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Acer C7 Chromebook review

A very affordable Chromebook. But with flaws.

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Cheap
  • Good build quality
  • Pretty good screen
  • Simple to use

Against

  • Limitations of Chrome OS
  • Poor battery life
  • Unresponsive keyboard
  • No 3G option
  • Hard drive out of place

The Acer C7 Chromebook is a cheap laptop at just £199.99/US$199.99 (around AU$191). The reason for this is that it's a Google Chromebook, a thing that runs Google's Chrome OS - essentially replacing the entire notion of an operating system with a web browser.

And while the Chromebooks that we've reviewed before, such as its predecessor, the Samsung Series 3, and the Samsung Series 5, are configured differently and feel different to traditional laptops, this new C7 Chromebook from Acer seems to have been designed, consciously or not, to look and to feel as traditionally laptop-like as possible.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

In doing so, though, some of whatever magic the Chromebook concept has seems to have been lost.

Chrome OS is different to the operating systems that most of us are familiar with, such as Windows 8 or Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. You can't just install apps you have and you know, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop Elements; everything's done through the Chrome web browser.

That might strike you as limiting, and in a way it is, but if you think about what you actually use a computer for, there's a good chance that you either essentially do everything through a web browser now anyway - Gmail, Facebook, iPlayer and so on - or that those jobs that you currently use regular programs for could easily be switched to web apps.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

It's worth remembering that Google's own suite of web apps - notably its word processor and spreadsheet apps - are actually very capable, and in any case add collaboration tools that mean it's easy for teams to work together.

It sounds like you need to be connected to the web at all times, therefore, to actually use a Chromebook, but that's not always the case. Web apps can actually be programmed to work offline using local storage.

Google documents and spreadsheets can do this, happily switching between online and offline mode (once it's enabled), and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get it to lose a scrap of work.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

That said, the fact that the Acer C7 Chromebook doesn't currently even have the option of a model with a SIM slot for mobile broadband - 3G or the like - is baffling.

Sure, your home, work, campus, favourite coffee shop and so on probably have free, fast Wi-Fi, and the robust offline mode of some web apps means that even if you don't have an internet connection, your Chromebook isn't a useless lump of plastic. But not even to offer 3G as an option seems daft.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
Solid State Drive Capacity16 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyChromebook AC700
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelN570
ColourBlack
Operating SystemChrome OS
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.66 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.45 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelNM10 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height25.5 mm
Width285.4 mm
Depth204.8 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesAC700
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAC700-N572G01akk
Product NameChromebook AC700-N572G01akk Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineChromebook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLU.SG50C.004
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

You spend tons of your time on the Web, so why not get there as quickly as possible? The Acer AC700 delivers a fresh, Internet-centric experience with optimized speed, simplicity and security.

Smooth sailing in the cloud

Imagine hitting the power button and being on your favorite sites in only 8 seconds! Open the lid to start, and close it to sleep. It's that fast. Web pages load quickly and online apps run smoothly thanks to a dual-core Intel® Atom™ processor and Adobe® Flash® support. And, navigate through all your stuff stored in the cloud with ease and precision using the big, click-anywhere touchpad.

Maximum Memory2 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Chromebook AC700-N572G01akk Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year