Acer C7 Chromebook review: It's time for Chrome to get better Chromebooks
9 August 2013
Summary: If you want one of the least expensive Web-browsing devices that feels like a laptop but is really a Chromebook, the Acer C7 is fine. But its limitations match its price.
Pros: The Acer C710-2457 is the least expensive Chromebook on the Google Play store, and comes with a set of base features competitive with Samsung’s $250 Chromebook.
Cons: Cheap-feeling Netbook-like construction, small touch pad, limited battery life, and unimpressive display and speakers; plus, Chrome OS is inherently limiting for offline use so this isn't as versatile as a traditional PC. Meager 16GB of onboard SSD storage.
Conclusion: Now we have ourselves that $200 question. Is the C7 for you and I, the tech-crazed, spec-obsessed power user? No, it isn’t. If it was it would fill a role that I don’t think exists, that of a “living room laptop.” The term has caught fire in tech circles lately, but the living room laptop is no longer real. It was usurped by the iPad, or now, the impressively cheap alternatives like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire and Apple’s own mini variant of the iPad.
Conclusion: Although the Chromebook concept is a partial success, there are too many fundamental errors with Acer's C7 laptop for it to score well. It might well be a budget purchase, but the screen has a poor viewing angle, battery life isn't great and the keyboard is hit and miss for typing - all of key importance to a device such as this, and all short of the acceptable threshold in each case. There's also no 3G option for on-the-go connectivity.
Pros: Cheap, 320GB hard drive built-in, simple to use, like a Google hub that's conceptually ideal for day-to-day tasks
Cons: Poor screen viewing angle, limited battery life, no 3G, keyboard isn't an enjoyable typing experience, built-in hard drive slows things down, chunkier and weightier than similar competitor, app limitations