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Acer Officially Announces C720 Chromebook 115

Posted by timothy
from the don't-stray-outside-the-wireless-zone dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Acer officially announced its new Chromebook, C720. The C720 is 30% thinner (at 0.75 inches thick) and lighter (at 2.76 pounds) than Acer's previous Chromebook, C7. The C720 Chromebook has an 11.6-inch anti-glare widescreen, with a 1,366-by-768 resolution. Acer claims seven second boot times and up to 8.5 hours of battery life. The C720 comes with 4GB of DDR3L memory and uses an Intel Celeron 2955U processor based on Haswell technology. The system also has 16GB of local SSD storage along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi to get to Google's cloud-based storage. Like previous Chromebooks, the C720 Chromebook is constantly updated with the latest version of the Chrome OS and built around the Chrome browser." One thing this machine lacks is the most intriguing feature of the new ARM-based (and lower-power) Chromebook 11 from HP: charging via Micro-USB.
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Acer Officially Announces C720 Chromebook

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  • Crappy screens (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:19PM (#45094411)

    Keep me from upgrading my current ancient netbook.
    Get with the program guys!

    • Re:Crappy screens (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:23PM (#45094473) Journal

      Yup. I lost interest at 1366 followed by 768.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        1920x1080 would be fine, as well as a number of higher numbers.

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Funny thing is, when i saw this my first thought was "C720? Why would you pick a model designation that invokes numbers associated with crappy video resolutions?

      Then I saw it..... "...by-768 resolution" rotfl so that is why they have no worries. Let me know when the C1200 comes out.

  • Units (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:19PM (#45094417)

    0.75 inches = 19 mm
    2.76 punds = 1.25 kg

  • by SMOKEING (1176111) <{johnhommer} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:25PM (#45094493) Homepage

    It has been told many times already. 768 dots may be OK for a phone. For a laptop, anything less than a 1000 is just sad news.

    • I can't be leave were back in the OS wars again windows / mac / ChromeOS / Ubuntu whats old is new.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      768 dots may be OK for a phone. For a laptop, anything less than a 1000 is just sad news.

      Meh. The resolution is on-par with my EeePC... For a CHEAP laptop, I'm reasonably happy with that resolution, and can wrangle my software into working pretty well with it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have a 1366x768 12.5" notebook and I do significant software development on it. The trick is that I use Ubuntu Unity where it puts the icons on the left side and then it hides the application menus in the top bar. Then I remove all of the toolbars in gedit so that there is only the top Unity bar and then the tab bar and the rest is text entry. It really is enough for me to look at and I don't like to have more than ten open files at once anyways. I've owned a Macbook Pro before with 1440x900 and I can

    • by Salgat (1098063)
      It's 720p, which is just fine for an 11" monitor that is only doing basic web browsing, e-mail, and video playing. You have to remember, this is a bottom of the line $250 laptop/netbook, very minimal by design. Considering it's half the price of even new low end laptops, you have to delusional to expect it to be feature rich.
    • by rtb61 (674572)

      I can remember when (and your are begging for this) computer resellers went around making claims to business that they would need nothing beyond amber text based 14 inch screens as they were capable of reproducing all the information a business needed. With regard to this product it is all about cost efficiency, how much bang for how much buck. At $250.00 it seems pretty impressive and a worthwhile contender for reasonable loss with death by misadventure, as long as the SSD is readily removable and can be

    • by donaldm (919619)

      It has been told many times already. 768 dots may be OK for a phone. For a laptop, anything less than a 1000 is just sad news.

      Actually the High Definition 16x9 aspect ratio standards are 720p (1280×720 pixels), 1080p ( 1920×1080 pixels) and the new 4k or 2160p (3840 × 2160 pixels).

      Because the screen size of a laptop is normally small a 1280x720 pixels or better display is normally quite adequate and cost effective for most people. Of course you can get better resolutions but they normally cost more.

      We don't like talking about the 1080i standard since it mainly sits in a corner and drools a lot. :)

      • by fa2k (881632)

        Yeah that seems to be how we got into this mess. Managers thought that laptops were just tiny televisions

    • On ChromeOS? Can you even use multiple windows at once on that? If not, 1366x768 is just fine for a single maximized browser window...

    • My laptop has 900 vertical pixels, & darned if it doesn't work just fine!
  • by Misagon (1135) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:25PM (#45094499)

    The page linked to has annoying ad pop-ups that show when you hover the mouse pointer over keywords. The summary above is practically all the info in the article, so there is no reason to go there.

    And by the way... How did this article get up-voted enough to get to the first page? There is nothing particularly interesting about yet another Chromebook with incremental updates over its predecessor ... or is there?

  • by Yold (473518) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:31PM (#45094557)

    I recently replaced my MacBook Air with a Acer Chromebook refurb I picked up for $150 on ebay. It is an awesome portable dev machine. Good battery life, and Crouton is incredible. You can run Linux and ChromeOS simultaneously (via a chroot); it makes switching between the a matter of two keystrokes. I never thought I'd actually like ChromeOS, but it's actually pretty slick.

    • by Bradmont (513167)
      Does netflix work when you have dev mode on? This is the main hesitation I have to setting crouton up on my wife's C7.
  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@NOspam.comcast.net> on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:35PM (#45094601)

    Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them. Instead they should be putting Android onto laptops since the market is already very familiar with Android and the marketplace is already well stocked with apps.

    The transition from a phone or tablet that runs Android to a laptop that runs Android would be quite minimal. You would be able to continue using very cheap hardware and people wouldn't have to worry about adopting an entire additional OS in their lives. Office applications exist for Android as well as many common applications for any number of purposes.

    Google's support for Chrome is puzzling when Android is incredibly entrenched in the market and public conscious. It would also allow Google to concentrate the resource on one Operating System instead of two. When you consider that people are already being forced to learn a new interface with Microsoft's Metro stunt, now is the time to step up to the plate and make Android that interface.

    • by Misagon (1135) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @02:53PM (#45094765)

      I see Chromebooks as:
      1) For those who want to serf the web casually but prefer mouse and keyboard over touchscreen interfaces.
      2) A proper netbook, as it was supposed to be. The first netbooks were quite similar to the Chromebook concept, a legacy-free system with a small (often Linux-based) OS that wasn't too taxing on the machine. Then Windows hijacked the "netbook" concept and made them into underpowered Windows PCs instead.

      That said, I really don't see any reason why we shouldn't be able to also run touch-oriented Android apps on the ChromeOS desktop.
      Google, go show Microsoft how it should be done!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 10, 2013 @03:00PM (#45094839)

      Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them

      Chromebooks are actually doing [pcmag.com] pretty [thestreet.com] well [omgchrome.com].

      I'm a huge Android fan, but there are some issues with apps on Android that don't translate too well to the laptop experience (yet):

      • * While multitasking apps works great, there's no support for multiple on-screen app windows. (though some people have tried to add them [youtube.com].)
      • * though there is mouse support, there's still a heavy reliance on the touch-based interface compared with laptop point-and-click.

      That said, Android is open source. You're free to do a port yourself [cyanogenmod.org]. Some have done so already [gigaom.com].

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        I think this has been pointed out before. But when articles have to resort to referring to only sub $300 notebooks to describe there market growth it should raise alarm bells. to only have a 20-30% market share in a segment of the market with almost zero competition is a sad sign for them, not one of success.
      • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@NOspam.comcast.net> on Thursday October 10, 2013 @06:14PM (#45096755)

        Is 500,000 in sales considered pretty [digitimes.com] good? To put this in comparison the Surface has been considered a disaster [digitaltrends.com] by many here (myself included) and that sold 1.7 million.

        I won't argue your other points on mouse and multiple on-screen app windows as they are quite valid. My point is that I think Google could be much more successful in pushing Android on laptops than Chrome. Certainly there is work that would be needed, but that is absolutely paltry compared to the amount of work that it would take to bring Chrome up to par in terms of apps, developer familiarity and market acceptance.

    • Android does not have a proper multi-window management yet. The window manager on Google Linux distribution is better suited for laptops and netbooks.
      • by amorsen (7485)

        Android does not have a proper multi-window management yet.

        On the upside, neither does anything else anymore. Well KDE maybe. For the rest, the best you can do is make everything full screen with tabs and switch between them. You can put a full screen window on each monitor if you have more monitors though. There are even monitors with built in window managers to make up for OS deficiencies, where you can present a single monitor to the PC as multiple. That sort of highlights the sad state of modern GUIs.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them.

      Because netbooks became uncool, but the market for them didn't go away.

      There's still a substantial market for a small, cheap, light laptop that boots fast and lets you browse the web and type the occasional document. Aren't Chromebooks the best-selling 'laptops' on Amazon these days?

      The real question is: will these run Linux, so I can eventually replace my old netbook with one when it dies?

      • by onyxruby (118189)

        Because netbooks became uncool, but the market for them didn't go away.

        Agreed, and an Android based notebook can be made for netbook based prices. Chromebooks are certainly popular on Amazon, but overall they have only sold about 500,000 [digitimes.com] units so far. That's actually a pretty small fraction of the market and it doesn't change my argument.

        There's still a substantial market for a small, cheap, light laptop that boots fast and lets you browse the web and type the occasional document

        I couldn't agree with you mo

      • Several Linux Kernel Devs have installed Fedora on the high end Pixel. I don't know if there are any efforts to support any other machines.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most people who see my Acer Chromebook want one. A family friend bought one after I lent him mine while I fixed his laptop... as soon as his wife saw the one he bought, she has kept it as her own. Many people only need to do things via the web these days. I got mine for tech consulting, so I could have a keyboard if I needed to look something up, or kill time in the kitchen at home, but I have noticed that most people who try mine, end up buying one because the price is reasonable (except The Pixel) and gre

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them. Instead they should be putting Android onto laptops since the market is already very familiar with Android and the marketplace is already well stocked with apps.

      If you've ever used a dirt-cheap tablet, you know the answer to that...

      Android and its apps make numerous assumptions. Things like almost-always connected internet access... GPS hardware... Accelerometers... Touch screens. Small screen sizes that limit multitasking..

    • Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them. Instead they should be putting Android onto laptops since the market is already very familiar with Android and the marketplace is already well stocked with apps.

      Because having to write fully functional webapps and *several* different smartdevice apps sucks. It costs money and takes energy away from developing kick-arse stuff because you have to simultaneously maintain and update several different, incompatible platforms. You should ideally also release all new features simultaneously - neither fun nor cheap. Or we could all just write responsive webapps when they can get the browser experience seamless across devices, and for that you need to keep some momentum up

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      I've never understood this either. Why don't I just want a tablet with keyboard at the same $300 price point new Chromebook devices are coming in at.

      12" (class) screens? Seriously?

      Where's my >14" (class) screen tablets? I'll get a keyboard, thanks.

    • Why bother making Chromebooks, the market doesn't much seem to care for them.

      The Chromebook is a dual-attack against Google's biggest competitors/threats - Microsoft and Apple.

      By sucking all the profit margin out of the low end, Microsoft can't levy it's Windows tax on each machine sold. Neither does a Chromebook carry MS Office. Both wins if you're hoping Microsoft's top line sinks... the fact that Apple rules the roost at the top end puts Microsoft in the same vice-grip that effectively killed Nokia and Blackberry in the smartphone space.

      By simplifying ChromeOS so not even updat

  • An usable screen size for anyone over 40, a keyboard usable by anyone but a small handed former female Foxxcon employee (slave?), storage of any real kind, because *YOU* use the *Cloud* and the cloud is the continuation of turning the computer into a fixed media device... or for the slow minded out there, a TV.

    • the cloud is the continuation of turning the computer into a fixed media device... or for the slow minded out there, a TV.

      +1 Insightful

  • Mfg using Chrome to offload their stockpile of outdated early 2000 parts like 1366x768 netbook screens. These are $150 netbooks being repackaged as new Chromebooks. It's working, a lot of Google fans are buying these cheap internet terminals. They're also holding back high quality screens from being mass produced.
  • I'm a power user and while I use google products, I certainly don't trust them. That said, I understand planned obsolescence, but I really just want to see some ARM systems put out that are comparable to modern x86 machines in terms of specs.

    If anything this should have an HD display, 4-8 core processor, and 8GB ram for me to even care about it.

    Likewise, on the non-mobile front, I wish Cubie and these other manufacturers would produce something that'd fit in a standard case, accept standard RAM modules
    • but I really just want to see some ARM systems put out that are comparable to modern x86 machines in terms of specs.

      Why do you care if it's ARM? There are plenty of actual x86 machines that would meet your requirements available today.

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @03:30PM (#45095185) Homepage Journal

    > The C720 Chromebook has an 11.6-inch anti-glare
    > widescreen, with a 1,366-by-768 resolution.

    So it's like the 1024x768 Compaq laptop I had 15 years ago, but with 342 more pixels of width? Progress!

    Dear laptop makers: moar pixels, please. Even my original 13" MacBook from 2006 ago had more vertical pixels. (1280x800)

    • 1366*768 is more pixels than 1280*800, tens of thousands more pixels.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        This machine is also about a fifth of the price. The resolution still sucks of course, but it certainly is cheap.

      • by sootman (158191)

        1) It's only about 25,000 more pixels. So 2.5 "tens of thousands" more.

        2) I said the MacBook had more VERTICAL pixels. I.e., height. 800 > 768.

  • I had a Chromebook for about 3 days. Most of that time it was back in the box waiting for my next run to town to return it. I'd bought the Acer with a 320 gig hard drive expecting to either use it as a media player or torrent machine depending on which it did better. Neither. It can't access local network resources. And it couldn't handle any of my media files even tho they're h.264 and it's supposed to be able to play that format. So no media player. What about torrent clients? Nope. All I could f

  • Questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @03:52PM (#45095425)

    How does Ubuntu run on it? Or any other decent linux distro? How is battery life under GNU/Linux? Does it also run Wine? (Need to run some windows apps on it)

    I'm interested in getting one as a replacement for my EEE, especially since it has a non-glare screen, but this "Chrome OS" would be useless for me.

    • Re:Questions (Score:5, Informative)

      by Yold (473518) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @04:29PM (#45095837)

      It runs OK (google Chrubuntu), but the WiFi and trackpad drivers were so finicky that it was a deal breaker. ChromeOS actually is a stripped down version of Linux, which means that you can actually run a full-blown linux desktop along side it via Crouton (using a chroot). If that sounds tedious, it is actually fool-proof to install.
      Since the trackpad and WiFi drivers are still handled by ChromeOS (again, a linux kernel), it works great! If you are looking for a good linux laptop, I'd highly recommend it, especially if price and battery are your two main considerations.

       

  • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @03:57PM (#45095483) Journal

    One thing this machine lacks is the most intriguing feature of the new ARM-based (and lower-power) Chromebook 11 from HP: charging via Micro-USB.

    To hell with your freaky mutually-incompatible and non-standard ways to get 3amps over USB! Give me a 12V DC, positive-center barrel plug any day... Vastly more durable than MicroUSB junk, and far cheaper.

    Car adapters cost $3, since they're just a cord... Wall adapters are also dirt-cheap, and I can use any of the dozen I have lying around... Everything from my Netbook, to my GbE switch, to my computer speakers, to my NiMH battery charger, to my portable fan, to my UPSes, to my old video game consoles, ALL run on 12V DC. They can all swap adapters, because there's no crazy non-standard resistor levels on other pins that make half of them incompatible with the other half... And unlike MicroUSB jacks with the tiny reed in the center, barrel plugs are practically bullet-proof, can be inserted easily in any orientation, etc.

    I tolerate MicroUSB as a middle-of-the-road standard, that is better than a complete mis-mash of incompatible charging connectors, and varying voltages (3? 7.5? 9? WTF?), but only for small devices. Tablets should NEVER have started using it, and larger phones that can't fully charge with 5V should be jumping to 12V DC barrel-plugs ASAP, and getting everyone on a compatible, higher-power standard.

    • by amorsen (7485)

      To hell with your freaky mutually-incompatible and non-standard ways to get 3amps over USB!

      USB3 provides completely standard 5A charging. It's great that you love 12V. I don't think I have a single 12V device, all my notebook-type devices are 19V with weird plugs, and everything else is a random value from 3V to 24V (but strangely not 12V), sometimes AC and sometimes DC, with no relation between plug type and voltage or current requirements. I have discarded otherwise-functioning devices because I lost the power cord and it was not worth it to get a new one.

      I really look forward to getting it all

      • by evilviper (135110)

        USB3 provides completely standard 5A charging.

        Not really... USB3 ports are only 900mAh. High power is only possible for dedicated "charging" ports that can't really do any actual USB things.

        And the USB3 charging-only scheme is technically "standard" only in that the company that writes the specs endorsed one of the incompatible methods... So if companies don't adopt it, then it may be an official/de-jury standard, but it will still be de-facto non-standard.

  • Yay, yet another notebook with a resolution lower than a... *blink* EFFING GALAXY S4 CELLPHONE! My first PC was a 386 back in 1991. It had a Viewsonic graphics card and 14" CRT with 1024x768. 22 years ago. Same vertical rez. Dammit, guys.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      Far lower, the Galaxy S4 has an impressive 1080 x 1920 pixels on it's pocket sized screen.

      But then Acer build things as cheaply as they possably can. The S4 will likely keep working years longer than anything from Acer and give you far fewer problems.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @04:55PM (#45096071)

    Everything, and I mean everything, I ever brought from acer stopped working within 3 years. They make the lowest cost laptops because they use the cheapest parts. Saving $50 by buying acer is false economy.

    • My second PC was an Acer 486DX2 that I paid around $1600 for in 1994. I got three years of good service out of it, then gave it to my sister-in-law's kids and they used it a couple more. Mind you, this was two decades ago; maybe Acer's gotten worse.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So... if it charges via micro USB and has a USB port then all I need a microUSB cable for INFINITE battery life? I'm sold.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @09:34PM (#45097871)

    I am using it way more than my windows notebook, my android tablet, my kindle, or my ipod touch.

    - fast boot
    - small and lightweight
    - long battery life
    - enough power to load websites in a reasonable time
    - real keyboard
    - no worries about malware
    - screen, and keyboard, big enough to be useful
    - screen is high enough resolution for everything I use it for - and I am well over 40 years old.

    It is not perfect for everything. But for the $145 I paid, I'm very happy. I'd buy it again.

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