During CES 2016, there was a ton of new and marvelous tech to be had. But no matter how hard you tried to look away, the Acer booth had something special for all to see. That something was their new-look Chromebase 24. That's right, 24...as in 24 inches of beautiful screen to view. But it's not so much the size that matters in this situation...it's what Acer has done with that size.
The world of Chrome OS is littered with average looking, plastic-y devices. That's all fine and good, of course, because it keeps the prices hovering at the incredibly affordable. But just as the Pixel serves a very specific purpose (to bring high-end hardware to those that prefer it), Acer has come to understand there's a market for serious hardware running Chrome OS. For some, those two simply don't go together. After all, isn't Chrome OS nothing more than a browser?
No. It's not.
Chrome OS is a masterful, cloud-based OS that works flawlessly with Google's cloud suite of tools. And just as the operating system is beginning to take a back seat to data, the Chrome OS-based devices are coming into their own with power and seriously sleek designs.
That's what's important about Acer's Chromebase 24. As the Chromebook Pixel has done for Chrome OS on the laptop, the Chromebase 24 will do on the desktop. How? Acer has taken a lesson from the company who wields the mightiest of design pens, Apple, and created an all-in-one device reminiscent of the iMac. Though of darker color and lacking the 4 and 5k retina screen of today's iMacs, the Acer Chromebase 24 should do what all other Chromebase desktops have failed to manage...sell.
Design. That's right. The missing piece of the chromebase puzzle. Now before you grouse about that claim, remember that it was a brilliantly executed design choice that brought Apple back to relevancy. With Chrome OS now as mature as any other platform, it must lean on well crafted hardware to continue its rise in popularity.
It's not just the design that's "killer". The specs of this particular Chromebase have also finally ventured their way into more modern fare with a 23.8 inch FHD IPS display with an optional 10-point multi-touch and a range of intel core processors to choose from. The rest of the specs look like:
- Up to 8GB of RAM
- 178-degree viewing angles
- VESA mount compatibility
- 4 microphones for improved sound
- Adjustable HDR webcam
This is a serious machine, with a beautiful design, running a sleek, cloud-based OS. What's not to love? Some might say the FHD display could be a deal breaker...especially compared to the Pixel display or the Apple Retina display. Even so, the Acer Chromebase 24 could very well bring new life to the chromebase. Sure you can purchase a number of different "bases"...but you're looking at either a cheap box or a poorly executed, lesser-powered all-in-one. That's why the Acer Chromebase is such an important piece to the puzzle.
Naturally, you might be wondering just who this device is for. Although the iMac tends to be a fan favorite for graphic designers and the like. Seeing as how Chrome OS has yet to deliver any sort of serious graphic design tool worth using (Pixlr is about as close as it gets at the moment), who would be best suited for this type of machine? Considering the hardware (specifically, the four mics and the tilting display), this machine might well be perfectly suited for video conferencing. And with the optional 10-point multi-touch option, this baby could easily tackle high-end kiosk duty.
But anyone would be remiss if they didn't give the Acer Chromebase 24 a go as a desktop machine. If you're not looking to do any serious graphic design work, and most of your day-to-day is done within a browser (as is the majority of average users), this device might be the perfect match for you.
Acer has yet to release pricing of the Chromebase 24, but I'm guessing it will run in the $399.00 USD range. Considering you're getting a 23.8 inch IPS display, that's not bad.
With the biggest display of any Chrome OS device on the market, the Acer Chromebase 24 should help bring a bit more sexy to Google and Chrome OS. Pair it with a Chromebook Pixel and your Chrome OS experience should be stellar.
What do you think? Is the Acer Chromebase 24 enough to sway you over to Chrome OS?
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.