The Acer C720 Chromebook Review
The Acer C720 Chromebook was a bit dated when we got it. In fact we got it in February of 2015 and this thing was announced in July of 2014 and available that month according to their press release. So nearing end of life when we received it I was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t be that good. So… WOW was I wrong. This was the first iteration of the Acer line of Chromebooks to feature the Intel Core i3 processor (the model we have is the C720-3404). It also has 4GB of RAM, 11.6″ display, and a 32 gig SSD drive making it one of the heavy weights for any Chromebook line and was priced at only $349.99 at launch. (They can be had cheaper than that now if you want to purchase a refurb at Newegg).
Battery life is always a significant problem with netbooks that are ‘over-powered’ and the refreshing thing about the Acer C720 is that isn’t the case either. Acer really broke all the rules. They released a powerful, fast, sleek looking Chromebook that has about 8 hours of battery life. WOW. In fact, if you look around today at current models available in July of 2015 (any manufacturer) you will see that this Acer C720-3404 has got more oompf than most of them. They still hold their value too which is another good indication that a product is good. It’s July of 2015 a full year later and brand new the C720-3404 is still selling for around the same price as their launch price ($20 less at BHPhoto).
Nerdness. Yes Nerdness is a factor I like to add to a review when it is appropriate. The Nerdness Factor on this Acer C720-3404 is 9 out of 10. If you open it up and remove a screw (it’s a write protect screw for the bios) you can flash a full version of Seabios on the Chromebook. Once you do that you can install just about any operating system on it (because it has an i3 processor). I put Ubuntu on it and it ran great for awhile with a hacked up driver for the track pad that some guy made. Unfortunately there were some updates that broke the driver and it wasn’t updated. Such is life in the open-source kingdom. I opted to restore the ChromeOS and put it back to Stock Acer because I prefer my Chromebook to run… err.. ChromeOS 🙂 The entire exercise was to evaluate the nerdness factor and it passed with flying colors. So if you are a tinkerer of all things electronics and like to have homebrew software running on your devices this is a really great one to have.
All in all I really like the Acer C720-3404 Chromebook. I give it a full 5 out of 5 stars and am definitely looking forward to seeing what Acer has coming up next.