Chromebooks are fun; they do not give you the full PC experience but they can still be immensely powerful for the right reasons. The majority of Chromebooks that we know end up in educational facilities and institutions. That is for a good reason too; they are great learning tools. They are, in their core a web based notebook that is designed to run web based programs, which in themselves are quite limited.
So you can browse the internet with Chromebooks, via Google Chrome obviously. You can listen process documents via Google Docs, or create presentation via Google Slides. You probably can watch a movie or two with the limited amount of storage offered in most Chromebooks. There is nothing much else for the Chromebooks really, no fancy AAA titled games, no Netflix app, no fancy GPU requirements and what not; just a really basic PC.
The key here is simplicity and accessibility for Chromebooks. You do not really need an expensive, over the top hardware for a Chromebook because you cannot play those sort of games on Chrome OS anyway.
Of course everyone has a different idea of learning. Everyone also has a different way of learning. Acer understands that and adds two more Chromebook products into their stables – the Chromebook Spin 512 and Chromebook 512.
As their names suggest, the new Acer Chromebooks boasts 12-inch HD+ (1,366 x 912) displays with 3:2 aspect ratio which, to us anyway, is quite odd for a notebook. It is not odd however if you think of the Chromebooks as learning tools because the 3:2 aspect ratio is the general aspect ratio that is closest to books, or even writing paper. This gives a very natural feel to the Chromebooks as learning tools.
Acer Chromebook 512
The Acer Chromebook 512 clamshell notebook comes in two flavours – the C851 which does not have a touch display, and C851T which has a touch display. It can be opened up all the way to 180-degrees so that you can share the display with other students during class assignments or projects. It also packs a keyboard that is difficult to remove, but at the same time easy to replace. That means, less time for maintenance and more time learning. There is an option to add a 5-megapixel rear camera to the Chromebook 512 for more project options.
Acer Chromebook Spin 512
The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 would probably the more popular option among the two. As the name suggests, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 has a display that can spin all the way to the back of the keyboard. Its touch display is protected by a specially made Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass that also protects the students.
In addition to being touch enabled the Acer Chromebook 512 also packs its own Wacom EMR stylus that can be docked into the Chromebook itself so it is always there when students need it. Of course, you have to make sure the kids put it back after use. It even packs an 8-Megapixel rear camera to make things easier for projects or assignments.
Both Chromebooks are built to military standards (MIL-STD 810G) for good measure. Well, they are built for kids to use and share anyway so they have to be shock-proof and durable. The military standard code allows the Chromebooks to be dropped from a height of 122cm and handle up to 60kg of weight on top of its chassis. Because they are built for kids too they have to comply to the toy standard. They are built to meet the ASTM F963-12 and UL/IED 60950-1 codes.
Both variants feature spill resistant keyboard with proper plumbing. What we mean is that when water spills on the keyboard, the gutter system actually directs water away from critical components and drains out of the bottom of the Chromebook. It can handle about 330ml of liquid which is less than a can of Coca-Cola anyway so the Chromebook is safe from the clumsy hands of the kids. Even the touchpad from the Chromebooks are moisture-resistant. If all else fails the Chromebooks are built to be as easily serviceable as possible.
Both Chromebooks feature 2×2 802.11ac wireless antenna for more reliable connection to the internet. Well, it is sort of a requirement these days anyway. They pack Bluetooth 5.0 and two USB Type-C ports which charges the devices as well. Optionally Acer can add up to two USB3.0 ports. Both the Chromebooks have 12 hours of battery life so they can last in classrooms for days at a time.
Both are powered by Intel’s Pentium Silver N5000 Processor or a Celeron N4100 Processor. To ensure fast-booting time and quick access to apps the Chromebooks comes with eMMC storage in either 32GB or 64GB flavours. Multitasking on the Chromebook 512 and Chromebook Spin 512 Acer fits them with either a 4GB RAM or 8GB RAM.
The Acer Chromebook 512 and Acer Chromebook Spin 512 should be available to customers in EMEA and North America Q2 onward.