70

Chrome OS on the cheap, but at what cost?

70

Whether you're interested in cloud-based computing on a budget or you're just curious about Chrome OS, there's never been a more affordable selection of Chromebooks. Acer's $199 system certainly wins on price, but it looks and feels extremely cheap. It offers a fast processor along with Ethernet and VGA connectivity, but at the expense of a glossy screen, poor keyboard layout and lackluster battery life. Did we mention the sea of cheap plastics?

Ultimately, we think it's worth spending a little extra for Samsung's $249 model. It's more elegant, better built, thinner and lighter. This, together with the matte display, top-notch keyboard, Bluetooth and decent battery life makes for a more polished Chromebook experience. After all, if you're gonna live in the cloud, might as well be on cloud nine, right?

Buy It:

90-Day Price History

now
high
$433
low
$202

Critic reviews

6.5
14 reviews
  • Speed and features
    7.4
  • Design and form factor
    6.2
  • Battery life
    6.0
  • Display
    7.0
  • Durability
    7.3
  • Expandability
    8.0
  • Noise
    5.5
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.7

sort by

User reviews

7.0
6 reviews
7.0
Engadget Nov 26, 2012

Acer's $199 system certainly wins on price, but it looks and feels extremely cheap. It offers a fast processor along with Ethernet and VGA connectivity, but at the expense of a glossy screen, poor keyboard layout and lackluster battery life. Did we mention the sea of cheap plastics?

Read the full review →
8.0
PC Mag May 29, 2013

Though it still has a couple of faults, the new version of the Acer C7 Chromebook is faster, longer lasting, and better all around. All this and its very low price tag makes it the best inexpensive Chromebook on the market.

Read the full review →
7.0
Ars Technica Dec 3, 2012

Chrome OS is still a bit of a tough sell, but the C7 and the ARM Chromebook are both cheap enough to finally make it palatable. Neither is an especially high-quality laptop, but at these price points they're a significant step up from the tiny, cheap netbooks.

Read the full review →
7.0
PC Mag Dec 7, 2012

The Acer C7 Chromebook (C710-2847) isn't the slickest laptop out there, but it runs Chrome OS, has a roomy hard drive and a full selection of ports, and sells for a song. We'll overlook a lot for its $200 price tag.

Read the full review →
7.0
PC Mag Aug 12, 2013

The third variation on the Chromebook theme, the Acer C7 Chromebook (C710-2457) drops the price but loses a couple choice features to do so. But even with the changes it's still a bargain.

Read the full review →
6.0
CNET Aug 12, 2013

If you want one of the least expensive Web-browsing devices that feels like a laptop but is really a Chromebook, the Acer C7 is fine. But its limitations match its price.

Read the full review →
5.0
CNET Nov 20, 2012

At $199, the Acer C7 is an attractive proposition for anyone looking for a supercheap portable laptop, but the Chrome OS and short battery life mean you'll have to accept a lot of compromises.

Read the full review →
5.0
PC World Aug 15, 2013

The Acer C710-2457 is a bargain among Chromebooks, but there's little else about it that makes it worth buying—or that will convince a smartphone or tablet user to convert.

Read the full review →
6.0
Pocket-Lint Dec 17, 2012

It might well be a budget purchase, but the screen has a poor viewing angle, battery life isn't great and the keyboard is hit and miss for typing - all of key importance to a device such as this, and all short of the acceptable threshold in each case.

Read the full review →
8.0
T3 Jan 21, 2013

Versatile, rugged and surprisingly stylish, the Acer C7 Chromebook is an amazing achievement for £199, especially as 100GB of cloud storage costs half the price of this Chromebook via rivals.

Read the full review →
7.0
Computer Shopper Nov 26, 2012

At $199, Acer and Google's newest Chromebook is practically an impulse buy—if not a must-buy—for anyone considering a 7-inch tablet but hoping to do productivity work instead of mere content consumption on the Web.

Read the full review →
6.0
TrustedReviews Apr 23, 2013

If you’re particularly precious about the number of keys you have under your fingertips, the size of your hard drive or the brightness of your screen - but aren’t concerned with what your laptop looks like - then by all means, check out Acer’s take on the Chromebook.

Read the full review →
5.0
TechRadar Jan 22, 2013

Ultimately, we're left unmoved by the Acer C7 Chromebook. It's weird; compare it to the only slightly older Samsung Series 3 Chromebook and it looks on paper like it's better in almost every way. Put them side by side, though, and we'd pick up the Samsung every time.

Read the full review →
7.0
marc marc

The C7 is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be: A basic, no frills, incredibly cheap netbook-style laptop. At $199, it's a steal, and it runs Chrome OS very well. The added bonus with this one is that it has an Intel Celeron processor and 320GB HDD. While the HDD makes it a little slower...

Read the full review →
8.0
mobiljedi mobiljedi

I never thought about owning a chromebook, until I was in front of it. I bought it on the spot. I use it everyday for 6 to 10 hours. Chrome is brilliant! It has everything I need to stay connected with everything I do on a computer. After 2 months of running the chrome OS, I upgraded the RAM to...

Read the full review →
6.0
backtobasics backtobasics

UPDATE EDIT 5/6/14: Chrome OS on the computer crashed about a month ago. All recovery tactics specified by Google and Acer failed, and eventually I took it to the retailer for repair. The retailer couldn't recover it either and I was able to return the computer for a full refund under warranty....

Read the full review →

How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Acer C7 side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

Compare these

Other Acer laptops / portables

Don't forget to check out these other devices by Acer, you might find something good!

See all Acer laptops / portables