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

  • Samsung’s PowerBot robotic vacuum reviewed

    The home of the future will come with robot butlers and maids and chefs and cleaners, but until that happens, you’ll have to settle for a robot vacuum. Is…
  • Oppo’s $529 mid-range metal smartphone reviewed

    With phones hitting well and truly past the thousand dollar mark, the mid-range is now the attractive area to price a device, and with a tag of $529 outright…
  • Review: Sony NW-A25 Walkman

    Not everyone wants to use a phone for media playback, and so the Apple iPod still gets buyers, but what if you’re after high-res audio?
  • Review: Apple MacBook Air 11 inch (2015)

    One of the few Macs we haven’t reviewed in a while, it’s time to check out Apple’s baby of the bunch before what we expect will be a 2016…
  • AppMonday: Playground

    Making music can be an awesomely fun exercise, but it's not something we all have the mindset for. If you're into playful electronica, however, Playground makes it possible to…
  • Review: HTC Desire 520

    Whenever we hear the word “cheap” associated with a phone, we hit the deck, preparing ourselves for the onslaught of something awful. Can HTC’s Desire 520 shake us from…
  • Review: Toshiba Satellite Click 10

    When you can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, the hybrid might be the answer, and if you’re on a budget, Toshiba’s Click 10 offers up something that…
  • Review: HP Spectre x2

    Not quite a Surface, but still something close, HP's Spectre x2 is one interesting machine, and worth checking out if you're keen to see a tablet with all the…
  • Review: Sol Republic Shadow wireless earphones

    There’s nothing quite like being liberated from the cables that wired earphones rely on, but often the prices of wireless earphones don’t match up to the performance. Fortunately, Sol’s…
  • Review: Acer Predator 17

    Not every PC should be treated the same, and Acer's Predator 17 looks to prove it, skipping past the slim and minimalistic design most laptops features these days, opting…

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

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

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