Inexpensive, secure and easy to use, Chromebooks are becoming the computers of choice for schools. To compete in this growing market, Acer just announced two Chromebook models fit for students and teachers, the 11.6-inch C740 and the 15.6-inch C910, both with tough designs and powerful components.
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The new Chromebooks been extensively tested and designed with extra durability features, including reinforced covers that can take up to 132 pounds of force and the ability to survive drops from a height of 16.5 inches without damage. Both the C740 and C910 also have stronger hinges that can take the extra wear and tear of being carried to and from school in a child's backpack, and the C740 has extra padding with special metal hinges.
Both models will be available with either a 5th Generation Intel Core i3-5005U processor or a next-generation Intel Celetron 3205U processor. Schools will also be able to choose 1920 x 1080 or 1366 x 768 resolution for the C910. To give administrators more control over these devices, Acer bumped up the security features, allowing them to control all devices on their school's network through a web-based management console and giving them around the clock troubleshooting and support through Acer Premier Care.
The Acer C910 weighs in at 4.85 pounds and the C740 is just 2.87 pounds, which is just slightly lighter than the sleek 2.95-pound Toshiba Chromebook 2. The C910 can afford to be heavier since Acer sees this model as a collaboration tool, used mostly as a stationery device in classrooms with multiple students, whereas the C740 is more of a portable device. In terms of battery life, Acer promises 8 hours with the C910 and 9 hours with the C740 on a single charge, ensuring students will be able to use both devices for an entire school day.
These new models from Acer come just a few months after New York City approved the use of Chromebooks in public schools. However, the company isn't the first to come out with dedicated Chrome OS devices for students. Lenovo released its ruggedized ThinkPad X131e Chromebook back in 2013, and Dell also has its own Chromebooks for education. Considering Gartner research estimates that Acer dominates 40 percent of the Chromebook market share worldwide, it was only a matter of time before the company targeted classrooms.
The Acer C910 Chromebook will be available with a 16GB or 32GB SSD hard drive and 4GB of RAM starting at $299, and the Acer C740 Chromebook will come with a 16GB SSD and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM starting at $259.