Acer C720 Chromebook: New Intel chip and 8 hours of battery life for $249

The wait for a Chromebook(s goog) with Intel’s(s intc) fourth-generation chip is nearly over: Acer announced the C720 Chromebook on Thursday, making it available for pre-orders on Amazon(s amzn). Starting at $249.99, the new Chromebook will be available in various configurations in the coming weeks.

acer C720 angle

With the Celeron 2955U processor based on Intel’s Haswell micro-architecture, Acer says to expect up to 8.5 hours of battery life. Performance of the device should be better than other Chromebooks in this price range as well: aside from the newer chipset, the C720 includes 4 GB of memory. 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi is supported; I wouldn’t be surprised to see mobile broadband added as an available option in the near future.

The 11.6-inch screen keeps what’s generally been a “standard” Chromebook resolution of 1366 x 768. Acer was able to slim the device down from the prior model: It weighs 2.76 pounds and is 0.75-inches thick; that’s down from 3 pounds and 1.09-inches. There’s a pair of USB ports — one is 2.0 and one is 3.0 — plus an SD card reader.

All in all, this looks like an attractive combination of hardware on paper. The device looks more like a small Ultrabook rather than a Chromebook. And it promises both performance and a long-lasting battery. Does the C720 deliver on that promise? I’ll know in a few days as a review unit is on the way.