Searching and selecting a new laptop can be a daunting process, and trying to decide what’s right for you, and at the right price, are easily the most difficult aspects. If you’re looking for something that can handle some word processing, web-browsing and other relatively lightweight tasks, there’s nothing more that makes sense than Google’s affordable Chromebook line.
The internet giant has recently partnered with Acer to create its latest Chomebook entry, the C720P, priced at $299 (around R3,600) but is this 11-inch tablet-like PC something to consider?
In a nutshell, definitely. On the surface, it’s a gorgeous device. Finished up in a matte white exterior, the C720P looks slick and nonabrasive, and its 1.36kg weight and 2cm thickness makes it an easy choice when doing some work on the couch or heading out to a meeting. It also features two USB ports, HDMI, and an SDcard slot, which are welcomed features for such a small and cost-efficient laptop.
The keyboard is also very usable and responsive, something that’s often a weak point with less expensive machines.
In terms of speed the Acer is fast to load thanks to a 32GB SSD on board, and with an apparent 7.5 hours of battery life per charge thanks to a Haswell processor inside – we gave it a test and while it didn’t necessarily make the 7.5 hour mark with normal use, it did give enough hours of juice to get what you need done. There’s also 100GB of Google Drive space provided for two years, a Chromebook standard.
One of the unique selling points of the Acer C720P device is the 11.6 inch (1366 x 768 resolution) touch-screen. Operating much like that of a tablet, users are able to pinch, zoom, swipe and select using a simple finger gesture. It’s a great addition and responds nicely with no lag, but it won’t be the core way you use the C720P. The display itself is clear, and while it may not have the clarity of a pricier PC option, it’s easily the best in its class and will do the job for any casual user.
If you’re in need of a light, portable computer for web access, writing, and watching that hilarious cat-video everyone’s been emailing you, a Chromebook can be an inexpensive alternative to a Windows PC or MacBook. It won’t be able to play the latest games out there, but it should cover off the needs of many users without blowing the budget.