Tuesday, December 10, 2013

[Updated] Acer C720P unboxing and first impressions


I purchased an Acer C720P so I could do a Chromebook review since I’ve never had one and loved the idea of a cheap laptop replacement.  Here is the unboxing video and first impressions of the device.




Overall, I’d say that this is a quality computer if you are looking for a inexpensive computer to serve as a coffee table computer or something for your kids to use as a personal computer either going off to college or as their first personal computer.

I’m not going to say that this is the best laptop replacement in the world, but if you are considering a sub $500 computer/tablet for your child or as something to have around the living room, this thing competes very well versus a full sized iPad with keyboard or the Surface 2.  I wouldn’t purchase a sub $500 windows computer because you’re either going to get an atom class processor or a lowly 3rd gen core i3 which will leave you always wanting more.  Neither of those processors are bad, but when you think you have full windows and try to do full windows type stuff, you will be disappointed at the performance of those processors.

You have to know what you are getting into before you buy any sub $500 computer.  With the Acer C720P, you know you’re getting a Chromebook and you should know that it doesn’t run apps.  Think of it as an iPad with an attached keyboard except you can navigate to any webpage.  Or compare it to a Windows RT or Surface 2 type device with an attached keyboard.  

Either way, you can get a Chromebook cheaper than an iPad with keyboard or Windows RT device with Keyboard.

Either way, just know what you are buying before you purchase and a Chromebook will more than meet your purposes.    

Here are some pros and cons of the Acer C720P

Pros:

Speedy - goes in and out of apps and to webpages quickly

Sound - It’s really loud, no bass though

Youtube, Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu all work fine
Keyboard - has good feel and key travel
Apps - No real apps but a lot of launchers that open webpages.
Works well with Chromecast

Cons:
Plasticy - The keyboard sound and feel of the computer base feel cheap (you only paid $200-$300 for it so you get what you pay for.)
Screen - although it’s glass, it’s poor resolution (1366x768)
Keyboard - has a very cheap clicky sound to the keys

Summary:
Do you need it?  No, not at all.
Do you want it? Yes, Chromebooks do exactly what they say they do.  They give you the things that you use daily and what probably over 75% of people actually use daily.  It removes that disappointment you may have buying something like an ASUS VivoBook X200 (the cheapest Win8 computer) for $299.
Is it slow and cumbersome?  No, not at all.  Switching between (actually tabs) is very easy.  I even passed a level of Candy Crush using only touch and the game ran just fine.
This is a great device to leave around the kitchen/living room or send your child off to school with.  Think of it as iPad with a keyboard, but you just saved $300 by not buying an iPad.  And as a plus, you get a real keyboard and the real internet and your computer gets updated once a month.








Rear



Right side

Right side

Left side

Bottom

Keyboard


2 comments:

  1. There are now hundred of Chrome apps ( packaged apps) and by definition they are offline. Google doc, presentation, sheet, keep, lucidchart ( visio), pocket, quickoffice, etc are some of the offline applications in the sense they can run without an internet connection. Video and photos can be edited offline, etc. It should be noted that Chrome Apps are cross platforms but they run better on CB with same hardware. CB is faster, cheaper, more secure than any Windows netbook which cost at least $100 more.

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  2. I agree that there are many offline apps that allow users to still be productive without an internet connection. This computer comes with a 32GB SSD (about 22GB user accessible) just so you can store some files and access them offline.

    The cheapest Win8 computer I've found is $249 and I agree that doing anything more than surfing the internet will be painful. And I'm sure any graphics heavy site will even make surfing the net painful as well.

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