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Acer Reveal C720P Chromebook with Touchscreen

acer-chromebook-c720p

After being outed by Amazon France two weeks ago, Acer have officially announced the C720P touchscreen Chromebook.

As previously reported, the new C720P features a 32GB solid-state drive, 2GB of RAM, and an 11.6″ screen with a resolution of 1366×768. The C720P also packs a Haswell processor and Acer are touting boot times of only 7 seconds.

  • Intel Celeron 2955U processor (Haswell) @ 1.4Ghz
  • 2GB RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 32GB SSD
  • 7.5 hours of battery life

Expansion and connectivity wise there are 2 USB ports; a full-sized HDMI out; combo mic/headphones jack; and an SD card slot. There’s also a front-facing VGA webcam and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Amazon France’s premature listing from earlier in the month had the device priced at €299 – roughly $400/£250 – but the official price is a much lower $299 – only $50 more than the RRP of the recently released C720 and $100 more than the awkwardly named C720-2848.

The C720P is the first touchscreen Chromebook outside the Chromebook Pixel and, more importantly, the first entry-level touchscreen Chromebook outright, coming in at a far more reasonable price for consumers who enjoy a touchscreen experience but can’t justify spending $1299 on a Chrome OS device.

Acer expect the device to be available starting early December – only a week away! – on Amazon, Best Buy, and from their own online store. There is no word on release dates for international customers at this time. Amazon are currently listing the C720P as shipping in mid-December with “limited” availability.

Preorder the Acer C720P on Amazon

  • Kenny Strawn

    That was the same price I got this AC700 I’m typing on about 2 years ago… !!! Wonder if the C720P is in fact the “Bolt” Chromebook that we saw come up earlier this year

  • Sean Lumly

    This seems like a great deal, but I’m curious about the 11.6″ size. Is it significantly smaller than someone coming from a 13″ screen? I’m just weary that the 1.4″ reduction may be larger in practice than it seems.

    • Nolan Mercer

      I would recommend trying the C720 that Best Buy’s display. You might like it, you might hate it.

      • Sean Lumly

        This seems like the best way to go. I’m in Canada so finding one may prove to be a bigger challenge in the short run!

        • Chris

          HP.ca has the new Haswell 14 Chromebook on its site now, available for immediate shipping. Acer.ca is advertising both the C720 models, touch and non-touch, but can’t order online from them. so you’ll have to wait til they trickle into the stores if that’s what you want. I’m thinking about the HP 14, but I’d like to see what ASUS and Toshiba come out with, before committing.

          • Sean Lumly

            Thanks Chris! I’ll definitely check this out.

            I’m also curious about the HP14. The weight is a bit high, but everything else is next to perfect for the price. I’m specifically very keen on Asus’s future offering.

    • Chris

      @almo, @Lumly, I think the resolution makes it OK. I was a bit leery before I bought one and took a C7 home for a “two-week” trial, my previous smallest laptop being a 14″. With my old eyes, I was afraid the fonts would be too small. But the res is the same as both my 15.6″ and 14″ laptops, so being packed into a smaller screen, it makes the fonts even sharper. I like the light weight on my lap when typing, and the keyboard is big enough for comfortable typing. My only complaint is the battery life not being long enough, which is addressed by the new one, and lack of a backlit keyboard, which hasn’t. YMMV, but after two days, the 11.6″ was NOT going back, and is my new fave portable device as I can easily toss it in a backpack and take it to work, travelling with me without lugging around a full-size laptop, and still do more than a tablet will allow me to do. Bet a Nexus 10 will cost at least as much as the Touchscreen C720 without the versatility of a full-keyboard and the ability to type while still looking at all 11.6″ of screen.

      • Sean Lumly

        Thanks for your impressions! I think I would be ok with 11.6″, especially considering the battery life and portability!

        Truth be told, I’d be 100% sold if there was a 12″ Acer C720 in the body of the HP Chromebook 11. In fact, if the HP Chromebook 11 had a better SoC than the year-old Exynos 5250, I would probably be leaning toward it.

        I may just wait for the next wave of devices, or build a DIY Chromebook if I can find a suitable laptop.

        • Chris

          I don’t know if the Exynos have any battery life advantages over the Intel chips anymore (the 14″ HP with its 10hr life would seem to indicate the advantage has swung to the Haswell) and unless the new Exynos offer better battery life and comparable processing power to the Intel, I’d be inclined to the Intel. Given that processing power is less of an issue with a cloud-centric system (though that might change as video- and photo-editing offline become more prevalent on Chromebooks), my personal preference is always to go for battery life. The IPS screens look nice, but I find them too reflective. I sort of like the lower-glare screens they are currently using.

          I also live in Canada, and we seem to lag behind in availability, but I’m betting its just CSA certification or things like that that are holding them up. Interestingly, even on the US Google Play store, the only Chromebook I can find right now is the C7. Not sure how people are buying the two HPs and new Acers in the US and UK.

          • Sean Lumly

            The Exynos SoC almost certainly has a battery power advantage over the chip in the Acer Chromebook that requires a fan. But it will be impossibly to accurately compare without actual power-consumption readings during multiple workloads and without knowing the draw of other components (eg. the screen).

            Consider that the HP Chromebook 11 has a battery around two-thirds the size of the battery found in the Acer Chromebook despite similar battery stamina. And the Exynos 5250 is almost certainly at a process disadvantage compared to the Haswell chip (32nm vs 28nm — smaller is oodles better), which makes the higher power-draw of the Haswell all the more significant. And the Exynos 5250 is old at this point — it has been super-ceded by a more power efficient and faster Exynos 5420 (there were supposedly some bugs in the big.LITTLE setup of the 5250).

            But it’s the final package we typically buy, not the specs! :) Overall, the Acer c720p has the more attractive overall package to me, while the HPCB 11 scores points for being prettier and having no fan.

            It seems that CB selection is either very inexpensive, or way too expensive. It would gladly take a $500 plastic chromebook without the compromises. This is why it may be worth looking into a DIY setup.

          • Chris

            You are correct. I didn’t factor battery size into life when I was looking, and that also equates to lower weight, another thing I like. If the new 5420 is more powerful (and it doesn’t HAVE to be as powerful as the Haswell, just powerful enough for smooth operation) and it gives better battery life and lower weight, and fanless (hate the dust collection feature of fans) color me sold!

            My limited experience with trying to get Hexxeh’s Vanilla ChromeOS to work well (or at all) on non-Chrome machines hasn’t gone well, to the point where I gave up trying. I think that as Chromebooks gain more acceptance, once people understand that 99% of what they do is on the web anyway and that they only need one machine in their house to run iTunes and maybe Photoshop/Calibre, etc, the diversity of Chromebooks will expand, though I hope they don’t become more expensive as a result. One of the main attractions for me is their price point makes them essentially disposable devices that you don’t worry about.

          • Sean Lumly

            I’m with you! I spend most of my time in the browser, and think that Chromebooks would be perfect for most of what I do. The only outstanding wild-card is a competent video-player that plays something other than codecs supported by the browser. But I think that this is a temporary problem. The app library is continuing to grow, and great technologies like PNaCl will ensure that Chrome apps can be every inch as good as native apps, but without the install/upgrade/maintain hassles.

            I’m a little weary of ChromiumOS for the same reasons you’ve given up on it.

          • Craig

            The suppliers have already meausured TDP for you, idiot. It’t public on their spec sheets. Just because you’re too naive and clueless to find it, doesnt mean its not there. Considering how dumb you seem to be, I doubt any test of your own would be any more accurate.

          • Sean Lumly

            The irony is that you failed to understand two things. First, the statement was about determining accurate differences, and second is that the TDP measures heat generated at full utilization, but does not imply power draw for all tasks — to test the differences, you need to measure power draw under similar workloads across both devices.

          • Craig

            Youve got to be kidding. The 2955U has a TDP of 15watts. Latest Exynos SoCs are about 3.5watts. The only reaon Intel can compete on battery life is that they use batteries 2-3 times the capacity, which is why they’re heavier and run much hotter. Its also the reason their screens and build quality are generally worse (gotta sacrifice something to compete on price).

    • LS650

      Well, it’s an inch-plus larger than an iPad, and millions of people seem quite happy with those.

      • Sean Lumly

        At first glance this seems like a reasonable viewpoint. After all, I have a 10″ Nexus 10 and it is a wonderful sized screen. In reality, however, a notebook device the keyboard size is intimately tied to the size of the screen. Having owned a netbook, I can clearly attest that a 9-10″ notebook would be trying (at best) to use for extended periods due to the minuscule size of the keys.

        While 10″ would work for a touch-only tablet, a notebook with a 10″ screen would have a keyboard way too little for my liking. I’m still not sure about 11.6″ , which was the point of the original comment.

  • almo

    just make a 13 inch laptop already, some form factor progress would be nice. I think people should wait for the Nexus 10, I have a feeling it wont disappoint, Chrome OS and Android might integrate more on that tablet or by a new pc hybrid by Asus

  • CyberBob859

    Would be nearly perfect if it had 4 GB of RAM.

    • John T. Roller

      It would be even more nearly-perfect if it had 4GB. Even more so if it had a 1080p panel. Even more so if if if if………..

  • MaitreyaVyas

    This is what I was waiting for! Go Acer! Hope it launches fast here in India as your prev Cbook! :)

  • Joseph

    I want backlit keys GODAMMIT!

    • LS650

      I completely agree. Touchscreen, meh – that’s what tablets are for.
      Now backlit keys so I can type when it’s dark – that would be a real plus!

      • asdafe afeafe

        If you touch type it should not be a big deal

        • LS650

          Unfortunately, despite taking a couple of different typing courses, and using computers extensively for the last 35 years, I still can’t type worth a damn and want to look at the keys when I type.

    • Craig

      Put a flashlight in your mouth, brah.

  • shadowguy14

    Same Chromebook basically

  • john

    Just got my 720p. Very nice unit. I got the the ACER. All I can say is bye bye Mac Air. This is much better and price wise Apple has a huge problem on their hands. It shows you how we have been getting jammed by them. I used to have Apple everything. Now I have none. It is a trend which will continue. First proof is seeing Apple lose the number one spot in Tablets to Google Chrome and Surface.