By Mike Joubert 20 March 2015


What if you needed nothing else but your browser to work on a PC? For many Google fans who make use of services such as Drive, Gmail and Docs, this is already the case. Google’s Chromebook notebooks take this to the extreme, offering basically just the Chrome browser with no Windows OS running in the background, only its own lightweight Chrome OS.

Come all Google faithful

Acer’s C720P is one of the very first ones to land in SA, and is a very solid offering for such a low-cost device. For R3 000 you only receive an Intel Celeron processor (2955U, 1.4 GHz) and a plastic heavy notebook, but for the most part the Acer is solid, plus it provides a decent typing experience.

There is virtually no boot-up time to speak of, and all you need to do is sign into your Google account and you’re set. Certainly the biggest plus of the unit is its claimed 7.5 hour battery life. We watched two movies and still had enough battery power left on the unit to do some work. Don’t expect much space for storage though since only a 32 GB SSD is on offer (more than most other Chromebooks). You do however receive 100 GB storage space online on Drive (two years), but do yourself a favour and buy a 32 GB SD card to pop in extra.

We were quite surprised that the 11.6’’ (1366x768) screen is actually touch enabled, although it could have done with better saturation and viewing angles. You’ll also find a full sized HDMI port, plus a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port on the sides. If you’re looking to watch some movies, the sound is definitely loud enough.

Google is your playground

There are numerous apps to download from the Chrome web store (not Google Play), but Skype unfortunately is not one of them. We also had trouble with a new Android phone not displaying when plugged in.

Having said that, if you have a dependable internet connection and are on the lookout for something a little bit different, then the Acer C720P is a good choice. For now it is only available in certain education sectors. 

Touchscreen, good sound, decent price, nice typing experience
Plastic heavy design, not too fast, very little storage space

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