Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Acer C7 Chromebooks Expand Chrome OS Market

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

    by ssam (2723487) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#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 @10:18AM (#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.

      • by ssam (2723487)

        is there really much difference in price between a 320GB hdd and a 32GB ssd (assuming its only used for caching) for a bit OEM?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:24AM (#41967697) Journal

      A subset of the full features are supported offline [google.com]. I don't know if the 320GB is actually anywhere near filled in common usage scenarios, or whether that's just the sweet spot for spinny disks these days; but going offline doesn't brick the thing.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      My understanding is that the Google Drive stuff all works offline on the Chromebooks now.

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

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:44AM (#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.

      • so, yes, any Chromebook can do "most things offline" (provided that you mean things that make sense offline)

        The trouble happens when a web developer's idea of what things "make sense offline" isn't broad enough. For example, e-mail and discussion forums were offline (SMTP/POP3 and NNTP respectively) before the web, yet webmail, web boards, and social networking sites have tended to under-support the paradigm of synchronizing new posts when one has a connection. I guess not enough web developers think it'd bring in enough additional ad revenue to optimize their sites for the use case of using a device on the publi

  • by Richy_T (111409)

    Thinking I might buy one of these and wait for the inevitable Linux install. My eeepc is starting to show its age and no one is making a viable replacement since WinXP was shoved down everyone's throats.

    • by mtrip (2684377)
      I recently downloaded the latest Chrome OS, which they're now calling Cr OS, and it's a remix of OpenSuse that opens up to a custom home page in Chrome by default. I'd say it already is "the inevitable Linux install".
      • Chrome OS is a crippled excuse for a desktop environment. But if the GUI can somehow be divorced from Google's obsession with the cloud, it would make the more popular Linux desktop GUIs appear like overdesigned junk art. The Aura window manager is simply beautiful or beautifully simple.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:26AM (#41967721)

    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.

    You are comparing a $200 machine to one that starts at $1000. It's obviously not going to have the same spec. I'd rather have the $800 and slightly less battery life.

    The processor does seem weak, but it is a $200 machine that's only going to be used for light tasks.

    If these are the only real-world "weaknesses", it seems like great value, especially if you can put Linux on it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bgarcia (33222)
      Besides, if you want battery life, you can get the Samsung Chromebook with a faster SSD and 6.5 hours of battery life for only $250.

      Samsung Chromebook [google.com]

    • The processor does seem weak, but it is a $200 machine that's only going to be used for light tasks.

      Yeah, and be happy if it still runs after a year. My experience with Acer is that they are a very bad brand. Maybe because the last one I bought was a "made for Mexico" model were consumer protection is weak (so say the least). Each time I see those Acers at the local supermarket -- Chedraui, well known for the utter crap they sell -- for about 3000 pesos I wonder how much of those are still running a year

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      My £200 Asus Eee PC, running vanilla Ubuntu (resource-hogging Unity and all) has a 5.5 hour battery life. For an "everything happens in the cloud" device, I'd expect at least similar.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      The big drawback is that it's limited to Chrome OS (for the moment, at least). Unless someone develops an easy way to install Linux/Windows/OSx86 on it, I wouldn't be interested in it even if it were only $100. Then again, I'm not the target market. I could actually see my mom finding a use for one.

  • According to popular report, ARM is zOMG cheaper! than Intel. However, this Acer unit is actually the cheap seats among the Chromebooks. The ARM-based Samsung is $50 more. With a mere 16GB of flash, even if it's the good stuff, not some off-brand SD card, it can't be the SSD that makes up the difference. Displays are the same size and resolution. Are Li-ion cells actually that pricey even in quantity, or did Acer really brutalize the build quality to get to this price?

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      I've never heard anyone claim ARM is cheaper than Intel, necessarily. Lower power consumption, yes. Lower clock speed. yes. Lower per-unit price? A 32nm chip is a 32nm chip- I'd have thought the fab costs would be much the same, regardless of the architecture.

  • Probably it don't mean to be a netbook or a tablet, but, still... looks short for a portable device mainly meant to be connected to internet anywhere you are.
  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:33AM (#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.

    • The Acer suffers from a 320 GB HDD, 3.5 Hours Battery Life, and 18 second boot times.

      The only current downside to the Samsung is that Netflix doesn't work yet.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      You really think switching to "ChromeBook" there won't be any learning-curve, and the applications you know and love will ALL work?

      Honestly, as vague as your requirements are, I don't see why one of (eg.) Walmart's several $80 7" Android 4.0 ICS (capacitive screen) tablets won't work for you just as well:

      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Double-Power-T-711-with-WiFi-7-Capacitive-Touchscreen-Tablet-PC-Featuring-Android-4.0-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Operating-System/21281964 [walmart.com]

      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Maylong-Mobility-M-270-w [walmart.com]

      • by swillden (191260)

        You really think switching to "ChromeBook" there won't be any learning-curve, and the applications you know and love will ALL work?

        The only app on the ChromeBook is... Chrome. And, no, there won't be any learning curve since she uses it all the time already.

        Honestly, as vague as your requirements are, I don't see why one of (eg.) Walmart's several $80 7" Android 4.0 ICS (capacitive screen) tablets won't work for you just as well

        She has a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and doesn't see it as a good platform for web browsing. I agree. I like my Nexus 7, but not for e-mail, etc. It's a great entertainment device, book reader, etc.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          She has a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and doesn't see it as a good platform for web browsing. I agree. I like my Nexus 7, but not for e-mail, etc. It's a great entertainment device, book reader, etc.

          You two need to get yourselves bluetooth keyboards and tablet stands.

          You *do* realize you can get Chrome for Android now, right?

    • Just FYI regarding the Samsung - Netflix doesn't work (yet). It works on the x86 laptops decently but not on Samsung's ARM one. Google says they are working with Netflix to resolve this, so it's hopefully coming in an update (similar to the original Chromebooks) but just something to think about regarding the Samsung vs. Acer.
  • Chrome needs to be dumped on its ass and the best bits folded into Android. These two operating systems have so much overlap that it makes no sense to keep them both going.
    • Re:Google, why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:52AM (#41969069)

      Chrome needs to be dumped on its ass and the best bits folded into Android. These two operating systems have so much overlap that it makes no sense to keep them both going.

      Android is the current, and well-establish Google operating system for mobile phones and tablets, which is the #1 OS in that area. ChromeOS is the far less mature and established OS that represents Google's long-term OS goal, but whose current incarnations are more focussed on traditional keyboard-and-pointing-device type of environments than touch devices. It doesn't make sense to disrupt Android by forcing it to take on ChromeOS's role as well as its own, and it doesn't make sense to hold ChromeOS back by forcing it to take on Android's role. Chrome browser on Android is already the tool for bringing the parts of ChromeOS that work well with Android to Android (just as Chrome browser on Windows, MacOS, and Linux serves as the vehicle for those platforms.) Google's long-term goal -- that they've stated many times -- is to converge Android and ChromeOS. But they have pretty good reasons not to be in a hurry to do that.

  • I'm thinking of buying one myself and installing a proper debian on it, but this is concerning:

    http://ark.intel.com/compare/55764,56056 [intel.com]

    Does it mean that it has a PowerVR based GMA like the latest Atoms? That would be a deal breaker for me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When your article points to yourself and contains about as much info as the summary whats the point. What would have really been nice is if the article actually compared battery weight to life.

    • by Richy_T (111409)

      +1. Where is the link to the real story? Or to a Google info page for this thing? Where can I buy one?

  • Previously posted here [slashdot.org].

  • by daboochmeister (914039) <daboochmeister.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @12:17PM (#41969507)
    And still save a LOT compared to the Macbook Air (like, $600). Heck, buy FIVE.

    that's my tongue-in-cheek way of pointing out that they have different target audiences ... I highly highly doubt there are many people out there just struggling with the "Oh, I WANT to buy an Acer Chromebook, but that battery means I guess I have to buy a Macbook Air instead" thought process.
  • https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromebook_acer_c710 [google.com]

    Although I prefer the $249 one because it has no moving parts .No Hard-disk (SSD only) and no fans (passive cooling). Its the only laptop which I can use on my laps without burning my family jewels

  • Are those 3.5 h with or without Flash?

  • Too bad its not an ARM chip, or i would be interested.

  • jdyjkyfjhdfjghjfg

"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?" -- Peter Oakley

Working...