Gift Guide 2013: Top Chromebooks for the holidays

Gift Guide 2013: Top Chromebooks for the holidays

Summary: Chromebooks make good gifts and these are the ones to look for.


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  • Gift Guide 2013: Top Chromebooks for the holidays

    Most folks either love or hate Chromebooks but in spite of what you might think they make good gifts for the holidays. They are all nice laptops that with the exception of one, are some of the cheapest notebooks around.

    The hardware inside the Chromebooks in this list is very similar, with exceptions noted where pertinent. There are models with wi-fi, 3G, and 4G to cover all connectivity needs. 

    If you're not sure if a Chromebook is right for your gift recipient, it's worth taking a look at the reading material below that shines some light on Google's Chrome OS and the hardware that drives it.

  • Acer C720 Chromebook

    Acer has been making Chromebooks for a while, and this latest model should be on everyone's gift list. It is running Intel's latest Haswell processor technology, making it one of the fastest Chromebooks around.

    Hardware specs for Acer C720-2848 Chromebook:

    • CPU: Intel® Celeron® Processor 2955U, (1.4GHz, 2MB L3 Cache)

    • OS: Chrome OS 

    • Memory: 2GB

    • Storage: 16GB

    • Display: 11.6-inch, 1366x768, anti-glare

    • Camera: front webcam (1280x720)

    • Connectivity: Wi-fi a/b/g/n

    • Ports/slots: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, SD slot 

    • Battery: 3,950 mAh, 8.5 hours

    • Thickness: 0.75in

    • Weight: 2.76lbs

    The C720-2848 is now available at major retailers starting at $199 as configured above. There is a model for $249 that bumps the memory up to 4GB and a new model with a touch screen that appears later in this collection.

    See the review of the 4GB model by James Kendrick of ZDNet.


Topics: Mobility, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Samsung

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  • Chromebook for Xmas

    I love my friends and family, so I'll get them something else.
    Dreyer Smit
    • @Dreyer Smit

      That right there is funny.
    • Meh Chromebooks

      I totally agree. They are so limited and without a decent net connection they are useless. Cheap but almost useless.
    • Really?

      So a computer without an internet connection is so much more valuable these days? It's called a door stop without an internet connection people.
  • Go for one without a fan

    The most elegant ones are the ones without any cooling mechanism or fans.

    I've tried the ARM based ones which are fanless. I haven't yet tried the ones with Intel Haswell processors (the specs look good, but I don't know how cool they run).

    But the elegant thing is to get one that is thin, light as a feather, and cool. Yes, there may be more powerful models, but if they are thick, heavy and noisy, then they lose their appeal. Sometimes less is more.
    • The most elegant part of a chromebook

      is seeing people educate themselves about it so they know what not to buy. For a similar price you can purchase a real laptop with Windows. If any IT pro is recommending Chrome OS they should be strung up as a traitor to the industry. This is a browser with too many limitations. Real work gets done on Windows or if you feel like burning money go with a MAC.
      • Real work?

        Nobody is suggesting to replace a full workstation with a Chromebook. This is for the home users that use their laptop for surfing the web, and not much else. For that not much else, you've got Google Docs and various other web apps. Unless you're doing photo editing or making presentations, there's no reason why a Chromebook can't fit the needs of the vast majority of home users.
        • Real work?

          We use tablets for that, a Kindle HDX or my old and reliable Asus TF101 can use all those apps and add a wireless keyboard, i´m done.
          • Chromebooks are better than low-end Windows laptops

            If you want to buy at the top end of the market, yes you can buy a Macbook Pro or a big Windows laptop.

            But if you're buying at the bottom end of the market, Chromebook makes more sense. The computers engine, the processor, is smaller on low-end machines. So it's best not to bog it down with a full-scale bloated operating system.

            If you've got a small car, it will work much better if you don't put a heavy trailor behind it. Then the small car will be just fine.

            Chrome OS is super lightweight. Surfing the web on a Chromebook will be much faster than surfing on a similarly spec'd Windows laptop.

            The Chromebook also makes more sense for non-technical people, as there is no maintenance needed, and no anti-virus software needed.
          • That was before Baytrail

            The Baytrail machines coming out now are full Windows devices, are inexpensive, and have very good performance. For just a bit more money you can get a ASUS Transformer that runs as both a tablet and a full laptop with touch and even Office.
            Rann Xeroxx
          • Chromebooks are also better than tablets...

            ...for casual web browsing. I own both a chromebook (Samsung Chromebook XE303) and a convertible Android tablet (Asus Transformer Pad TF300) and there's no comparison; the chromebook is miles better at web browsing. The chromebook is also much, much easier and enjoyable to use.
      • Not everybody is an IT guru

        Chromebooks are a straightforward product that excel at integrating Google products and web-based programs. Period. Less upkeep, better battery, and no Windows' hiccups for those users who just want to get work done and can do so with Chrome online or offline now. MACs are great products too, but not always within budget. With an increasing number of apps available to Chromebook users, it is a much more viable option to a variety of people. You sound like one of those elitist employees at a hipster record store lecturing a customer why they are wrong for enjoying music you think is inferior.
        • Chomebook not for everyone

          I've been in the technology industry for over 20 years and I'm always fascinated by the innovations that we create. While many think that the Chromebook isn't a good piece of hardware, I have to disagree. It's all a matter of what you personally need. And although I don't own one myself I do think that its a great option for people who simply want to use the internet, movies and simple everyday tasks without having to deal with all the hassles that come with a Windows system. It's simple and straight forward. It all about what's right for you!
        • Why not just Android?

          Why limited yourself to ChromeOS and just run a Android device in the same form factor? There are far more apps and usability with Android.
          Rann Xeroxx
      • For a similar price

        "For a similar price you can purchase a real laptop with Windows."

        Yeah? Not one that can do ANYTHING like as much as a chromebook; not the speed of boot, not the battery life, not the secuirty, not the speed of work.

        You can get a lousy cheap windows machine. No thanks.
        • @ Heenan69 - For a similar price

          Don't be a Hater Heenan. CB's have a place. Like for an 8 year old who's parents won't punish her with Windows 8. If you hate your children buy them a windows laptop with W8 this holiday.
          • @SeanRatGoBlue

            You didn't read Heenan73's post did you?
          • Both my daughters love their Windows 8 laptops

            Got them Lenovos last year at about $200 with Windows 8 and a year later they still love them. In fact they use the SkyDrive account sync and put both their logins on both machines so on trips they only take one and can use their own account that is always up to date with their stuff.

            Get over the Microsoft hate, all OSs and platforms have their pros/cons.
            Rann Xeroxx

        Ironic. You talk about educating yourself, yet you obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

        Thanks for the entertaining read.
        James Welbes
      • ...a traitor to the industry

        You mean a traitor to the Microsoft industry?

        We can see how desperate Microsoft fanboys are getting, is beyond pathetic!