Acer’s versatile Chromebook R 13 is one good device to run Android apps because it can function as a laptop or tablet.
The 2-in-1 has a rotating 13-inch full HD screen that gives it dual functionality. The touchscreen gives it a mobile-like interface to run Android apps.
The device has Chrome OS, but Google is making it possible to run Android apps from Google Play store on newer Chromebooks. Acer will add Android app support to the new Chromebook, the company said.
Android app support adds to the versatility of Chromebooks, which are popular as cheap and low-cost laptops. The shipments of 2-in-1s are growing, and Chrome OS is better suited for those devices than Android.
PC makers like HP and Dell are giving up on Android tablets but are interested in Android apps on Chromebooks. It made sense for Google to add Android app support, with tablet shipments declining and Chromebook shipments growing.
Acer’s Chromebook R 13 will be available in North America starting at US$399, and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa starting at €399 ($445). Chromebooks haven’t done well in Asian countries, where buyers have preferred Microsoft’s Windows OS.
The new Chromebook offers 12 hours of battery. It weighs 1.49 kilograms and is 15.5 millimeters thick.
It has a MediaTek M8173C CorePilot quad-core processor, which is based on an ARM design. It is the first Chromebook with a processor from MediaTek, which announced its intention to enter the market at last year’s Mobile World Congress and even showed a device.
The Chromebook R 13 has storage up to 64GB and 4GB of RAM. It has a 1280 x 720-pixel webcam, and USB Type-C, USB 3.0, and HDMI ports. Wireless features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.