Acer unveils 15.6'' Broadwell Chromebook

— 7:33 PM on January 4, 2015

Looks like those rumors about jumbo Chromebooks were right. Acer has announced the Chromebook 15, the first Chrome OS laptop to feature a 15.6" display.

The Chromebook 15 features a choice of Core i3 and Celeron processors based on Intel's new Broadwell architecture. Acer is also offering two display options: 1920x1080 and 1366x768. 15.6" at 1920x1080 works out to about 141 PPI, so the big screen only gets you so much in the way of pixel density.

At least the connectivity is reasonably generous. The press release mentions 802.11ac with 2x2 MIMO antennas, plus Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, and an SD card reader. Users can also look forward to "the largest touchpad of any Chromebook today," "two full-sized upward facing speakers," and "impressive battery life"—though, oddly, Acer quotes no specifics on the battery front.

At 4.85 lbs and 0.95", the Chromebook 15 definitely isn't the thinnest or lightest of the Chromebook brood. It may be among the most rugged, though. "[T]he case can withstand up to 60kg [132 lbs] of force," Acer boasts, "while the corners can tolerate up to 45cm [18"] drops without damage." There's talk of a "white fabric-like" finish, too. Hmm.

Pricing for the Chromebook 15 is supposed to start at $249.99. From what I can tell, the base config packs 2GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage, while pricier variants bump the RAM to 4GB and the storage to 32GB. (Thanks to TR reader sparkman for the heads up.)

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