Acer continues to pump out Chromebooks, following up on its Chromebook R11 convertible with its first 14-inch model. The Acer Chromebook 14 is not only the company's biggest laptop running Google's Chrome OS, but also the first with a couple of premium specs that boost its starting price tag a little higher than the cheapest Chromebooks.
Acer is certainly not the first manufacturer to offer a 14-inch Chromebook -- that honor belongs to HP, which debuted its Chromebook 14 way back in 2013 -- though it's still pretty rare despite offering 30-percent more screen real estate than the 11-inch screen on many Chromebooks. However. Acer says its Chromebook 14 is the first on the market to offer 14 hours of battery life, albeit only with the base 1,366x768 screen. If you choose the full HD display (1,920x1,080 resolution), the battery life dips to 12 hours. Nonetheless, that would appear to offer a full day's worth of computing with need for recharging, though we'll need to wait for real-world testing to compare to the company's stated claims.
The new Chromebook 14 is also Acer's first to be decked out in an all-aluminum chassis, which weighs in at 3.42 and measure 0.67 inches thick. It's also the company's first Chromebook to sport a pair of USB 3.1 ports, which provide significantly faster throughput than older USB 2.0 connections. Other specs include an Intel Celeron N3060 processor (available in either dual-core or quad-core flavor), 2GB or 4GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Given its higher-end features (at least for a Chromebook), the Acer Chromebook's 14 higher price tag should come as no surprise, though it's higher mostly in comparison to other budget-friendly Chromebooks. The model with the higher-res screen, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of solid-state storage comes in at $299.99, while pricing for the version with lesser specs hasn't been announced yet. The pricier edition is already available for pre-order on Amazon.com, and Acer says it will also be available through Best Buy starting next month.