Review Price £199.99
If there was one major criticism of the first generation of Chromebooks it was the average battery life. Acer's first Chromebook, the C7 manages a disappointing 3-4 hours of real-time usage. Thankfully the C720, now based on Haswell architecture and lasts much longer.
Acer claims you can get around eight and a half hours battery life and in our more intensive testing streaming Netflix continuously on default brightness it can get up to the 6-7 hour mark. That's not exactly eight hours, but it's not bad for a £200 laptop.
If you are using it more sporadically a couple of hours a day, you can get a week's use out of it, which makes it ideal for carrying around if you've left the charger at home.
For £200, the Acer C720 Chromebook gets a great deal right. We like the minimalist, understated design, the zippy performance, range of connectivity and the great battery life. But there are still plenty of reasons why this is not yet the ultimate Chromebook. The screen fails to impress, the keyboard is cramped and we are not the biggest fan of the touchpad, either.
If you can accept some of the limitations and buy into the idea of cloud-based computing, the C720 is an all-round solid performer well equipped for everyday tasks. You'd be hard pressed to find a laptop at this price that performs as well.
If you are willing to pay a little more, the £350 Asus Transformer Book T100 Windows 8 tablet-laptop hybrid has is a decent alternative. With more flexibility, it manages the same screen quality and runs on a full version of Windows so you can download applications like Photoshop to the desktop.
Putting the average screen and frustrations with the keyboard/touchpad aside, the Acer Chromebook C720 is still a great value for money laptop.
Next, read our round-up of the best Windows 8 laptops and tablets
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