Acer Debuts First Chromebook With AMD APU And Radeon Graphics Alongside Swift 7 Ultraportable
Acer's Chromebook 315 will be available with either an AMD A4-9120C or a more powerful AMD A6-9220C. These new CPUs are both based on AMD's 8th generation Excavator microarchitecture. These processors are largely similar to their A4-9120 and A6-9220 counterparts, but feature a TDP of 6 watts instead of 15 watts along with tweaked CPU and GPU speeds.
The Chromebook 315 will ship with either a 1366x768 or 1080p 15.6" IPS display depending on the model. Select models will also support a touch-screen interface and a full-sized LED-backlit keyboard. The Chromebook's two speakers are also well placed around the laptop's keyboard, which typically leads to a better audio experience than bottom- or side-mounted speakers.
"The 15.6" Chromebook has been one of the cornerstones of the Acer Chromebook line," said James Lin, General Manager, Commercial and Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "The Chromebook 315 builds on the line's core attributes -- a huge 15.6-inch display, great speakers and a stylish design -- to now include new AMD processors and Radeon graphics that will effortlessly power the growing selection of Chrome and Android apps and extensions that have been embraced by so many students, families and business users."
Acer designed its Chromebook 315 with a modern port configuration that includes two USB Type-C Gen.1 ports. There are also two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a combo headphone jack. Memory support extends up to 8GB of RAM, but storage support is limited to at most 32GB of eMMC storage.
Acer also announced a new Swift 7, which sports an updated design based around a magnesium-alloy chassis. The new design weighs just 1.96lbs, which makes it 0.69lbs lighter than its predecessor. The system is also slightly thicker than the outgoing Swift 7, but only by about 1mm.
The new Swift 7 should also have a decent performance increase over it's predecessor. The last-gen Swift 7 used a dual-core Intel Core i7-7Y75, which has a base frequency of 1.3GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.6GHz. The i7-8500Y at the heart of the new Swift 7 doesn't benefit from any architectural improvements, but as it is able to operate at a faster 1.5GHz base clock and 4.2GHz turbo clock, performance in most cases should be improved.
Acer's next-gen Swift 7 will also feature a high-end 14" 1080p IPS touch-screen display that supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut and a max brightness of 300 nits. Storage support is extended up to a 512GB PCIe SSD. Similar to the outgoing model, Acer opted to support up to 16GB of LPDDR3 memory on the new version of its Swift 7. This is rather surprising to see on a high-end laptop at a time when new DDR3-based devices are becoming exceedingly rare.
Both the Chromebook 315 and the Swift 7 are also designed to have excellent battery life that is supposed to last up to 10 hours.
The Chromebook 315 will be available starting in February starting at $279.99. You will need to wait until May to get your hands on the new Swift 7, and it will set priced at $1,699.