back to article Acer cranks Chromebooks with Core i3 models

Acer has announced the first Chromebooks powered by Intel's Core i3 processors. The new C720-3871 and C720-3404 will sell for $US349.99 and $US379.99 respectively. The extra $30 buys 4GB of RAM, rather than 2GB. Both machines feature a Core i3-4005U CPU at 1.7GHz, 32GB solid state disk, 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 display, Intel HD …

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Lower specs but

This looks almost identical to a Zenbook which sells for twice the price. I guess that's the current *book look.

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Same spec can get you a decent AMD machine

Not impressed - for the same spec I can get a decent AMD based laptop. Thin computing is supposed to be cheap too :)

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Depends on how easy it is to stick linux on it. Preferably with a decent ssd in there or at least a big micro sd for more storage.

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If it's anything like the a C720 with the Celeron 2955U then it shouldn't be too difficult. It seems the Ubuntu flavors are well covered as is Arch. Minor tweaking to the patches that get the touchpad and sleep/resume may be necessary for other distributions. Also, there is a custom spin of Bodhi that has all the needed patches already applied and there is a beta of Elementary Freya (formerly Isis) spun for the C720 as well that I've seen. Unfortunately I don't have the links to hand but it's pretty easy to find with DDG or most other search engines of your choice. On the one I picked up I dropped a 64GB SSD in it and installed Elementary Luna and I understand it's been well received as a replacement for my aunt's Eee netbook which she thought was a delight.

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Bodhi is a good choice imho

+1 to Eddy Ito - I'm saving up for a Chromebook, with the intention of installing Bodhi on it.

Chrome OS itself looks to be a reasonable choice for the perennial n00bs among our family & friends, whose diseased Win machines consume far too much of my time.

Bodhi-on-Chromebook info here:-

http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/howto-bodhi-linux-on-acer-c720.html

We like Bodhi - it runs amazingly well on a P3 clocking at 350MHz (P3-700) and can do useful surfing with a mere 256MB RAM installed. No, it can't open 127 tabs in Firefox, but it surfs OK and works fine so long as one respects its limitations.

Built lots of these (mostly using ancient Itronix solid metal laptops with 800x600 touchscreen) for the grandkids.

Bodhi Linux doesn't appeal to everybody - bit like Marmite or Gentleman's Relish - but it does do a good job and is remarkably light on resources, even with bling.

Trouble is that they keep releasing new Chromebooks that keep me saving up for the latest stuff, and the more costly 13 to 14 inch size is appealing. <sigh>

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College/school work?

A family member is heading back to college soon. This looks like it could server her needs quite well for a decent price. Does anyone have any thoughts on it's suitability? Effectively I suppose it would just be used for note taking/browsing, probably moving things back to a full powered laptop when she gets home.

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Re: College/school work?

Could she do everything she wants to do in a browser? Is she likely to be net-connected every where she wants to use a computer? Is she completely independent of any specific windows/mac software? If the answers are yes, then probably this is a reasonable choice. Chances are no.

I bought my first daughter a Chromebook for Uni. She could not get on with it. My second daughter uses it for everything she wants to do, and does not notice any loss of productivity. I find that spreadsheets and word processing functions very limited in Google's own services, but with Microsoft Office, Zoho writer etc these basic utilities are nearly very good.

The pluses:- fast start up, long battery life and lightweight, low-cost computing, with an option of Crouton for a fully fledged OS, mean that for some this is an excellent system

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Re: College/school work?

A Chromebook if nothing else is a cheap handy backup if a main machine goes wrong.

Especially if all her work is also backed up into Google Drive.

The 11" Samsungs are on special offer in a lot of places.

You should always have a backup machine, not just a data backup.

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Re: College/school work?

I think I'll need to do a bit of digging and find out to what you can do on the Chromebook, software available etc., then see I can get some more details off of her about what she plans to do with it.

Chromebooks have pretty much passed me by so I don't really know much about them this at this point.

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Re: College/school work?

Chromebooks are really much better than I ever expected I bought an Acer c720 for $199 a few months back, really like it, fast, only 1.25kg and the battery lasts 8 hours. It is my go to travel companion these days, however I also need access to a full blown OS, the chromebook can't do everything I need, but if you just need social networking, youtube, webmail, WP, spreadsheet, note taking(stackEdit excellent) play music & videos at the price you can't really go wrong. One last bit I can't see the need for a core i3 and 4gb ram the c720 dual core celeron & 2gb is more than enough.

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Bought an HP 14 chrome book

Bought an HP 14 chrome book about 6 month ago, Best buy in a long time, Instant on well built,

You can install linux no problem, although out of the box it does all that's required for consuming the web and a bit of document writing, well worth a punt.

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It's an Acer...

...so it will break quicker than anything in the known IT Universe.

And it's not particularly cheap either.

I'd rather go with the HP equivalent, which if the hint of Google influence is correct, surely won't be too far behind.......

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Re: It's an Acer...

I bought the 2GB-RAM/32GB-SSD Acer Touch C720P Chromebook, it is better made than the HP Winlappies that we have at work, the Acer Chromebook is overall brilliant, but I haven't yet seen the HP Chromebooks on sale around here - so I can't give a direct comparison.

I'd say its possibly more suitable for teenagers around 13-17 than for undergrads. The C720P package was around half the price of a refurb 11.6" MacBookAir, I've never noticed any CPU/GPU issues from the C720P haswell 1.4GHz Celeron.

it does digital-life/digital-education really well.

One great tip:

I stuffed in a tiny SDCZ33-064G-B35 (cheap low profile 64GB usb2 flash drive) in order to have 100GB available in the system, avoiding somewhat the Cloud , it does occupy the right-most usb3 slot, leaving just one usb for general use, but it's a neat way around the EU 16GB SSD limits for the Chromebook - which I bypassed anyway by buying direct from the 'states.

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Re: It's an Acer...

"EU 16GB SSD limits"? Seriously, I never heard of such a thing and Google turns up nothing. What are you referring to?

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Re: It's an Acer...

sorry, I miswrote/misemphasised maybe, it's just that when I was buying the C720 couple of months ago - the usual sources of amzn.de or .uk , these only had 16GB SSD Acers available in grey, whilst over the pond the white c720p with 32GB ssd was a much better deal. It's not an EU thing, its presumably Acer (based in Milan?) trying to make an extra euro of profit in the EU?

actually, it's still like that most of the listings at http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00HFQYZMG/ are only 16GB SSD, whilst in US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNPD1VW/ has either 16 or 32GB SSD, with $30 difference. Now, the C720P http://www.amazon.com//dp/B00H7WF22K has a choice of either 2 or 4G of ram. I can't say that either Xubuntu or Chrome on my 2G is ram-limited, works great!

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Couldn't

"chores like backup could be less onerous." You mean they couldn't be less onerous. I bet you're American and say "could care less" about things you in fact couldn't care less about.

The C720 works perfectly well with a Celeron and 2GB. Anything more is a waste. But on Google subsidising the cost, it's been said that Intel was actually subsidising the cost of the Celeron processors for Chromebooks. Apparently it was part of their $1beelion marketing budget, and wanting to gain share over ARM processors.

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