No more buying a separate Chromebox and monitor, or having to settle for the display size shortcomings of a Chromebook.
If sales figures, particularly demand in the education segment, don’t make it clear Chrome OS laptops are starting to count in the grand scheme of things, perhaps you should take a hint from Microsoft’s recent defensive activity.
It’s also obvious Google wants to diversify its web-centric product portfolio, aided by Acer, Dell, Asus, Haier, Hisense and Nvidia among others. Several chip designers now supply various processing solutions for these mostly low-cost machines, the number of OEMs is growing by the day, and unconventional form factors are tackled in addition to the classic 11 to 15-inch notebooks.
You have your convertibles, your Chromebox mini-PCs, stick desktops, aka Chromebits, and last but not least, all-in-ones dubbed Chromebases. LG rolled out one of those in 2014, which you can score via Amazon for $319, and now, Acer joins the party with its own touch-enabled Chromebase.
That’s right, the Acer Chromebase is the first of its kind to handle touch interaction. On a gigantic 21.5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel, so in all honesty, it sounds like a gimmick.
Unfortunately, it’s probably going to be a gimmick that will raise the price bar, and the same goes for the quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1 CPU. While ARM-based and thus a featherweight next to Intel Core i5 or i7 Broadwells, this should have no problem outperforming the Celeron inside the LG Chromebase.
The RAM count on Acer’s rookie Chrome OS AiO effort is vastly superior too, at 4 GB, with a scanty 16 GB offered as standard in the internal storage department, plus free 100 GB Google Drive cloud space.
VESA-compatible for stand or wall mounting, the FHD Chromebase 21 rocks dual 3W audio speakers, HDMI, USB 2.0 and 3.0 connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Expected out in North America and Asia Pacific sometime in Q2, the all-in-one is yet to be officially priced. Our guess is… $450. $400 would obviously be great, but $500 isn’t totally implausible either.