Acer Aspire C720 Chromebook review

13 Dec 2013

A cheap, compact, practical Chromebook with a good level of performance

Price when reviewed: 
199(£200 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
5

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.

Acer Aspire C720 Chromebook

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.

Acer Aspire C720 Chromebook

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £166
Price inc VAT £199
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 288 x 202 x 19mm (WDH)
Weight 1.200kg
Travelling weight 1.4kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Celeron 2955U
RAM capacity 2.00GB

Screen and video

Screen size 11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 16GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 1
3.5mm audio jacks 1
SD card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
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

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