Acer C720 Chromebook Review

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Let’s just be honest right off the bat: You’re probably not reading our review of this product so much to check out benchmarks and other performance indicators as you are to see if we’ll clarify whether or not Google's strange, new browser-based Chrome OS operating system is really worth investing in.

Chrome OS is indeed essentially a browser-as-operating-system solution, so the vast majority of the computer’s functionality is tied directly to being connected at all times, and that may be a big hang-up for a lot of people when it comes to Chromebooks. (Except that there are still several things you can do offline, which we'll get into in a bit.)

Most people are connected to the Internet the vast majority of the time, though.  That means you can use Google Drive for writing documents, creating spreadsheets and presentations, and basic file management, as well as Google Music, Gmail, the Chrome web browser, YouTube, Google+ Hangouts, and so on.
Despite what some might view as a hamstrung operating system, the reason that Chromebooks are a tempting option is that most of them are very inexpensive. The one we’re looking at today, the Acer C720 Chromebook, costs a mere $249, which is about on par price-wise for many Chromebooks these days. Acer recently also announced a slightly less powerful C720 to the lineup for just $199.

The question then becomes, can such a device possibly replace a laptop?

Here’s the good news: We have an answer for you, but it’s a complex answer, so you’ll have to read on to fully understand the big picture. Along the way, you’ll get a closer look at Chrome OS as well as the Acer C720 Chromebook itself.

Speaking of the Acer C720, here are some specifications to digest...

Acer C720 Chromebook
Specifications & Features
Processor:
Graphics:
Operating System:
Display:
Storage:
Memory:
Camera:
Sound:
Communications:

Ports:



Battery:
Weight:
Dimensions:
Software Extras:

Price: 
Intel Celeron 2955U (1.40GHz, dual core)
Intel HD (Haswell) graphics
Chrome OS
11.6 inches (1366x768), 16:9
16GB
4GB DDR3 RAM
Front-facing webcam
Stereo speakers
Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Full-size HDMI
USB 3.0, USB 2.0
SD card slot
3.5mm headphone/mic jack
36Wh, est. 8.5 hours of use
2.76 lbs
0.75 inches thick
100GB Google Drive cloud storage
30-day free trial Google Play Music All Access
$249 currently on Amazon, $199 for 2GB of RAM



The Acer C720 Chromebook doesn’t have dazzling specs, but they are solid, especially for a device that runs such a lightweight operating system as Chrome OS. It has a dual-core Intel Celeron 2955U (Haswell) processor clocked at 1.4GHz with the associated integrated Intel HD graphics as well as 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB of onboard SSD storage.

The 11.6-inch matte display features a 1366x768 resolution, and there are USB 2.0 and UBS 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, SD card slot, 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity.



The system's battery purports to last 8.5 hours, and the whole unit is just 0.75 inches thick and weighs 2.76 lbs. The Acer C720 also includes 100GB of Google Drive storage and a 30-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access.

Let’s dig in and see what else the Acer C720 offers...

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