ACER C720 chromebook

THE C720 IS Acer’s latest Chromebook and it improves on its predecessor in almost every way. The chassis is now thinner at just 19mm thick, and the C720 looks all the better for it.
Sadly, there are fewer connection ports, and the C720 has just two USB ports, one of which is USB3, an SD card reader, an HDMI output and a 3.5mm headset jack. The C720’s lack of a VGA output is no great loss for home users, but it’s a shame there’s no Ethernet port; useful for connecting to hotel internet. Even so, the C720’s range of connections should be enough for most users.
Perhaps the most exciting addition to the C720 is a Haswell processor, which is a dual-core Intel Celeron 2955U with a clock speed of 1.4GHz. Paired with 2GB of RAM, this processor helps make the C720 one of the quickest Chromebooks we’ve ever tested. We couldn’t run our usual multimedia benchmarks in Chrome OS, but it completed the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark test in a lightning fast 355.6ms. This is more than twice as quick as the HP Chromebook 11 (see Reviews, Shopper 311), and Chrome OS feels a lot snappier. Files loaded quickly in the File Manager and we could open multiple Chrome tabs without the system becoming sluggish.
ACER C720 chromebook
Another benefit of the Celeron 2955U processor is its low energy consumption, which resulted in one of the longest battery lives we’ve seen from a Chromebook. With the screen set to half brightness, the C720 lasted an impressive seven hours and two minutes in our video playback test.
The C720’s integrated Intel HD Graphics chip is also capable of playing the Chrome Web Store’s selection of games, handling Bastion without an issue, and even Ubisoft’s From Dust ran smoothly in our web browser.
Also thanks to various improvements, the C720 is great to use for everyday tasks. The redesigned keyboard means you won’t hit the Pg Up and Pg Down keys when you use the arrow keys. The Caps Lock key has been replaced with Google’s dedicated Search key, but you can still enable Caps Lock by pressing Alt and Search. We prefer the Search key’s new location as it’s easier to reach when typing.
The keyboard felt a little cramped when we were typing compared to other Chromebook models we’ve used, but it didn’t seem to affect our typing quality. The
touchpad is a little too small, but it’s perfectly responsive and multi-touch gestures such as two-finger scrolling worked beautifully.
The C720’s 11.6m display has a 1,366×768 resolution, but now it has a matt rather than glossy finish, which significantly reduces the amount of reflections that appear onscreen when you’re outside or in a brightly lit office. The display is still dim, but we could see the screen clearly from a variety of angles. There’s also a generous amount of screen tilt, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a comfortable working angle.
We were pleased with the y , C720’s image quality. Contrast I levels were superb, and we could see a very high level of detail.
Of course, the C720’s major feature is Chrome OS, Google’s operating system based on the Chrome web browser. With Chrome OS, you can only install programs from the Chrome Web Store. Chrome OS is ideal for those who spend most of their and media will be stored in the Cloud. The C720 has a 16GB SSD, but it’s too small to store lots of files and media locally.
Conveniently, an increasing number of Chrome apps work offline, so you won’t lose access to some files when you can’t find a Wi-Fi connection. Google Drive documents are all synchronised to your Chromebook and you can create and edit existing word processing documents offline. Spreadsheets are less flexible and, at the time of writing, they can only be viewed offline. Gmail is available offline – just download the Offline Gmail app from the Chrome Web Store.
Admittedly, Chrome OS’s offline support still needs work, but it’s hard to complain when the C720 is such a bargain. If all you need Is a no-nonsense laptop to take with you on the move, the C720 could be for you. It wins a Budget Buy award.
ACER C720 chromebook

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