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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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The Acer C720 - at a glance



Well I had me a good, good day today!  I got over to Best Buy and took a detailed look at the Acer C720.  I have to tell you that I am very impressed.  I am not a fan of the small screens on any device with a keyboard, but this guy makes up for it.

First off I wanted to go over my experience at Best Buy, which wasn't super good.  I was on lunch so I had a limited time to go in and check the display models out.
I was glad to see that they had two Google displays setup.  One had mobile, with the Nexus 7, Chromecast and a Nexus 5.  While the other held the two sweet devices that I wanted to ponder over.  The display for mobile was in great shape.  All the devices were present, it was clean and the devices were on and ready for play.  The Chromebook station left a little to be desired.

Before I go on let me back up a click and tell you my intention with my trip to Best Buy.  I had was hoping to scope out the newest, latest and greatest Chromebooks avail and salivate accordingly.  I wasn't disappointed because there were two beauts sitting there, a black HP 14 and the Acer C720, but I passed the HP 14 right by after only a quick glance.  I really wanted to get my hands on the Acer.  It was calling to me, in all its fake burnished metal glory.  Now remember I came in wanting to look at all devices present, but... Acer won my heart on looks and feel within 5 seconds.

What is funny is that this hurt me, because I ended up having a technical issue that I could have figured out if I had just looked at the HP.  The wifi on the Acer wasn't working.  It was connecting to all kinds of random equipment in Best Buy and not their correct AP for internet access.  If I had even looked at the HP I would have seen that it is a hidden AP, and its name is 'Best Buy'.  Go figure, right?  I ended up getting a rep to come over and he connected to the correct AP, but then got a cert error and couldn't view pages.  I could see that the time wasn't correct and told him, but after a few mins he gave up and stated 'Well I guess Acer is out of luck today.', and walked away.

So after he walks away I note that the time is indeed off and that is why the webpages get an error.  Under the guest user you cannot adjust the time, and I wasn't going to log in as myself... so I rebooted, and all good.  Finally I could do some real perusing of this sweet little number.
First off is performance.  I was looking at the 2GB model so I expecting some lag but I loaded 10 tabs with fairly large and interactive content( I go for YouTube and some car companies with flash/HTML5 stuff constantly going).  I was impressed, because it never hiccuped.  Granted I wasn't logged in and no extensions were loaded, so this wasn't real world.  Take if for what it is.

The other and most appealing to me was the weight and the look of the device.  In comparison to the HP that was sitting there, this guy was worlds apart.  I felt that the HP looked like a Dell from 5 years ago, with the high gloss plastic, with inlaid design/patern in it.  The HP just looked like another cheap laptop, and not something that was powered by something new and unique like Chrome OS.  The Acer on the other hand looked like something from the future.  The cool future.  Not the neon glare of 'The Fifth Element', and not the grunge of 'Blade Runner' but more... 'Minority Report', if that makes any sense.

The screen leaves more than a little to be desired.  Is it like seeing a telephoto picture of Jenifer Lopez's wedding vs the shot from her photographer at the same event?  Eh no.  Does it pain me to say that Yes it is like that when you rest it next to the Macbook Air though.  The screen is very mediocre compared to the computers that are sitting close by, and next to something like an Air... Well you get the idea.

With all this said I will tell you this:  Out of all the new models out I would pick up this model all day long.  With the sweet styling, light weight, 8.5 hour battery life and extremely low cost, this is the Christmas present of the season.  I could only hope that Santa finds a way to get me one, in the 4GB flavor of course.

Good
 - low cost for hardware delivered
 - awesome design (opinion)
 - above average batter life for current models
 - average to low for weight for current models

Bad
 - screen is not very good (but most aren't, buy a Pixel right?)
 - $50 extra for RAM (2GB -> 4 GB)


Edit - Forgot about the soldered in RAM, this is a negative seeing as currently it is $50 extra for 2 more GB.

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