The Good The Acer Chromebook C720P has a good keyboard, an SD expansion slot, USB 2 and 3 ports, and HDMI, plus a touch screen. It also has more onboard storage (32GB) than most entry-level Chromebooks, and better battery life than most previous Chromebooks.
The Bad Low-end price is matched by its low-end feel. Chrome OS has natural limitations. Touch isn't always that useful in Chrome.
The Bottom Line The Acer Chromebook C720P manages to get better at all the key things, adding up to a little laptop alternative that's better than any budget Chromebook we've seen before.
King of the budget Chromebooks
To love a Chromebook, you have to understand that the idea of a "laptop" is changing. We're somewhere between tablet and PC now, phone-style speed computing and an older, more old-fashioned computer. Chrome OS -- Google's browser-based, all-cloud operating system -- tries to bridge the gap, and you get a laptop-style device that's really just a fully-featured super-browser with a keyboard, storage and Webcam attached.
But for some of you, that may well be enough -- especially if you're splitting time between a Chromebook and another device (a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone).
Chromebooks have limitations, but they also have advantages: speed, easy cloud set-up, and -- hopefully -- price. That's the key point with the Acer Chromebook C720P: it's $299, and comes with all the extras you'd hope for: USB, HDMI, 32GB of onboard storage (with an SD slot for additional expansion), and even a touch screen -- something that only exists elsewhere in the Chromebook universe in the $1,300 Chromebook Pixel.