Acer's $199 C710-2856 Chromebook laptop includes SSD, will be sold at Walmart

Acer's $199 C710-2856 Chromebook laptop includes SSD, will be sold at Walmart

Summary: The notebook swaps its 320GB hard drive for 16GB of solid-state storage, but otherwise keeps the same specs as a C7 Chromebook released late last year.

TOPICS: Laptops, Mobility, PCs

Not so long ago, Acer relied on traditional hard drives as storage for its C7 Chromebook line, even if Google emphasized that the Chrome OS and systems running it didn't require huge amounts of local storage. But the company recently released the $199 C710-2833 Chromebook at Best Buy with a 16GB solid-state drive, and now it has released the C710-2856 Chromebook with the same storage and price, and has extended its retailer footprint to Walmart.

Aside from the 16GB SSD replacing a 320GB hard drive, the C710-2856 has similar specs to an Acer Chromebook released late last year, using an Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 11.6-inch LED-backlit screen. The 3.05-pound system also includes a webcam and built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and features four hours of battery life. By using flash storage instead of a traditional hard drive, the C710-2856 can boot up in just 8 seconds, according to Acer.

But perhaps most notable is that C710-2856 is the first Chromebook to be sold at Walmart, one of the major retailers that Google announced it was working with to expand the locations where you can purchase Chromebooks. Acer (and Google) are hoping the expansion to the mega-retailer and also Staples will expose more back-to-school shoppers to the Chromebook lineup. Do you think a laptop like the C710-2856 is a suitable student laptop? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility, PCs

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Affordable

    I had the chance to put my hands on one this week.
    Yes, it is very affordable but also very cheap. Cheap plastic, poor viewing angle from the screen, boots a cloud OS slower than a full Windows 8.

    Yet, it is VERY affordable. You somewhat get what you pay for.
    As usual, if it fits your needs, why not get one?
    • Is it worth the saving though?

      The Chromebook is a great concept, but does saving $49 justify the lack of functionality?

      Imagine if Acer was selling a budget windows or linux notebook for $200, but the only program it would run is Google Chrome.

      Right next to it was another budget Windows or Linux notebook for $249, but it would run any program the user wanted.

      It seems the rational for saving $49 bucks is that the Chromebook is "good enough" or does "most" of the things we need.

      That is the point I keep running into with Chromebook. If a friend asked me for advice on buying a cheap computer I could not in good faith justify saving them $49 bucks (or whatever) to buy what is effectively an appliance that only runs one specific web browser.
      • search youtube

        You can install Ubuntu on the Acer c7 (don't know about other chromebooks) for a full fledged OS if desired. It's a little more complicated but it's doable worth step by step instructions on YouTube.
        Robert Lyon
        • And the point?

          As emacho pointed out, why would you buy this machine with 16gb storage instead of the one with Win 8 with 300+gb storage in order to save $49? Even if you want to rip out the OS and install Linux, why would you do that on a 16gb SSD drive? These Chromebooks just don't make sense to me.
      • well, it depends...

        i wouldn't own one because of my needs. i have, however, bought two of them, original acer for my mom and the samsung series 3 last holidays for my sister.

        since they're not anywhere near us nerdbois it was a great fit. they do facebook/email/ebay/netflix/shop/flash games and... no "more". sure, we nerdbois go on and on and on about all the "more" you can get for this or that price but they don't do "more" and their eyes will glaze over if you start in on it.

        my mom's replaced a dying old dell laptop and she doesn't know the difference. showed her how to install extensions and "apps" and she's golden. my sis wanted one after playing with mom's.

        so, no os upgrade cost, no os upgrade headache, no virus, no tech calls (to me). there's a downside to this?
        no "more" needed.
        • chrome trojan

          Don't own a tablet here. My woman does. But wasn't there a trojan that attacks chrome OS?
      • Re: only an appliance

        People came to realize they don't need an bloated OS and are better with an computer appliance. It is not about the price.

        Those who long for an Tamagotchi can always buy computer with Windows on it.
      • Emacho, you left out some information

        What are you talking about a savings of $49, there must be some a link, source or something
        to a made up number.

        Boomchuck1 you didn't even check, sad.
  • Good Choice

    I have had the ChromeBook with internal drive since March and have been very satisfied with it. It would work well for a student as long as they had WiFi available. Some apps (such as word processing) work offline as well. Keyboard is a bit tight with not much tactile feedback. Screen is great. Overall, for this price, it's a great deal! Google software is awesome. Does most of the things we need!
  • Im starting to think

    chromebooks are the future for a lot of people. I was very skeptical at first. We are entering a great time which actual competition in computing devices and the end of the MS monopoly.
    Its not what is "best", but what is most appropriate for the user.
    Windows WAS most appropriate for the average joe but now things are rapidly shifting.
    • I certainly see a slot for them

      My parents have the traditional, over-powered, desktop tucked away in the spare bedroom, waiting patiently for some minimal task. They have an ipad but rarely use it in the house, utilising it more when away from home. So the desktop still gets used but for so little that, if it wasn't for s/ware, they could probably still make do with a 386. IF, it finally breaks down, they could quite easily get away with a cheap chromebook and save themselves probably half the price of a new desktop or laptop.
      Why people cannot understand that there is a decent % of people that really only need the basics and a simplified interface such as the chromebook also adds value.
      Little Old Man
      • agree

        I agree. If I actually analyze my computing needs, I'm a very basic user. I'm doing more and more things in the cloud, and really all I do with my macbook air is...go on the internet. I don't see the point in spending a grand on a laptop for that.
        Robert Lyon
  • The Microsoft Troll Brigade

    I see that the MTB (Microsoft Troll Brigade) is out in force to try to dissuade people from using anything but Microsoft-based products!

    I purchased a Chromebook (THe Samsung) about 2 weeks ago and have found that I used it more than my tablet and more than my Windows 7 laptop, our 2 Linux machines and out Windows XP desktop computers. Most things that I do for managing a family of 4 can be done on the Chromebook. And, there's a great app called "Chrome Remote Desktop" that allows you to use your other computers that run the Chrome browser, from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection. I plan to take this on our next vacation and remote into a Windows XP desktop for anything that I can't do directly on the Chromebook.

    One more thing that has been mentioned, but deserves to be stressed is that you CAN use your Chromebook offline. It has a built-in SSD and you can add memory via an SD slot and it has 2 USB ports (USB 2.0 & USB 3.0).

    Is it possible to do everything on a Chromebook that you can do on a Windows or Linux laptop? No. But you likely can do everything that YOU need to do. Your mileage may vary. But that's OK because they are "Personal Computers".
    • I would actually recommend just about anything over this.

      Android tablets come to mind. If there was an abundance of Apple / Linux laptops in this range, I'd gladly point people towards those when it made sense. The fact of the matter is that Windows is the easiest / most useful choice. Chrome OS is crap and trying to find a laptop with anything besides that or windows in this price range is pretty pointless.
      • I resemble that remark :)

        I bought my first computer in 1981 (an Atari 400), and have owned or used literally dozens of computers and every version of every major operating system - any my Acer C7 Chromebook is the best value for money computer I've ever owned or worked with.

        The reason I say that is that, after 30 years, I have become very very tired of troubleshooting computers. It was fun when I was 20. It was still fun when I was 30. A little less fun when I was 40. And no fun at all after I was 50. As I approach 60, there is not enough time left to play OS mechanic.

        No computer I've ever owned (to include my Nexus tablet and my iPhone) requires so little of my time. I was geek enough to install Ubuntu on the Chromebook so I can use LibreOffice when I'm away from wi-fi, but that's it. No calls to tech support, no opening the console to reinstall drivers, etc.

        I open it, and it's ready to use in a few seconds. A shut down and reboot is only a few seconds longer than that. I guess the bottom line is that I never have to think about this thing as a computer - I just open it up and get my work done.

        I am so spoiled by this thing that will never buy another Windows or MacOS machine or piece of Office software. From your perspective, I may very well be using "crap" - but from my perspective, after 30 years, I am free of the MS/Apple duopoly and it feels pretty darned good. :)
    • Well, they are needed to counter The Linux and Apple Troll Brigades

      You know, seeing that that the ATB (Apple Troll Brigade) and LTB (Linux Troll Brigade) are always out in force on the MS related blogs trying to dissuade people from using Microsoft-based products!

      Why so shocked?
      William Farrel
  • This article is a shameless plug for Google.

    It belongs in the sidebar of the webpage. not in the content section.

    Calling 16GB a hard drive is a joke right? I mean did they honestly make a hard drive that small? or did they just point storage to and SD card?
    • 16gig of storage is sufficient for a tablet...

      ... so 16gig should be sufficient for a Chromebook, which is basically a tablet without a touchscreen and with a built-in keyboard.
  • WalMart will sell tons of these very quickly

    It fits their product line nicely and is great for students (think about how many do back to school shopping there).

    While the Win8 notebooks sit on the shelf at WalMart Chromebooks will move in mass. Just what WalMart needs to boost electronic sales that are slow for PCs and Laptops.
    • Yep...and then...

      When people realize they can't run a copy of MS Office on it as required for their college courses, what happens? These are basically netbooks that are further crippled and that encrypt your data with a key you don't get access to.