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on December 13, 2013
I have an Acer C720 ($199) and an Acer C720P ($299) and both are amazing machines. If you dont mind plunking down the extra $100 for the touchscreen then go for it but really you will do fine without it and save yourself $100 especially if you are buying these as gifts like I did for others in my family.

Here is a list of the APPS I use on both and it runs them fast and flawlessly:
Facebook, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Chrome Remote Desktop (flawlessly connects to my Windows 7 laptop and I can run any windows program remotely with ease and flawlessly connects to my Office Desktop and I can access all my office records which is key since i am a family doc), Google Cloud Print (easily prints documents to all the printers i have set up), MyBible, Kindle, Twitter, Hootsuite, Weatherbug, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Google+ photos (automatically puts all my photos taken on my Iphone over to my chromebook), RUNS ALL WEBSITES INCLUDING BANKING WEBSITES and my mobile hospital app FLAWLESSLY WITH CHROME (including adobe flash player sites which my Ipad and Iphone still wont run)

The only CONS i can find so far are no SKYPE app.....If you want to do video calls then need to use GOOGLE HANGOUTS which is much less intuitive than skype....and you CANNOT hook a printer directly to a chromebook but you can use google cloud print to print easily...needs wifi connection to do most things (this is really not a problem for me as i am always connected and they have developed a number of apps that work when not connected including document writer and email offline

Battery Life Amazing! almost 8hrs of use!
Touchscreen good but not like an Ipad (can't use your fingers to zoom in with pinch)
Touchpad very good! (and really dont need the touchscreen because touchpad works so good)
Keyboard very solid,
Can use any wireless mouse with it. (Ipad still cant utilize a mouse)
Screen brightness great.
Sound adequate but a bit tinny
USB port charges devices and can use flash drives to move and transfer files (another thing I still cant do with my Ipad)
2 years free of 100GB Google Drive (this saves you $120 right there)
12 free wifi passes while on planes (i dont fly much but still a nice convenience and saves you the $10 or so connection fee)
Free virus protection

All in all a great economical way to access the internet with ease and lightning speed and do 95% of what most people use a personal computer for this day and age.
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on December 26, 2013
I got my first Chromebook about six months ago, it was Samsung series 3 with an ARM processor. Initially it meant to serve me as a second laptop for occasional light work online, but very soon I realized that I was using it most of the time. My powerful Windows laptop and Mac mini were just sitting there collecting dust, getting my attention only once a week at best. I replaced my Samsung with Acer C720 2 GB RAM version two weeks ago.
Here's a quick breakdown.
- C720 has a slightly better screen than Samsung. Same washed out colors, but contrast and viewing angles are better, and so is brightness level. If you are spoiled by the screens of modern tablets, you might think that 1366x768 resolution would look unattractive. That's not quite right. I should remind you that MacBook Air 11 screen has the same resolution and the same size. It's just enough to do what it's designed to do.
- The keyboard layout of C720 may not be as good as Samsung's, but I like Acer's feel and key movement better. Unless you have very large hands, it might provide one of the best typing experiences in the price range below $300, and it's definitely better than most Windows laptops for that price. I write quite a lot and C720's keyboard didn't cause any significant discomfort so far. Touchpad is reasonably good, but nothing to be overexcited about. I only wish it was a bit larger.
- C720 is WAY faster than Samsung. Don't be deceived by the name of the processor - this Celeron unit from the Haswell family has more processing power than Chrome OS requires. And 2 GB of RAM should be absolutely enough for anyone, who normally doesn't keep over a dozen tabs running heavy websites simultaneously. The fan would kick in from time to time, but it's very quiet and is never annoying. Boot time is typically impressive for Chrome OS devices and takes around 7 seconds.
- Battery life is one of the sweetest spots of this laptop. To get promised 8.5 hours you don't have to keep the screen brightness at 50% all the time (as you would do with the Samsung to get 6.5 hours). I don't carry the charger with me and never managed to make it run out of juice. In fact, sometimes I would even give some boost to my phone's battery from C720 without worrying that it may die unexpectedly. Also, the battery charges pretty quickly.
- Speakers of C720 are louder than Samsung's, but they don't sound much better - they shoot down at the table (or your lap) and don't really promise anything. But plug in headphones or external speakers and you'll get some decent sound quality for a low budget device.
- The Web Camera on C720 is also superior to the one in Samsung. Promised difference in resolution might not be that visible, but it keeps higher framerate, works better in low light and seems like it captures a wider viewing angle. It is definitely an upgrade. Microphone gets the job done, but it's not very useful in somewhat noisy environment.
- C720 is a little bit heavier than Samsung, but by no means it is heavy or bulky. It is still a portable laptop that could be easily moved or carried with one hand. Its build quality is better than most Windows laptops below $350. Obviously, there's nothing special about the quality of materials, but everything feels solid, the lid mechanism is sturdy enough, and overall it's not bad at all. It certainly lacks some style, but it looks and feels more expensive than it costs.
I love Chromebooks for the ease of use. The first set up takes about five minutes. They are perfect for kids, for elderly people unfamiliar with computers, for students, for writers, bloggers or even programmers. It's amazing how much stuff can be done in a browser. Online shopping, social networking, managing emails, listening to music, watching movies, reading books, video chatting - everything that most casual users actually do on their computers and even more. Offline capabilities are not forgotten - you can watch movies from the local or external storage, listen to music, work with Google Docs and many other Chrome apps or even games that can run offline. One of the greatest things about Chrome OS - there is virtually no maintenance. You have to try really hard to make it work wrong. Updates are seamless and a complete reset of the system with the Powerwash, in case you want to give it away or sell it, takes just few minutes.
I was skeptical when the idea of a Chromebook was introduced to the public. But when I tried one myself and gave it a proper open-minded shot, I wasn't able to go back. Today Acer C720 is my daily driver and I would change it only to a better Chromebook. For $199 it's almost impossible to beat its value. Don't forget, that with the purchase you also get 100 GB of Google Drive space for 2 years. And if you like touchscreens, C720p for $299 is also a very good deal.
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on December 19, 2013
I'm a technology addict and I've been following the development of ChromeOS for a while. When it first came out, I totally understood the concept but wanted to wait for it to mature a while and the prices to come down. My trigger price point was $200 so when the 2GB version of C720 came out, I had to have one.

I find it amazing that such an inexpensive device can do so much. After having it a week, it became my favorite machine just because it is so simple and light. After using it, you come to question why we need such big computing power, huge hard discs and RAM just to run a traditional OS when it comes to supporting the use cases for about 90% of what you use a PC to do. Whats even better, the Chromebook is pretty much ready to go out of the box, with an already pretty rich supply of online an offline apps don't cost you anything extra.

Just like tablets came on the market and turned the PC industry upside down because they did 80% of a PC did, and did it with a better user experience, lower price with much less hardware spec. In the same way, I think the Chromebook will have a permanent place in personal tech as the one matching basic needs at the cheapest price - a second PC for around the home, or the "throwaway" unit for travel where you don't have to worry about damaging or losing it because its both cheap and highly secure.

Specific to the C720 - I agree with most that the screen could be much better but it is still quite acceptable considering the price. The trackpad and the keyboard as well - I have no trouble using them and the trackpad is actually better than many more expensive PCs. I think the build quality is actually quite good - it looks professional and robust enough so that it can survive a road warrior's abuse.

The 2GB ram is also the best value in my opinion. I've read a comparison report that showed that the 4GB really has no advantage until you open up 15-20 tabs at once, anything less than that the performance is identical. My own experience (I usually open up only 5 to 10 tabs at once) is that browsing performance is excellent - comparable to my 2013 MacBook Air with 8GB RAM that cost 5x the price.
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on January 31, 2014
I find the Acer C720 Chromebook is the best combination of price, quality, speed, and battery life among the several Chromebooks on the market. It serves a introduction to computing for new users and as a good traveling computer for PC users. Acer and YouTube have many tutorials on the features and use of Chromebooks. Check these out before you buy.

Tablets and Chromebooks are similar in a lot of ways. They are primarily for online use, they have very short boot up times, they don't drain much power in standby mode, and the price range is about the same. My Acer C720 boots in less than 10 seconds and goes several days in standby without a recharge. and cost $200. My Nexus 10 cost $400. Both tablets and Chromebooks require much less upkeep than a PC, for things like backup and virus protection. And the complexity is much reduced from that of a PC. There are fewer options, so there is less confusion in learning how to accomplish the tasks you want to do on a computing device. And, every hacker is not trying to download stuff on your device that you don't want. So when you evaluate a Chromebook, compare it more to a tablet rather than a PC.

Where Chromebooks and tablets differ is in productivity. Tablets have a touchscreen and apps which are convenient for consuming information, but the browsers are substandard compared to a PC, and there is no real keyboard for data entry. In that respect, Chromebooks are much more like a PC. For new users contemplating buying a PC, a Chromebook is a much shorter path to learning how to use a PC, than a tablet. For less than half the price of a PC a Chromebook is a cheap and easy way to get into computing, and it may be all that a lot of people will ever need.

The Chromebook can be set up to do the same things you can do on a PC with the Google Chrome browser. However, it's not limited to Google applications, only applications that work within the Chrome browser. Any web application that works in the PC Chrome browser works on a Chromebook. For example, Microsoft SkyDrive, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, RSS readers, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, gmail, Outlook mail, etc, all work in the Chrome browser so they also work on a Chromebook just like they work on a PC. This is not true of tablets. Tablet apps are configured differently from PC applications.

If you're using the Chrome browser now on your PC you know that it has many extensions like Add This sharing, Readability, Hangouts, free Google phone calling, etc. These are all available on the Chromebook. As a PC user, my Chromebook fits my particular needs much better than my Nexus 10 tablet. About the only thing I use my Nexus 10 for now are things like Hangouts, and other casual activities that don't require input.
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on May 29, 2014
So far, I'm very impressed with this computer. For $200, it's really hard to complain. It's fast, it's snappy, and it gets the job done.

Pros:
1.) Chrome OS is simplistic and fast.
2.) Great Battery Life
3.) Strong Wifi Signal (Both 2.4ghz and 5ghz)
4.) Can do just about anything on it...(Especially after installing Ubuntu)
5.) Keyboard works well with my fat fingers

CONS:
1.) Google (Not a big deal, but it is to some people)
2.) Chrome OS is very limited
3.) Screen could be better and brighter

As I stated in my title, you can get Skype up and running on it with in about 45 minutes of receiving your chromebook. Do some research on Crouton. It will allow you to run Ubuntu simultaneously with Chrome OS, which greatly improves what you can do with this machine online and offline. Once you have Ubuntu running, you can install Skype...and it does work! In fact, I haven't found anything that doesn't quite work with it yet....Well, I guess Microsoft office, but there are programs out there that are practically the same...for instance, Openoffice.

Need proof on Skype, just leave a comment. Questions, feel free to ask.
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on November 25, 2014
I use a heavy desktop replacement laptop to run engineering software and play games, but wanted something light that I could stick in my bag so that I could be productive on the go. I considered buying a tablet, but the lack of keyboard was a definite deal breaker and I didn't want to experiment with the pricey tablet / laptop hybrids.

To be honest, I bought the Acer C720 Chromebook because the $200 price tag was attractive enough to give Chrome OS a try. My expectations were not high, but after a month of usage I am here to say that this product is awesome!The Chromebook is very light, feels durable and awakens/sleeps (when you open/close the lid) almost instantaneously. Between working on documents, writing emails and watching videos, the battery lasts at least 6 hours on a single charge and doesn't seem to ever overheat or make fan noises. It's very quiet and cool.

Lately I've been using this just to marathon through my favorite TV shows and will make just one comment on actual performance speed. For the price of $200, it's understandable that the hardware won't be able to handle my bad habit of using "open in new tab" for each new video on my YouTube subscriptions list. Initially the load is slow and the flash plugin may even crash, but for all you normal people who open and watch one video at a time (and avoids having a 100 tabs), then this Chromebook will always run smoothly! The screen and picture quality is satisfactory, there are 2 USB ports available for my mouse (never liked using just the touch-pad), and there's an HDMI port to connect to my HDTV. I'm used to having DropBox take care of my cloud files, but duplicating it into Google Drive was simple and clean. Also glad that there is still hard-drive space for me to download school and work files to. I myself did not see the need to pay an additional $50 for the extra 16 GBs but that is more of a personal preference, as is the $100 extra for touch screen capability.

Conclusion: This product is great for casual use (videos, social media) or light work (email, google docs, blogging) and is even good enough to use as a main computer as long as you don't need specific software for work or play. With Black Friday around the corner, I'm planning to buy this again for my mother. Her only requirement is access to Facebook so that she can stalk me, but that's alright mom, I got you covered.
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on December 7, 2014
Pros ... I installed Linux for dual boot ! Intel chip and legacy BIOS :)
Battery is as described .
Light weight .
Great price

Cons .. the sd card sticks out half way when inserted.. with the small 16/32 GB SSDrive you will need a sd card for the extra storage.. I didn't like that it sticks out :(
The Mic and head phone Jack are shared .. (like a cell phone ) guess that is more of a preference .
The power plug going into the laptop is very very small ! I will need to be very careful not to break it !
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on December 30, 2013
This is my first chromebook. I love the keyboard - the keys are not slick, but slightly textured. The power button is too close to the backspace key and is in the far upper right; however a single tap on the power key only flickers the screen. The screen is looks great and the battery life is great.

I have the 2GB version but wanted the at-the-time unavailable 4GB. I have found the 2GB to be enough memory, per crosh & top. Video and embedded Adobe products use a lot of memory, so keeping those tabs closed when not in use helps. Chrome OS will discard memory for "low priority" tabs when memory runs out; meaning you would need to reload those pages when you click on a discarded tab. So, you really always have memory.

Rendering is slower than any other real laptop or desktop I own. So have your expectations set properly for performance. I chose this new Acer over the Samsung for its faster processor; and I'm glad I did.
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on June 26, 2014
Bought this for using at work/home because I was sick of using my phone to browse the internet, and wow! This is a 200 dollar netbook pretending to be an ultrabook. The remote desktop is amazingly fast, and usually gets ~10fps on local wifi and ~3-4 fps over the internet. It works with proxies and vpns, the solid state memory is user upgrade-able, the battery lasts around 7 hours as long as you aren't watching videos, the screen is perfect for watching a movie by yourself or with another person, and everything just works. There was a hiccup where the firmware on my television was causing problems with the HDMI outputting 720p instead of 1080p, but it seems to have been patched out. The touchpad is very responsive, and scrolling with 2 fingers is an entirely different experience than side-of-the-touchpad scrolling with a laptop, I'm still not sure why they make laptops with that anymore.

I've also used the linux dual-boot / crouton-shared-kernel boots and while I much prefer the legacy-bios dual-boot option, they were both functional and extremely easy to install. You put it into developer mode, type about a line of code, and wait for it to do its thing (around 30 minutes).

Would I rather have an ultrabook? Of course, but I'd much rather have 800 bucks and this than an ultrabook. Plus the price helps mitigate any fears I have leaving it in a car or in a backpack while I'm at the gym or something.

The 2gb of ram haven't been an issue, and if it becomes one, just close a couple tabs.

10/10, would buy again.
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on December 27, 2016
As a former macbook pro and windows laptop user, I was initially very skeptical about making the switch. 26+ months later and I absolutely love this little chromebook. It is still going strong, and I paid about 1/10th the cost of my wife's fancy macbook pro. I've had the mouse get stuck about twice a year, and when that happens I just reboot and it is right as rain. The browser crashes as well, maybe once a month or so, and again a reboot is usually required (refresh key+power button). The reboot on this thing is seriously like 10 seconds.

I'm someone who likes to have many tabs open at the same time and I had feared this wouldn't work due to lack of memory. I do find it poops out when I go over about 20-24 tabs, but I found that knowing that, I can stay below that number of tabs so it hasn't been an issue at all. I continue to do our family finances on the chromebook just as I did before on my windows laptop, via my microsoft one drive in conjunction with excel online. For free. I have a spreadsheet to track the sales and expenses of my small business, also in the cloud, and it all works without a hitch. All for less than $200 over 2 years ago. And if it dies tomorrow I buy another one, sign in, and it's all there immediately at my fingertips again thanks to cloud storage.

I've gone from a skeptic to a huge believer. I feel like most businesses should make the change because they are just setting their money on fire when they buy machines for way higher cost and spend lots of time and money on procedures to back up data so it isn't lost, when on a chromebook that is all just automatic. I know this one isn't made anymore, but I love this machine so much I felt like I owed it a glowing review since it has served me so well and is still going strong without a hint of trouble.
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