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As part of Google’s ongoing campaign to work its way into your life, it’s been trying to make hardware as cheap as possible. And Acer’s new Chromebook is definitely tempting, with a laptop and touchscreen for the cost of a tablet.

Poke It To Make It Work

OK, so maybe it’s not quite that absurdly simple, but the Acer C720P Chromebook is built around having both a keyboard in front of you and a touchscreen to use as well. Google calls it the “tactile” web, but really it’s just translating a lot of touchpad functions to, well, a touchscreen. Still, for a web that’s increasingly themed around poking it, that’s a handy thing to have.

Decent Specs For The Price

Being a Chromebook, it’s a pretty stripped down piece of work, but it’s still got it where it counts. The screen is 11.6 inches, in at 16:9 ratio, and the small size means it’s less than an inch thick and weighs three pounds. It’s got one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and it’s Bluetooth 4.0 compatible. Oh, and, of course, there’s WiFi and a VGA camera built in, as well as a 16GB solid state drive. There’s just one problem…

Get A Real OS

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Yes, it runs Chrome, and yes, that’s a problem. Chrome is still an operating system that depends on constant wireless access; if you can’t get the Internet, it essentially stops working. The good news is that it’s easy to install a real operating system onto a Chromebook, and thus get some more work out of your hardware. Yeah, Google’s apps are great, but sometimes you just need something a little more hard-coded. Either way, though, if you know somebody who needs a cheap computer that has some real oomph behind it, this will definitely fit the bill.










Dan Seitz

 
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.