Just when you thought Chromebooks couldn’t get any more budget-friendly, Acer has announced its new Chromebook C720p. This Chrome-powered clamshell features an 11.6-inch touch screen display and Intel Haswell-based Celeron processor for just $299. Available early next month through Acer, Amazon and Best Buy, the C720P is the spitting image of Acer’s $199 Chromebook C720-2848, because, touch screen aside, it’s the same device.
At just 0.78 inches thick and weighing a scant 2.98 pounds, the Chromebook C720P is a serious featherweight. Like its predecessor, the C72oP sports a slick 1366 x 768 display, Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. Acer estimates that the C720P’s battery will last 7.5 hours, an hour less than the non-touch screen-equipped C720-2848. C720P buyers also get access to 100GB of free Google Drive storage for the first two years following their purchase, as well as 12 free GoGo inflight Wi-Fi passes.
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If you’re looking for a slightly more powerful system, you can opt for the original $249 Acer Chromebook C720. Though nearly identical to its siblings, the original C720 comes with 4GB of RAM rather than 2GB, meaning you’ll get better overall system performance.
While the Acer Chromebook C720P is certainly a steal at $299, it’s not the only budget-friendly touch screen notebook on the market. Many Intel Celeron-powered, touch screen-equipped Windows 8 notebooks currently sell for less than $400. In fact the 11.6-inch Lenovo IdeaPad S210 Touch matches the C720′s price of $299, while the Toshiba Satellite C55-A5300 is even cheaper, costing just $229. And with both laptops running full Windows 8, users will be able to use their favorite programs, including Microsoft Office, something they can’t do on a Chromebook.