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Nvidia’s Tegra K1 Powers Acer Chromebook

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The new Acer Chromebook rolled out by Acer America on Monday is being powered by Nvidia’s K1 mobile processor and has a 13.3-inch display.

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It offers two display options: a 1366 by 768 pixels display or a full HD display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The former goes for $279.99 while the later costs $299.99.

Other specs remain the same. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB SSD, and its sleek and fanless design is already causing excitement among many users.

There is another version of Acer Chromebook for commercial and education customers. It has a 1366 by 768-pixels display, 4 GB of RAM and a 16-GB Solid State Drive, and goes for $329.99.

Acer said that the Chromebook 13 boots up in less than 10 seconds and resumes nearly instantly from sleep mode.

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According to Lisa Emard, an Acer spokesperson, the product targets students and families. And Bob O’Donnell, the chief analyst and founder at TECHnalysis says Chromebooks have been doing well in the market compared to other PCs.

It is predicted that in 2014 sales of Chromebooks will reach 5.2 million units, a 73 percent increase from the 2013 figure. And according to Gartner, Chromebook sales will nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units by 2017.

ABI predicts Chromebook sales of 3.3 million units worldwide this year, 78 percent of which will be in North America.

“Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with 8 models in the market in 2014,” said Isabelle Durand, the principal analyst at Gartner.

“Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities,” she added.

The success of Chromebooks can be attributed to its strong demand in the U.S. educational marketplace. They are convenient to use in educational institutions.

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“A lot of schools are finding that tablets, while great for a lot of things, are not the do-all and end-all many people hoped they would be, so they are reverting back to clamshell form factors; it’s a kind of netbooks all over again,” said O’Donnell.

Acer’s new entry is causing a stir since it has the Nvidia’s K1 mobile processor giving it a great battery life. Its battery life is up to 13 hours of continuous usage. This is very high considering that most gadgets can’t go beyond 10 hours.

Many Chromebooks use Intel processors. The Nvidia’s chip used in Acer suggests that it sees an opportunity to broaden its portfolio by touching the lower end of the netbook market.

Craig Stice, the senior principal analyst for compute platforms at HIS iSuppli told TechNewsWorld that the new device looks like a feature-rich system that will compete favorably in the market.

Craig said that there are many new releases from OEMS that are joining the Chromebooks, but the Acer Chromebook 13 has a competitive edge with the large sceen and the ability to support HDMI and USB inputs.

Even though its hard-drive storage is not large enough, it will depend more on cloud computing so that should not be much of a problem. Most educational institutions have free Wi-Fi for all and therefore the memory will easily expandable via the cloud storage.

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