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Acer Chromebook 13 features an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor

by Mark Tyson on 11 August 2014, 15:30

Tags: Chrome OS, Acer (TPE:2353), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qachl5

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Acer is the maker of the best selling Chromebooks available on the market. Today it hopes to push that lead even further ahead with the introduction of the Acer Chromebook 13. This new Chromebook is notable as the first to be powered by an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. It's available in three configurations ranging from US$279 to $379.

While both Acer and Nvidia blew a fanfare to introduce the Acer Chromebook 13 as you can imagine Nvidia focussed the most upon the capabilities, strengths and qualities of the Tegra K1 processor;

  • its quad core processor offers faster general computer processing than many competitive processors
  • its graphics processing capabilities are also ahead of the pack which can help with graphically rich WebGL apps, utilising Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 for instance
  • its power efficiency means that you can achieve great battery life, up to 13 hours in the case of this new Acer Chromebook 13
  • users can enjoy the benefits of a fanless design

As you might guess from the name, and just like the Alienware 13 discussed earlier today, this is a notebook with a 13-inch screen. Acer also offers its 13-inch laptop with a choice of screen resolutions. At the budget end ($279) you get a 1366 x 768 panel but both the more expensive models ($299 and $379) employ full HD 1920 x 1080 screens. While the two cheapest models share the RAM/Storage capacity of 2GB/16GB the top priced model enjoys 4GB of RAM and 32GB of fixed storage. Other than these differences the models remain the same.

Acer Chromebook 13 key specs:

  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra K1 quad-core processor CD570M-A1 @ 2.10 GHz
  • Screen: 13.3-inch Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD @ 1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • RAM: 2GB/4GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • Storage: 16GB/32GB, + SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11ac
  • Devices/ports: webcam, microphone, HDMI, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Input devices: keyboard, touchpad
  • Battery: 4-cell, 3,220mAh, Acer quoted battery life of 11.5hrs
  • Physical: 1.5Kg, 18mm thick

We also have also been provided with a table comparing this new Acer Chromebook with its closest competitors, it's reproduced below for those that are interested in this product:

The Acer Chromebook 13 is said to be available for pre-order today, however I couldn't find the product pages on the suggested Amazon.com and Bestbuy.com retail sites at the time of writing (but it's still not even 8am in California).



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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So how many native ChromeOS games are there to play on your massively powerful K1 SoC? And how many WebGL sites? I really can't see how a Tegra K1 chip is meant to make sense on a Chromebook. I guess they can't just stick Android on it though, otherwise it'd basically be a cheaper and more useful Shield tablet… ;)
scaryjim
So how many native ChromeOS games are there to play on your massively powerful K1 SoC? And how many WebGL sites? I really can't see how a Tegra K1 chip is meant to make sense on a Chromebook. I guess they can't just stick Android on it though, otherwise it'd basically be a cheaper and more useful Shield tablet… ;)

Is it possible to route these devices and drop a andoird ROM on ? That's shouldn't be a huge issue or am I missing something ?
I think most proper Chromebooks have some sort of secure BIOS making it very difficult (although probably not impossible) to root/hack and re-rom them. Then again, the only actual benefit to doing something like that would be if you desperately wanted a 13“ android device (chromebooks seem to be the only thing coming in 13” at a reasonable price nowadays, which I consider a great shame…).

EDIT: if you're desperate for an Android laptop, you only need to shell out £200….
Can you sideload APKs onto these? I don't entirely trust Google not to deliberately cripple them.
wasabi
Can you sideload APKs onto these? I don't entirely trust Google not to deliberately cripple them.

Onto Chromebooks? Not as far as I know. It's a compeltely different OS to Android. it's basically a lightweight linux + minimal window manager + Chrome browser. It's actually quite a nice OS for doing general web-based stuff, and if you're already invested in the whole Google infrastructure - Docs, Drive, Gmail, Plus etc. - they work really quite well. There's an open source version called ChromiumOS you can download and play with, and I believe there's a method for converting ChromiumOS into full ChromeOS (which gives better plugin support amongst other enhancements). Basically it'll run anything that you can run in the desktop Chrome browser, and there's quite a lot of webapps available on Chrome now….