TODO alt text

Acer C7 Chromebook review

A very affordable Chromebook. But with flaws.

Compared to the Samsung ARM Series 3 Chromebook that preceded it by just a few weeks, it feels like you get more of almost everything on the Acer C7 Chromebook. There's more storage (a 320GB hard disk rather than 16GB), more connectivity (a VGA port as well as HDMI, and Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi), a better (if still not excellent) screen, and you even get a caps lock key (more on that later).

But more is not always better. You also get more weight - 1.4kg/3lbs compared to the featherlight Samsung's 1.1kg/2.43lbs - which, while it may not sound like a big difference, is very noticeable.

And while the extra grunt its 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847 processor provides means it's happier, say, playing HD video than the Exynos 5 Dual ARM-powered Samsung, it brings compromises.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

Battery life on the Acer C7 Chromebook is poor - somewhere between three and four hours, or even sometimes less, depending on what you're doing with it - and it runs hotter. Though it's not terrible, it feels, next to an ARM-based tablet or even the Samsung Series 3, positively old-fashioned to hear fans spin up and feel heat spat out of an exhaust vent.

Besides, while some of the additions here are welcome - that Ethernet jack will make IT managers happy - some seem less relevant.

What good, for example, is a 320GB hard disk when Chrome OS is designed to be a thin client to cloud services? All it serves to do is to reduce the responsiveness of the computer, and to slow boot times.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

And having a VGA port as well as HDMI may prove useful in certain scenarios (giving presentations, say, since many projector systems still insist on VGA), but currently, Chrome OS can only mirror its display - and not always that reliably in our testing.

As we write, though, the developer release of Chrome OS adds extended desktop mode, so it will make its way to the general release eventually.

The Acer C7 Chromebook's built-in 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution screen is perfectly serviceable, if not spectacular.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

It's likely that its comparative richness - next to that Samsung Chromebook, say - is just down to the fact that it's a glossy rather than a matt screen, but that's OK, and the reflections are less distracting than we've seen on laptops that cost four times as much, such as Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina display.

You get an SD card slot, and a frankly-excessive-for-a-Chromebook three USB 2.0 ports. No, no USB 3.0, but on a Chromebook, there's little you can use it for anyway.

Having plenty of USB ports isn't a bad thing in itself, but Chrome OS isn't really designed to connect to anything but the simplest of peripherals. Even printing is done over the network, either to a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, or via a middle-man computer running the Cloud Print daemon. So it's likely that you'd end up using these ports more as charging points for USB gizmos than anything else.

Acer C7 Chromebook review

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