Fancy a big, rugged, powerful Chromebook? Acer may have you covered

fancy big rugged powerful chromebook acer may covered 11

Chrome OS laptops released by Acer of late offer Full HD screen resolution and touch interaction, which most rivaling Chromebook producers never cared for. And if rumors launched by Chrome fanzine OMG Chrome are to be believed, the Taiwan-based tech giant is planning even more outside-the-box thinking for its C series.

Namely, we could be seeing two rugged Acer Chromebooks on store shelves as early as March 2015. The larger and probably pricier model is dubbed the C910, and will dwarf all its ancestors with a 15.6-inch display.

The entry-level configuration will sport an underwhelming 1,366 x 768 resolution. That’s nothing to brag about, but its size may give Microsoft more reason to fear an abrupt drop in Windows PC popularity coming. After all, the low quality of the panel may allow Acer to keep pricing in check. A 15.6″ model in the mid-$200 range would  be appealing.

Opt for the top-of-the-line C910 and you’ll get a 1080p display, 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage and, surprise, surprise, an Intel Core i3 Broadwell processor.

That’ll be another first for Chromebooks. Broadwell could facilitate fanless operation and crank up both battery life and performance relative to the current generation of systems.

The 15.6″ model will be joined  by the smaller 11.6-inch C740. Rumors say the hardware options are virtually identical, with Broadwell CPUs, 16 and 32GB SSDs, 2 or 4GB RAM, plus Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, HDMI support and an SD card reader.

Poised to cost $259 with 2GB RAM, and $279 with 4GB, the C740 is unlikely to go for a 1080p screen here. Expect a humdrum, non-touch, non-glare 1,366 x 768 unit.

On the bright side, the C740 thing is also expected to cater to those with slippery hands, rocking strengthened hinges and a “brushed iron metal” design. Education will remain a big focus for Acer in the Chromebook sector, and these systems are prime for classrooms, but both the C740 and C910 should be available to consumers as well.

Question is – does a “rugged” Chromebook really make sense? We’ve never felt they were flimsy (for the price), but perhaps others disagree. What do you think?