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on January 27, 2015
After a TON of research, I went with this chromebook over ones that were newer, had bigger screens, or had more of this or that. I've heard complaints about the screen in particular, but I find the resolution and quality to be more than adequate. I was a little reluctant to go with the 12" screen, but actually prefer it - a lot! It just makes this chromebook that much more portable, and that much easier to snatch up when moving about the house, or when running out for the weekend.

I think I did get the model with a little more storage space or something, but I personally will never use it all up. Even if I did, it's so easy just to park files in the cloud or whatever.

What has really lived up to the hype is the battery life - you really can look forward to a minimum of 8 hours on a charge. I was so used to having a laptop tethered by the power cord that it really is wonderful to just use this thing and leave it anywhere in the house that's convenient, and only have to recharge it about every 4 or 5 days!

While it may be par for the course with a chromebook, as someone switching from laptops, I love how this thing is silent, and I don't get hit with all of the popups and banners like are more of an issue with a laptop (at least how I browse the web).

I was also surprised that the sound on the C720 is better than on my 17" Toshiba Satellite, although the Satellite has really bad speakers.

Another thing - boot time is basically instantaneous. Again - this may be standard with most or all chromebooks, but if it isn't, it's one more reason to consider the C720. I think I also read where opening a lot of tabs would slow down page loading? I think I've had at least a dozen, with no issues that I noticed. This was with audio or video on at least one tab, too.

I need to be clear and say that I didn't get the C720 with the expectations of it replacing a laptop. I just am not a tablet or "big smartphone" person. I don't really like using touchscreens for the most part. I've also had my own business and enough jobs that required laptops when out on the road that I love about this what I hated about all of them. That even goes for a really nice Thinkpad that I had from my last job - possibly as good as it gets with a traditional laptop, but the C720 is just better in the ways that are important.

The only negative thing I can really think of is that I wish there were "home" and "end" keys, as I've really gotten used to using them. Again though - there may be some equivalent that I just foolishly/ignorantly don't know about. While I should probably be more critical or give more analysis to the other programs on the C720, I honestly don't use them enough for it to detract from how I feel about it. For that matter, I think there are ports for all the popular stuff - even a HDMI if I'm not mistaken? So all the connectivity and flexibility is there, right under my nose.

...I also did (honestly) try to set up the HP printing feature, and I think I did it correctly. I didn't test it though, but my HP printer does show up as if it were configured properly. I know that can be important to some users, so I wanted to mention that it at least exists, even if it might not work well (I honestly don't know).

While some of what I've said is probably not too helpful, at least it should convey that they pack a TON of features into even what should be just a basic little "light duty laptop," and for such a ridiculously low price vs. even a lot of tablets.
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on December 6, 2014
After buying I instantly had nothing but problems with this chromebook. First I couldn't get connected to the internet on it, something which is required to set up and use it. After spending 2 hours on the phone with Google's tech support (they were very helpful but this review is not of them) we figured out that this chromebook is not compatible with my modem, a modem that I have had no problems with in the past and works great with all my other devices. So I decided to buy a new modem. After installing the new modem I was able to connect to the internet and the chromebook seemed to be working fine, until I tryed to go online. I quickly figured out that any time I had the chromebook turned on my internet speed instantly dropped from about 12mbps to 40kbps on all devices I had connected to the internet. After spending massive amounts of time troubleshooting it just isn't worth the hassle, this chromebook is going back. Maybe it was a lemon but I'm not going to deal with the possibility of another one being the same. I'm going back to an android tablet, which I should of done in the first place.
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on July 10, 2016
I bought 2 of these because my kids' schools use these for so much work - and homework is primarily online now. But I found that these have cheaply made parts. One of them had a problem right out of the box - screen would go black... often. Then that stopped and it started getting lines running through the screen, and having glitches all the time. The other had problems with screen black-outs and degradation after about 7 months, until the screen finally was just done. For the price paid ($229) I would rather have invested in a Kindle tablet, but the schools all use Chromebooks and I wanted the kids to have the same platform to facilitate ease. Good thing I bought the 2-yr Square Trade warranties on them.
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on January 22, 2014
Super fast Chromebook. I own a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook that was a decent system for the price but the ARM processor presents some limits in both performance and running Linux applications.

I've set up Crouton to run Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy) and its working perfectly, including the brightness and volume buttons. I installed the the Android Development Kit Bundle w/Eclipse. The only obvious strain on the system I've noticed is that the AVD's take a little time to boot up.

Being able to switch back and forth between ChromeOS and Ubuntu on a $250 laptop that's rated for 8.5 hours of battery life is pretty awesome.
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on December 10, 2014
This C720 is a hot little bundle of fun. IMHO, being delivered with ChromeOS is it's only weakness. Luckily, there is a simple workaround: Install one of the Linux distributions. There are two right now. I choose the Bodhi since there is a build specifically for the C720. Using Bodhi allowed me to discard ChromeOS and use all of the space on the SSD (which, BTW, you can upgrade the SSD on your own. Google for the instructions: C720 SSD upgrade). 128GB drives run about USD$65 on Amazon.

Changing the OS allowed me to use printers on my network WITHOUT using Google's cloud printing BS. I also have access to applications with a great deal more maturity.

The only additional costs to make this change? The price of a couple 2GB flash drives. One to hold the Chromebook's recovery file (just in case) and the second to hold the Bodhi linux install stuff. The change took about two hours (not including the slow download of Bodhi).

This sort of change might not be something you want to do on your own, but I'll bet you know a geek who'd be happy to help. This changeover isn't difficult and having that recovery flash drive is a safety net in case you really want to use ChromeOS after all.

So now I have aC720 with a 128GB of on-board storage and a fully functional OS.

UPDATE: I started with the procedure to change over to Bodhi Linux (c720-specific build), but moved to the HugeGreenBug Linux distro. Bodhi was okay, but had usability issues for me.

A slight repeat of the above review:

Using LINUX instead of the crippleware it came with lets you map shared drives and also use local printers without needing G**gle's cloud. Among other things, you can also run applications will do what you want to so rather than being limited to doing things that are allowed by G**gle's sandbox. Chrome's apps will never catch up to the offerings found for Linux.
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on April 17, 2015
My little Chromebook saves the day. I like to surf the web, read articles on the web, read articles on the Drudge Report and with that site it is impossible to read in peace on a computer because you get so many pop-up ads and when that happens I just leave the page and decide the article is not worth reading. Google tells you on almost every site how many pop up ads they are protecting you from and I can read in peace. Also when I turn n my little Chromebook it is immediately on -- no waiting and watching a little circle go round and round and open things you don't want to use anyway. I gave Google permission to monitor everything I say or do on my chromebook and I imagine programs instead of people are doing the monitoring and helping but I get so much help when I need it that I feel like there is a real person always ready to help me. The Acer is a wonderful little device. I love its small size, its bright, clear picture, its matte finish -- I would not have purchased it without the matte finish because I don't want to see glare on my screen from the sun coming in from the big window behind me.
When I purchased this not too long ago, people were saying printing was hard with Chromebooks but that's not th case now and with this device there are lots of printer choices now. I purchased a small Acer computer because I wanted to use Turbo Tax to do my income tax -- some people on the net said they used an app for Turbo Tax but I could not figure out how to do that so I purchased a small Acer just to do my income tax and to use Broderbund Print Master and Calendar Creator but I really hate almost everything about regular computers njeow and have little patience waitng while something updates as I am in the middle of a project. If you have not tried a Chromebook, do so now and you will think your computer belongs to the dark ages of inefficiency and hacking hazards. I love this Cromebook, Acer and especiaslly Google.
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on October 26, 2014
This is a very nice machine and an extraordinary value. It's light, its powerful enough for the tasks most people will use it for, and its inexpensive. So I recommend it strongly. However, I have some nits, and I'll mention them in the hopes that it will help others trying to make the decision about what type of ChromeBook/Box to buy.

For my purposes, it might not have been a bad idea to have gotten:

- a more powerful machine
- a chromebox rather than a Chromebook

Here are the issues: The machine is certainly powerful enough to do everything I want it to do. I'm comfortable in the cloud and work very well with the tools I find in the browser. But sometimes I'm doing relatively complex things, such as development, and I wish the machine responded just a bit quicker. It's not slow, but my desktop machine responds more quickly. Of course, with a bigger processor, the price would go up, and part of the appeal of these machines is the low cost.

The second issue is screen resolution. When I'm doing hard core work, I like to be on a big monitor. I'm comfortable having two monitors, but I don't like it as much when one of them is the tiny screen of my Chromebook. So I switch to the "duplicate these displays" option, and then the resolution drops way down to match the highest possible resolution of the Chromebook, which for some reason is even lower than usual Chromebook resolution in this mode. So maybe I should get a ChromeBox, which would make this issue go away. Of course, I then lose the ability to carry this handsome lightweight machine with me to the coffee shop, or what have you.

One other thing I should mention: I'm a computer science teacher, and I frequently teach entire two hour long classes using my Chromebook. It is powerful enough to meet all my needs when teaching, even when doing relatively heavy weight tasks such as development, databases, IaaS, etc. (In these cases, the really fast response that I want when developing alone is not necessary. You don't want to rush in front of a class. Again, this machine is not slow, it just doesn't respond nearly instantly the way my desktop does. We are talking delays of well under a second in most cases. Usually under half a second even for big tasks.)
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on March 5, 2014
I'm in my last semester (hopefully) of my undergrad and my 4 year old HP Envy quit on me in the first week of this semester. I've had my Chromebook for about a month now, so I think I'm a little qualified to leave a pretty accurate review.

Overall, I absolutely love my Chromebook. It is an amazing little device and I will probably never go back to a PC (I'm not a Mac person at all so I can't compare it to them). Now, as a disclaimer, I am not someone who does online gaming or software video editing. At most, I'll edit some pictures and maybe edit some music files, so I cannot attest to this devices ability to fulfill those needs (though it doesn't seem like it would be very compatible with them). However, as someone who needs a computer mostly for internet, research, email, music, social networking, and document editing, this thing is amazing.

PROS
1. Speed. This thing is a beast. It comes out of a sleep faster than my Kindle will start up (if I shut it down, not just if I wake it up from sleeping). It's kind of incredible how fast it boots. Internet browsing and document editing is awesome, video viewing is great (YES, this OS IS great for Netflix and online streaming, don't believe what you've heard if it is contrary to what I just said).

2. Display. I really like the Chrome OS layout (it's pretty similar to Windows 7, which I liked a lot more than any devices with Windows 8 that I've tried--my phone has Windows 8 and I kind of hate it now that I have my Chromebook). It's intuitive and simple--the whole setup process for me took like ten minutes tops.

3. Sync with Google. I can access all of my stuff EVERYWHERE. I used Google Drive before, but not as heavily. It is soooo so nice to have all of your material on whatever computer you may have access to.

4. Apps. Google has come out with some really useful apps for these devices and they're only making more.

5. Hardware. I love the way this Acer laptop is set up. The sound is surprisingly wonderful for such a small machine, AND it has separate "speakers' and "headphones" settings for sound. No more plugging my headphones in, forgetting I had the volume cranked earlier that day, and having my ear drums blown out. It's a simple but beautiful thing and I don't know why more manufacturers don't do it. The top row of keys is as follows: Escape, Back (internet browser button), Forward, Refresh, Fullscreen, I don't know what to call the next button but if you hit it it brings all the things you have open up on your desktop screen and you can click on what you want to go to, Dimmer, Brighter, Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up, Power. The "programs" button is awesome, I use it all the time to get to something else that I have open but don't want to scroll through everything to find, and having the internet back, forward, and refresh buttons on the keyboard is surprisingly nice. Some people say they're worried about hitting the power button accidentally, but to turn it off you have to hold it for a few seconds, so it's difficult to do it by accident. The screen is matte, so you can still see things if you're outside or by a window, and the trackpad is awesome--two finger scroll, click with two fingers for a right click, and you can enable tap to click in the settings (which I was thrilled with because I hate pushing down every time). Unfortunately, though, there's no zoom feature on the trackpad. That's my only complaint about it. This thing is SO lightweight overall--with my old computer, if I lugged it around campus my shoulders would kill me, but with this one I can barely tell it's in my backpack.

6. Sleep/Occasional Crash Recovery. Any time I've put this to sleep, turned it off without closing things, or had it run out of memory and need to restart abruptly, I have not lost a single thing. Are crashes desirable? No. Do they happen? Yes. Does this thing deal with them well? Absolutely. On a computer with only 2 gb of RAM I kind of expected a few crashes because I can be a heavy internet browser, but when it restores itself, all my tabs come back and whatever I was working on is safe.

7. Battery Life. Battery life battery life oh my gosh battery life. I am AMAZED with it. One day I was using it to watch Netflix and bum around on the internet and the battery was at about 60% and I didn't have to plug it in for FIVE hours. On a full charge, it will do at least 8 if you're not watching videos, and about 6 or 7 if you are. It's absolutely incredible and if it's the one reason you buy this computer, I wouldn't judge that decision (other than to say it's totally reasonable). It's wonderful and cannot be matched. It's also super convenient when I need to take it to class and am not sitting close to a power outlet. My old HP would get 3 hours MAX when the batter was new. If this computer only lasted 3 hours, I would wonder what was wrong with it. The lack of a need to plug in is a beautiful, beautiful thing and it is definitely unparalleled.

8. Google Docs. At first I was worried about not having Microsoft Word, but honestly, Google's line of word processing programs are so similar that it doesn't even matter. You can save things as .docx or .pdf and then anyone can view them in the "traditional" format. It's absolutely not necessary to have Microsoft Word. Plus, there are plenty of converter apps that Google has to view things from other people and turn them into Google Docs so you can edit them, and then turn them back into pdfs or whatever you need.

CONS

1. Sometimes it crashes. It happens with all computers. However, as I said, it reboots well and I've never lost anything.

2. The fact that all my stuff is on the cloud... I'm a little uncomfortable with it. I have an external hard drive with most of my files on it (especially videos and stuff). I've never had any problems with hacking, but it worries me slightly. However, Google is constantly improving security, so I'm not ALL that worried. The nice thing is that you can set up "2 Step Verification," so when you (or potentially someone else) log into your google account from a previously unused computer, you have to supply your password AND google sends your phone a text with a code to put in. You have to have your phone to log in, but this gives me a little more peace of mind.

3. Desire to Learn (this online software that my school uses for virtually everything) issues. The dropbox on Desire to Learn won't let me upload files. This has been an absolute pain and I have to make sure that I either have my Kindle Fire charged so I can send PDFs to it and then upload them with that, or that I'm on campus so I can use a public computer to turn in my assignment. This is my biggest complaint and I hope I can resolve it eventually, though I don't know how I could do it on my own.

4. Printing. I haven't sat down yet to try to connect my printer to cloud print. I know there are directions, I know you are supposed to be able to print with Chromebooks, but there are so many extra steps that I just haven't bothered with it yet. I've resorted to printing on my campus and my printer has gone dormant. Maybe eventually I'll hook it up and change this to a pro, but for now, it's a hindrance.

5. File Explorer. The file explorer is pretty simple but is sometimes kind of glitchy. Usually if I put my computer to sleep and wake it up again it solves that problem, but it's annoying nonetheless.

FINAL VERDICT
Overall, if you're not a huge gamer or video editor, this computer is amazing. All these great features combined with the outstanding price make it a fantastic choice for those who just use computers for internet and document editing. Contrary to Microsoft's Chrome OS slam commercials, IT IS NOT USELESS WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION. No, you can't access websites, but you can't do that offline with a PC anyway. You can still make documents and they'll just save to your small hard drive and sync with Google Drive later. It saves the most recent things you've worked on, and if you want more you can use an external hard drive or flash drive (or physically move files to the offline drive) to access more files offline. Honestly, though, I'm so rarely without an internet connection that it doesn't even matter anyway.
I would recommend this computer wholeheartedly (and have many times in the past month). It's compact, intuitive, useful, and does almost everything a common PC will do. If you have any other questions that I didn't address, just ask :)
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on September 3, 2016
Love this laptop! I bought this after my Macbook of 9 years finally died. This is no Apple product, but all I needed it for is Internet use - mostly social media, emails, and searching the Internet for school. It is so lightweight and perfect for travel. It turns on in 7 seconds, runs on Google products which are perfect because I can back up all my photos, files, etc. onto my Google drive. It also has built-in security, virus protection, has a 16G SSD, and an 8.5 hour battery life (but I had I've got it to run on 10 hours with the screen brightness turned down)! ALL of that for $200+, THAT'S packing A LOT in a small, compact laptop! I highly recommend this if you are solely using laptops for Internet use. NOTE: This laptop does not have a CD drive; only has 2 USB ports (one on each side), an HDMI port and a headphone port on the left, and an SD card slot on the right.
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on March 6, 2014
just got this today-- a day early as a matter of fact... i switched from a samsung chromebook to this acer and serioiusly: because i had everything backed up to the cloud, i was able to clean the old one (i'm giving it to my daughter) and set this one up in about five minutes total... beautiful machine... lots more appealing that the two macbook airs i used to have...

in fact i quit itunes altogether and simply stream music... i've also been working in google docs lately and find hardly any difference between it and microsoft or apple... in fact this machine can do what i need (write, spreadsheets, presentations) and some of the newer apps i need to explore... there shouldn't be any complaints about this machine, except from tech nerds who think that this isnt's "strong enough" or "fast enough"... it rawks... i got the 32 GB version which will be way more than i need but if you do have music, movies, etc. you should have no problem w/it as it comes w/a SSD memory card slot (like my samsung) and a new usb 3.0 port that i can get 64GB or 128GB sticks for that download faster than anything on a 2.0, which it also has...

and about the comment above about it being better than the macbook air-- so true, it's exactly like a macbook air, just faster and more stable (chrome OS, that is).... keypad is great, screen is great, size is perfect, weight is perfect... what more can i say?

and it's all true what you've heard-- right out of the box, w/in five minutes i am online and working on something i was working on last night (because it was in the cloud)...

and if you're worried about having to be online all the time for it to work, i ask you this-- when are you ever w/out access to the internet? i mean seriously come on.. if anyone is that worried about this machine not having 3g or 4g then they need to get w/their carrier and add tethering to their phones because i have the tethering option and have only used it once... and printing is a breeze; i mean, how many printers out there are already internet or google print ready? i saw a printer just the other day for less than $60...

and the fact that you'll never have to worry about upgrades, viruses, etc... all automatic... and when i set it up, there they were: all my apps and bookmarks ready to go... i can't wait to have it charged completely so i can see if the battery does in fact, last 6.5 hours...

so much more than a simple netbook, and because it's google, everything works across all of my platforms-- my nexus 7 as well as my nexus 5...

great value, great looking machine, great working machine... get one of these things, you won't be disappointed.

03/15/2014 update:

nothing bad at all, in fact still runs and works like a dream... but i have read a couple of gripes regarding the SSD Card hanging out about 1/3'... yes it does do that; unlike my Samsung which fit to at least 1/4", but really hasn't gotten in the way of anything: mostly i use an SSD card or micro SSD card w/an adapter and when i give over my micro SSD to a friend i just give him the USB adapter and use it... there are so many ways to do it to your liking... i have yet to get anything transferred from a USB 3.0 because no one i have owns a machine w/one, but i certainly will once my friend who has all the new movies finishes his new desktop tower build. that's all... keep having fun... oh yes-- wanted to mention that my camera is a DSLR Sony alpha model and w/all the photo apps out there, there's no way to make a bad photo, even w/my little point-and-shoot... just plug and play, everything basic sets itself up, you can do the customization.
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