Acer brings some news from the BETT show in London this week, and it's filled with Chrome OS goodies.

A trio of Chrome devices designed so they meet the high standards of the education and commercial markets were announced, and they bring the great features we expect to see from these kinds of products.

Acer Chromebox CX13

Like its predecessor the CX12, the new CX13 is designed for businesses that need a durable and high-performance Chromebox. It's chock full of specs that make us want to give this one a try:

  • 8th generation (Coffee Lake) Intel Core desktop processor
  • 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port
  • Five USB Type-A ports supporting USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 (configuration depends on the model)
  • 1 HDMI port
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 802.11 ac 2x2MIMO Wi-Fi
  • Optional VESA mounting kit

Pricing and availability aren't being announced today; that comes when regional announcements are made. We expect to see final details about CPU and memory specifics announced at the same time. Hopefully, we see a wide range of models spanning the range of Intel CPUs so that "economy" pricing combined with excellent performance from Intel's Celeron series is available alongside screamers with high-end Core-i processors. We've got our eyes on these, for sure.

Acer didn't forget about the Chromebooks, either. Two models were announced: the Chromebook 11 and a refresh of the Chromebook Spin 11.

Acer Chromebook 11

First up, the Chromebook 11, which hits North America in March and starts at just $279.99

The Chromebook 11 was designed to meet the needs of the educational and commercial customer, which means it has to be built tough and worry-free. Seeing it with a price under $300 is a very pleasant surprise. Some spec highlights are in order:

  • IP41 rated (protected against objects larger than 1 mm and splashed liquid ingress)
  • Fully MIL-STD 810G approved
  • Drop tested from 122cm (48 inches) with a reinforced body that withstands up to 60kg (132 pounds) of force on the top cover
  • 180-degree hinge
  • A spill-proof keyboard design
  • Fanless 8th generation Intel Celeron processor (dual-core N3350 or quad-core N3450)
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • MicroSD card reader
  • HDR-enabled HD webcam
  • Google Play support
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 802.11 ac 2x2MIMO Wi-Fi
  • 11.6-inch IPS display (1366 x 768 resolution, available in both a touch and non-touch configuration)
  • 302 x 209 x 21.3 mm (11.88 x 8.23 x 0.84 inches) and weighs only 1.26kg (2.78 pounds)

And (get ready for it) 4G LTE support will be available for some models, based on region. We've been waiting for another Chromebook with LTE support, and we're confident that North America will see one. The new Chromebook 11 will be available to education and commercial customers in North America beginning in March with prices starting at $299.99 for touch models and $279.99 for non-touch models.

Acer Chromebook Spin 11

A hot new Chromebox and a rugged Chromebook with (possibly) LTE support is more than enough for anyone, but Acer isn't done. They've also released a new Chromebook Spin 11, this time with the same slick silver crosshatch patterned design we see in the Chromebook 11 above.

I loved the "ruggedized" version of last year's Spin 11 when I had some time with one to review back in October. You can (and should if you're interested) read about it right here. Seeing a new model that includes a high-end quad-core Intel N4200 paired with 8GB of RAM is awesome. Seeing it without the extra bulk that comes with all those toughness ratings is even more awesome. The full details:

  • Full 360-degree hinge for use in laptop mode, display mode, and tablet mode
  • Optional second HD webcam to use while in tablet or presentation modes
  • Optional Wacom EMR stylus for natural note-taking and drawing
  • 11.6-inch IPS (1366x768 resolution) HD display with touch support
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • Two standard USB 3.0 Type-A ports
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 802.11 ac 2x2MIMO Wi-Fi
  • 8th generation Intel processor (quad-core N4200, quad-core N3450, dual-core N3350 depending on model)
  • 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB onboard eMMC storage
  • Google Play support

The Chromebook Spin 11 will be sold through Acer's retail channels and comes to North America in March, starting at $349.

I'm excited to see these products coming from a name like Acer. The original Chromebook R11 and Chromebook R13 were highlights of the Chromebook market throughout 2017 and these new models look like they will once again be products that are easy to recommend and fun to use. I'm especially happy to see the 11-inch category broken into both a rugged and "standard" version, especially at these prices. And a new high-end Chromebox with an 8th generation socket Z370 Intel chip is icing on the cake!

Anyone in the market for a new Chromebook or Chromebox needs to have a serious look at these. We'll keep our eyes on them and when they are released will take our own long look, too.