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Haswell makes it to Chromebooks in Acer's $250 package that promises great battery life

Acer has announced a successor to its entry-level C7 Chromebook, and in the process eliminated many of the negative points to the original. The new C720 will become the first Chromebook with Intel's new Haswell chip inside, and as with the recent MacBook Air upgrade we're going to see some impressive battery life as a result. 8.5 hours, if you listen to Acer. 

Gone from the original is the honking great hard drive, Acer has now included a 16GB SSD drive into the C720, all paired with 4GB of RAM. It's slimmer and lighter than the C7, has a USB 2.0 and 3.0 port on the side, and a respectible 1366x768 resolution display at 11.6 inches. A HDMI out port, a 'HD Webcam' and SD card slot pretty much completes the package. 

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the C720 over its rivals, such as the new HP Chromebook, remains the price. Acer is to sell the C720 for just $250, which is a ridiculously compelling price point for a laptop that basically promises all day battery life. Pre-orders are set to go live today at Best Buy and Amazon, no word on Google Play at this time. Acer also promises additional configurations in the coming weeks. 

via PC World


Reader comments

Acer announces new C720 Chromebook with Haswell


Same, I am seriously considering this. Plus it sounds like it might be a good option for me to conduct Linux experiments on.

Posted via Android Central App on my Motorola XT890 RAZR i

I want this too...but I'm thinking, should I wait to see what the other manufacturers are going to release first?

Samsung etc..

That's definitely what I'm doing. I'm going to wait on Samsung and Lenovo to see what they release before I make a decision.

Same here. I'm interested in seeing what Toshiba comes up with, too. It was announced they would be making a Chromebook. I'm wondering if it's something more high-end. But this Acer looks like a nice little machine.

itll make a great second laptop to have around the house. not to mention, you can install linux and use either at your will

Nice spec upgrade and would love that battery life. If you're only using Chrome OS why do you need these upgrades?

They're pretty necessary upgrades, actually. The Haswell chip is a big part of the reason for the extended battery life, and the 4GB of RAM will reduce choppiness while playing/streaming video, which I understand a lot of Chromebooks struggled with.

I have a Samsung Chromebook (really wish I had waited another month and a half to buy that now!), and I can say these upgrades would be real nice. It does everything I want it to, but every so often you can tell it is struggling a little bit. This Chromebook gives you more than enough power for ChromeOS, more RAM for multi-tasking, and great battery life. Plus as Chrome is getting more and more capable, the added power will be nice.

I have been debating on buying a Chromebook but now I will if it actually does sell at the price point. I would even grab one if it was $350 with those specs

Shut up and take my money!!!!!

That is a great price for a "web browser" there I fixed it for you.

I still don't see the point in this device. Now if it was running android, as least you have some local processing tasks you could run.

Chrome OS was just a web browser two years ago. It's nothing more than blind hate of you say that now.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

For some people, using a web browser (including webmail) is >95% of what they do on a computer. Not for most readers of this forum, but maybe grandparents or parents who are retired. Sure, one of their friends does digital photography and uses the computer to edit, etc. But for each one like that, there's probably ten who use their computer almost exclusively for email and surfing.

This is the superior chromebook here folks. Battery life is going to be better or the same then the HP 11, there are more ports, more expandability, and with x86 hardware installing linux (or windows if you want) should be much easier then on an ARM hardware. Now there was only a way to install a larger SSD...

What a waste of a Haswell processor. When's Google going to drop this ridiculous OS?

Here's my comment at Engadget on the review of HPs Chromebook: ". . . it's redundant. Not needed. Look, I'm a Google fan, but I just can't see the sense in this OS. Android is their flagship. Shut down Chrome OS and put those resources into Android. Even Lenovo is soon coming out with an Android notebook."

The only reason anyone would even consider one of these is the price. Any cheap laptop will do what it does and more.

is that why it's used in schools more and more? use a laptop in school and look what is installed in it after a year..and how it performs...chr0mebook is still clean as new after a year

Yup, The school district I work in just ordered thousands of them. One chromebook for every two students. Students are using Google Drive to write reports.

What programs do you run that can't be run on Chrome OS? Office documents? You have Google Drive. Watching videos? You have Netflix, Youtube, etc. Edit photos? There are tons of very capable online photo editors. The majority of what people do on their computers is all web-based, and as such this will do everything they want for a great price.

The problem using Android as a desktop OS is that it's optimized for touch input, not for full scale keyboard and trackpad support. All the apps are geared towards mobile devices, many apps don't scale up very well either.

As a business owner using Google Apps for business we use a mix of pc's and thin clients. I've been testing a chromebox for 6 months and have not found a single need for a full fledged pc. I have access to my server via an RDP client to run the only legacy application that my office requires and everything else can be done with cloud based solutions. No more software updates and the device turns on instantly and just works. My biggest concern was photo editing and Pixlr has solved that issue. Will slowly be replacing our hardware with Google OS solutions as they break down. If it wasn't for the legacy software that we need to run our business our server would go also. A virtual server may be the final piece of the puzzle.

I really like Chrome OS. I really like Haswell. I really like $250. 11.6 is a little small, but I could give it a whirl...

But this OS has soooooo many limitations. Does that HDMI port let you run dual monitors yet? Can I somehow configure my work VPN properly so that I can work from home and RDP into a local system at the office? If so, I could maybe go with this...

Yes, dual monitors work. Google's answer to remoteing into a computer is chrome remote desktop, which works pretty well, and is free.

I've been able to remote desktop with Chrome OS for a while now, but it's the vpn thing that I'm most concerned about. Good to hear about dual monitors - thanx for that!

Posted via Android Central App

I use a HP 14 chromebook for all my computing needs now, and I work for the NHS in the UK - you can't get much more of a secure network than that. I've set up a vpn on the chrome book using my Cisco secure token for the password, then use 2x to rdp in to a machine and can do everything that I can when I'm in the office!

Posted via Android Central App

Hold tight if you want one with a touch screen. I heard that one of the configurations Acer is going to offer is one with a touchscreen.

I'm interested in seeing the additional configuration in coming weeks. $250 for this is great, but for an extra $50-$100 I bet they'll have something even more compelling.

Anybody know if Asus will come out with a chromebook? That's what I'm holding out for (:..I'm already upset I bought the first nexus 10,knowing Asus is coming out with the next!

Just an FYI to anyone who has or will be getting a Chromebook, if you are on the Beta track, QuickOffice is now integrated into the OS so you can natively edit and save Word documents, no need to convert back and forth across file types now.

Is it choppy and slow like Google docs? My experience with word processing on Chromebooks was bad. Long documents have a latency between input and appearance and forget about footnotes.

I am assuming you can attach an external HDD, right? If so, dual booting this with Ubuntu would be pretty sweet for $250

I know this is a silly question, but could you use this for games on steam, particularly Rome Total War 2?

Posted via Android Central App

Intel Haswell is a good CPU line, the performance difference from Ivy Bridge is minimal however the important part is lower TDP and power consumption which is good news for mobile devices. I want to see what people can do whent hey start picking up the C720, Linux is a great OS for small laptops, my MSI netbook runs Linux Mint for streaming Plex media.

I don't see why Windows can't be installed on it since it's an x86 platform, Win 8 can be installed in less than 20GB, however I'm windering if the storage can be swapped out.

Really like my Acer Chromebook, even w/o the spec bump. For a second laptop it is fantastic. Boot time is the fastest I've ever encountered on any computer, and it runs everything I need on the web with ease. After the warranty runs out I'll be adding another 2gb of RAM, so its nice to see the new model already come with it. Only negative I've found is that the chrome os just isn't ready as a standalone os. Printing, for instance, requires I run my windows laptop, unless you buy a printer which already supports cloud printing. Gaming is almost nonexistent, which is actually OK with me, but don't expect to do any, unless you like angry birds. Overall the new model sounds even better, but I got my Acer for $169 out the door with a discount, and that just can't be beat for a nice fast/speedy internet machine!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

They both are on the previous model so I would assume so on new model. Very easy process to replace either, takes 20 minutes or less tops. There are utube vids showing on the old model the process.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

In real life, battery life will be about 7 hrs. At least the ram and the price is right. I will wait for hp's 14" model because I have the Samsung 5 550 with a 12.1" screen and I would rather have a bigger screen with 9 hrs battery life. Acer if you come out with a 13" or 14" screen I'll upgrade my trusty 5 550.

I've been so invested in the idea of actually buying a Chromebook and these competitive price points are making it an incredibly realistic option. I currently own an Asus laptop running windows 8, I have no real desire to upgrade my laptop because I already own two tablets. But there's still the urge to use something different...

From what Ive been reading seems like a Chromebook is for someone like myself, I spend most of my time online because the Windows 8 third party apps are HORRIBLE so I just do basically everything in a browser. I'll wait for Asus to manufacture a Chromebook, the HP release is not bad they took a stylish spin on Chrome books but seemingly at the expense of build quality. I'd never buy an Acer product so I'm gonna wait on Chrome OS to develop and to see what Asus offers. I own a Nexus 7 manufactured by Asus and I've always loved their notebooks, so a bit of brand loyalty is coming into play.