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BLOG: Hands on: Getting to know Acer's $300 touchscreen Chromebook

JR Raphael | Feb. 7, 2014
Remember Acer's C720P Chromebook? The laptop was announced with little fanfare over Thanksgiving week, when most of us were already tuned out, and then never quite got its moment in the spotlight.

RAM aside, the C720P has slightly less stamina than the base model — it's listed at 7.5 hours of battery time as opposed to the base model's 8.5-hour quote — but it still does respectably well in that department. Curiously, the laptop also comes with more local storage: a 32GB SSD, up from the 16GB drive on the regular C720 device.

Putting it all together...
In evaluating Acer's C720P touchscreen Chromebook, we have to take into account the price differences: The C720P sells for $300, while the base C720 model — with double the RAM, half the local storage, and a non-touch-enabled matte display — is listed for $249.

So the question ultimately becomes if having a nicer-looking display that's also touch-enabled is worth an extra 50 bucks to you, even if that means sacrificing some of the performance power you'd get with the base model. Like with all Chromebook buying decisions, it's a case of "you win some, you lose some" — and only you can decide which setup best suits your needs.

In general, I'd say this: If you can manage to track one down, the base C720 model remains the top option for the best performance at the lowest possible price. But for folks who aren't heavy-duty users and like the idea of a touch-enabled computer, the C720P is an interesting new choice to have.

Acer isn't the only player in the low-cost Chromebook game, of course — and there are a couple of other models in the same range also worth considering. For a breakdown of the top contenders and where Acer's offerings fit into the pack, check out my recently updated roundup:

Source: Computerworld


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