Chromebooks are getting even better to changing standard laptop computers. The $300 Acer Chromebook C720P includes a 10-point multitouch screen, which can come in handy for scrolling Web pages, playing casual games and modifying pictures. Geared up with a 1.4-GHz Intel Celeron processor (based upon the newest Haswell architecture) and a 32GB strong state drive, this version of Acer’s Chromebook costs $100 more than the nontouch version. If the delta is worth it, discover out.
The Chromebook C720P doesn’t look or feel like the spending plan Acer notebooks we’ve previously reviewed. The business has actually revitalized the C7 Chromebook series’ style language with a moonstone-white color and durable polycarbonate construct, which is a welcome change from the exhausted brushed aluminum we’ve seen on the C720 and C710 Acer Chromebooks. If white isn’t your design, Acer likewise uses this design in gray.
The C720P’s white color advises us of the $279 HP Chromebook 11, but it has a smooth matte surface, unlike HP’s shiny plastic finishing. HP’s maker has a more premium look, but Acer’s isn’t as prone to getting dust. Acer outfitted the 11.6-inch display screen with a glossy black border, which functions as a great contrast to the primarily white body. The keys listed below the display are also black.
Measuring 11.34 x 8.03 x 0.78 inches and weighing 2.98 pounds, the Acer C720P Chromebook is much heavier, larger and thicker than the 2.2-pound, 11.7 x 7.6 x 0.7-inch HP Chromebook 11. It’s also a bit bulkier than the 2.6-pound 0.75-inch thin non-touch-screen Acer C720 Chromebook ($ 199), which sports nearly the same measurements. The C720P is compact and easy to carry.
The Acer C720P Chromebook’s 11.6-inch 1366 x 768-pixel screen may be touch-friendly, however the image quality could be much better. Colors were visibly washed-out when we saw a trailer for “Captain America: Winter season Soldier.” Colors on the C720P’s display looked almost completely different than those on the HP Chromebook 11, which sports the exact same size and resolution. This was particularly visible in red tones, viewing as the Marvel logo and Scarlett Johansson’s hair did not have the intense color seen on the Chromebook 11’s screen.
Viewing angles are poor too. When we turned the C720P to the best or left slightly, the screen was barely noticeable and appeared much dimmer. The HP Chromebook 11 wasn’t any much better.
The Acer C720P’s display screen signed up 161 lux on our light meter, which is way lower than the 256-lux ultraportable category average. The HP Chromebook 11 far outshines the C70P, with a reading of 267 lux, however the C720P’s display screen is still brighter than the nontouch C720 Acer Chromebook (123 lux).
The Acer C720P uses an SD Card slot, a Kensington lock slot, a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack and an HDMI port. The nontouch Acer C720 comes with the very same selection of ports, but HP’s offering includes just a microUSB port for charging, one USB port and an earphone jack.
For a notebook of its size, the Acer C720P can pumping out energetic tunes. The touch-screen Chromebook reached 91 decibels on the Laptop computer Audio Test, which blows away the ultraportable classification average (84 dB) and edges out the Chromebook 11 (89 dB). Overall, music sounded clear blasting through the C720P’s bottom-mounted speakers. When listening to “Someday” by The Strokes, we might quickly hear the bass line and appreciated the acute hi-hat in the background.
When compared along with the Chromebook 11, nevertheless, the C720P’s music sounded shallow and compressed, whereas the Chromebook 11 shrieked tunes that were equalized more accurately. This was particularly noticeable when we paid attention to Girl Gaga’s ballad “Dope,” because her drawling vocals sounded far more lively originating from the Chromebook 11 than from the C720P.
Don’t count on snapping a lot of selfies with this Chromebook. The C720P’s 1280 x 720p web cam took dark, loud photos throughout our testing. Not only did images look pixelated, however our face looked dim and shadowy. At least the cam app comes with lots of filters that can make pictures look a little better.
Chrome OS is an operating system designed to rely heavily on Google’s Chrome browser, implying you’ll need a Web connection to obtain the complete experience. The user interface is extremely bare-bones: Upon visiting with your Google account, you’ll be welcomed with a plain desktop. In the bottom-left corner, you’ll find the app-launcher icon and a shortcut to the Chrome internet browser, while the time stamp, battery and Wi-Fi indicators reside in the lower-right corner.
Clicking the app-launcher icon sets off a small box that houses all your Chrome apps. Pushing the box with the time stamp in the other corner of the display introduces the Settings window for Chrome OS.
Chrome OS is a perfect option for those who utilize their notebook primarily for Internet-related activities, such as checking e-mail, working in Google Drive and browsing websites. And because apps reside in the cloud and are greatly sandboxed, Chromebooks are extremely secure.
Chromebooks are customized for material consumption and light productivity, and Acer wants to make these jobs even more instinctive with a touch screen. Overall, the C720P’s 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel touch display screen was responsive in daily use, however it felt a bit weird to utilize touch to navigate an OS with such small icons. A Chromebook’s tiny app menu feels cramped when you’re accustomed to the sprawling tiled interface of Windows 8 on a touch-screen laptop computer.
We enjoyed utilizing the touch screen to play casual games such as “Angry Birds” and scrolling through websites, particularly when using Chrome in full-screen view. Some Chrome apps, such as “Bejeweled,” aren’t compatible with touch-screen display screens, which implies you’ll have to utilize the keyboard and mouse. The good news is that apps that do support touch work surprisingly well. The New York Times app displays news stories in a horizontal format, just like the method Bing News looks in Windows 8. We swiped to the right to continue checking out a multipage story and swiped to the delegated go back to the New York Times homepage. Swiping up from the bottom of the display screen triggers a little sidebar with the next 3 stories.
Pinching to zoom on the C720P’s touch screen made it much easier to see exact areas in Google Maps. We likewise enjoyed swiping between photos when using the included 500px app.
In general, Chrome OS has a lot of prospective to grow into touch-screen displays, however we want to see more apps that support touch.