Sunday, January 4, 2015

You can finally buy a 15-inch Chromebook, thanks to Acer


Chromebooks have long offered almost everything you need in a laptop. The only thing missing: a screen big enough to compete with the 15-inch laptops that dominate the PC market. But today at CES, Acer announced the new Chromebook 15, a $249 laptop that's all about its big screen.
Chromebooks have long offered almost everything you need in a laptop

The Chromebook 15 has a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display. That makes it not only the largest Chromebook you can buy, but one of the highest-resolution as well; 1080p Chromebooks remain frustratingly hard to come by. (There's also a 1366 x 768 option, but that would be a terrible mistake.) It's the whole hook of the device, which is otherwise pretty standard: it has an Intel processor (either a Core i3 or a Celeron), 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. It looks like Acer's previous models, which is to say it's not especially attractive but is at least sturdy and simple. It's big, too: at 4.85 pounds and 0.95 inches thick, it's clearly designed to sit on a desk or a table and not move very much.

Basically, it's a Chromebook. A bigger Chromebook, with the screen real estate that is more important to more people than Google or Acer may have previously thought. A Chromebook for people who don't care about portability, but care deeply about how much game or movie or web browser they can see at once. Acer touts it as "an excellent primary computing device," which is not an accident — it's the biggest market in laptops, and the one Chrome OS hasn't yet been able to conquer.

Acer's 15-inch model is almost certainly not the "excellent primary computing device" Chromebook we'll see. Chromebooks are winning, and now they're growing too.