It’s only the first month of 2013, and two new Chrome OS devices have already been announced: a new Chromebox by Acer and a new Chromebook by Lenovo.
This new Acer Chromebox also has the distinction of being Acer’s first Chromebox, although the company has manufactured several Chromebooks in the past. It will feature an Intel Pentium G630 processor clocked at 2.7Ghz, 2GB RAM and, in true Acer fashion, a spacious 500GB hard disk drive. There is no word on pricing or a release date yet, but we’ll keep our eyes open.
To me, the new Lenovo Chromebook is much more interesting. This is Lenovo’s first foray into the Chrome OS arena, and so far, it doesn’t look like it will disappoint. The laptop will be branded as the Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook (also know as the Lenovo X131e), and will feature an 11.6-inch display with 1366×768 resolution, a 16 GB SSD, dual band WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n), an Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, a front-facing HD camera, an HDMI port, a VGA port, and a Intel Celeron processor. Like the Samsung Chromebook on ARM, it will have up to 6.5 hours of battery life. Coming in a 1.3-inches thick, it weighs 3.9lbs (1.8kg). It will go on sale February 26 for $429.
Google is marketing Lenovo’s new Chromebook as the perfect laptop for schools, which can add management and support from Google for a one-time fee of $30.
Both of these offerings make the current selection of Chrome OS devices far more rich: individuals now have desktop and laptop choices, with varying processors, memory, and storage options. The addition of a new manufacturer is also welcome news, and will hopefully inspire even more companies to jump on the bandwagaon as Chrome OS slowly becomes more popular.
2013 is shaping up to be an interesting year indeed.