Acer Lowers The Boom With Chromebook 13 Featuring NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core Chip, 13 Hours Battery Life

Much in the same way that netbooks found a niche and became hugely popular, Google's Chromebook platform has found its wings and is flying off of store shelves right next Windows- and Mac-based laptops. And just as Acer helped popularize netbooks, the company is at the forefront of the Chromebook movement in pioneering fashion. As such, Acer today unveiled the Chromebook 13, the first of its kind to feature an NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad-core processor.

In doing so, Acer and NVIDIA essentially just tag teamed a new generation of Chromebooks. Armed with a Tegra K1 chip, the Chromebook 13 offers unmatched graphics performance while raising the bar in battery life to a record-setting 13 hours (applies to the HD model; the Full HD version sports 11 hours). Why infuse a cloud-based laptop with beefier graphics?

Acer Chromebook 13 Angled Acer Chromebook 13 Angled 2

"The Chrome ecosystem has been rapidly evolving in the last 2 years. Whereas apps initially required online access to work, more and more apps can now work offline," NVIDIA explains. "The pace of evolution has continued this year, and we now see graphically rich apps being introduced such as 3D interactive educational apps and high-end games. The new class of graphically rich apps requires improved graphics capability in Chromebooks."

NVIDIA Tegra K1 Graph
Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA's Tegra K1 chip is certainly up to the task. Built around the company's Kepler architecture, it has 192 cores and offers the same programming capabilities as the desktop-based NVIDIA GK104 GPU. That means it supports major APIs such as WebGL, AEP, OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 12, Tessellation, and CUDA 6.0, all while sipping less than 2 watts of power.

Acer Chromebook 13 Lid

The Chromebook 13 will come in three different SKUs available for pre-sale, the first of which is the Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T7NN starting at $280. This one features a 13.3-inch display with a 1366x768 resolution, 2GB of RAM, 16GB solid state drive, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, HD webcam, SD card reader, combo audio jack, full-size keyboard, and a 33 percent larger trackpad all packed into a frame that measures just 18mm from top to bottom.

For $300, the Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 ups the ante with a Full HD 1080p display (1920x1080) with a slightly lower battery life (11 hours), and for $380, the Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T1UU brings the same Full HD display, but also doubles the RAM (4GB) and storage (32GB SSD).

Acer Chromebook 13 Front

Finally, Acer plans to offer a separate configuration to resellers that will be sold to commercial and education customers. This one will run $330 and include a 1366x768 resolution, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB SSD.