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Acer’s C7 is part PC, part Chromebook for $199

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UpdatedGoogle announced a new $199 Chromebook model on Monday that’s very different from its predecessors. The Acer C7 is built more like a traditional laptop in terms of size, weight, storage and processor, but it runs the lightweight Google Chrome OS(s goog). At 3 pounds and with just 3.5 hours of battery life, the C7 isn’t as light as the latest Samsung Chromebook, nor does it last as long on a charge. However, the price and power combination may be attractive to some.

What’s different in the C7 Acer opted to use an Intel Core(s intc) processor for starters. Prior Intel Chromebooks ran on older chips and the Samsung Chromebook that debuted last month actually uses an ARM-based (s armh) processor that’s typically found inside smartphones and tablets. The C7 does, however, share the same basic screen as that model: an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display.

Acer C7 Chromebook side viewBecause the C7 is thicker than prior Chromebooks — at 1 inch “thin” it has the girth of a traditional notebook — but that gives Acer room for a full complement of ports as well as a 320 GB hard drive to supplement the 100 GB of Google Drive storage. By comparison, most other Chromebooks come with 16 GB of flash storage. Three USB ports, an Ethernet jack, HDMI and VGA for video out and HD front-facing camera round out the specifications making this Chromebook more like a standard laptop.

I still use a Google Chromebook as my full-time computing device — I went back to the Samsung Series 5 550 for the better performance over the ARM model — and I’m curious how this Acer device works, given the hardware. I’m anticipating it performs at least as good as the model I’m using now and that one cost me $449 some five months ago. At $199, if the C7 is comparable or better, it’s a steal for the price provided you’re going to be near an outlet more often than not or you have a mobile hotspot device.

The new Acer C7 goes on sale Nov. 13 on Google Play and select retailers in the U.S. and U.K.

Update. I had an email conversation with Brad Linder over at Liliputing and he found out that the processor in the Acer C7 is a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847 Sandy Bridge processor paired with 2 GB of memory.

11 Responses to “Acer’s C7 is part PC, part Chromebook for $199”

  1. This model from Acer may have better upgrade options than the Samsung ARM based Chromebook. If the Acer C7 is similar to the chassis used in the ao756, it may have the same single screw bottom panel access. It is even more likely the RAM is upgradeable and the SSD can be swapped out. On the Samsung ARM, the RAM and SSD are chips soldered in. Clearly, though, the Samsung is breaking amazing new ground by using the ARM which requires a complete overhaul of the operating system.

  2. A $199 price tag for me puts build quality into serious question – I would be surprised if this holds up with daily use for the warranty life.

    BTW: Still rocking my 210 Mini after more than 18 months of daily use. Best 400 bucks I ever spent.

  3. I see Intel is changing their branding for Celeron. They now call it “Intel Core processor”. The description is accurate, as Celeron has been using older Core technology for years now, but 90% of people reading it will take it for an IVB Core i3/Core i5 processor or something, which is not the case here.

    Since the other Celeron was about 30% faster than Cortex A15 in your tests, and this one, which is an even slower Celeron is clocked 20% less, I guess it will still be ever so slightly faster than the A15. And what you get for that is half of the battery life – maybe less, as Intel/AMD laptops makers have ALWAYS exaggerated the battery life of their devices. Maybe Google didn’t here. Still ,it’s half.

  4. “Intel Core processor for starters. Prior Intel Chromebooks ran on older chips ”
    The Samsung 5 550 uses a Celeron 867 while the new Acer is using a slower Intel Celeron 847 (1.1GHz vs 1.3GHz for the 867).So this new one is slower and being HDD based chances are random read/write will hit performance too. As for perf,ARM vs Intel you only tested CPU perf, in largely JavaScript based benchmarks, not GPU per or anything else so saying one is faster than the other ,in general, is not all that true.