Acer Chromebook serves up Haswell CPU for less than $250

Earlier this week, HP launched an 11.6" Chromebook for $280. Today, it's Acer's turn. The firm's new Chromebook C720-2800 can be pre-ordered on Amazon for only $240 right now, $10 off the official $250 price tag. There's no word on when the system will ship, but we do have details on its specifications.

While HP's Chromebook has an ARM-based chip, Acer's latest entry has Haswell under the hood. The Celeron 2955U processor sports dual cores clocked at 1.4GHz. On top of that, Acer adds 4GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage. There are plenty of connectivity options, including 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, and a full-sized SD slot. The battery life looks pretty good, too. Acer says the C720 will run for up to 8.5 hours on a single charge.

As always with budget systems, there's a catch. The 11.6" screen has a relatively low 1366x768 display resolution, and there's no mention of IPS panel technology. Acer doesn't quote viewing angles, so we're probably looking at a TN panel. Interestingly, though, Acer claims the "anti-glare display enables students and families to enjoy the Chromebook outside in sunlight." I'm curious to see how readable the screen really is when the sun's rays are beating down on it.

At 0.75" thick and 2.8 lbs, the Chromebook C720 is a little portlier than its HP counterpart. This is an honest-to-goodness Haswell ultraportable for under $250, though. Let's hope installing Linux on the thing is as easy as with other Chromebooks.

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