Acer announced that its newest Chromebase is the first all-in-one Chrome-powered desktop that comes with a touchscreen. The Acer Chromebase is equipped with a full HD resolution 21.5-inch touchscreen panel. As a desktop all-in-one, the Chromebase offers a similar computing experience as a Chromebook, like Google's Chromebook Pixel, but in a desktop form factor.
Although this isn't the first Chrome-powered all-in-one to hit the market, Acer claims that its Chromebase is the first to arrive with a touchscreen. The Chromebase is powered by Nvidia's powerful Tegra K1 ARM-based processor along with USB ports, built-in 3W audio speakers, HDMI output, and Bluetooth and WiFi radios.
Also included is a built-in HD webcam for all your Google Hangouts video chats.
For enterprise customers, the Chromebase can be mounted as well to save on desktop space. "The Acer Chromebase is VESA-compliant so that it provides flexible viewing options when mounted to a VESA-compatible stand, bracket, arm, or wall mount suitable for search or navigation use in public areas," Acer said in a statement.
Pricing is not yet available at this time for the Chromebase, but Acer anticipates that the device will arrive in North America and Asia in the second quarter. Competitors in the Chromebase space include the $349.99 (about £207, AU$376) LG Chromebase as well as Acer's $179 (£178, about AU$230) Chromebox, with the latter requiring you to add your own display.
The power of touch
Although Google initially claimed that Chrome OS was designed around a mouse and keyboard for input whereas Android was designed for touch, touch seems to be gaining importance in the Chrome OS world. Even Google launched its first generation Chromebook Pixel (2014) with a touchscreen.
Additionally, with the ease of porting Android apps - apps that are designed around a touch experience and interface - to Chrome OS, touchscreens may increase the appeal of using those apps. Google first talked about porting Android apps to Chrome OS as early as the Google I/O developer conference last year.
Even inexpensive Chromebooks are launching with a touchscreen panel, like the recently announced Asus Flip.
- Read our review of the Chromebook Pixel
Article continues below