Google helps you experience the best of its Chrome operating system and the best of the web with the Acer C7 Chromebook. The C7 improves on the storage issue with Chromebooks by adding a 320GB hard drive on top of the 100GB of cloud storage you get. The drawback to this is the design is thick enough that it brings you back to the days of the first netbook. So this new Chromebook isn't as mobile as the other Google laptops, and it has a shorter battery life, but the affordable price and large hard drive make it worth a look. Read our Chromebook review and see why it earns our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award.
The Acer C7 runs a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847 processor that is sufficient for this machine, but you won't be running any games or photo editing programs on this system. There is also 2GB of RAM, just enough power for the basic tasks. All of the applications are housed online, so you won't have to download any of them. Luckily, if you want to download programs or store a large library of music or photos, there is a 320GB hard drive inside. This isn't a solid-state drive, so it is louder than other Chromebooks. When you add 100GB of cloud storage on top of it, you will find you have plenty of space for your files.
This Google Chromebook does beat the average startup time of traditional laptops by loading in 18 seconds, but other Chromebooks are much quicker. The speakers produce loud enough volume when you are listening to music or chatting with a friend.
The C7 Chromebook has a slightly larger, heavier design than other Chromebooks. It weighs 3 pounds and is 1 inch thick so it's still easy to tuck away in a small bag. One drawback to the casing is it feels like a budget computer. When you pick up the C7, you will notice the plastic lid feels flexible. The vents are bigger than other Chromebooks, but this helps keep the Acer from overheating.
The 11.6-inch display has a 1366 x 768 resolution, which may seem undersized, but you will find this same resolution on standard 13-inch laptops. The C7 Chromebook's display has a 720p video resolution, but you may want to change the settings. Colors and contrast look good, but not great, right out of the box. You can fix this in the system settings where you can improve the color richness for when you are viewing pictures and movies.
The keyboard offers a nice size and almost feels like a full-sized keyboard. Typing feels comfortable but the scheme of the keys is slightly different from other laptops: a search key resides between the Alt and Fn keys, which was a pleasant touch. Since this is a Google device, they have made searching and accessing the web easy for you.
The 1.3-megapixel camera is great for the basic Google Hangouts and video chat that you can run directly from within Gmail. There is also a good selection of ports on the Acer C7 such as three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port as well as a SD card slot and a physical Ethernet jack. There is even a jack for a VGA cable in case you have an older monitor. Bluetooth, though, is not included with the C7.
The Acer C7 Chromebook has a 320GB hard drive, which is hundreds more than other Chromebooks have. This, on top of the 100GB of free cloud storage, will give you a sufficient amount of space to store your files. There are plenty of places to connect your mouse, keyboard or printer, but it will all have to be through the USB ports since there is no Bluetooth in this computer. And the Acer C7 still boots up in under 18 seconds and features a 720p display, great for viewing your media.
There are more ports on this device than other Chromebooks. You will also get vastly more storage with the 320GB hard drive and 100GB of cloud storage.
The battery life is low and the startup time is slow. The design is more bland and thicker than what you would expect with Chromebooks.
The Acer C7 delivers the Chrome OS at a low price but the small battery life limits the Chromebook's mobility.