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New Chromebooks From Acer, Lenovo Debut at CES 2016

acer cb3 131 promo image 2

The Acer 11 CB3-131

New Chromebooks from Lenovo and Acer are on the way.

Acer will launch an updated version of its cheap Chromebook 11-inch line.

The Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131 sports a new ruggedised design coated in, quote, “nano-imprinted textured aluminium [to provide a] premium look and feel.”

It also has an IPS display, something almost unheard in competing sub-$200 Chromebooks.

As well as looking swanky the upgrade will allow the device to cope with the stresses of and knocks that come with education and business life. Acer say the lid can cope with downward pressure of 60 kgs, while the casing will emerge unscathed from tabletop plummets of 2 feet or less.

The industrious design doesn’t come with an industrious weight penalty. The device weighs a svelte 2.4 pounds, and stands barely 0.7 inches thick.

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Acer’s new Chromebook 11 uses the same dual-core 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 (Bay Trail) processor as last year’s model. It will, once again, be available in 2GB RAM/16GB SSD and 4GB/32GB SSD configurations.

Expect it to retail from $179 when it launches next month in the US, and from €329 — ! —in Europe.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook

Lenovo is also launching a brand new ThinkPad 13 Chromebook.

ThinkPads are much admired for their build quality (i.e., they can withstand a more hardy lifestyle than a regular budget laptop). In the Thinkpad 13 Chromebook you’ll a reinforced plastic shell and chassis frame, a quality ThinkPad keyboard and a large multitouch trackpad.

The Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook also offers a USB-C port for peripherals and charging, plus two USB 3.0 ports for legacy add-ons. A HDMI out and SD card slot round out the I/O offerings.

ThinkPad quality also extends behind the build.  Specifications wise things are beefy.  There’s choice of Intel Core i3 and i5 processor, and a less capable, but above par, Intel Celeron in the base model).

As much as 8GB of RAM and 32GB of solid state storage is on offer, too.

Although the base model includes a roomy 1080p TN display it may be worth adding the cash for the optional IPS panel.

Why? Future proofing.

Regardless of whether Google plan to keep Chrome OS as prominent on their roadmap as it is today, this device paired with a full Linux OS could make a killer combination.

Expect to pay from $399 when the notebook lands in the spring.