The Buyer's Guide

Find it, buy it and tell us how you really feel.

product image
70 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
70

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Acer's $199 system certainly wins on price, but it looks and feels extremely cheap. It offers a fast processor at the expense of a poor keyboard layout and lackluster battery life.

Read Full Review
70 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
70

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

70
 

User Reviews

70
jodeknudt
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
60
backtobasics
UPDATE EDIT 5/6/14: Chrome OS on the computer crashed about a month ago. All...read more
80
mobiljedi
I never thought about owning a chromebook, until I was in front of it. I bought...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
70
Average user Score
 
70
jodeknudt
07.16.14
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
 
60
backtobasics
05.06.14
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. Overall, this computer's lasted about 8 months, much shorter than the 2 years I was projecting.I bought the Acer C710 for school in September. Things started out well and I marveled at the general speed in its performance of basic actions needed for schoolwork and entertainment. Then a week later the computer would not start up. I carry the computer around in a case and it gets knocked around a bit, but no laptop I've ever possessed has broken down in a week and it pissed me off. Apparently it was due to the connection between battery and computer malfunctioning, which is another issue that is common with the detachable battery on this computer. After getting repairs it seemed to be alright, and so far nothing like that has happened since. Regarding the Chrome OS, the UI is absolutely beautiful and I love every part of it. Chrome OS is also a lot more simplistic and as a result a lot more streamlined than, say, Windows. It can be a bit too simple, however, and there's not much to really add on in terms of software. Things like .exe files don't even work on Chrome OS. The keyboard and touchpad are reasonably good, the keyboard may be small for some, but I have small hands so so far I've been doing alright. I especially like the keyboard shortcuts put on the function keys, such as going back and forward in pages, refreshing, minimizing and maximizing windows, switching windows, et cetera. The touchpad is of a good build and multitouch gestures, though limited in number, seem effortless.But there are starting to be other issues. For one, the battery dies pretty fast off the charger and when work is being done, it's about as bad as my last $700 Lenovo Windows 15 inch. The hinge between screen and laptop body has begun coming apart, along with the bezel around the screen. For reasons I still don't know two of its three USB ports are now defunct, and the remaining one maintains iffy connections. The plastic plating on the bottom of the laptop covering its innards is jutting out as if its connection has broken, and I worry about when it will finally break. All of this from moderate everyday travel in a reasonably cushy case in a backpack. I invested $200 into this, expecting it to pay off more than the $250 Samsung and possibly live two years at least, but now I worry if it can even last a year.
 
80
mobiljedi
11.10.13
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 8 GB, put in an SSD, and installed Ubuntu. What a difference! I felt like there was always something missing with Chrome OS, but with Ubuntu on this machine, I have a machine I can use anywhere. Yes, it is less expensive than others, but it is truly brilliant in connectivity. HDMI/VGA is terrific. Portability is excellent due to its light-weight, smaller size. The screen is glossy but the color and viewing angles are good if not really good!My 80 year old father loves the one I bought for him. He said the relief of stress from trying to remember what to do (updates/security, etc) was immediate. He now uses his daily for all his reading of news papers, magazines etc. The battery life, surfing the web with 3 tabs or more open, is about 4 hours when brightness is turned down to 30%. Takes about 2 1/2 hours to recharge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qpjTzav3kw for the Ubuntu install, which was really easy! First time user and I have had zero problems. Speakers are tinny, but plug in headphones and you'd think you were on a much more expensive machine. They are acceptable for home use for sure, get into a coffee shop or loud environment and it would be difficult to hear clearly what was coming through them.The keyboard is acceptable. Using it is very easy and it has decent feel and feedback. As with anything you are going to be using, go try it out before you buy it. Make that call for you. My experience has been quite positive with it. Wrap up:As a straight on chromebook, this Acer C7 has everything that I have on my more expensive ultrabooks. Connectivity is almost identical as to the ultrabooks. Chrome OS is really good. You don't lack for much using this laptop for doing daily things. This is not a laptop for gaming. This is not a laptop for CAD or engineering. With Ubuntu installed, there are a lot of free programs for photo-whatever-ing your doing, so much so in fact, a photographer friend said they gave up photoshop and haven't needed any other software as yet. Check out all the free programs from Ubuntu.Should you want a really great, portable laptop at a great price (Ubuntu or no), this is it. The versitility of the machine is what got me. Eight months now, using it daily, without issues. I bought a second one for home, one for my Dad, one for my friend.... you get the idea.
 
70
robertpatterson
10.04.13
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
 
70
xxbbooxx3600
08.12.13
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
 
70
marc
11.28.12
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 and heavier than Samsung's Chromebook, the combination of the fairly capacious platter and Intel processor means this Chromebook can handle other OSes with ease. Within an hour of unboxing it, I had Ubuntu up and running (thanks to this tutorial and install script (http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html). Yes, you can also install Ubuntu on ARM-based Chromebooks, but I've heard of performance issues, which are compounded by the limited storage space on the Samsung's SSD. Thanks to the Intel processor and HDD, the C7 should also be able to run Windows, though I haven't tried installing it yet. Should you buy a C7? If you're only going to use Chrome OS, I'd probably recommend spending an extra $50 and getting the Samsung. It's lighter, has longer battery life, and is better designed. But if you're looking for a dirt cheap laptop to run Ubuntu (and maybe even Windows), you're not going to find a better deal than the C7.