Acer Chromebook 13: First with Nvidia Tegra K1

Acer Chromebook 13: First with Nvidia Tegra K1

Summary: Acer looks to extend its lead in Chromebooks with a model that ticks two firsts on its checklist. Most significantly, the Chromebook 13 is the first model to market with the Nvidia Tegra powering the laptop.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Google, Laptops
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Acer jumped on the Chromebook wagon early, and it now has the lead in sales for the laptops powered by Google. It has combined decent hardware with Chrome OS, and offered Chromebooks at a reasonable price point.

Acer Chromebook 13 front
Acer Chromebook 13 (Image: Acer)

The newest model from Acer claims two firsts, one for Chromebooks in general and another for Acer. The Acer Chromebook 13 is the first Chromebook to hit the market powered by the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. It's also the first 13-inch Chromebook produced by Acer.

Until the release of the Chromebook 13, these laptops have either had an Intel or a non-Nvidia ARM processor running the show. While ARM-based, the Acer Chromebook 13 has the Nvidia Tegra K1 inside.

Nvidia Tegra K1
(Image: Nvidia)

The Nvidia Tegra K1 is a powerful mobile quad-core processor with strong performance. It is particularly good for graphics with the 192-core GPU. This makes it a good fit for the Chromebook 13, along with the long battery life it makes possible.

Acer claims the Chromebook 13 will get up to 13 hours on a charge, a big advantage over other Chromebooks.

Acer will be offering the Chromebook 13 in four configurations:

  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 has a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD display, 2GB of memory, and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at $299.99 and is available now for pre-sale at BestBuy.com.

  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU has a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD display, 4GB of memory, and a fast 32GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at $379.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com.

  • The Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T7NN has a 1,366 x 768 display, 2GB of memory, and a fast 16GB Solid State Drive. It is priced at $279.99 and is available now for pre-sale at Amazon.com.

  • The fourth configuration is for OEMs and the education sector. That model comes with a 1,366 x 768 display, 4GB of memory, a fast 16GB SolidState Drive, and will be priced at $329.99.
Acer Chromebook 13 back
Acer Chromebook 13 (Image: Acer)

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The Tegra K1 is based on the ARM A15 core, and Nvidia has tightly integrated it with the graphics processor. It is a low power processor, as evidenced by the long battery life quoted for the Acer Chromebook 13.

The Acer Chromebook 13 weighs only 3.31 lbs and is a svelte 0.7 inch thick. This puts it in line with some of the top 13-inch laptops available today.

Offering the Chromebook 13 with two display resolutions should appeal to the biggest audience. Those wanting a budget-friendly model can opt for the lower resolution display (1,366x768) or spend a little more and get the HD version (1,920x1,080).

Having two major choices in configuration also offers two tiers of battery life. The low-res unit has a claimed 13 hours, while the HD version of the Chromebook 13 gets a respectable 11 hours.

All of the configurations above come with the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and graphics. It's too new to tell but the Tegra should give other Chromebooks a run for the money. We'll have a review unit shortly to see for ourselves.

Additional Chromebook coverage: 

Topics: Mobility, Google, Laptops

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40 comments
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  • Doesn't matter what hardware .

    The point is Chromebooks only run google spyware and basically you are paying $300 for a browser. Nobody is buying Chomebooks even after all these paid propaganda by bloggers.
    Free distribution to schools shouldn't be counted as sales, they are part of the propaganda.
    Owl:Net
    • LOL. Enough already chicken little.

      "Google spyware"

      You obviously don't understand or care to understand how the company pays for all the services they provide for FREE to it's end users.

      You simply don't have to buy or use any of their products/services.

      Don't think your biased 'opinion' has any bearing on others choices/decisions.
      GotThumbs
      • I think it's the other way around

        People that do use their products are doing it out of ignorance of how their information is being sold.
        Buster Friendly
        • they don't sell data

          they sell and associate ads with search/email terms within google. You simply believe the terms of service or not. If not, then don't use them.
          They sell anonomized statistical data as does everyone else.
          I'd rather trust one reputable company (MS if you want) than various online sites and services where your data is out of control.
          drwong
        • They sell ads.....

          ....fool, so the end users can have services for 'free'.
          johnafish
          • and the problem with that is...

            what again?
            mediumsizedrob
      • Nothing in life is free

        You need to try and understand Google's business models. Nothing a tech company produces is free. It's either paid for, a loss leader, a taster or the costs are indirect and hidden from you in some way. Google does the latter by learning about you and selling your whole online lifestory that they can access in some shape or form. Chromebook users and Google apps users are just enabling Google to know more about you - in the Chromebook case, you are subsidising Google in that activity by purchasing the hardware to run that fact-finding software so they can learn more about you and make more money from you.

        Or you could just buy things instead.
        dc@...
        • not really

          They make money from the companies they sell ad views to. Personally, I would prefer free (put it in quotes if you want) services and ads that make sense to me than paying for stuff and getting shown ads for viagra or oven mits all day. You're getting ads either way. It's not like some guy at google is watching your every move in any case.
          mediumsizedrob
    • @Owl:Net - love my acer c720 chromebook

      Spy-away google! How's that keylogger on your virus ridden windows PC, Owl?
      drwong
      • Got my partner an Acer Chromebook to stop her screwing up Windows..

        Its a much better £200 spend than my £300 Win 8.1 Asus T100.

        The Acer oozes quality, the Asus has a terrible touchpad, cramped keyboard and flimsy construction and the Acer does what she wants, browse the web safely, stream video and create the occasional document or spreadsheet

        She can surf safely without screwing anything up - no more arguments about having to fix Windows, again.

        M$oft is a rip off proposition, and I've been using their products since the 1980s.

        And people don't think M$oft spies on their emails? Haven't seen the article on ZDnet of the Texas paedo they handed over to the Feds by readiing his emails - and perhaps a good job too.
        lancsmapman
        • Exactly

          I am so wanting to move people the folks I help away from any computer that takes much set up or maintenance. To me Chromebooks are an Ipad in laptop format. They simply work for what you want.
          littlemas2
        • Acer it's not Microsoft

          lancsmapman, please think before commenting. Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell and others are not made by Microsoft. They're made from the respective company. That is why Microsoft made the Surface. These vendors were not buildings quality products.

          As for Microsoft reading your e-mail as you stated is incorrect. A third party call Microsoft concerning someone selling inside information about Microsoft. Microsoft when to a judge for a warrant to check the e-mail account of this individual using Microsoft own servers. They did not touched the account until they are the warrant and prove to the judge there was justification.
          jazzy2945
          • Microsoft did not get a court order.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/technology/microsofts-software-leak-case-raises-privacy-issues.html?_r=0

            Further, Microsoft and any other hosted email provider has to read your emails anyway, in an automated way, to do spam filtering.
            Michael_Sw
    • It's all spyware

      You can get a Chromebook, change the search provider to DuckDuckGo or Bing or Yacy, use some paid email service instead of GMail or host your own, setup a VPN so that your home internet search provider can't track you, and if you're feeling paranoid you can set up a packet sniffer on your home network to see if the device phones home to Google. I don't believe it does, except for software updates, but that's a wild guess and I could be wrong.

      Conversely I can buy a Microsoft or Apple laptop, use Google Drive for my documents, Google Search for my web browsing, and GMail for my email and provide to Google all the same information that a Chromebook gives to Google.

      So the real question is whether I want a full operating system with separate applications or just a prepackaged OS with only browser add-ons as options.
      Michael_Sw
      • Agreed: A Very Sensible Post

        I'd also add to your post a couple of more items:
        With a full OS (like Windows) you have more flexibility and more maintenance (anti-virus, backups, repair, etc.).
        With a VPN setup like you suggest and using the Chromote desktop feature you can access your home Windows OS from anywhere you have Internet access. (Using HP's 13" Chromebook with 200MB of T-Mobile for life and you have ready access to the Internet anywhere you have coverage.)
        Pronounce
      • Sniffer

        Did you install a packet sniffer to verify this or you're assuming? Why go thru all the hoops you mention and not get the benefits of Chromebook? The reason for Chromebook is so people use all Google's services, not Microsoft or Apple or any other software, and there is where they get you and everyone else. People tend to stay with the software their devices come.

        And yes if you buy a Microsoft or Apple and you use Google's services you are tracked by Google. But then why will you do that? Microsoft and Apple have these services too, but they do not track you. They make their money by selling you a product. Google makes money by selling your data to whoever pays for it. That's the difference.
        jazzy2945
        • They all make money tracking you

          All of these companies collect your personal data, Google just uses more of that data for advertising than Microsoft and Apple do. There are no innocents in this industry.
          Michael_Sw
    • your premise is scroogled

      Yeah, because, you know, Microsoft and Apple are *so* trustworthy with your data. You do recall that MS was the first company to collude with the NSA to spy on your personal data by 2 years. That, according to the NSA. Or that at one point MS's EULA claimed they had ownership rights to anything created with their tools. Perhaps Bill's daddy drafted that one. In any event, that lasted a few weeks until MS relented due to public outcry.

      Give me Google any day.
      z_mikowski
      • This seemed relevant

        http://www.dailytech.com/EDITORIAL+Microsoft+Turns+in+Child+Predator+in+Penn+Internet+Critics+Cry/article36362.htm

        Looks like "SkyDrive" or "GoogleDrive" experience really isn't all that different. Also, remember MS has reported people to the police by scanning their email.

        Oh, and here's another good one:

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140116/12454325906/microsoft-agrees-to-hand-over-skype-user-data-to-russian-police.shtml

        Yeah, good thing you got Bill's crew watching your back for governments around the world. If you think MS is in the least bit concerned about consumer welfare you obviously are, er, "optimistic" at best.
        z_mikowski
        • It is relevant

          Microsoft have to comply with the law of the country they are working. But, then all companies have to do that to, including Google, Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, etc. You are not adding nothing new here.

          One thing is make and provide the way to get the information (like your accusation of Microsoft building backdoor for the NSA) and another is complying with the law. If the FBI, CIA, NSA come with a warrant to gather any information, Microsoft and all other companies must comply. No warrant, no data. That is why Microsoft is fighting the US government because the warrant the FBI have, cannot apply in another country like Ireland. Microsoft have too uphold the law of Ireland, not the US. For this to happen it needs our diplomat working with others countries diplomat and have agreement already establish. For the link you provide, which is half opinion and half news, all companies must comply with the law of that country or be kick out.
          jazzy2945