Without a doubt, Chromebooks are the simplest type of computers available in the market today. However, this may not be true among manufacturers which often find it difficult to get the machine's tricky formula right. Perhaps the best type of Chromebook that one can desire to have is something that is cheap, has fast performance rate, touts a competitive build and can last a whole day of usage on a single charge.
Acer and Dell are the names to reckon with when thinking about companies that never really rest on their laurels and constantly find ways to create something that is based on the principle "let's keep the well-loved features and enhance those that are less popular."
As for Google's own branded and designed Chromebook Pixel 2015, the latest model is also a testimony to the same principle mentioned beforehand.
Here are some of the other details to consider when choosing any of the three above-mentioned Chromebooks.
Chromebook Pixel 2015. The Chromebook Pixel 2015 is the latest Chromebook model from Google which was released in early March 2015. At first glance, it's difficult to point out how different it is from the previous model. According to Google, this second-generation model keeps everything that consumers loved about the original version while improving on everything that made the original version a tough sell.
Software. The Chromebook Pixel 2015 features a CPU of Core i5-5200U clocked at 2.2GHz and GPU of Intel HD 5500. Other software features include built-in 8GB memory, 32GB SSD, and 2560 x 1700 IPS.
Hardware. This type of Chromebook boasts an all-metal shell, a 12.85 inch display, a well-spaced keyboard, 2 USB 3.1 ports and an SD card slot. Measuring at 11.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, its 59 W battery can last up to 12 hours of usage.
The Good. The Chromebook 2015 features a beautiful and high resolution display and an impressive build quality. Battery life is longer and even charges quickly. It also offers a mix of regular and USB Type-C ports.
The Bad. While the price of the Chromebook 15 has been reduced to $999 (compared with the previous model's price of $1299), it's still regarded as rather steep for a machine that only runs Chrome OS.
The Verdict. The Chromebook 2015 is definitely a big improvement to its predecessor, owing for the most part on the machine's tripled battery life and lower price. The Chrome OS also appears more polished and is now capable to run a few Android apps. If price is not an issue, the Chromebook 2015 is probably the best investment that one can have.
Acer Chromebook 13. When it comes to market share, Acer may have just occupied a dominant position since it is said to have a "hard to beat" 46.7 percent market share in Chromebooks. The Chromebook 13 somehow shows that Acer is not about to give up its leading position just yet.
Software. The Acer Chromebook 13 features a NVIDIA Tegra K1 4-Plus 1 quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU and a NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based GPU with 192 programmable GPGPU cores. There are at least three different configurations available wherein one can choose between possible RAM, SSD and display size combinations. Whatever model one chooses, each one offers either 2GB or 4GB RAM and 16GB or 32GB SSD.
Hardware. The Acer Chromebook 13 boasts of an incredibly thin (0.71 inches) and light body (3.31 pounds.). It has a display panel that measures 13.3 inches while its keyboard is deemed more spacious than its predecessor. The wide touchpad is also not to be missed. Design-wise, it's simpler, clean and modern-looking which is not bad for something that has a plastic build.
The Good. This type of Chromebook boasts of a fanless innard which keeps the system silent during operation. Booting time takes less than 9 seconds and resuming the machine from sleep mode occurs almost instantly.
The Bad. While the Chromebook 13's simple design may not be an issue for some, it tends to project a cheap image when placed next to rival devices. With its weight of 3.31 pounds, it's also heavy compared to its counterparts. Moreover, it has limited viewing angles and tends to fail on performance which falls short than what it has originally promised.
The Verdict. Perhaps the Chromebook 13 didn't really live up to those expectations that were otherwise promised by Acer and NVIDIA. However, it still has more features to consider which could be enough to regard it as a worthwhile product. For one thing, its battery life of up to 13 hours makes it a stronger contender against the Chromebook Pixel which offers up to 12 hours of battery usage. If being the first in a certain category would make one feel good about owning this machine from Acer, then the Chromebook 13 tops it all being the first Chrome OS device that is built with the NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip.
Dell Chromebook 11. The Chromebook 11 from Dell is being touted to cater specifically to the education market. Dell may have had both winners and losers in their lineup of laptops but the Chromebook 11 is no doubt one of its well-loved models.
Software. The Chromebook 11 features an Intel Core i3-4005U clocked at 1.7GHz. Built-in storage is measured at 16GB while RAM comes in either 2GB or 4GB options.
Hardware. This type of Chromebook features an 11.6-inch display with pixel density of 1366 by 768. It has the same plastic build found in the Acer Chromebook 13 which is enough to give it a solid look and feel.
The Good. The Chromebook 11 delivers a solid 9 hours of battery life which can be credited for the machine's excellent performance. The Intel Core i3 processor is also not to be missed. It's portable enough to slip into a backpack or laptop sleeve and weighs only 2.9 pounds which makes it a lighter choice compared to the earlier featured models from Acer and Google.
The Bad. Priced at $379, the Chromebook 11 seemed more expensive than its rivals. In this lineup, such price is higher than the Acer Chromebook's pricing of $280 but it's definitely lower than the pricing of the Chromebook Pixel from Google. The display also delivers a mediocre performance.
The Verdict. One thing that can be noticed in the Chromebook 11 is the existence of the small blue Intel sticker on the palm rest which indicates that the machine boasts an Intel Core i3 processor as mentioned earlier. This feature definitely gives it a step up from its predecessor. The battery life of 9 hours is also enough to allow one to finish the workload needed in a day, unless there is a need to work overtime. All in all, the Chromebook 11 is perfect for those who are keen on multitasking and are seeking for a snappy performance from their machine.