Acer C720 Chromebook: Why I bought one

Summary:I've been a fan of Chromebooks for a while. That's not in question given I just bought my third one.

When it comes to the Chromebook you may be on the side of those who can't understand why anyone would buy one. I'm in the opposite camp, and I just bought my third one. I've used and travelled with Chromebooks for a long time and I can't wait for the Acer C720 to arrive.

Acer C720 Chromebook Open
Acer C720 Chromebook Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

There are a number of reasons that the Chromebook is a good fit for some, not the least of which is the price. I used my first two Chromebooks heavily but ended up parting company with each, something I could do due to its low price.

One went to a friend of mine who I thought would find it perfect for schoolwork. The other went to another friend who was very curious about the utility of the Chromebook. Both of those Chromebooks are heavily used and very appreciated.

See related:  Milestone: I'm recommending Chromebooks instead of Windows laptops for civilians Acer C720 Chromebook first impressions: Fast and cheap

Handing off those two Chromebooks left me without one for a while. I was constantly missing the simple utility the Chromebook offers so I bought my third. I lost the argument with myself that I didn't need another gadget (I don't), as the Acer C720 was only $199.

It helps that I have already tried the C720 and found it to be a good value . The Haswell technology makes it a fast Chromebook while getting 8.5 hours of battery life. It's not the sveltest Chromebook out there but it's still highly portable.

I know that a Chromebook is a good fit for me so this investment is a good one. Those wanting a single device to do everything they could possibly need might want to give the Chromebook a pass. Others may do well to give them a look, and at the low price of most Chromebooks that's easy to do.

While a Chromebook likely can’t handle everything you might need to do, chances are it can handle quite a lot of it. Heavy lifting, like video editing, will be better served doing it on something else. But how often do most people do things like that?

Passing on a Chromebook because it won’t do occasional heavy duty would be like buying a big pickup truck because you need to carry something once or twice a year. For some of us it makes more sense to get the smaller, easier to use car than to drive the behemoth (with lousy gas mileage) all the time.

I find it amusing that any time Chromebooks are discussed, many question why anyone would buy a laptop with just a browser? That's usually asked by those who've never seriously tried one, and who also want one device to do everything.

That's not who the Chromebook is aimed at . It's more fitting for those who spend a large part of their time online in a web browser. It is a full implementation of the Chrome browser, extensions and all, on a laptop designed top to bottom to make it the best user experience possible. That's a pretty good reason to give one a try, especially on decent hardware for $200.

Additional Chromebook coverage: 

Topics: Mobility, Google, Laptops


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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