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Acer adds a semi-rugged $180 model to its Chromebook line

The aluminum and plastic 131 can survive a two-foot drop unscathed.

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Acer's almost certainly the most prolific ChromeOS supporter. It's brought Google's operating system to a wide range of devices over the years, including 15-inch laptops, convertibles and giant all-in-ones. It's going back to basics today, though, with a simple addition to its Chromebook 11 line. Named the CB3-131, it's a low-end machine with an 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 display, an Intel Celeron processor and a choice of 2GB or 4GB of RAM (and 16GB or 32GB storage). Rounding off the spec sheet are dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, HDMI out, USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and a touted 9-hour battery life.

Gallery: Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131 | 9 Photos

While the specs aren't much to get excited about -- they're identical to other CB3 models -- the 131 is an attractive little thing. Putting function over form, it has a boxy design made from plastic and aluminum that Acer's claiming can take a ton of punishment. More accurately, the Chromebook can handle 133 pounds of force on the cover and survive two-feet drops with no damage. It's also fairly thin-and-light, weighing 2.4 pounds and measuring 18.6mm thick.

The CB3-131 will be available next month from $179.99.

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