Acer C720 Chromebook Has the Power of a Real Laptop

The Acer C720 Chromebook is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, giving it a performance edge over most other Chromebooks. It also costs more.
Image: Acer

Acer wants you to know that its Chromebook can beat up your Chromebook. The company just launched its C720 Chromebook, which packs a fourth-generation ("Haswell") Intel Core i3 processor — the same kind of chip you'd find in a "real" laptop.

Until now, almost all Chromebooks used mobile processors such as those from Samsung or Intel's Atom line (the big exception being the Google's Chromebook Pixel, which has a third-generation Intel Core i5).

The Acer is the first in a new line of "high performance" Intel-powered Chromebooks, first announced back in May.

With a Core i3 chip on board, the C720 should address one of the most common criticisms of Chromebooks: the lack of ability to multitask. With several browser tabs open — such as a YouTube video, a social network and other cloud-based services — a Chromebook's performance can often slow to a crawl.

The Haswell processor is better equipped to handle that kind of use, while also providing good battery life: The C720 is rated to last 8.5 hours. And there's another speed bonus: booting up the laptop takes a mere seven seconds, the company says.

Although storage doesn't matter as much on a Chromebook, since Chrome OS is almost entirely cloud-based, the Acer has 32GB instead of the usual 16GB. The 11.6-inch display has 1,366 x 768 resolution. Ports include USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 as well as HDMI for connection to an external monitor.

Acer is releasing two versions of the C720 with 2GB or 4GB of RAM, priced at $349.99 and $379.99, respectively. That's about $100 more than the average Chromebook. Clearly, there's a premium for performance.

Correction: The correct model number of Acer's new Chromebook is C720, not C270.

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