Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 15th Feb 2014 22:02 UTC
Google When my 3+ year old DELL laptop died a few weeks back, I decided to give Chromebooks a try. So the Acer C720, at just $199, became my new laptop. This is my experience with it so far.

The Acer C720 is similar in specs to other Chromebooks currently on the market. It's a Haswell architecture with a dual core Celeron, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB flash, HDMI-out, 3 USB, webcam, Bluetooth, and a 1366x768 px screen. It's 0.8" tall, and weighs just 2.76 lbs. Its battery life is rated for 8.5 hours but in real world usage rated at about 7 hours. You can view its specs in detail here.

The laptop feels very light, sturdy and of a good build quality. Its keyboard is easy to get accustomed to, and I had no trouble at all, coming from a radically different keyboard design on the DELL. The ChromeOS function keys are really handy too, e.g. to change brightness, volume etc. The touchpad has the right size, position and responsiveness too.

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RE[4]: Great Linux machines
by bassbeast on Wed 19th Feb 2014 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Great Linux machines"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

But what exactly is the appeal of it other than just going for the most dirt cheap thing you can find?

After all your article makes it pretty clear its just a glorified thin client, no different than what we had in the 90s like the Sun Ray, so other than its $250 what would make you choose this over something where you can run any OS you want and use it offline with full functionality?

I don't know, maybe its just me, but when you can get quad core AMD jaguar laptops and netbooks in the $350 USD range I just don't see the appeal. And doesn't it still require wiping the OS and then sideloading and using hacked bootloaders to load a different OS? Again maybe its just me but I find a company taking X86, one of the most open computing platforms in history, and making it as locked down as a cellphone VERY uncomfortable. Sure cheap is one thing but surely its not the ONLY thing, so what am I missing? What is the appeal?

And for those buying them as thin clients...sure if you are in a large corp with VM servers I can at least GET that, in a large corp having a single OS image is certainly easier to manage than a ton of desktops. but this thing is being marketed to consumers who will NOT have their own OS image servers and for them? I just don't see any upside other than price and honestly, at least in the USA, you can get a refurb with a full OS for the same price if price is all you care about.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Great Linux machines
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Feb 2014 18:21 in reply to "RE[4]: Great Linux machines"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The appeal is that I paid $200. It was a matter of being cheap, AND not needing too much out of my laptop. If I wanted "so much more", I would have gone for a Macbook, as I mentioned in a previous comment. But I only needed a "few more" (e.g. skype), that I was willing to leave behind for the RIGHT PRICE. So that right price is $200.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Great Linux machines
by Eugenia on Wed 19th Feb 2014 19:32 in reply to "RE[5]: Great Linux machines"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Besides, I hate Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu is full of problems (since their October update, they broke a lot of things in terms of power management). So it was either THIS dirt cheap thing, or it was a $1600 Macbook. I had already decided what I wanted before buying the Chromebook. It was definitely not another Windows laptop, and I wasn't that interested anymore on Ubuntu (which I only see as "nice to have if I need it", rather than "must have").

I discussed it with my husband, who put it in perspective one night, as we drove to a party: "ask yourself this: is the Macbook 8 times better than a Chromebook? If yes, go for it". So I thought about it, and for my NEEDS, the Macbook was about 3 to 4 times better (again, measuring my own needs, not objective betterness). So, the logical conclusion, best ratio of features for the money, it was the Chromebook. So far, it's being a good-enough experience, mostly because I have an iPad to fall off to, and a PC to do my artwork.

Edited 2014-02-19 19:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Great Linux machines
by bassbeast on Thu 20th Feb 2014 08:03 in reply to "RE[5]: Great Linux machines"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well I'll be the first to admit that we here in the USA do get cheap gear so its probably easier for us to just get a refurb and I don't blame you when it comes to Win Mist8ke, in fact I wiped it off my family's machines and no longer carry it at the shop.

But at least where I live free WiFi can be few and far between so while I'm glad that it works for you I just don't see these things ever really taking off as without net? Well that Scroogle ad was right it really is pretty much a paperweight.

Its just a shame they re as locked down as they are because here the ads are full of Chromebooks in the $120-$170 range, folks use them a couple times and then get rid of them. If I could install Win 7 I'd be snatching like there is no tomorrow but I don't like Ubuntu either but there just isn't really anything else you can do with 'em which is why they are so cheap I suppose.

Anyway I'm glad that you found something you like that works for you, it sounds like you feel about your Chromebook the way I feel about my EEE, its cheap, does everything I want it to do, its just a shame they don't make 'em anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2