Google Chromebooks to be issued to one Illinois district’s high school students

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At least one school district in Illinois is following the lead of many colleges and universities and plans to implement a program to issue laptop computers to freshman and sophomore students next fall for the 2016-2017 school year. Continuing a movement that is becoming overwhelming, the students will be receiving Google Chromebooks as part of a 1:1 learning initiative. Read more

Acer’s new Chromebook offers a ton of hardware for $299

acer chromebook 1Acer has made one of the most high-end Chromebooks we’ve ever seen, focusing on RAM and battery life with a price tag that can still get along with your wallet. Most Chromebooks tend to offer 1 or 2 GB of RAM and okay specs, but Acer’s newest laptop-replacement boasts 4 GB of RAM with 12 hours of battery life and some other punchy hardware.

Specs aren’t the only thing impressive here, though; the Chromebook is made out of 100% aluminum, which gives it an extremely premium design. It looks a bit like a Macbook, but hey, as long as we’re getting a good looking device, no complaints.

There’s also a full 1080p display here with an option to drop down in resolution to pick up a couple extra hours of battery life, plus 32 GB of internal storage, an Intel Celeron N3060, and a USB 3.1 port with an HDMI out port.

All things considered, this 1080p Chromebook will cost you just $299. That’s extremely aggressive pricing that’s going to net some serious marketshare for Acer, but it’s a good sign for Chromebooks going forward. They’re getting better and cheaper every year, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

The Chromebook is expected to start shipping in April.

Acer Debuts World’s First Chromebook with 14-hour Battery Life

  • Industry’s First Chromebook to provide up to 14 hours of battery life for day-to-night productivity and fun(1)
  • Acer’s first Chromebook with a large 14-inch IPS display; ideal for enjoying content, collaborating and video conferencing with 720p HD webcam
  • Sleek with a premium, thin design, this is Acer’s first Chromebook with an all-aluminum chassis
  • First Acer Chromebook with two first-generation USB 3.1 ports
  • Customers can enjoy robust capabilities of Chrome for only $299.99 USD

San Jose, Calif., (March 29, 2016) Acer today expands its line of award-winning Chromebooks with the Acer Chromebook 14, the industry’s first model that provides long battery life of up to 14 hours.(1) In addition, this is Acer’s first model with a large 14-inch display and an all-aluminum chassis. It is priced at just $299.99 USD, making it ideal for students, businesses and anyone who wants a computer with style and great value.

According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is the world’s leading Chromebook brand with over 33 percent market share in 2015.(2)

“With its industry-leading battery life of up to 14 hours, the Acer Chromebook 14 is an important new product in Acer’s award-winning Chromebook line,” said Jerry Kao, president of Acer Notebook Business Group. “Customers have a wide range of needs for battery life, size, performance and features, and our line of Acer Chromebooks is expanding to make sure customers get exactly what they want. The Chromebook 14 is an excellent choice for customers who want a stylish, large-screen Chromebook with long battery life at an attractive price.”

Large Full HD Display is Great for Viewing, Sharing

The Acer Chromebook 14 is the company’s first with a large 14-inch display. The display is 20 percent larger than 11-inch models, so customers have extra screen real estate to enjoy additional tabs and websites, enjoy video and collaborate more comfortably. The display features IPS technology and comes in either a full HD (1920 x 1080) or HD (1366×768) resolutions, which both ensure clarity in text and graphics as well as wide viewing angles up to 170 degrees. The Acer Chromebook 14 reduces eye fatigue thanks to the display’s ComfyView low-reflection and anti-glare properties.

Group video conferences are easy and enjoyable with the Acer Chromebook 14’s 720p webcam with 1280 x 720 resolution as well as HD audio and video recording. The webcam provides High Dynamic Range imaging as well as a wide field of view, so multiple students, colleagues or friends can be seen while video conferencing. The system provides top-notch audio to match the excellent video experience; it has dual stereo speakers and an integrated digital microphone.

Productivity-Minded with Long Battery Life, Performance

The Acer Chromebook 14 is the first on the market to deliver up to 14 hours of battery life on models with the HD display; full HD models provide up to 12 hours of battery life.(1) Business users, students and families will be confident using the system for day-to-night productivity and fun. The Acer Chromebook 14 is powered by an Intel Celeron quad-core or dual-core N3060 processor for solid performance and the ability to multi-task with ease through apps and online games. The Chromebook features either 4GB or 2GB dual channel LPDDR3 SDRAM.(3)

Acer’s first Chromebook with All-Metal Chassis

The new Chromebook 14 is Acer’s first Chromebook to have an all-metal chassis; the case is made entirely of aluminum, making it stylish and lightweight. It boasts a touch and feel that is unmatched by any other Chromebook on the market thanks to its classic hairline-brush finish and perfectly rounded corners. Ultrathin and lightweight, weighing only 3.42 pounds (1.55kg) and measuring just 0.67 inches (17mm), it delivers cool and quiet computing thanks to Acer’s fan-less technology.

Staying Connected to Peripherals and Wirelessly On the Go

The Chromebook 14 is Acer’s first with two first-generation USB 3.1 ports for enjoying extra-fast speeds from connected peripherals. The device can be used to share HD video and audio onto an external display with its HDMI port. The Chromebook also connects to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.2.

Fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac/a/b/g/n Wi-Fi on the Acer Chromebook 14 keeps customers connected and in touch with up to three times faster wireless connectivity compared to 802.11n.(4)

Acer Chromebook 14 Simplifies Security and Collaboration

The Acer Chromebook 14 is simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users, such as families, schools or at different shifts at a business. Customers can log into their own account to access Gmail, Docs, website bookmarks and other information. The Acer Chromebook 14 comes with 100GB of free storage on Google Drive(5) to protect files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud. This also ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Acer Chromebook 14 users can view, edit, create and collaborate on-line and off-line with a growing number of programs, such as Office documents and Gmail.

Security is a key benefit of the Chrome operating system, as it’s automatically updated to guard against ever-changing online threats. This is especially useful for families and schools that want to protect children. In addition, the Supervised Users feature helps get children online in a safe, controlled way.

Pricing and Availability

Several models in the Acer Chromebook 14 line (CB3-431) will be available with either 16GB or 32GB eMMC storage and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM.(3) The premiere model will be available in April with a Full HD display, 32GB storage and 4GB RAM starting at $299.99 USD in the United Stated and $399.99 CAD in Canada. This model is available now for pre-sale at Amazon and will be available at bestbuy.com in April.

Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To find out about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office or retailer via www.acer.com.

  1. Battery life is based on the HD panel. Availability of SKUs with the HD panel varies depending on region. Battery life may vary depending on usage. Actual battery life varies depending on product specifications, computer settings and applications or features launched. All batteries’ maximum capacity diminishes with time and use.
  2. “Market Share: Devices, All Countries, 4Q15 Update” 16 February 2016
  3. Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes)
  4. Based on IEEE 802.11ac draft specification. An 802.11ac wireless equipped computer requires an 802.11ac router to work properly. Actual speed will vary based on range, connection rate, site conditions, size of network and other factors. Up to three times faster comparing 802.11ac with 802.11n.
  5. More information on Google Drive on Chrome devices: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/2703646?p=driveoffer&rd=1

Google makes the grade with Chromebooks at 51% of devices deployed in schools

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In a new report from Futuresource Consulting, it has been revealed that Google Chromebook devices now make up over half of the computer devices deployed in U.S. classrooms. As recently as 2012, Google only held 1% of the education market, so the growth has been “shocking” as described by Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder. In just 2015, Google Chromebooks have accounted for 4.4 million of 8.9 millions devices sold to schools and school districts through the third quarter, which translates to 30,000 new devices being activated every single day. Read more

Googles denies EFF allegations that it has violated student privacy

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In a recent complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has alleged that Google is violating student privacy by collecting and data mining student information obtained through Chromebooks used by schools. The EFF says the Chrome Sync feature, which is turned on by default on Chromebooks and is available through the Chrome browser, is being used improperly in violation of Google’s promises and FTC prohibitions against deceptive business practices. Google says the EFF is off base with their allegations and Chrome Sync is a benefit for students with no connection to advertising or data mining on Google’s part. Read more

Google is giving away three free movies to all Chromebook owners

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If you’re the proud owner of a Chromebook, you may want to boot it up, head over to Play Movies & TV and check the dedicated promotions section of the application as Google is now giving away three complimentary films from a limited selection to all owners of a Chrome OS-powered device. Unfortunately, the movies are only available in Standard Definition (SD), but it’s still a pretty sweet deal nonetheless.

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