Chromebooks have a solid reputation as affordable portable computers that can excel at light workloads. In order to reach the market at budget price points, however, sacrifices often have to be made - particularly as it relates to the processor.

As such, it's not uncommon to see mobile processors like Samsung's Exynos powering Chromebooks. Intel's Celeron CPU is also another popular choice but if you're looking for a Chromebook with a bit more oomph, you're out of luck - until now.

The latest Chromebooks in Acer's C720 series now feature the beefier Intel Core i3-40005U power plant based on the Haswell architecture with a clock speed of 1.7GHz. Both new machines feature an 11.6-inch display operating at 1,366 x 768, 32GB of flash storage, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, HD webcam and microphone as well as HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity. Battery life is rated at 8.5 hours, we're told.

In a statement on the matter, Acer America senior product marketing and brand manager Eric Ackerson said they've been breaking new ground with their Chromebooks since 2011. The new Intel Core i3 models will deliver more of what their customers love about our Chromebooks including excellent performance and all-day battery life.

There are two models to choose from: one with 2GB of memory for $349.99 and another with twice as much RAM that'll set you back $379.99 with availability in Canada and the US this month. No word yet on when or if the i3-equipped C720s will make it to other markets.