old-school 16:9 design.

The new Acer Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 fix both of these issues and offer a host of other improvements. Both feature all aluminum bodies and 13.5-inch displays with a 2256 x 1504 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ration. In other words, ideal.

“The display’s 3:2 aspect ratio adds 18 percent more vertical space compared to an equally wide 16:9 display, so customers will view more on their display,” Acer notes.

Both new Chromebooks provide a USB-C port on either side for charging and connectivity, plus a full-sized USB-A port and a microSD card reader. Both also feature 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity. Battery life is rated for up to 10 hours.

The Acer Chromebook 13 will start at $650, and that price nets you an 8th-generation Core i3-8130U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of eMMC storage. A $750 model has nearly identical specifications but with a quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor.

The Chromebook Spin 13 adds a 360-degree hinge and a Wacom EMR stylus. It will start at $750, providing an 8th-generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of eMMC storage. For $850, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i5-8250U processor. And for $950, you can get the Core i5-8250U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of eMMC storage.

Both Chromebooks will be available in September, Acer says. And I am hoping to review at least one of them.

 

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Acer’s New Business Chromebooks Arrive in September”

  1. F4IL

    Really pleased to see 3:2 displays making inroads into the market, especially business class hardware.

    • MikeCerm

      In reply to F4IL:

      Normally I'd agree with you as I certainly prefer that aspect ratio on the Surface laptop, but Acer messed up here by having a huge bottom bezel (and logo) below the screen. It's going to make the device feel awkward and too tall. Samsung made the same mistake on the Chromebook Pro and Plus (last year). 3:2 is definitely right for a tablet and great on laptops too, but you can't have a tall screen AND a big bezel.

  2. ibmthink

    3:2 displays are nice. Shame to see them wasted on Chromebooks though.

    • StevenLayton

      In reply to ibmthink: Please can you elaborate why they're wasted on a Chromebook? Not trolling you, just genuinely interested in your reasoning.
      Even if you dislike Chrome OS, doesn't the more 4:3 displays out there help to 'normalise' this aspect ratio across all OSs?


      • ibmthink

        In reply to StevenLayton:

        Chromebooks are crippled hardware compared with normal laptops. They have oddities like a very stange keyboard layout / design


        So far, none of the major PC manufacturers (so not Microsoft or Huawei) have introduced laptops with 3:2 screens. Now Acer comes around and put them in Chromebooks. Its kinda farcical.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to ibmthink:

          Crippled hardware? Elaborate.

          FWIW, I have a 4+-year-old Chromebook which predated the now unavoidable standard keyboard. THANK GOD! IMO the standard Chromebook keyboard is the worst thing about recent Chromebooks. Annoyance by design.

  3. christian.hvid

    "And for $950, you can get the Core i5-8250U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of eMMC storage."


    That's a weird spec - an ocean of RAM combined with a slow and tiny disk. But maybe that makes sense for Chromebooks?

  4. curtisspendlove

    :: grabs some popcorn ::


    I’m going to try to limit myself to a single post on this one.


    Another data point that Google is trying to push Chrome into the business / professional market.


    I’m not the only developer I know seriously considering Chrome OS for web / mobile development.


    Instead of dissing it, I encourage IT Pros to install Chromium OS in a VM and take it for a spin and enable Linux apps. If you try really hard you might be able to get very basic Android compatibility as well (though likely not Google Play Store).

    • Stuart Pearson

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      I'll be honest I love Chrome OS. It's so easy to deploy and manage. If your business teams only use SAAS and don't need specific x86 programs why wouldn't you try it. I have a small 15 seat contact centre that deals with 6000 calls a month all on Chromebox I have zero issues with them and they love it.

    • jrickel96

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      ChromeOS is pretty much dead in the business world and has no hope of growth. The current desktop share based on NetMarketShare is 0.30% of the overall desktop market. Statcounter says 0.50% after schools let out in the US. So around only 5-8 million users if you take away K-12 with no signs of growth.


      I work with Best Buy to do large orders for some big clients I work with and my sales guy for their business/education sales says they've seen a substantial decrease in education and business interest since last year. Their market data indicates continued slippage for Chromebooks.


      Google is trying to push the business/pro market, but they are likely about to take a dramatic step back. I know of some large businesses that are moving away from their products for productivity and from Cloud Console. G-Suite does not scale up well and many companies don't find it a good value because it creates other headaches for them. Meanwhile Google Cloud Console is falling way behind AWS, Azure, and IBM in the Cloud.


      I suspect we'll see a significant step back for Google in education and business over the next 18 months based on what I'm hearing from clients.


      I would encourage IT pros to stay away from ChromeOS or you may end up with a lot of egg on your face. The platform is in a death spiral - and many of Google's business offerings may shortly follow. They will be losing hundreds of thousands of seats over the next year plus as contracts are not renewed. Watch for the uptick in their advertising revenue as percentage of total overall revenue. When it goes back over 90%, that'll tell you the contracts have not been renewed. I expect that to begin happening around the Q1 report of next year (non-fiscal). Watch that number and watch ad revenue overall to check decline associated with GPDR. Google may be in for a rough couple of years. I suspect they will have far less influence and impact in five years than they do now due to shrinkage in enterprise, the decline of the smartphone, and privacy laws. They will still be big, but not near what they are now.

  5. Gedisoft

    Maybe a stupid question, but can you install windows/Linux on a chromebook. I know it's not a chromebook anymore afterwards, but I was just wondering. A chromebook for a reasonable price could be a good "linuxbook" (save the inherited cost of a windows licence)

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