Acer America released the Acer AC700 Chromebook, the company's first machine based on Google's Chrome operating system, in the United States from Amazon.com for $349.99.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduced the Acer AC700, which includes an 11.6-inch HD CineCrystal LED-backlit LCD, along with Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook May 11 at the Google I/O developer event in San Francisco.
Chrome OS is designed to be the backstop for Web applications such as Google Docs, Gmail and Chrome-specific versions of games such as Angry Birds, all of which run on the Chrome Web browser. Chromebooks boot within 10 seconds and uses a verified boot process, sandboxing for apps and data encryption to secure user data.
The machines are essentially hardware shells, with the bulk of data residing in Google's cloud of servers, which provision apps over the Web. If a Chromebook is damaged it may be easily replaced with no valuable data lost.
Both the Acer AC700 and the Series 5 Chromebooks were scheduled to be available online from Amazon.com and Best Buy June 15. The Series 5 launched that day, but Acer's machine was delayed.
The Series 5 is priced at $429 for the WiFi-only model and $499 for a computer with a 3G radio. For $349, Acer's WiFi-only Chromebook might prove to be a bargain among cost-conscious consumers. Acer said it will produce an AC700 with A 3G wireless radio later this summer to balance Samsung's Series 5.
Acer promised "a sleek, thin and light form factor, long battery life and excellent HD playback" for the AC700, which like the Series 5 is powered by the same 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 dual-core processor that fuels the Series 5.
The Acer AC700 includes an HD 1.3MP webcam with LED indicator for video chat, and supports Adobe Flash 10.1 and later video. The Chromebook also features an HDMI output that lets users port video and other content to high-definition TVs and displays.
The AC700 also boasts 2GB of DDR3 memory; a 16GB SSD for storing files; two USB 2.0 ports; and a 4-in-1 card reader that accepts popular flash storage.
Acer also promises battery life of up to six hours for the AC700 compared to the 8.5 hours logged from the Samsung Series 5 eWEEK tested earlier this month. The AC700 also weighs just 2.95 pounds, compared to 3.3 for the Series 5.
The AC700 is available on Amazon for preorder, with shipment slated for July 11.