Shortly after Samsung announced the $249 Chromebook, the $199 Acer Chromebook arrived on the scene. This Chromebook was largely hyped and news of the cheaper Chromebook alternative spread quickly. But, consumers may sacrifice quality for that price. While the Chromebook isn’t really meant to be a laptop replacement (it runs apps mostly), it does resemble a standard laptop in almost every manner.
But, the Acer offering also looks and feels cheap. Additionally, this Chromebook is on the heavy and large size, making it slightly lighter than the average laptop, but still not a device that you’d want to carry around too much. All the right jacks and ports are present, but it’s a good idea to read through this review before you purchase the $199 Acer Chromebook as a gift for yourself or for someone else.
Acer Chromebook Specs
Let’s start with the Acer Chromebook keyboard and trackpad. At first glance, both of these features seem relatively standard. But, start typing on an Acer Chromebook and you’ll see the immediate difference. The keyboard feels cluttered, the trackpad isn’t as responsive as it should be, and Acer has added a whole bunch of shortcut keys that simply add to the confusion. It might be hard to type a really long article on the Acer Chromebook. If you’re just surfing the net and sending the occasional email, the cluttered keyboard may not make a difference.
The trackpad that Acer has included requires a bit of finger strength. For some reason, you really have to press down on the trackpad in order to use this section of the Chromebook properly. Pressing with all your might can get tiring after awhile. It’s possible that the trackpad may become easier to use with time, but this is something that you’ll wan to seriously consider if you use a trackpad frequently.
Ports and Display Information
As far as ports go, the Acer Chromebook comes with standard HDMI outputs, VGA outputs, Ethernet jack, and three USB 2.0 ports (one on the left side and two on the right side of the device). Underneath the Chromebook you will find a nice vent and cooling system, though the device does become overheated relatively quickly. A 2.5-inch SATA hard drive is also included in the Acer Chromebook package.
One of the biggest problems that I found with the Acer Chromebook is the system’s display. Acer went with a glossy format, which can be really hard to handle if you work outside or in direct sunlight on a regular basis. If you want a Chromebook alternative, Samsung’s Chromebook comes with a matte screen, which is a better sunlight option.
The main difference between a regular laptop and a Chrome book is, of course, Chrome OS. If you haven’t played around with Chrome OS before, it’s a really good idea to try and get your hands on the OS. Chrome OS isn’t really something that most people will like right away. Keep in mind the Chrome OS is quite unique and unlike any other OS out there – in short, you won’t be running all the regular software.
You will, however, have access to many Android apps. Is the Acer Chromebook worth the price – even if that price is under $200? It all depends on what you want to do with the Chromebook. Is this is business laptop that you’ll want to carry everywhere? Probably not; but it’s a handy laptop to have around if you want to work on some basic tasks.