Not too long ago, Acer released their 15.6″ display Chromebook making it the largest screened devices Acer has running Chrome OS, and that spot has now been passed on to its newest addition to the family, the Acer Chromebase AIO Desktop with a 21.5″ display. This will also be the “industry’s first AIO desktop featuring a touch screen display.” Is this Chromebase going to start a trend or only be in a league of its own? Let’s take a look.
- Chrome OS
- Nvidia Tegra K1 quad core Processor @2.1GHz
- 21.5″ FHD (1920 x 1080; 16:9 ratio) widescreen edge to edge LED backlit 10-point touchscreen
- Nvidia Kepler GPU
- 16GB SSD
- 4GB DDR3
- Built in HD (1280 x 720) webcam
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Micro SD card slot
- USB 2.0 x2
- USB 3.0 x1
- Two 3W speakers
What’s in the box:
- AIO Acer Chromebase
- USB Mouse
- USB Keyboard
- HDMI cable
- Power cable
Where do I start when it comes to talking about the design of this massive AIO desktop? Let it be known, there’s nothing wrong with the size as it’s height is 14.1″, 20.9″ for the width, and 3″ for depth. Weight wise it is approximately 8.60lbs. Getting back to the task on hand, looking at the front, the Chrome logo and “Chrome” wording is in the top left corner and the webcam is in the middle. Working our way to the bottom of the desktop, you’ll notice the power button in the lower right, the “Acer” logo to the left and the speaker bar covering the whole bottom part.
Nothing on the sides, but heading to the back you can’t miss the tiltable stand which can tilt the screen back from 15 to 75 degrees. “Acer” is printed above a vent with another vent off to the left. On the right is a cover that is home to the SD card slot, headphone jack, and a USB 3.0 port. Heads up, getting that cover back on was a pain. It took me a few tries, but I ended up getting it locked in. Under the tilt stand there’s 2 more USB ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and the jack for the power adapter.
The keyboard and mouse are pretty standard, but have a nice feel to them. Pressing down the keys has ease to it and zero issues with having to press down with force just to get a letter out. The mouse looks like it has some kind of gripping material on the sides, but unfortunately, it’s only plastic.
Upon first powering on the unit and looking at the screen, I thought “damn, this is a pretty good for only being 1080p.” That’s even at 50% brightness too. Having the brightness at 100% was a bit eye straining, but that was partially due to a bunch of white space on some websites. I found out that having the brightness settings at about 75 to 80% was the best even with monitor tilted slightly. Keeping the same brightness and tilting the monitor back even more, and to the point where it won’t go back more, words were still visible. Viewing angles on the other hand are clear up until you start getting closer to the left or right side edge of the screen and black lettering starts to turn white-ish at a certain point, but other than that, colors were accurate when looking at the screen. Of course that was having the screen at just the right viewing point.
As spoken of before in the “Specifications” section, Chrome OS is installed, so you’re not getting everything that Windows or Mac OS X would such as installing applications like Mozilla Firefox or any other application you use on your PC. Nothing new as Microsoft is the same way for their RT Surface Tablets. Chrome OS is getting nicer with each update, even if it’s only security patches and enhancements. Everything you do is saved to the cloud, so each document, presentation, or spreadsheet you create will be saved to your Google Drive account and with 100GB of Google Drive storage (for 2 years) included when signing in to your Google account, you can’t go wrong with saving as many files, movies, or songs as you want. There are, however, applications, but more or less as extensions or online only applications.
Two 3W audio speakers provide clear sound and get quite loud when at max volume. No distortion when listening to EDM or any other music that uses a decent amount of bass. If you’re in a crowded room and in need of everyone to hear music, this will definitely help out.
Since this is a built in webcam with a 720p resolution, the quality was matching any other built in webcam another PC has.
Having a quad core Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocking in at 2.1GHz, there’s definitely no issue with speed. Also coming with 4GB of RAM and an Nvidia Kepler GPU, switching between opened applications is quick and easy, while playing games runs smoothly. Of course it’s not going to be hardcore gaming like a normal PC, but a game like Angry Birds plays just fine. Using the touch screen was responsive when scrolling up or down the page. Zooming in and out kept up pretty well too. Wording on webpages adjusted font size and was clear to read in less than a second.
For the price of $429.99, you cannot go wrong with this AIO desktop running Chrome OS. Yes, it may be a bit pricey, but remember, this is the first unit coming out in an AIO form. I personally would pay $430 for the screen size since it would take me away from my Chromebook that only has an 11.3″ screen. You know what they say, bigger is always better.
With this review coming to an end, I’ll ask my question again that I asked in the beginning of this review. Do you think that this Chromebase will start a trend or only play against itself? Specs are worth keeping in mind other than the fact that there’s only 16GB of internal storage which is a bit low in my opinion. Sure, you’ll receive 100GB of Google Drive storage, but at least having 32GB of internal storage as the minimum would be great especially for the price of $430.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Acer Chromebase DC221HQ AIO Desktop for the purposes of this review.
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