As Chromebooks continue to dominate the education market, Acer keeps its line fresh.

This one won't necessarily get the Chromebook enthusiasts excited, but Acer has another education-focused Chromebook hitting the budget segment with a rugged body. The Chromebook 11 N7 (or model C731) is an 11-inch offering made to take a beating without also looking too tough, so it still has a tad bit of design appeal while also being sturdy for the expected rigors of many months being passed around in the classroom.

Acer has outfitted the Chromebook 11 N7 with a spill-resistant keyboard, and claims the laptop is built to MIL-STD 810G spec including drop testing up to 48 inches. That's good resistance and should be more than enough for the application, and despite the extra toughness it still comes in at under three pounds.

This won't get Chromebook fans jumping for joy, but is necessary for the education market.

The new Chromebook 11 N7 offers just a 1366x768 resolution display, but can be optioned up with an IPS touchscreen (look for a C731T model number) and in either case folds down completely flat for more collaborative viewing possibilities. The screen resolution surely helps with battery life, which Acer rates at 12 hours, and even if it comes up a bit short of that figure the battery life will be more than enough for the way it's most likely to be deployed in a school.

Though the range starts at just $229 and is focused on education the internal specs are actually pretty solid. The base configuration offers 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (32GB is optional) and is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060. It also offers HDMI out and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The combination isn't likely to make Chromebook enthusiasts salivate, but it's great to see even these low-end machines that generally offer lower performance getting a little spec bump.

Acer will have the Chromebook 11 N7 on sale in North America starting this month, and the rest of the world starting in February. Sales are initially limited to education and commercial customers, but chances are if you're interested in getting one for personal use they'll make their way out in due time.

Press release:

Rugged Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is a Smart Solution for Classrooms

  • Durability features include drop tested to 48-inches (122 cm), spill-resistant keyboard; compliant with stringent U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD 810G)
  • Long 12-hour battery life lessens the need to charge every day
  • Fan-less design boosts reliability, quiet operation for classrooms, libraries, lab time
  • Easy to deploy and administer; ideal for labs, carts and 1:1 programs
  • PS touch screen (C731T) or non-touch (C731) 11.6-inch display options

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 3, 2017) Acer today announced the availability of its newest Chromebook for education customers, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) with enhanced durability features. In addition, it provides long battery life and a fan-less design, making it an exceptional choice for schools and school districts that want a reliable, powerful and quiet device for student learning.

"Chromebooks have become the de facto standard for education technology in many districts around the country," said Chris Chiang, Vice President of Product Management at Acer America. "The new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) will set the bar even higher for what schools utilize for their classrooms and labs – a durable design, quiet fan-less operation and a portable form factor that makes them easy to transport for 1:1 programs, around the classroom, outside and in the lab."

According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is the world's leading Chromebook brand with over 33 percent market share in 2015.

Durable Design Features Enhance Real-Time Learning

The durability and design features of the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) ensure maximum uptime and contribute to reduced IT maintenance. The device endured rigorous testing to meet the demanding U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standard3. This military specification testing validates the ruggedness, durability and quality of the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731), so that student learning can take place in a variety of environments.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) can handle up to 132 pounds (60kg) of downward force on the top cover, while the reinforced case and hinges result in greater resistance to twisting and stress, even if students cram them into their backpacks. In addition, the corner-shield structure and rubber bumper keyboard surround further protect the Chromebook, so it can tolerate drops from heights up to 48 inches (122cm). These features ensure the Chromebook will be protected whether it takes a tumble while being transported or is accidentally knocked off a desk. The anti-slip pattern on the rear case makes it easy to grip and helps prevent it from slipping out of students' hands.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a spill-resistant keyboard that provides protection against spills of up to 11 fluid ounces (330ml) of water. The unique gutter system under the keyboard and touchpad drains water so that it's routed away from internal components and out the bottom of the chassis.

A new feature to the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is the keyboard design with recessed keys that prevent the key caps from being easily removed by students. In addition, the keyboard was designed for an excellent typing experience for students, many of whom are still learning keyboarding skills.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a fan-less design that provides cool and quiet operation, so it doesn't add noise, even to a whole classroom of students. Also, reliability is boosted since it doesn't require venting that may cause airflow issues and dust accumulation.

Long Battery Life up to 12 Hours, Excellent Performance

Administrators and teachers won't have to worry about charging their Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) every evening, since it provides up to 12 hours of battery life, enough for several days of classroom use1. This long battery life is also ideal for 1:1 programs where students use their Chromebook throughout the school day, then take it home for homework and fun. Powered by Intel® Celeron® dual-core processors, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) delivers solid everyday performance.

Touch Display Option, 180-Degree Hinge Promotes Sharing

School administrators can meet their curriculum and budget requirements with different models of the Chromebook 11 N7. The Acer C731T has an 11.6-inch IPS touch screen display, while the C731 has a standard non-touch display. Touch models allow students a heightened level of engagement, since any webpage or app can benefit from touch gestures in both solo and group settings. The display has a 1366x768 resolution that ensures sharp and legible apps and text as well as vivid, clear videos and photos. Also, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731)'s hinge is designed to open up to 180 degrees – so it can lay flat on a table for sharing during certain lessons such as labs.

The slim and portable form factor makes the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) ideal for use anywhere – at home, school, work and on-the-go. It measures only 0.87 inches (22mm) thin and weighs only 2.98 pounds (1.35kg).

The Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) will provide additional capabilities thanks to planned support for Android apps via the Google PlayTM Store in the coming months.

Students Stay Connected

Students can stay connected to their campus network with the fast dual-band 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The device connects easily to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port. Students can plug in headphones with the 3.5mm combo audio port. Files can be transferred with the device's built-in SD card reader.

Sharing and Collaborating

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) supports multiple user sign on to keep each student's data safe. Students simply log onto their unique accounts to ensure their project, Gmail and other information is kept safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Storage on Google Drive protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. Students can also access files offline, and even open and edit Microsoft® Office documents as well as Google Documents.

Easy to Deploy, Manage, Keep Safe; Backed by Acer Support

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is easy to deploy and manage. IT administrators will find it easy to make updates, configure apps, utilize extensions and policies and more with the web- based management.

Students will stay protected since Chrome OS is automatically updated and guards against ever- changing online threats, such as viruses and malware. The new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a Kensington lock, so it can be secured to a wireless cart or lab. U.S.-based Acer Premier Care also is provided to U.S. Acer education and business customers purchasing 100+ units. Acer education customers can also take advantage of the Acer Educare Warranty Programs to further protect their investment with solutions such as battery replacement, paid two-way shipping, and accidental damage protection.

Price and Availability

Several models of the new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 – both the C731 with a non-touch display and C731T with an IPS touch screen display – will be available with either 16GB or 32GB eMMC storage and 4GB of RAM. It will be available to education and commercial customers in North America in January with prices starting at $229.99, and in EMEA in February with prices starting at €299. Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To learn more about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office via www.acer.com.