By: Gigaom
December 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM EST
Acer’s $299 Chromebook boosts memory, battery life, and storage
Acer just joined the Chromebook market a month ago, but already has a follow up model that addresses some shortcomings. A new $299 Chromebook doubles RAM and battery life but strangely ups the hard drive storage to 500 GB as well. Does a Chromebook need that?

Acer added another Chromebook to its lineup on Wednesday, beefing up the hardware found in its prior model that launched just last month. The new device doesn’t have an official announcement yet, nor is it appearing in the Google Play store, but SlashGear noticed the new model on Acer’s website. For $100 more than the $199 version Acer outed a few weeks ago, consumers will get a better performing Chromebook with longer battery life.

This new model, known as C710-2605, is priced at $299 and looks exactly the same as the $199 model; on the outside at least. Inside, it still has the same 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron processor but Acer doubled the memory from 2 GB to 4 GB of RAM. That should help eke out a little more performance, especially when the Chromebook has multiple browser tabs open. (Related: Performance benchmarks of three recent Chromebooks)

For $199, is Acer's C7 Chromebook worth it? thumbnailWith the new model Acer also improved the one sore spot I had with the old model: Battery life. The new Chromebook should get 6 hours of run-time on a single charge, thanks to a battery with double the capacity over the less expensive model. Since the battery is removable on the older model, I’d like to see Acer offer this extended battery for those that bought the $199 version.

There’s one more improvement in Acer’s new Chromebook, although I question the need for it. Instead of a 320 GB hard drive like the prior model, Acer swapped in a 500 GB drive. I’m scratching my head over this one, much like I did when I saw Acer opt for a high-capacity magnetic hard drive over a faster flash drive in the prior model.

Chromebooks are cloud-computing devices, meant for using the web. Local storage is useful, necessary even, but the 16 GB in the Samsung Chromebook I bought is more than enough for most users. And there are no moving parts to break down or wear out. Regardless, folks who want an Acer Chromebook with double the memory and run-time will get a larger hard drive as a bonus when the device goes on sale.



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