Acer today expanded its 11-inch lineup with the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731), available later this month. Still priced at $230, like its C730 predecessor, the new model adds durability features, a fanless design, and a longer battery life.

The Taiwanese company is hoping the C731 will be picked up by schools and school districts that “want a reliable, powerful, and quiet device for student learning.” That’s not too big of a surprise, given that Chrome OS has seen the most success in the education market.

The latest Acer Chromebook meets the U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standard, which isn’t a huge deal but is certainly better than nothing. The laptop can thus handle up to 132 pounds (60kg) of downward force on the top cover, the corner-shield structure and rubber bumper keyboard surround protect it from drops up to 48 inches (122cm), and the spill-resistant keyboard drains up to 11 ounces (330ml) of water. A fanless design, meanwhile, translates into a quieter laptop without airflow issues and dust accumulation.

acer_chromebook_c731

But all in all, those are minor improvements. The real news here is the promised 12 hours of battery life, which is definitely on the high end for such a small and cheap laptop. That said, remember that your mileage will naturally vary.

Here are the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731)’s specs:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron dual-core processor N3060 (2MB L2 cache, 1.60 GHz)
  • Memory: 4GB of Dual-channel LPDDR3
  • Display: 11.6-inch HD (1366×768 resolution), LED-backlit TFT LCD
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC or 32GB eMMC
  • Audio: Two built-in stereo speakers, built-in microphone
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC, 802.11ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: Two USB 3.0, SD card reader, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone
  • Battery: 4090 mAh 11.1 V 3-cell Li-Ion battery
  • Dimensions: 11.72 x 8.27 x 0.87 inches (297.6 x 210 x 22 mm)
  • Weight: 2.98 lbs, 1.35kg

It’s also worth noting that there is a touchscreen version (C731T) and just one color option: Granite Gray. If 11-inch is the size you want, this looks like a great Chromebook for the price-conscious consumer.

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