Chromebooks have taken the bottom of the market sub-$300 category of laptops by storm over the last couple of years, and they’re expected to continue with that trend going into 2015. One of the devices that will be heading the charge is the Acer C740, which got leaked last week (via OMGChrome), and it’s said that at least one variation of it will be sporting one of Intel’s fifth-generation codename Broadwell chips—expected to be launched at CES in January.
The Acer C740 is going to come in two flavors, one at the consumer level and another aimed for commercial use. But unlike previous years, Acer is said to be keeping these two more distinct and may keep the new Broadwell chip reserved for the classroom-minded commercial offering, while keeping the older Haswell-based Core i3-4005U in the consumer release.
The device is expected to have a “rugged” design, which would make sense considering this affordable Chromebook is going to be heavily pushed at the education market (and will likely be tossed around in a classroom). The overall design of the new laptop will supposedly feature “brushed iron metal,” and reinforced hinges and display, making it sound to me like it would be prepared for the battlefield.
As for the device’s other specs, OMGChrome‘s sources say that it’s going to have a 1366 x 768 resolution 11.6-inch screen, 16 and 32 GB SSD options, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, 2 and 4 GB RAM options, USB 3.0, HDMI out, and battery life that’s going to last a ridiculous 8.5 hours. The device is purportedly going to start at $259 for the base configuration, and is scheduled to be released in March of 2015.
The Acer C910 also saw a leak last week from the same source. Like the C740, at least one model of the C910 will likely sport a newer Broadwell chip, and the device will offer two non-IPS display options for this larger device: one that’s 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768), and the other being 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080). The rest of the device’s specs line up pretty well with that of the C740, including the same storage and RAM options, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, and an HDMI out.
These are just two of the Chromebooks expected to make an appearance come early next year. Companies like Toshiba haven’t shown off anything truly notable in the Chromebook area since CES 2014, and many other companies are in line to refresh their Chromebook offerings. And with the new Broadwell chips allowing laptops to be faster and thinner (and lower-priced!), there couldn’t be any better time.