Summary: The upgraded Acer C720 Chromebook with Core i3 processor is definitely an improvement on the original in power and speed. Its ultra-compact size and 11.6-inch display are great for portability, but I would prefer to see this notebook with a 13-inch display to better take advantage of its productivity potential. For that reason, I prefer the $279 Toshiba Chromebook, which may not be as powerful, but gets the job done in a more stylish and longer-lasting package.
Pros: Faster than the original C720, Lightweight and ultra-portable, Good battery life
Conclusion: The Acer C720P Chromebook is a solid laptop. The processor is adequately quick, the keyboard and touchpad hold up under heavy use, and the battery offers plenty of life for a system of this size. Given these traits, it’s easy to see why some consumers are picking Chromebooks instead of Windows-based alternatives. And this system holds its own when compared to its peers. The HP Chromebook 11 is slightly less expensive, but lacks touch and is a tad slower.
Pros: Attractive black-and-white design, Pleasing keyboard and touchpad, Quick processor, Solid battery life, Good value
Acer Chromebook C720P review: King of the budget Chromebooks
13 February 2014
Summary: The Acer Chromebook C720P manages to get better at all the key things, adding up to a little laptop alternative that's better than any budget Chromebook we've seen before.
Pros: The Acer Chromebook C720P has a good keyboard, an SD expansion slot, USB 2 and 3 ports, and HDMI, plus a touch screen. It also has more onboard storage (32GB) than most entry-level Chromebooks, and better battery life than most previous Chromebooks.
Cons: Low-end price is matched by its low-end feel. Chrome OS has natural limitations. Touch isn't always that useful in Chrome.
Summary: If you typically have a solid Internet connection and use your laptop for browsing the Internet, reading and sending emails, casual gaming and the like, you can't find a cheaper yet capable alternative than the Acer C720 Chromebook. If you rely on serious productivity software such as PowerPoint, Word or Excel, or do serious gaming, the C720 won't be for you, at any price.
Pros: Price, Suitable for light web browsing, 100 GB of free Google Drive cloud storage, Faster than other Chromebooks
Cons: Can't handle heavy tasks, Can't do much without an Internet connection
Conclusion: The Acer C720 Chromebook is a speedy, sharp Chrome OS laptop that has a simple design and boasting rights in the performance department. The laptop is a step ahead of many other competing Chromebooks, and is more than able to hold its own as an everyday laptop for those who do basic tasks: media, email, Internet, chatting, word processing, and such.
Conclusion: There was a lot to like about the Acer C720, and there's even more to like about the C720P. The laptop is very solid when held, and though plastic from top to bottom, it doesn't necessarily feel like a machine that costs $299 USD. The touchscreen is a wonderful addition, enabling functionality that the Chromebook lineups have generally been missing and allowing users to forgo the small track pad (though, it should be said, the track pad is of quality).
Conclusion: Considering the competition, the Acer C720 Chromebook delivered solid scores in our web-based benchmarks. In our hands-on time with the machine, we were pleased with this chromebook’s performance; the system’s responsiveness is always snappy, the keyboard and touchpad are pleasant to use, and the device itself just feels sturdy despite its surprising lack of heft.
Pros: Low price, Solid design and build, Surprisingly good audio, Great end user experience
Cons: Not a full laptop replacement, Bezel and chassis attract fingerprints
Summary: Back to basics. While efforts continue to try and rework the Chromebook equation to provide a more enticing balance of performance and build quality, Acer sees no harm in sticking to the original plan, with a budget plastic case design, an understated appearance, and an x86 chipset—all for $249. How does it compare?
Pros: Extremely portable, Excellent battery life, Good application performance, Smooth video playback and output to external monitor, Good touchpad, The surprising speed, excellent battery life, and low price
Cons: Cheap plastic build, Unremarkable display panel, Below-average, clattery keyboard, Mediocre audio performance, Warranty void sticker prevents access to internals, A much better keyboard, sturdier build, and an IPS screen
Conclusion: After all, if those same 2009- and 2010-era netbook price points now have flexible, able full-Windows computers parked on them, like the Transformer Book T100T—and the inevitable competition starts forcing down the prices on those machines, too—where will that leave $250 Chromebooks? Will basic Chromebooks like these join their netbook kin in 2015 or so?
Pros: Snappy for Chrome-style multitasking, Good connectivity, including USB 3.0, SD slot, and full-size HDMI