Acer Aspire C720 Chromebook review
A cheap, compact, practical Chromebook with a good level of performance
As far as advertising spend goes, the Acer Aspire C720 has received more than its fair share since its launch. It’s been everywhere: on billboards, newspapers and magazines – yet it’s as unlikely a poster child as you’ll ever come across. See also: what's the best laptop you can buy in 2014?
It’s a humble Chromebook, all clad in plain grey plastics, with a 11.6in, non-touchscreen 1,366 x 768 display. It’s very light, and won’t make a big bulge in your laptop bag at 1.2kg (1.4kg with the charger), but there’s nothing at all exotic about it. The more enticing touchscreen version isn’t slated to appear in the shops until well into 2014.
Despite this, the C720 does have something about it. Aside from being extremely light, there’s plenty of connectivity on offer. A closer look at the edges reveals a full-sized HDMI port on the left next to a USB 3 connector and a 3.5mm headset jack. On the right, beside a Kensington lock slot, there’s room for a full-sized SD card and second USB socket, although this time it only runs at USB 2 speed. Under the hood, there’s dual-band wireless and Bluetooth, plus 16GB of internal flash storage.
As with all Chromebooks, the C720 is a doddle to set up: turn it on, type in your Gmail username and password, and you’re done. It’s quick to fire up, too. From off, the lockscreen appears in less than seven seconds; from standby, startup is instant – just open the lid.
Performance while it’s in use is impeccable, too, with the C720’s dual-core 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U CPU and 2GB of RAM keeping things going at a responsive lick, no matter how many tabs are open. It copes just fine with streaming Full HD video as well, and gained jaw-dropping results of 357ms in SunSpider and 2,906 in the Peacekeeper HTML5 test. It’s a nippier device than HP’s Chromebook 11.
|Price ex VAT||£166|
|Price inc VAT||£199|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||5|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||288 x 202 x 19mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Celeron 2955U|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|USB ports (downstream)||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||5hr 46min|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Chrome OS|
|OS family||Chrome OS|