Acer targets large-screen market with industry's first 17-inch Chromebook

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,278   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: Acer ahead of next week’s virtual Computex trade show has announced what it is calling the industry’s first 17-inch Chromebook. The general trend in personal mobile computing for a long time was to shrink devices, but as modern smartphones have proven, there's always going to be a market for large-screen devices and Acer is wise to target that demographic with a low-cost device like the Chromebook 317.

The Acer Chromebook 371 (model CB317-1H) features a 17.3-inch FHD IPS LCD display with an anti-glare coating framed in narrow bezels that’s driven by an Intel Celeron N4500 dual-core processor, Intel UHD Graphics and 4GB of LPDDR4X memory. The system comes equipped with 64GB of onboard storage that’s expandable via microSD card slot.

Other noteworthy amenities include 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, four total USB ports and a three-cell lithium ion battery reportedly good for up to 10 hours of use between charges. There’s also an optional backlit keyboard, an integrated 10-key number pad for number-centric work and two upward-firing speakers.

While the large screen may appeal to some, it comes as the cost of extra heft. The Chromebook 371 measures 0.89 inches tall and 15.8 inches wide with a depth of 10.5 inches. It’s offered in one color, sparkly silver, and weighs 5.29 pounds.

The Acer Chromebook 317 is scheduled to touch down in North America sometime in June starting at $379.99.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 703   +1,239
Not sure who needs this? Bigger screens are usually better for content, sure, but this is a laptop: it's far more unwieldy than a tablet or even a 2-in-1 at 17 inches yet it's really not big enough when it comes to ergonomics to replace an AIO type experience which is at least 21-23" range of screens which ergonomically makes a substantial difference.

Usually if you need a laptop 15 inch or so it's about as big as you should go and going "Bigger" is usually very niché like gaming desktop replacement class devices, but this is not that it's barely going to do anything beyond consuming some media or browsing internet in a fairly basic way.

I guess the success of it will determine if the market was really there for cheap 17" laptops or not.
 

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 103   +94
This could be a very good platform for portable gaming via Stadia. With a decent LTE or 5G connection, it’s a lot cheaper than a big heavy gaming laptop running Windows and could deliver a good experience.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 653   +1,214
Given how ChromeOS and its devices are growing so fast, makes me wonder what or how the hardware will change to expand its capabilities.

Example, lets say they get to an insane market share and with people wanting Adobe products, what would be the course of action, Adobe providing cloud side computing power or the local devices beefing up their CPU/GPU offerings?
 

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 103   +94
Given how ChromeOS and its devices are growing so fast, makes me wonder what or how the hardware will change to expand its capabilities.

Example, lets say they get to an insane market share and with people wanting Adobe products, what would be the course of action, Adobe providing cloud side computing power or the local devices beefing up their CPU/GPU offerings?
I like the idea of edge computing fueling hard-core hardware capability on thinner, cheaper clients.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,508   +3,776
Not sure who needs this? Bigger screens are usually better for content, sure, but this is a laptop: it's far more unwieldy than a tablet or even a 2-in-1 at 17 inches yet it's really not big enough when it comes to ergonomics to replace an AIO type experience which is at least 21-23" range of screens which ergonomically makes a substantial difference.

Usually if you need a laptop 15 inch or so it's about as big as you should go and going "Bigger" is usually very niché like gaming desktop replacement class devices, but this is not that it's barely going to do anything beyond consuming some media or browsing internet in a fairly basic way.

I guess the success of it will determine if the market was really there for cheap 17" laptops or not.
I've been asked on more then one occasion if there was a 17" chromebook available by family members looking to replace their old 17" windows machines with something new. The demand is certainly there.

Once you get older and your eyesight worsens using a 11-13" screen is a royal PITA.