Review: Acer C720 Chromebook with Core i3, best value yet

Review: Acer C720 Chromebook with Core i3, best value yet

Summary: The C720 is one of the first Chromebooks to ship with an Intel Core i3 processor. We go hands on to see if all the excitement is justified.


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Topics: Mobility, Google, Laptops, Reviews

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  • No prepare for the onslaught from

    The usual Windows mob.............................
    • Awwww poor baby

      can't handle the opinions again Crapoogle?
  • $369 buys a Dell with more HDD space and a touch acreen at bestbuy

    $349 for a 15 or 17 inch HP pavilion
    $369 for a dell inspiron with touchscreen

    just among some options for laptops.

    Chromebooks are still a web browser appliance that no longer has a price advantage and it does far far less than any other computing option available. Even a basic tablet has more functionality than a chromebook.
    • You left out the cost of virus protection.

      Time lost due to patches and reboots (and possible bricking due to bad patches). Thus it has a LOT less hassle.

      Oh, and the chromebook is cheaper - $199.00 to $219..
      • There are Windows/Linuxs computers in that price range too

        and they can do more.

        Plus they all have free malware protection, where the Chromebook really has nothing other than faith that Google will be diligent enough to keep users safe from intrusion... which is rather ironic in concept.

        Think about that, a user has no active way to protect their computer. No active way to respond to any problem. No active way to prevent a problem.

        When, not if, when a problem occurs a user is effectively powerless to do anything about it.

        Something as simple as plugging in a printer is a major obstacle for a Chromebook and you want to talk about saving $5 a year over the life of the device as if that is some benefit? or that getting regular security updates is a bad thing?
        • So why are you here?

          On a review of a Chromebook?
          Just be happy with your low powered Windows machine, and off you pop.
          • So Emacho is only allowed to offer an opinion that agrees with you?

            "There are Windows/Linuxs computers in that price range too and they can do more."

            Emacho did have a good point of view to that of jessepollard, who appears pretty uneasy about Chromebooks' future, since it appears that his only defense to Emacho was utter nonsense

            "Time lost due to patches and reboots (and possible bricking due to bad patches)"

            Yeah, because that seems to happen all too often.

            Actually it doesn't ...
          • But why bother coming to a Chromebook review

            To simply slag off the product?
            You think people who have and like a chromebook are suddenly going to see the light?

            And the answer that others do the same, ain't really valid...............

            And I didn't offer an opinion, I asked what he was doing on a Chromebook review, as he thinks they are rubbish?
          • Why must you force everyone into your narrow definitions?

            I read these articles, because I think someday ChromeOS might fill in some needed role or have a real value proposition that may be beyond what their competition offers.

            Currently I do not see the dollar value of Chromebook hardware compared to other alternatives (see above listed examples). I feel the same applies to ChromeOS compared to other operating system alternatives.

            I think simply installing Linux over ChromeOS eliminates almost every weakness ChromeOS is stuck with and greatly expands on what a user is capable of. Plus it would remove Google from spying on everything the user does.

            Likewise I think there is superior hardware available at similar price points, which can also run Windows or Linux.

            So no, I just do not see the value proposition of Chromebooks right now.

            If this was Microsoft or Apple releasing a device that only ran Windows Explorer or Safari, people would criticize it for what it is. A web browser appliance that is so locked down only Microsoft or Apple could access it.
          • "Why must you force everyone into your narrow definitions?"

            What definitions? I didn't offer any. I asked a question.

            But OK, here's one. I like Windows, Linux and ChromeOS. I use all 3 daily, but I use the Chromebook the most in my personal time, because it's just good at being a simple purpose device. Running Windows on cheap kit is a part of my life I'm not going back to.

            I have to use Windows for work, and for gaming, no way is Chrome anywhere close to that yet.

            My windows machine and my chromebook both operate at the same speed, doing the same tasks, but the W8 laptop is significantly more powerful (and cost a lot more). Linux still hasn't sorted it's battery usage on laptops to become mainstream and it's not overly user friendly to the masses.

            Put it this way, take someone like my Mum. She has my old laptop (W8.1) and only has chrome installed. Nothing else. She hates spending money (just the way she is). She's tech-phobic.

            Windows still needs some maintenance whichever way you want to cut it, or it will slow down somewhat.

            Linux - my Mum. Behave..............

            Chromebook - think we might have found a niche there!

            If you hate Google, then no, there's no point even considering.........
          • RE: What definitions? I didn't offer any. I asked a question.

            See your first post in this topic.

            You preemptively lump anyone that might not see the value in these devices as some other mob.

            iOS, Android, WindowsRT (or just the metro interface of Windows8) are great fits for someone like "mum" who is completely technophobic, while still offering cheap, secure and easy to use devices that also do more than ChromeOS does.

            It seems silly to talk about one operating system needing maintenance in an era of automatic updates. Likewise it is rather contradictory to talk about other operating systems "slowing down" when ChromeOS needs a core i3 to run smooth while other operating systems run like glass on ARM and Atom CPUs with 1/4 to 1/2 the available RAM... and again they do more than run just one single web browser.

            The problem is that people keep using the dumb idiot user as some sort of niche for devices like this. Which is sad, because when you look down at someone like that, that is all they will ever be.

            and before you talk about how some people will never become tech savvy, all you have to do is look at how many BILLIONS of people have a handheld sized computer in their pocket right now or over the next few years.

            When you treat people like they are smart and capable of learning you might be surprised what they are capable of doing.

            If you want to lock them into a playpen where they can never learn and grow, then don't expect too much from them.
          • "ChromeOS needs a core i3"

            So does Windows need a quad core i7 with 16gb ram?
            Just because ones available, doesn't mean it required.

            "iOS, Android, WindowsRT (or just the metro interface of Windows8) are great fits for someone like "mum" who is completely technophobic, while still offering cheap, secure and easy to use devices that also do more than ChromeOS does."

            Like what? Assume someone doesn't want a tablet for a second.
          • Yeah, Chrome is something of a hog.

            Performance complaints about the Pentium/2gb models are fairly common.

            Not so much of an issue with the other operating systems I mentioned with similar or lesser hardware.

            Which most come with non-tablet options. Like the Asus Transformer series of devices: Windows and Android alike, or see some of the other options I listed above.
          • Windows again

            I had a Ativ Tab 3 and performance was shocking, but there's so many devices to chose from that's a very specific or subjective argument (depending on usage).
            Or Android tablet with a keyboard........

            Personal opinion, I don't think Android is very good with a keyboard and mouse combo. It's optimised for touch the way Chrome isn't.

            You seem to be very much a "what it can't do" person, whilst ignoring the use cases it can fulfill. There's very little I can't do on the Chrome, that I can do on Android.
            Mobile apps aren't more powerful than web apps, and it depends on what each person actually wants to achieve.
            My personal 2 favorite Chrome Apps are 2X Client for RDP, and Gliffy, which I really like for diagramming.
          • I'm actually focusing on what a Chromebook can do, but in comparison.

            Chromebooks compete with other devices and as such comparing features is natural. The fact that the Chromebook comes up short in that comparison is not my fault or my focus. It is a simple observation.

            I can focus on what the Chromebook can do, but the trouble is it doesn't really do anything the alternatives also do. I cannot say "I chose a Chromebook over X, because it allows me to do Y". There just isn't a Y that I can find. Where as with almost any other choice I can easily rattle off features they have that a Chromebook doesn't. Scenarios where a Chromebook would fail even simple use case needs that alternatives would not.

            Seeing that one of your two most favorite apps is a remote desktop client suggests that you are really in that same scenario.
          • If maximum features were the only concern

            I'd never buy anything apart from a windows machine (not winRT), as that can do the "most".
            Nothing else would get a look in.
            But people like using iOS, Android, Chrome, OSX, etc because they find it pleasurable and enjoyable to.
            Some people just want to buy what they like............
          • Maximum features is just one aspect

            It isn't just about one single aspect. When someone is making a choice to buy a device I'm sure they factor in many things like price, features, ease of use, available software, etc.

            It is pretty easy to see the strengths of iOS, OSx, Windows and Android devices on their own and when compared against similar competing devices. I just do not think Chromebooks can compete in that space. They don't offer better hardware, more features, effective cost savings, killer "app", unique feature or pretty much anything that isn't easily offered by something else. It is a device filled with compromises.

            Again, I'm not telling anyone what to like. You seem very hung up on that point. Enjoy your Chromebook all you want, I will not tell you otherwise. I just think there are better choices available.
          • Isn't it obvious?

            They seem to be Shilling, and Astroturfing on behalf of the incumbent monopoly who stands to lose from the rise of Chromebooks. In other words they are a well known and from what I have seenthey appear to be a coordinated team of Scrooglers who have been frequenting this site.systematically and single mindedly attacking Chromebooks on this site.
          • That is the problem

            Nothing I posted was incorrect, yet people around here constantly assume someone must be a paid shill.

            Boothy_P frequently and preemptively does this. Here you see he attacks me, not what I discuss.

            Why? To what purpose? He almost seems to treat this post as if it is some sort of fan club, where anyone who wants more or is not impressed by a Chromebook to no engage in discussion.

            Again, why?
          • He has got a point though.

            You will get some fanboys on every site. They congregate on the site because they have an interest in the particular device that is being covered - they are literally fans of the device, perhaps over exuberant on occasion. Hence the term "fanboy".

            However when you have a set of posters (we all know who they are) who do nothing but systematically and singlemindedly attack Chromebooks (primarily with rhetoric, anecdotal claims and swear that they hate the product but still keep coming back to spend most of their time reading about on the blog, then these are not Windows fanboys, but instead fit the psychological profile and modus operandus of an operative shilling or astroturfing in support of the Scroogle campaign.

            There is clearly a pattern by certain posters on this site which inconsistent with plain and simple fanboyism. It is certainly relevant to question why someone who professes to absolutely hate a product, claims has no relevance to them, and thinks will fail anyway, would spend so much of their time and attention reading and posting about the product, and making themselves thoroughly depressed and miserable in the process.

            Of course he doesn't really need to ask the question. We all know the reason why a team of posters might want to do that - it is the same reason why the Pawn Star actors made an ad attacking Chromebooks. It simply reflects the threat Microsoft feels from Chromebooks. However, asking why, is a more intelligent and mature response than simply getting into a moronic counter-rant with someone like William.Farrell or Loverock.Davidson. There is a old saying - "never argue with an idiot - they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their vast experience of idiocy".