Acer has unveiled two new Chromebooks aimed at schools and students, featuring durable construction to hold up under rough treatment and a myriad of technology features to help students get their schoolwork completed at home or at school.
The new Acer Chromebook C910, with a 15.6-inch display, and Acer Chromebook C740, with an 11.6-inch display, were announced by the company in London on Jan. 21. Both machines will be available starting in February. Specifications, prices and availability will vary by region, according to Acer.
In the United States, the Acer C910 will be sold with either a 16GB or 32GB solid-state drive (SSD) drive and 4GB of RAM starting at $299.99, while the Acer C740 will be available with a 16GB SSD drive and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM, starting at $259.99.
The larger Acer C910 is aimed at school lab and classroom uses, where the larger devices can be shared by multiple students. The smaller Acer C740 is a compact Chromebook that fits well in backpacks so it can be easily transported home by students, the company said.
"Acer Chromebooks are already seen as a proven platform for successful student learning, as they are being used by students to collaborate, conduct research and work on projects in exciting new ways," Eric Ackerson, senior product marketing spokesman for Acer America, said in a statement. "The two new Acer Chromebooks feature newly enhanced durable designs that can handle even more of the rigors so common to the education environment. Also, schools can deploy and manage these new platforms cost-effectively, quickly and securely, so the emphasis stays on student success."
Both Chromebooks include extra durability features to hold up well when used by students, including reinforced covers that can withstand up to 132 pounds of force, while the corners can tolerate falls from up to about 18 inches without damage, according to Acer. The display hinges on both machines have also been extended in length and reinforced, so the new Chromebooks can endure more twisting and stress when handled by students to and from school and in their backpacks.
The Acer C910 and C740 models also support multiple user sign-on so they can be used by a number of students while keeping data safe for each user. In addition, student files can be accessed offline in the event Internet access is not available.
Both devices also include a Kensington lock so they can be secured to a wireless cart or lab to reduce theft, according to Acer.
The Acer 15.6-inch display-equipped C910 can be purchased with either a full HD IPS (1,920-by-1,080 resolution) display with wide viewing angles or a less expensive HD (1,366-by-768 resolution).
Both the Acer C910 and C740 will be available with a 5th generation Intel Core i3-5005U processor or next-generation Intel Celeron 3205U processor. The Acer C740 provides up to 9 hours of battery life per charge, while the Acer C910 provides up to 8 hours of use per charge, according to Acer.
The Acer C910 weighs about 4.85 pounds and measures 15.4 inches in width, 10.08 inches in depth and 0.95 inches in thickness, while the Acer C740 weighs 2.87 pounds and measures 11.34 inches in width, 8.03 inches in depth and 0.79 in thickness.