back to article Acer to unveil a 15.6-INCH Chromebook WHOPPER at CES

Acer has bigged up an embiggened Chromebook with a 15.6-inch screen ahead of the opening of the world's largest consumer electronics trade show – CES – in Las Vegas in a few days' time. The vendor claimed that it had developed a robust Google OS-powered laptop with a case that it promised would "withstand up to 60kg of force, …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Price starts at $250

    But that will be £250 in the UK, and it will be for the 1366 x 768 display with 2MB ram and 16GB storage.

    No use for anything *other* than a chromebook, then, really - and no hint as to what it will be if you want the maximum 1920 x 1080 with all the ram and storage...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Price starts at $250

      But that will be £250 in the UK, and it will be for the 1366 x 768 display with 2MB ram and 16GB storage.

      A blast from the past then … the last laptop I used with 2MB RAM was an Olivetti 386. I'm surprised they got ChromeOS to run in that.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Price starts at $250

      Most importantly - it is roughly the price for which you can get a proper _UPGRADEABLE_ AMD A4 based HP which can take 16G RAM (specs on HP site lie to undersell the kit - all A4 systems can take 8G+), has proper video subsystem and not an Intel joke, can take a proper hybrid or SSD hard drive and can be used for real work offline.

      In fact, I bought the one I am typing this on for 245 or thereabouts (discounted because of a scratch on the lid). It was a fairly decent Linux machine even without the upgrades. With a 16G upgrade, spare battery and a hybrid drive it is on par with a 600£+ business spec laptop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Price starts at $250

        I'm using an old desktop with Sparky Linux for surfing, email, and listen to pod casts at home and I've got to say Sparky Linux has impressed me on this old computer.

        cat /proc/cpuinfo

        processor : 0

        vendor_id : GenuineIntel

        cpu family : 15

        model : 4

        model name : Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.40GHz

        cat /proc/meminfo

        MemTotal: 1030872 kB

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Price starts at $250

      I haven't seen a proper 1080p laptop since my dad's last one (a huge 17-incher that was back in the Core *1* days). I can only see pictures of them on websites, and the price tags for them are eye-watering. For cheap laptops, every spec is enough for me...except the screen. If no cheap laptop can break the 768-line barrier, I'm sticking with my netbook.

  2. Jay 2

    From what I've seen, I'm not sure why most manufacturers even bother with making Chromebooks, they almost seem to be an afterthought. What they have on their own websites may or may not match up with what the shops are selling and more often than not, as pointed out above, will be 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD and a 1377x768 (or whatever). Or if you're HP just say sod the specs and have lots of colours instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Jay 2

      The google apologists have told time and again that the local storage is only for the OS since all your files will be in the clouds, and memory is irrelevant since you're going to be using just the browser for everything and no local apps.

      If you need a beefier Chromebook for some reason, buy a used laptop with much better specs and install Chromium yourself.

      1. Sarah Balfour

        Re: @Jay 2

        Meanwhile, back in the RealWorld, there are still people who prefer NOT to have everything stuck in cloud land, for the simple reasons that a) they're a tad stuck should the network and/or net connection happen to fail and b) local feels a tad more secure.

        Cloud storage is all well and good, but it's got a fair way to go before I'd feel comfy entrusting anything valuable to it. It's useful for storing a backup, in case misfortune should befall the original but as a sole means of storage…? Haven't there been enough hacking attempts recently to convince you that it's not such a clever idea…?

        1. RankingRoger

          Re: @Jay 2

          Ironically cloud storage is far more secure. I know plenty of people that decades of pictures and family videos because they never backed anything up.

          I know even more that have windows and macs stuffed with malware.

          A Chromebox or chromebook would have saved them

          Just like going cloud (google apps for buisness) would have prevented (or vastly reduced the effectiveness) of the Sony pictures hack.

          http://philstephens.com.au/security-for-google-drive-businesses/

          A lot of this makes sense, and would have been cheaper and more secure..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You know that Chromebooks have been the number #1 seller on Amazon for the last 2 years right? Infact, it's the only segment that's growing, Windows Laptops for consumers are dead in the water. Thanks in part to the Windows 8 disaster.

  3. RonWheeler

    Proper computer?

    The cheaper smaller more portable Chromebooks appeal to me more - 15.6 inch is desktop replacement land and these are -not- good desktop replacements.OK for casual web browsing though subject to usual google spying/control mistrust.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Proper computer?

      Can't you just install just about any OS on those? I man few people care if it comes with some cut down pseudo desktop browser running system or ChromeOS, you'll need to reinstall anyhow.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    once again a device gets released and must become all things to all people, every size, colour, shape imaginable. The chromebook was a small, light, minimal cloud based computer. a year later it must be a laptop, desktop, gaming, internet, working, swimming, farting machine for men, women, dogs, cats, and fleas.

    well played marketing spivs, well played.

  5. Mark Chambers

    Screen Quality

    As the "client device expert" (please note the quotes) for a local authority I've now tested a few different Chromebooks and I find them to be a useful adjunct to Windows devices in the same way as tablets have their niche. Horses for courses, use the device that suits the requirement.

    We intend to use Chromeboxes for specific roles in our library service for example. Suffolk Library service are using Chromebooks and Chromebases extensively whilst Barking and Dagenham have rolled out a huge installed base of Chromebooks to staff instead of new Windows PCs and saved a lot of money on end user devices in the process (a pre-requisite for this is a thin-client based core infrastructure which they already had and appropriate security). Many non-profit organisations have an interest in these devices as they have large money-saving potential (believe it or not but the vast majority of staff in the public sector are always looking for ways to save money in order to provide best value to the taxpayer and I say this as someone who has spent the vast majority of my career in the private sector).

    My worry with the Acer devices specifically is around the quality of the screens. I've tested the two existing sizes of Acer Chromebook screens and whilst the 11 inch was on par with all the other 11 inch Chromebook competitors the full HD Chromebook 13 screen was pretty dreadful. It looked grainy and had only adequate brightness when turned up to the max. I hope that the display quality on this new Acer is a big step up from the other Chromebooks they've produced so far.

    The best screen I've seen on a Chromebook so far is on the device I'm writing this on, an HP Chromebook 14. Standard resolution but good brightness range and generally a good quality display, so maybe FHD isn't everything. Shame it has to go back to HP soon as it's a loaner.

    The upcoming new Toshiba Chromebook 2 with FHD 13.3 inch screen could be the ideal Chromebook for my own purposes. Early reviews promise a very good screen, size would be ideal (I struggle with 11 screens due to eye problems) whilst not being overly large and it is a fanless design. I'm just hoping that the price is kept competitive for the UK as I intend to put my money where my mouth is and buy one with my own moolah.

  6. Stumpy Pepys
    Thumb Up

    Most people

    For most people a 15.6" laptop is exactly what they need. They offer a comfortable typing experience, reasonable audio quality and a big screen. Although they are fairly heavy and have poor battery life, it's not a huge deal because they never leave the house.

    Unless people need MS Office or iTunes, or are tied to particular bits of hardware that need legacy support, Chrome OS is great for the average punter. Super-quick boot-up, good performance, syncs across devices, secure, malware-free and generally idiot-proof. Because people don't take them outside, offline capabilities aren't that important.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most people

      "Chrome OS is great for the average punter"

      But screen size for screen size they don't have a compelling price advantage over equivalent low end consumer grade laptops, and the quality of the screens seems to be weaker than equivalent laptops.

  7. Katie Saucey

    Embigggened

    Reminds me of Jebbadia Sprinfield. Everyone knows embiggened is a perfectly chrommulent word.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminder

    just a reminder it's an extra ~£90 per device if you want the chrome management console to have some control over devices.

    and check the EOL! this really irks me!

    https://www.google.com/chrome/devices/eol.html

    (only 5 years from when product first hits the shelves and it's a paperweight - at least for running chrome)

    maybe one day over the rainbow google will provide updates and a commitment that the software will work for at least a 10 year lifespan (like redhat, microsoft etc)

    grrr maybe if we complain enough they will extend support lol

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Reminder: It's an Acer

      Acer is not particularly known for good hardware quality, so it's likely to be severely broken far earlier than those 5 years.

      If you want something that will be of value to you for the next 10 years, don't buy a Chromebook, buy something with decent hardware quality and an open BIOS. Why do you think most people who care work with used Thinkpads?

  9. jjcoolaus

    No numpad?

    The most disappointing part of the leaked photos of this for me are the fact the keyboard doesn't have numberic keys.

    C'mon Acer - EVERY 15.6" notebook, especially one weighing in at 2.2kg, should have seperate numeric keys.

    Do you know how difficult it is to do 2-factor authentication everyday without numeric keys? You have to peck and hunt at the top of the keyboard for the elusive 6 digits you are after.

    1. Buzzword

      Re: No numpad?

      Every 15" notebook? Not if it has an Apple logo on the back! Even the 17" MacBooks don't have a numpad.

  10. JDX Gold badge

    15" is not a whopper

    That's a standard laptop screen size, or it should be!

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