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Google Open Source News

Acer C7 Chromebooks Expand Chrome OS Market 67

Posted by timothy
from the ssd-would-have-been-nice-though dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google is following up last month's Samsung Chromebooks with a new, lower-priced one developed by Acer. Retailing for $199, the 11.6-inch Acer C7 Chromebook features an Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port for various cords and auxiliary devices. It's designed for portability, weighing 3.05 pounds and measuring an inch thick. Boot time is reportedly less than 18 seconds. If the new Chromebook has a weakness, it's the advertised 3.5 hours of battery life. That's less than the MacBook Air (which features anywhere from 5-7 hours' battery life, depending on specs) and many of the Windows-backed Ultrabooks, some of which claim up to 11 hours of battery life depending on usage. It's also far less than the posted battery life for tablets such as Apple's iPad and Google's Nexus 7, which are widely viewed as the most prominent competition to laptops in the extra-portable category."
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Acer C7 Chromebooks Expand Chrome OS Market

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  • 320GB hard drive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ssam (2723487) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:13AM (#41967549)

    I have always thought of chromebooks being pretty much dependant on a web connection to do anything useful, but the C7 has a pretty serious amount of local storage. does that mean it could be used to do most things offline? document editing? playing audio and video? photo editing?

  • Re:320GB hard drive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:18AM (#41967623) Homepage Journal

    I have always thought of chromebooks being pretty much dependant on a web connection to do anything useful, but the C7 has a pretty serious amount of local storage. does that mean it could be used to do most things offline? document editing? playing audio and video? photo editing?

    Maybe that was just the smallest HDD available? I think a big part of the lower price is the use of a spinning disk instead of an SSD.

  • Re:Vanila linux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:21AM (#41967655) Journal

    If I could get vanila linux on this, it's a fair price.

    You can kick it into dev mode [chromium.org] fairly easily, and it ships with fairly orthodox linux already on it('ChromeOS' has a deeply impoverished userland; but its kernel and such are much closer to normal desktop linux than Android is), so hardware compatibility will probably be OK-ish.

    What I don't know, and haven't seen anybody mention one way or the other, is if you can(once you've entered dev mode) modify the UEFI to get rid of the scare-screen on boot.

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:33AM (#41967847) Homepage Journal

    I was already considering buying my wife the Samsung ChromeBook for Christmas; I'll need to see if I can play with one of these Acers to decide if the extra $50 is worth it.

    She already has a laptop; this would be a second machine. Her MacBook is still very functional but is suffering some cosmetic damage and the battery life has declined a lot. I could buy her a new battery for less than the price of a ChromeBook... but there's also some value in having a "downstairs computer". The ChromeBook would probably live in the living room and kitchen, while the MacBook would stay in her bedroom.

    I've also considered getting her a new computer... but I don't have a grand in the budget for a new Mac, and while I could probably deal with that I also have a moral objection to funding Apple's lawsuits -- and so does my wife, actually. I could buy her a regular laptop, but what OS would it run? I don't want to manage or mess with Windows, and she hasn't used Windows in many years so it'd be a learning curve for her... not so much the OS but the software she uses. I'd be happy to put Ubuntu on it, but the learning curve issue would be there, plus Netflix wouldn't work.

    So, a ChromeBook is looking like a really excellent low-cost option. It would allow her to semi-retire the MacBook, keeping it around for the small amount of stuff she needs a "real" computer for, and not requiring her to learn new apps for photo editing, making greeting cards, videos, etc., but using the ChromeBook for e-mail, calendaring, docs, Facebook, TV, video chats, etc., which make up the bulk of her computing. Then I could spend the rest of her Christmas budget on other stuff.

  • Re:320GB hard drive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @12:44PM (#41968921)

    I have always thought of chromebooks being pretty much dependant on a web connection to do anything useful, but the C7 has a pretty serious amount of local storage. does that mean it could be used to do most things offline?

    ChromeOS supports a variety of APIs which allow web apps to be stored locally and to store data locally, so, yes, any Chromebook can do "most things offline" (provided that you mean things that make sense offline) -- provided that there are web apps that make use of the appropriate offline APIs for the functions you want to do. As with traditional general purpose OS's, the limits to what it can do are largely about what apps are available, not the OS itself.

    document editing? playing audio and video? photo editing?

    Google Docs supports offline document editing. I'm think there are applications that support offline photo editing in Chrome (and, therefore, ChromeOS). I haven't heard of any that support offline audio/video playback, though there all that is really required to do that is use offline storage for audio/video files, since the "playback" is just a basic browser feature that doesn't require anything special from the app.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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