Acer C720 Chromebook Review

Acer C720 Chromebook Review

Editor's Rating

We review the latest Acer C720 Chromebook.
9
8 Look and Feel
8 Display and Sound
10 Performance and Battery Life
10 Software
9 Keyboard and Trackpad

A look at the recently released Acer C720 Chromebook reveals marked improvements over their previous models. Better battery life, a faster processor and a sub $200(US) price tag make this Acer Chromebook a winner. User reviews at Amazon.com and other Internet retailers show that the Acer Chromebook is being well received and finding its niche in the mobile computing market.

Amazon.com users rate the C720 Chromebook 4.5 out of 5 stars (over 400 reviews) with users raving about the overall value for the price. At $199 (US), the C720 offers speed, portability and flexibility that will increase your productivity and have you computing on the go at a price everyone can afford.

The original Chromebooks, introduced in 2010, suffered from battery life issues, limited functionality, poor performance, and a lack of consumer understanding on where they fit in the mobile computing market.

Today’s Chromebooks have overcome these problems and are competing for their rightful place in the mobile computing market.

The Chromebook is an Internet Computer, meaning it relies heavily on an Internet connection. In today’s hotspot rich environment, with connectivity around every corner, Chromebooks are a viable alternative to more expensive laptops for computing on the go.

The new Acer C720 Chromebook features an impressive 8.5-hour battery life and a 16 GB or 32 GB Solid State Drive. With a startup time of around 7 seconds and weighing in at less than 2.8 pounds (1.27kg) the C720 is ready to go — On-the-Go!

First Impressions
First impressions reveal an outward appearance that is somewhat muted, yet with a solid feel. The Acer C720 has a full-size Chiclet keyboard, a multi-gester touchpad, and all the standard features you would expect on a standard laptop.

Key features include:

  • 11.6″ HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display
  • Intel Celeron Processor (1.4GHz)
  • Google Chrome Operating System
  • 16GB SSD Drive
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Built-in HD Webcam
  • Stereo speakers
  • USB 3.0 Port
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • HDMI™ Port
  • Full-size Acer Fine Tip Keyboard
  • Multi-Gesture Touchpad
  • Up to 8.5-hours of Battery Life
  • 2.76 lbs.| 1.25 kg

Is 16GB enough storage? In the typical laptop, the answer would be no, but on an Internet enabled Chromebook with the 100 GB of included cloud storage it works well.

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Great App Selection
Featuring Google’s Chrome operating system (Chrome OS), the Acer C720 runs hundreds of Apps via the Internet.

The Acer Chromebook C720 comes preloaded with Google’s popular Music, Photo Viewing/Editing and Office Productivity (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations) apps that include:

  • Docs – Word processing
  • Sheets – Spreadsheet
  • Slides- Presentations
  • Scratchpad – Notes
  • Google Play Music – Music
  • Image Editing – Photo Edit
  • Hangouts – face-to-face video calls
  • Gmail – Email
  • Calendar – Calendar
  • And more

In addition to the preloaded apps, there is an impressive list of apps available via the Chrome Web Store. Chrome Web Store apps include everything you could ask for including:

  • Great productivity apps like Evernote and Intuit QuickBooks
  • Games like Angry Birds and Bejeweled and The Hunter
  • Streaming Video like Netflix and YouTube
  • News and weather apps like Weather Underground and New York Times
  • Social media apps like Tweet Deck by Twitter
  • Popular lifestyle apps like Personal Trainer
  • And many many more

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Most apps are designed to run with online connectivity, while others can be downloaded to the built-in solid-state drive and run without an Internet connection.
Who It’s For
The C720 is not for everyone. You can’t load applications designed for a standard PC running Microsoft Windows operating systems, so if you need specific Windows applications it may not be for you.

However, if you want word processing, spreadsheets, image editing, Web browsing, email, video, games, and all the standards, but are not dead-set on Microsoft products – the C720 Chromebook is for you.

Extras
The Acer C720 Chromebooks comes with several nice extras including:
100 GB Google Drive – The Acer C720 Chromebook comes with a free two-year subscription to 100 GBs of Google Drive online storage.

Built-in Security – The Chrome OS downloads software updates and security updates automatically, so you don’t have to worry about managing these bothersome tasks.

GoGo In Air Internet Pass – You also get 12 free GoGo passes which allows in-flight access to the Internet from several US domestic airlines.

Built-in Storage – In addition the 16GB or 32GB internal SSD the C720 has an integrated SD card slot to allow you to easily move files around. Remember most of you data can be stored on the 100 GB Google Drive cloud storage.

HDMI Output – The C720 has an HDMI output, which makes it great for sharing. Plug it into your monitor or HD TV and you’re ready to watch your favorite movies from Netflix, YouTube, or other video streaming sources.

The Limitations
There are a few items some may consider a downside. The battery is fixed so you can’t carry a spare, although Acer claims a fast recharge time of less than two hours. With the fast recharge and over eight hours on a full charge the lack of a removable battery won’t be an issue for most.

Printing from Google Chrome OS requires that you setup Google Cloud Printing. Cloud printing is a process that makes the printer available to cloud based devices like the Chromebook (you control who has access to your cloud printer).

When you plug a USB printer into the Chromebook, you will be taken to a Google Chrome OS help page that will walk you through the process.

Great Overall Value
Given all the features, the continuously updated Chrome OS, a really impressive array of Web enabled apps, and the low cost you can’t go wrong.

Whether you are looking for more power than working from a smartphone, or looking for a second computer to carry around for everyday use, the Acer Chromebook C720 is for you.

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sagarpatil86@gmail.com'
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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
sagarpatil86@gmail.com'
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