T here’s a party going on and its name is Chromebook. Acer’s newest entry comes via the Chromebook 13 – a 13-inch portable that ticks a lot of boxes and won’t leave standing on the wall, idly by, at the Chromebook party.
The Chromebook 13’s body felt solid. Weighing in at 1.5kg, it’s well made with a solid feel. The plastic body is textured on the base so it’s not slippery if you’re carrying it without a case. The chiclet keyboard is comfortable to use and the large trackpad was accurate and responsive.
Running Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor and 4GB of DDR3L memory, our first impression was that the Acer’s entry into the Chromebook market is very solid. Performance was excellent. We watched full screen streaming video in high definition on the 1920 by 1080 with no lag.
Other tasks such as working with files stored in our Google Drive were painless. The wireless connection was delivered with 802.11ac, which we’re pleased to see included in the features.
Local storage is limited to the in-built 32GB SSD although connecting external storage devices via the two USB 3.0 ports was a snap. One port is on the left side of the device with the second at the back, adjacent to the HDMI port so you can hook the Chromebook 13 up to a TV, projector or to an external display, if you like.
On the right side of the body, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack that sits next to the power input. The design of the power connector was a concern. The plug is very thin and there were times when we lifted and moved the Chromebook 13 only to find the L-shaped connector had turned slightly. As a result, when we put the computer down, we felt that we were going to either snap the connector or damage the socket.
Battery life was great. We were able to watch a full length feature movie with the sound piped through to a set of Bluetooth headphones with enough juice left in the 3220 mAh battery for a couple of hours of work and web browsing.
In a market that is getting more and more cluttered by the day, Acer’s Chromebook 13 is a solid device with great performance that will suit the needs of most mobile users, provided the Chrome OS is to their liking or meets their needs.