Acer is expanding its product line-up with the launch of two new devices that will bring a dual proposition of expanded feature sets and competitive pricing to retail stores.

The new additions include the Acer C720P Chromebook, which brings touch capabilities to the Chromebook form factor, and the Iconia A1-830 — according to Daniel Goffredo, head of commercial client products at Acer Australia, both products represent a “journey within the lines of Android and Chrome” for the company.

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As the fourth generation of Acer’s Chromebook launches, the C720P is the first from the brand to feature touch capabilities (a feature called out on the product point of sale) and represents a “progression” in the Chromebook space, driven in part by a response to increased competition in the category.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Goffredo. “We’re not dipping our toes in the market, we’re building on an established business model that we have at Acer.

“When new vendors enter the market, the bar is always lifted. It’s great for us to have some healthy competition because it changes the ideas and changes the way our design team looks at certain things.”

The improved design includes a new chassis (in a shade of “Moonstone White” for those playing colour name bingo), as well as an 11.6-inch HD LED back-lit display (1,366×768 native resolution) and an Intel Haswell CPU under the hood. The Chromebook also boasts a 10-point touch display — while Goffredo admitted some would question this addition, he said the market for touch would continue to grow.

“There are probably questions at the start, ‘Why would you bring out touch? There are no applications’. But it’s like the chicken and the egg: developers won’t develop if there isn’t the hardware platform there, so we’ve got to build the market. Do I predict that there will be more and more touch devices? Yes.

“The first place that I see adopting touch is the education environment. The biggest thing in education is cracked screens, and the first thing you get from a touch screen is a stronger display. When you’re talking about a low-cost device and people’s experiences with Chromebooks, the screen is essentially about 30 per cent of the product price. So having a bit more protection — because these devices are quite mobile, they do get dropped and thrown around — having that [touch screen] is a bonus as well.”

Acer C720 Chromebook.
Acer C720P Chromebook.

The C720P features SD card, USB and HDMI inputs, 2 or 4GB of memory and 16 or 32GB of storage, and will be available in major electrical retailers starting at RRP $449.

Also rolling out into retail stores in the coming week is the Iconia A1-830 tablet — a competitively priced 7.9-inch device that is the first tablet from Acer to use Intel’s Atom processor. Packing a 1.6GHz dual core processor, the company has improved on overall performance by switching to Intel, with 2 times the browser performance and 2.5 times the performance in the rendering of 3D gaming.

It features twin speakers, a 2MB front camera (shooting at 720p) and a 5MB rear camera (2,560×1,920 resolution). It is also available with a Bluetooth keyboard accessory incorporating a full-sized silver keyboard encased in a black synthetic leather cover, which can be folded origami-style to create a stand.

Acer's new Iconia 1830 tablet.
The Iconia A1-830 tablet is available from Acer as of yesterday for RRP $249, while the keyboard case will retail for RRP $79.95.