While most Chromebooks are powered by low-power Intel Celeron processors—the Core i5 Chromebook Pixel being the lone exception—Acer is bridging the gap between these budget systems and Windows notebooks with the updated C720 Chromebook. This 11-inch notebook, available for $349, will have an Intel Core i3 processor, enabling consumers to do a bit more multitasking than before on the Chrome OS.
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Design-wise, the C720 looks identical to the notebook by the same name that was released last fall. Inside, though, is a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i3-4005U processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB SSD. Not exactly a fire-breather, but it should provide performance comparable to the Dell Latitude 13 Education notebook, which has the same CPU. As with the original C720, this model will also have an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display; if you want a touchscreen, you’ll have to opt for the Celeron-powered Acer C720P.
Other features of the notebook include Intel 4400 graphics, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports and up to 8.5 hours of battery life, according to Acer.
At $349 (or $379 if you step up to the model with 4GB of RAM), the C720 is about $50 to $100 more than most other Chromebooks, which assiduously stay below $300 to better separate themselves from budget Windows notebooks. However, Acer is banking that the increased performance of the C720 will be worth the extra dough to those who want an inexpensive, but powerful Chromebook.
We’re looking forward to putting the new C720 through its paces; stay tuned for our full review.