Acer has intorduced its first 12-inch Chromebooks for students and education customers, the Acer Chromebook 512 and Chromebook Spin 512, as well as a 14-inch Windows notebook designed to provide high performance in a rugged form factor.
The new Chromebooks feature a 3:2 aspect ratio display similar to using pen and paper. Both devices provide 18 percent more vertical space compared to an equally wide 16:9 display, according to Acer, allowing students to view more text, maps, photos, and schoolwork in a single viewing. The 12-inch HD+ panels feature 1366 x 912 resolution and IPS technology.
The convertible Acer Chromebook Spin 512's 360-degree hinge lets students use the Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass display in four modes: clamshell, tablet, display, and tent. An included dockable Wacom electromagnetic resonance stylus, which can be stored in an embedded slot, seeks to make note-taking and sketching more natural. The Acer Chromebook 512 features a traditional notebook design with touch and non-touch options.
"The new Acer Chromebook 512 and Spin 512 feature 3:2 displays so students can view even more as they collaborate, research and work on projects for learning and success," said James Lin, general manager of commercial and detachable notebooks for Acer's IT products business, in a press statement. "With durable designs and unique features such as dual-webcams, an Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass display and a child-friendly keyboard, these new Acer Chromebooks handle even more of the rigors so common to the education environment."
Powered by up to a quad-core Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor or a quad core Intel Celeron N4100 processor (the Acer Chromebook 512 supports a dual core Intel Celeron N4000 chip as well), the devices are designed to shorten boot times so students can get working quicker, while using less power and providing extra performance. Highly graphical classroom projects will run smoothly on the new portables, Acer says, and educational software will keep up with limited student attention spans.
The Acer Chromebook 512 can be opened a full 180 degrees to lay flat on a desk for sharing with other students during classes or for school projects. For added durability, the unit also has mechanically anchored keys that are constructed to be both difficult to remove and easy to replace.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 features an 8MP world-facing webcam on the cover and an optional 5MP in the clamshell version, so students can capture high-quality images and videos for school projects. Students can also connect with others during video chats and Google Hangouts with the Acer HD webcam located above the display.
According to Acer, both the Chromebook Spin 512 and Acer Chromebook 512 are compliant with the stringent U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standard. They can also handle drops from heights of up to 122 cm (48 inches) and up to 60 kg (132 pounds) of downward force, thanks to a reinforced design and shock-absorbing bumper. In addition, the new products have been certified to meet two leading toy safety standards: the ASTM F963-16 and UL/IED 60950-1. Their keyboards are spill-resistant and feature a gutter system that routes water away from internal components and drains out the bottom of the chassis, providing protection against spills of up to 330 ml (11 fluid ounces) of water. Plus, the touchpads are moisture-resistant, and the Acer Chromebook 512's keyboard is serviceable by local IT departments.