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There’s a Chromebook for virtually every need and budget. And while we’ve been looking at some of the newer form factors (like the all-in-one desktop LG Chromebase Review and Giveaway LG Chromebase Review and Giveaway Chrome OS is blasting it's way haphazardly onto different form factors – but can it really take on the all-in-one desktop? Here comes the LG Chromebase ($329) to prove it can. Or not. Read More ), it’s time to go back to basics. Smooth performance and a budget friendly price – is this the Chromebook you’re looking for?

At the end of this review, you’ll be able to enter a giveaway for a chance to win the Acer C720 and C720P (we have one of each to giveaway).

About the Acer C720 and C720P

The Acer C720 ($199) is currently among the cheapest Chromebooks on the market, joined by the Asus 11.6″ model and a few others with a similar form factor. Though similar on paper, I’d be inclined to recommend the ASUS Chromebook over the C720 due to its superior build quality and keyboard, and larger trackpad.

The C720P ($309) differs only in that it has a touchscreen – and while it represents great value for money, there are slightly cheaper models that also have a touchscreen, such as the Lenovo Chromebook (review Lenovo IdeaPad N20P Chromebook Review and Giveaway Lenovo IdeaPad N20P Chromebook Review and Giveaway The Lenovo IdeaPad N20P is Lenovo’s first attempt at the Chromebook market. Read More ).

acer c720p  - box

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Packaging

The packaging is nice yet straightforward. The Chromebooks were nicely protected by wrapping and styrofoam bumpers, and came with a power cord and a small user manual — that’s it. That keeps the entire package lean, which I like.

acer c720p - inside box

Design

The Chromebooks have a very nice yet simple design that is in line with its low price tag. The entire Chromebook has one color, but the screen is surrounded by a black bezel (on the C720 this bezel reaches the edge while on the C720P it does not).

acer c720p - overview

We also get a decent amount of ports: on the left side there’s the power jack, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and a combo headphone/microphone jack; on the right side there’s an SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock slot.

It’s dimensions are 11.34 x 8.03 x 0.75 inches with a weight of 2.8 pounds, which makes it very thin and portable — two crucial characteristics of a good Chromebook.

acer c720p - side ports

Build Quality

The build quality is interesting to note, because the materials used in making these Chromebooks feel like they aren’t terribly cheap despite it most likely being a very cheap plastic. However, although there’s tons of plastic all around, it feels decently sturdy and could handle a few bumps and scrapes.

Since the device is so cheap and made of plastic, I can’t guarantee that the device will be very durable. If you treat it well, it should last quite a long time, but it might not hold up very well to heavy beating. Don’t confuse those statements with the device being flimsy — it’s not flimsy, but the quality of the materials just isn’t great. Which doesn’t surprise me at all — I believe that this is probably where most of the cost savings comes from.

Getting Started

Like any other Chrome OS device, you just need to plug in the power cord to get it to boot up (it’ll refuse to until you plug it in, even though the battery is half full). From there, you just sign into your Google account and off you go. Everything that you have synced with Chrome on any other computer will show up on your Chromebook in just a few seconds.

Display (and Touchscreen)

The 11.6-inch display comes with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, which isn’t extraordinary but quite good for such a display. The viewing angles were acceptable — although it’s still best if the screen is facing you directly — and the color representation was good for the price. Saturation of colors was a little low but not to the point that it looked strange.

acer c720p - touch

The touchscreen on the C720P is very nice and easy to use. It was responsive and accurate to my input. Chrome OS supports quite a few gestures on touchscreens, so the experience there was productive.

Speakers

The speakers were actually very good, and I’m not saying that they’re good for the price. They’re actually good — no matter what the price was. I was surprised by this, as speakers are usually one of the areas where Chromebook manufacturers tend to make sacrifices. But nope, these were loud and clear.

There was virtually no distortion at higher volumes, and there was even some bass in them. Not a lot, but I was expecting none at all. This alone makes these Chromebooks good devices to consume media, particularly music, on the go for cheap.

Performance

With an Intel Celeron 2955U processor and 2GB of RAM, I had been expecting to see some stuttering or lag during my use of these Chromebooks. However, it performed quite well. It wasn’t a perfectly buttery smooth experience, but it wasn’t really laggy either. Updates after first booting the device made it perform better, so I’d expect further updates to do the same. There might have been an occasional, minimal hiccup once in a while, but it’s otherwise fantastic to use.

Even YouTube videos playing at 1080p worked without a hitch, though given the low resolution display there would be little point in playing anything beyond 720p. The included 802.11n WiFi is mature and fast enough for anything that the Chromebook can handle.

Battery Life

I was expecting battery life to suffer, but that wasn’t the case either. Acer advertises 8.5 and 7.5 hours for the C720 and C720P, respectively. I actually got approximately a half hour better on each device for light to moderate mixed use. You shouldn’t have to worry about plugging these Chromebooks into the wall unless you have a very, very long day to tackle.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard and trackpad were acceptable, but here’s another area where sacrifices were made by Acer. While the keyboard looks good and there’s plenty of spacing between the keys, the tactile feedback is minimal, so it’s difficult to tell whether you’ve reached the threshold for keystroke recognition. Your eyes can confirm or deny that fact, but your fingers will get confused and will keep getting confused until it gets accustomed to the keyboard.

acer c720p - keyboard

The trackpad works pretty well, but it isn’t as smooth and sensitive as I would have liked it to be. The area of the trackpad is rather small (which most 11.6-inch Chromebooks suffer from). With the C720P, I found myself using the touchscreen more often than the trackpad. I’m not a big fan of touchscreens generally, and while I would prefer a better trackpad or mouse, in this case it complimented the system nicely.

Webcam and Microphone

Another trademark of any Chrome OS-powered device: the webcam isn’t great. It’s a 1.3 MP webcam, sufficient for 800 x 600 video conferencing. It’ll get the job done, but it won’t be the best experience. The microphone is also of standard quality — good enough to clearly capture your voice, but it’s nothing “high-definition.”

Conclusion

In the end, are the Acer C720 and C720P worth your money? Yes! While they do have their downsides (and at that price, how could they not), but they are certainly much better than I was expecting them to be.

Buy! It’s a great value for the money, and consider getting the C720P if you like touchscreens and don’t mind spending a little more. However, don’t forget to check for deals on others, such as the ASUS Chromebook.

Acer C720 and C720P Giveaway

The winner will be selected at random and informed via email. View the list of winners here.

Send your products to be reviewed. Contact James Bruce for further details.

  1. jacksonpal
    March 31, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Wow

  2. Derek
    February 19, 2015 at 4:29 am

    is this still going on? if it is how do i qualify?

  3. Alicia Turner
    February 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I hope I win this cause if I win I would give the labtop to my Mom since she needs a labtop.

  4. *YARA*
    January 31, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    ooo I'm so excited!! I hope I win!
    As we wait, how many entries did you guys manage to get?
    I only got 48 so far, going to try to get my friends that didn't enter to enter.

  5. Terry Stebbins
    January 31, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Great Giveaway!

  6. NINA-MARIA BOYNTA
    January 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you :)

  7. francesco rizzuto
    January 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Want one

  8. Anna Beth Cruz
    January 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

    wow hope to win i will give it to my son, because he is now in college.

  9. Hydee bayhon
    January 24, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I would be delighted to have this Acer C720 and C720P for my daughter and i think it will fit in well in her studies. I will try my luck then !

  10. Anonymous
    January 24, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I want to win this!

  11. Leslie
    January 23, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Great review!

  12. Stacy Potter
    January 22, 2015 at 7:07 am

    looks good!

  13. Julie J.
    January 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    the entry section isn't working.. so plz consider this my entry. :)

  14. Vasilis
    January 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Looks Great! Lucky winner!

  15. Faith Hazel Almario
    January 20, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Let's do this! Thanks for the chance!

  16. Katherine Henrichsen
    January 19, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I would love a laptop! I am a woman who was injured fighting fires so I could never afford one!! Most my money
    is taken up by medical bills.

  17. Alfred Chan
    January 19, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I am coming for this great chromebook. Thanks for the giveaway anyway!! :)

  18. Luana Parso
    January 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    wow thank you ^_^

  19. nicolle
    January 19, 2015 at 5:37 am

    my hard drive just crapped out this would be a fantastic win!!!!!!

  20. CURTIS HENSLEY
    January 18, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    GREAT TO LOOK AT VERY NEAT PACKAGE SHORE WOULD LIKE ONE

  21. Deborah Pensieri
    January 18, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you for the review. I love the prize.

  22. Ivana M.
    January 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for the review. I love the prize.

  23. ????????? ???????
    January 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    kalh mou epituxia makari n to kerdisw

  24. Florence C
    January 17, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I enjoyed the review and I love the prize.

  25. Aurelia Dumitru
    January 17, 2015 at 8:19 am

    It"s a great prize !!!awesome...I"d like to win the contest! The best.
    Thank you for the review.

  26. Quratulain Najeeb
    January 17, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I want to win for my daughter because her studies hope to win

  27. lissa crane
    January 17, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Great review! This is the perfect laptop for any student to use for school or social media! Great pricing too!

  28. Mike
    January 17, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Nice giveaway.

  29. Kaushik Medhi
    January 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Fabulous Giveaway !Awesome features in Chromebook ! Wish to WIN some day :)

  30. Konstantin
    January 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I"ve dreamed on Notebook for 5 years. What way to win in ?

  31. susan king
    January 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Just noticed the numbers are on top instead of on the right side so I'm going to quit entering. Need that ten key !!

  32. susan king
    January 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Great prize ! Thank you for giving us the chance to win it !!

  33. Dom
    January 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    thank you, great review

  34. Christos Tsikrikoydis-tsikrikas
    January 16, 2015 at 6:58 am

    great review!

  35. Shelby Jansen
    January 16, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Great review, lots of helpful information.
    Now I know what I'll be buying when my dinosaur finally bites the dust

  36. Adam Basha
    January 16, 2015 at 2:39 am

    AwEsOmE GiveAway. Hope to be a Winner.

  37. Doris
    January 16, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I would love this laptop!

  38. Denys
    January 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Is it the international Giveaway?

  39. Bob
    January 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    These look really nice. Great give-away!

  40. Denys
    January 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Is it the international Giveaway&

  41. Jeremy
    January 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Would love to try one of these out for the kids (and maybe as an extra for me)

  42. Andrew
    January 15, 2015 at 9:19 am

    The video in the giveaway is the review of the Samsung Gear 2 Neo, not the Acer C720.

  43. Deb S
    January 15, 2015 at 7:57 am

    AT this point I'd be very happy with one of these...I really enjoy my Acer 7' Tablet.

  44. Blayne Overman
    January 15, 2015 at 3:16 am

    It would be nice to win one of these!

  45. vanessa mccallum
    January 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    this would be great for my every growing girls :)

  46. s0lj0n
    January 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Please enter me in this "Giveaway".
    Being on disability has meant that I can't afford some things I used to.
    BTW, what's the tax burden for the 'winner'?
    Just curious; I don't really expect to 'win' anything.
    Its been my experience that the ones who 'win' usually don't need it.
    I knew this one guy, he's in an argument w/ his wife, so he stops in a gun store.
    They're giving away an expensive 20 ga. skeet gun, & he enters.
    Lucky skunk wins the skeet gun.
    Like the old saying goes, some folks must be on the devil's payroll.

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!

  47. Edmond
    January 14, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Wow, Pick me, pick me! Your next winner!!! Show me the money!!! It would be a dream come true and means more to me than anyone else to win. Starving artist here desperately needs the Acer to work and eat again. Winner, winnner. Chicken dinner. A life changing experience. Top of my bucket list. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest.

  48. Irene Gallant
    January 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    would really like to have one of these

  49. Harry
    January 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Would love one!!

  50. Cheryl
    January 13, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Want one

  51. Claire Eadie
    January 13, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    would love to win a chromebook, thank you x

  52. Mrs Rachel Heap
    January 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I would love to win this as my laptop is on its last legs so would be much appreciated

  53. Bud
    January 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Could NOT access the Giveaway !

  54. Richard T
    January 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Nice unit.Definetly would enjoy

  55. Swerve
    January 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I always wanted to give chrome-books a try however limited internet connectivity at the place where i live almost always held me back from investing on it. I haven't yet seen any of my colleagues use, so if I end up winning this one it would be just awesome.

  56. baldo
    January 13, 2015 at 11:17 am

    liked and shared

  57. lindsay chadburn
    January 13, 2015 at 10:53 am

    my daughter has an acer and she loves it, perfect for her school work. i would love one.

  58. MrKropp
    January 13, 2015 at 5:21 am

    I bought an Acre C720 for my daughter for Christmas. After using it for a week I ended up keeping it for myself. It's much more portable and lightweight than a laptop computer. If comfortable to grab it with one hand and carry it when I move around the house. The laptops in our house always stay in the same place because they are so big and heavy. I ended up buying a HP chromebook 14 for my daughter for Christmas because it will stay in her room mostly and it has a sim card slot for cellular data when neede.

  59. Mario Laborem
    January 13, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Thanks! Again a great review!

  60. Cindy Vincent
    January 13, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Enjoyed the review !

  61. cheridene boucher
    January 13, 2015 at 2:29 am

    It looks good and would be a great daily tool on the go.

  62. Alfred Chan
    January 13, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Touch screen? it catch my attention. Wish me luck!! Thank you. :)

  63. David B
    January 13, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Girlfriend desperately needs a laptop!!! She's moving soon and only has a smartphone. I'd love to win this for her!

  64. Diana Smith Hill
    January 13, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I really like the acer products! I had a netbook by Acer.

  65. steve
    January 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    just wish they allowed android Apps

  66. Garry M Cable
    January 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Hello, Very informative - if I was in th emarket for a chromebook.

    Thanks,

  67. Laterbro
    January 12, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    This review was particularly feeble, or maybe it's because the giveaway was equally feeble. When I first started following your site the reviews were interesting and well prepared/delivered, and the giveaways were worth winning. Now..... it all reminds me of an after-school project at the local highschool. Such a shame!!!

  68. dragonmouth
    January 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    "There’s a Chromebook for virtually every need and budget"
    If one does not mind becoming part of the Google hive mind.

    • Col. Panek
      January 15, 2015 at 2:30 am

      And if you do, there's Linux.

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