Google promised last month that Chromebooks powered by Intel’s fourth-gen ‘Haswell’ processors were on the way, and today we’re seeing the first fruit of that partnership. The C720 Chromebook comes courtesy of Acer, and it runs on a 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U chip.
That’ll give it much less raw power than the Core i5s of the world, but as we noted with HP’s new Chromebook earlier this week, Chrome OS’ lightweight, browser-based nature means that it doesn’t need much horsepower.
What the new Celeron chip should do, though, is give the C720 improved battery life — Google rates it as getting up to 8.5 hours of juice with “active use,” which would be a marked improvement over Acer’s previous Chromebook models.
Along with the updated processor, the C720 also sports an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366×768, 4GB of RAM, a 16GB solid state drive, a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port, a full HDMI port, a webcam, Bluetooth 4.0 support, and built-in dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi.
The device itself is thinner and lighter than predecessors, at 0.7 inches thick and 2.42 pounds heavy. Google is also throwing in 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years with every purchase, along with a 30 day free trial to its Google Play Music All Access music streaming service.
All the usual pluses and minuses that come with Chromebooks seem to apply here. Chrome OS has undergone some changes in the past few months to give it more of a native desktop look and feel, but it still won’t do the trick for those who need more than web-intensive tasks.
But looked at as a secondary computer, it may be just fine. Plus, like most other non-Pixel Chromebooks, the C720 is cheap, at just $250. No official launch date has been given just yet, but Amazon and Best Buy are taking pre-orders for the device today.