Home Icon
acer-chromebook-c7-review-2013-02

Acer’s $299 Google Chromebook reviewed

By Leigh D. Stark | 4:56 pm 02/04/2013

I’m not a Mac, and I’m not a PC, but I can certainly work with both, and I’m less expensive than either. Hello, I’m a Chromebook.

It’s the sort of advertisement you can imagine existing, and Google’s Chromebook certainly needs something to explain what it is, because it’s like no other computer out there, sitting in between any ecosystem, and allowing a sort of middle ground notebook computer to anyone who uses a Google service at home on their regular computer.

Features

Built from a similar design as previous Acer netbooks, the C7 Chromebook is an 11.6 inch laptop that carries a decent set of specs and an operating system unlike any you’ve ever seen, but we’ll get to that later.

First up is the screen, and this goes beyond what most netbooks we’ve seen have had. Here, Acer has equipped the C7 Chromebook with a glossy 11.6 inch screen backlit with LEDs and running the HD capable 1366×768 resolution.

Then there’s the hardware, which in this laptop includes an Intel Celeron 1.1GHz processor, 2GB RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and your regular bunch of connections, including 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Ethernet wired networking, three USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, SD card slot, and headset jack.

A webcam and microphone are both built into the frame surrounding the screen too, so if you decide to use Google Hangouts for a video chat, this machine can serve that purpose too.

An online storage amount is added to your Google account too, with the Chromebook offering you 100GB free storage for two years on the service, over that of the 5GB limit you normally receive.

The battery is replaceable and the power pack is very small.

Google Chrome browser… as an operating system?!

The Chromebook is a bit of a new concept, so before we tackle whether or not this particular model is good or not, we should probably talk about what it is.

Instead of relying on a known operating system such as Windows or Mac OS, the Chromebook takes advantage of an operating system based on Google’s own web browser, Chrome.

It’s a custom operating system, and one that works similarly to the browser, with an emphasis on minimalism and tabs, and lacks the ability to install any apps you might already own for Windows, Mac, iOS, or even Android.

Rather, this computer installs “apps” made specifically for the Chrome browser, of which there are quite a few, and includes things such as music managers, video clients, games, and a whole lot more.

Because of its reliance on Google, you’d think that you would need to always be connected to use the Chromebook, but there’s more to it than that, as you can actually do things offline and then have everything synchronise when you’re in range of an internet connection at a later time.

Pages: 1 2

Price (RRP)

$299

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Inexpensive; Suitable for customers with either Mac or Windows PCs at home; Features plenty of hard drive space; Small power pack;

Product Cons

Lack of speed can be noticed; Mediocre battery life; Not the best keyboard; A not-so-obvious file management system means making use of the massive hard drive isn't as easy as you think;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Design

Latest reviews

  • AppMonday: SongPop 2

    There’s something about trivia that’s just tremendous fun, and if you happen to mix that with music, it works so well. “SongPop 2” takes those two things and makes…
  • Review: Sony Xperia E4

    We’ve seen good phones out of Sony in the past couple of years, but generally in the flagship field, so what sort of handset does Sony produce when it…
  • Quite the bargain: TCL’s 55 inch curved 4K TV reviewed

    At $2,199 for an ultra high definition, curved, 55 inch TV, there’s value for money in what TCL brings to the table.
  • Review: Jawbone Up 3

    Jawbone's Up 3 certainly took some time to arrive, but the delayed fitness gadget is finally here, packing in more sensors than most activity bracelets and the ability to…
  • AppMonday: Moleskine Timepage

    The calendar on your phone might look good and may appear clean, but if you’re after a colour heavy design focused calendar, legendary journal maker Moleskine may have the…
  • Simply the best: LG’s 4K OLED TV reviewed

    Can LG's 55 inch 4K OLED TV be called the summit of the TV making craft? It just might, it just might.
  • Review: Motorola Moto E (2015)

    Motorola’s take on the entry-level phone has always been priced competitively, but this year, Moto has upped the price just a smidgeon and added support for 4G. Is this…
  • AppMonday: Rain Parrot (iOS, Apple Watch)

    You can always rely on Murphy’s Law if you ever decide to take your umbrella out to find that it doesn’t rain, forcing you to carry the thing around…
  • Amazon's best Kindle yet: the Kindle Voyage reviewed

    Can an eBook reader be premium? That’s the question Amazon is attempting to answer with the Voyage, an ultra-slim take on the concept that changed the way many of…
  • Review: Harman/Kardon Esquire Mini

    When you need better sound, you can always rely on a portable speaker, but Harman/Kardon’s Esquire Mini doesn’t just provide a decent sound, it packs in a useful battery,…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More