Acer C720 Chromebook

Acer C720P Chromebook: re-visited

I did an initial review a couple of weeks ago. After loads of research, I had decided to dive into the Chromebook world with the Acer C720P. You can read this short review here.

Today, after having used the device for a few weeks, I thought it’d be interesting to share some insights, and encourage others to try this very solid 250€ device.

Things I like

7 seconds to boot up
To be honest, blazing fast access to my Chromebook sounded like a gimmick on paper. After experiencing it for a while, and comparing the boot up experience to traditional Windows devices, the emotional gain is just huge. Powering off is quick as well.

Speed and touchscreen
My Chromebook hasn’t been slowing down or showing any major lag issues. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to use a netbook (about the same price range) and it instantly confirmed the solid specs of the Acer C720P by far. If you like fast loading pages and a smooth browsing experience, this device is very capable. Touchscreen is also a must now, and the next wave of Chromebooks should include it.

Frequent updates and no antivirus needed
Every Chromebook receives frequent updates. There’s no fragmentation and you could purchase any model without wondering if you are still going to have the latest version of Chrome OS. Regarding the security point, Google is laser focused on providing the best security experience.

Light and thin
It’s pleasant to have a very portable computer, and 11″ is the sweet-spot for the very mobile people. With this Acer Chromebook, you won’t feel like you’re carrying a bulky laptop.

The Operating System philosophy
If you’d like to run Chrome OS, you just keep on using your Chromebook the traditional way. You’d need an Internet connection to fully use it, but the very essential web apps are available offline (ex: Google Docs, Slides or Sheets). If you’re a Linux geek, you also have the option of installing various Linux distros, to go for different options and add more flavor. At the end, you use it the way you want it, just like Android. Furthermore, more integration will be possible with this latter.

Battery life
I’m very satisfied with it, as I also use my smartphone for lots of tasks. I usually get around 7 hours, which is definitely sufficient.

Price and affordability
Just like the Nexus 4 I bought last year, Google’s pricing strategy is spot on. We just have the best bang for our buck, with a shift from “Quality/Price ratio” to “Value/Price ratio”. The innovating experience and the simplification they operate, are concrete conversation triggers among communities.

The way Google approaches the laptop market is very interesting. There’s lot of room for innovation within the entry-level segment, and the company just proves it. I’m not even sure if “entry-level” is the right word to use. If we start from customers, let’s assume that they may target “people with basic needs, looking for a device that just does the job with minimal maintenance and good enough internals/materials”. Anyway, it’s a great occasion to test and grow the Chromebook family over the time.

Things I’d like to see

More premium materials
The Acer model has a good enough look and feel. The screen is decent and the keyboard typing experience is too. However, I’d gladly go for a 350€ device with an IPS screen (just like the #HP11 ). Beyond the adoption of more powerful internals (like the core i3), and in order to keep on evolving, screen resolution could be a valid way to dominate the mid-range market.

Flat design
I really like the way Android L has been designed. Flat design is just fantastic and provides a different experience. That would be interesting to have Chrome OS on the same path.

A better front camera
It’s still hard to take high quality selfies with the Chromebook webcam. Though, a better camera would provide a better Hangout experience for example. Then, screen resolution and front camera would be my two main wishes for a possible upgrade.

Did you recently buy a Chromebook? What are your feelings after a couple of days/weeks?