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Acer's $199 Chromebook Put to the Test, Reviewed

By Julio Franco ยท 22 replies
Dec 13, 2012
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  1. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +102

    Looks perfect to replace my mom's pathetic old Windows desktop. She only uses "Internet" on it, anyway. Thanks for the review. I'll be ordering one for her.
  2. dcnc123

    dcnc123 TS Enthusiast Posts: 55

    Throw in some touch screens then ill be happy to buy one ^_^
  3. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    What I'm interested in is whether Windows can be installed on it, and how well it will run. Could be a good alternative to a netbook.
  4. crazyboots

    crazyboots TS Rookie

    I wonder if you could install windows 7 on this thing with usb stick since it has 2gb of ram could put 7 pro and even windows 8 on it. just a idea as long as the bios is setup to boot to usb should be able to do it. but you can find a good netbook now for $ 250-300 that has better stuff in it go with amd for netbooks cause built in gpu on amd chips are way better than intels atleast for netbook market. AMD Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. crazyboots

    crazyboots TS Rookie

    Most have atleast a dual core system for todays uses quad is even better be nice to see a 12 core cpu even if it's only clocked at 1ghz on netbook. it would be a super netbook then lol
  6. I don't think you can install Windows on the Chromebook though you can install Ubuntu. On Ars Technica they have an article that explains how to do this.
  7. I have a Samsung Chromebook and it does the job really well, although it's important to define the job. For me I wanted something with a decent keyboard and trackpad, something that's light and portable with a long battery. If course a MacBook Air would be perfect for this however the cost of one of those is about 5 times what the Chromebook is. The environment in which I use the Chromebook is when I am commuting and traveling and need to do some work on the move. The Chromebook does this really well, I would say that the Chromebook is not competing in the laptop space so much as competing in the tablet space, for tablet users that want something cheap and portal with a keyboard. I know it sounds kinda weird, if I needed full laptop functionality I would obviously go for a Mac or Windows laptop however this is an additional device and in not in any way a primary use device.

    This device may not fit everyone but it's worth stressing that this device fits a particular use pattern.
  8. Chrome OS probably has the same market share as the Atari Jaguar does today.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,179

    Ever since my netbook broke (dropped down cement stairs) I've been interested in a replacement. I thought a Chromebook would be a worthy replacement, but it's hard to get a decent review.

    I only ready a little of this review... reading your review was more painful than your descriptions of the Chromebook. The resolution was 'predictable' the speakers are terrible, the color is abysmal... blah blah blah... we get it, it's a cheap computer. Can't you just say how much you hate it once and be done with it? My 'living room laptop' was a 2008 $300 netbook with an atom processor that couldn't even play a youtube video without skipping around.

    Believe it or not people are interested in these things... many of us think tablets suck. A small laptop can sit on the arm of the sofa and can be used with one hand while watching TV. I don't want a touch screen with a $500 price tag, I want to pay half as much for a window to the net that is easy to type an email on.

    Stop assuming what we want... so many of you reviewers make a ton of wrong assumptions.
    spydercanopus likes this.
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,409   +809

    MilwaukeeMike I hear you. I don't want a tablet in my living room where a laptop (even a cheap one) is more useful. But if you didn't read the conclusion then you are missing part of the point which is, even if a Chromebook is what you want, at $200 the Acer C7 is not better than the Samsung that is more svelte and better built for 50 extra bucks. It has less storage but it has flash memory and no internal fans, which ultimately seems better suited for this kind of PC.
    spydercanopus likes this.
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Can't see much interest in this device. They had for $79 laptops based on Android OS selling in the drug store chain called CVS for months now. Those are really cheap. With cheap tablets on Android ICS and JB selling as low as $69 bucks people want those instead. Chromebook has to do more to get people to run out and buy non-touch screen device. You really need 1080p, HDMI, USB, micro SDHC slot, 2GB of RAM and large HDD as this one does.

    Back in July to August 2012, Target had ACER/Gateway laptops selling for $249.99 with Windows 7 64-bit OS 4GB DDR3 RAM upgrade to 8GB DDR RAM for $20 much on Amazon. You got 320GB WD HDD, that could be swapped out for SSD or 500GB, 720GB or 1TB HDD. Next month you could get even better one for $299. But the $249 deal was better! As both did come with the $14.99 Windows 8 Pro offer!
  12. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,860   +1,182

    I'm sorry, but I think asking for 1080p on a 200 dollar full fledged (meaning it can work entirely on its own) PC is pretty ridiculous, or asking for the power to run it well.
  13. crazyboots

    crazyboots TS Rookie

    Where's the $99 notebook we were told to get put windows 8 on it and dual core amd apu c-70 and 80gb hard drive and 11.6in display, two usb 2.0 and wireless n and 3 cell battery but $150 for 6cell battery and $200 for 9 cell battery

    oh and 4gb of dd3 with option of adding another 4gb.
  14. meetu

    meetu TS Rookie

    agree. got my mom the original acer when her dell began to die. now we nerdbois can go on and on and on about all the "more" one can get at this or that price but mom don't do "more". she don't know what it is and her eyes will glaze over the minute you start in on it.

    facebook/browsing/email/couple of flash games... she hasn't missed a beat.

    so no os upgrade cost, no os upgrade headaches, no virus, no virus cost, no tech calls, she boots it up and has the latest greatest. couple of years now and not a single problem. there's a downside to this?

    and these new lower cost ones are real appealing to other family members who don't do "more". I got a whole clan of them.
  15. Exactly. You have perfectly described the use case for these things.
  16. As long as the Acer model has a hard drive, I sure would have like to seen a dual OS boot system (Linux and Chrome). That would have increased it's value significantly. The speaker sounds a little cheap. There is no compromise on graphics though, you tube video plays will compete with the best. Suited for doing portable office work in the cloud, or for teens looking for something more serious than Nexus. A cool little machine, especially if you want to go to a party where Microsoft is not invited.
  17. Definitely not worth the money!!! My wife was adjusting the screen and her thumb cracked it (Acer will not cover under 90 day warranty). The Brother wireless computer we purchased said it is was set up for Google Cloud Print, but no one at Brother can get it to work. It is all unusable at this point and you might as well just flush your $200 down the toilet.
  18. spencer

    spencer TS Addict Posts: 202   +22

    Yeah yesterday my mothers chromebook froze and the only way we could get it to shut down was remove the battery these are advanced calculators.
  19. You are wrong. It's very light. this laptop has very good resolution for this size and it can unfold 0 to 180*. I'm using this laptop most of the time(at bed) compare with my 14" ulrtrabook.
  20. The review forgets to mention that the hard drive, memory and battery are all replaceable. So you could spend another $50 and replace the SATA drive with a Flash Drive AND upgrade the memory from 2GB to 4GB. This laptop is also dual boot capable so you can run Ubuntu alongside Chrome OS. Also, the dual core Intel Celeron processor in this laptop beats the Samsung Exyynos processor which is designed for tablets, especially in graphics performance. The Samsung version does not have an Ethernet port either. Yeah, the Samsung is a bit lighter but the Acer at 3 lbs. in not a deal breaker. At $200, this is a no brainer if your primary use case is Internet centric computing.
  21. Well, as someone who really likes technology, I really like this. The C7 "is" a full fledged laptop, it just needs the right OS put in. I looked at tablets, I looked at the Samsung Chromebook too. What I wanted was exactly what the C7 had to offer. Small enough and light enough to use in the living room or in bed, to put on the arm of the couch and watch.

    Yes...the Samsung build quality is definitely superior. But, when you go out and buy a car do you immediately go and buy a Porsche or Ferrarri? No! You buy a Honda...good on gas, better insurance rates, and usability is far greater.

    This C7 is not high end, but it has all the right equipment to get you into the 'thin & light' crowd without paying stupid money. It also allows you to stay away from the limits of a cheap tablet or fork over big bux for a tablet that you wish you could really do something with!

    I installed Chrubuntu on mine before I even got to the initial set-up screen of Chrome. I cannaballized an older laptop for the 8 GB of RAM, and this things really rocks!
    I can use LibreOffice for pretty much everything I need on the go. I can save files to the HDD. I have 5 GB of free cloud storage from UbuntuOne! What's not to like??

    I have always been amazed at reviewers who have had such limited 'vision' for products for the real world. A coat-hanger is just a coat-hanger is it? Well, not in my world! It is a wiener roaster, a car door un-locker, ...you get the point. It's the same thing with this little C7.
    It's really Brilliant!
  22. The screen on this is incredibly fragile! My finger barely "nicked" the screen, and it broke so I bought another one for $200 (stupid me). The exact same thing happened the second time. I would NOT recommend this to anyone for any purpose.

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