When I reviewed Acer’s $199 C7 Chromebook, I generally liked it for the price. The biggest issue I had was the 3.5 hours of battery life: that’s simply not enough for a laptop that will be used on the go. The good news is that Acer heard those complaints about the battery capacity and did something to improve it. On Tuesday, the company introduced a $279 Chromebook with 6 hours of run time on a single charge.
Acer is marketing the device to the education market but consumers interested in a low-cost Chromebook may want to take a look. I used the older C7 model for a few weeks as my daily computer and as long as I was able to find an outlet, it worked well. The new C7 device uses an Intel Celeron chip just like the prior edition (see performance marks here for the old model) and includes 4 GB of memory, which is double the memory of the $199 model.
Is the extra battery life and double the RAM worth an extra $80? I’d say yes. If you’re interested in the Acer C7, this is the model that I’d spring for. Another compelling option would be the $249 Samsung Chromebook, which just gained Netflix support yesterday, although that particular Chromebook is half-step slower. It uses an ARM-based chip, typically found in smartphones or tablets, instead of an Intel Celeron.