There are a lot of great Chromebooks coming out

When the MadebyGoogle event happened back in October 2016, there was some disappointment that there was no mention of new Chromebooks coming out.  Well, it looks like everyone was waiting for the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to happen to announce all the new devices coming out.

While the headlines are being taken by the new Samsung Chromebook Pro with its touch screen and stylus input, it’s not the Chromebook I am excited about right now.  The one I am interested in, is well, less than the Pro.  It’s also in the 11-inch screen range, which isn’t my favorite.  I am excited about the new Acer Rugged Chromebook 11 N7.

Why the rugged Acer?

Three words, I have kids.  Really I have two under 6.  They are hard on equipment.  It helps the N7 was actually designed for use in the classroom.  It is built to stand up to spills, drops, and shock.  Why still would I want a computer designed for kids?  I think there is value in a laptop that is really a go anywhere.

If you plan to take a laptop to have with you on an outdoor adventure, say for editing your camping photos on the go, or you just work outside, why wouldn’t you want a device that can stand up to the elements?

Even if you don’t work outside, the ruggedness of this laptop would also work in a machine shop or out on a less than clean production floor.  I used to maintain a computer for a friend’s auto repair business, let me tell you, that computer didn’t last long between cleanings.  It was in a dirty and dusty environment with less than ideal heating and cooling.

A ruggedized laptop would have worked better, and he could have brought the computer to the car to pull up the information he needed to complete the repairs.  This machine also is available with a touchscreen option, which would make it easier to navigate if you need to wear gloves.  Obviously, you would need a pair of touch-capable handwear.

The laptop is also covered with a grippy rubberized case to give it extra protection and the hinges are reinforced and the chassis is designed to stand up to twisting and pressures.  This laptop could literally be thrown into your backpack and be expected to work on the other end.

It also features a fanless design, which is quiet and doesn’t allow water in, and a reported 12-hour battery life.  This is an all day beating taker.

Some other stats:

The device features an 11.6-inch display, which is available in IPS touch and non-touch LCD options. Performance is provided by an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of Storage (Probably eMMC). Stay connected with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card reader.

This laptop is no slouch as Chromebooks go.  It should be able to handle about anything your throw at it.

Bottom line

If you need a good, cheap, go anywhere and survive laptop, the Acer Rugged Chromebook 11 may be the one for you.  It will be available in January 2017.  The price depending on the options you pick, between touch or non-touch screen, should be around $229US.  So it won’t break the bank and you can use it in places you wouldn’t dream of bringing a $1500 MacBook Pro.

What are your thoughts on a small rugged computer?  Leave your comments below.

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