Acer ­Chromebook C710-2055

Product Review: Acer Chromebook C710-2055

The new Acer Chromebook C710-2055 is a sleek, affordable and fast choice for higher ed users.

The Acer Chromebook C710-2055 is an affordable choice for students or faculty looking for a lightweight and comfortable notebook for general computing tasks. It features a comfortable design, ample storage and vibrant display, all factors that make this under-$300 notebook a compelling choice.

End-User Advantages

The C710-2055 has a very clean design, with an iron-gray plastic top and black bottom. The lid opens easily, with very little flexing. The Intel Graphics 1366x768 display includes 128 megabytes of video RAM and is sharp and bright and capable of 720p high-definition video playback. The glossy finish adds to the crispness of the display but is not overly reflective. Audio playback is reasonable at lower levels, but the bottom-facing speakers become tinny and sharp at higher volumes. An external audio jack supplies clear audio to headphones or external speakers at all volume levels.

The C710-2055 ships with a 1.1-gigahertz dual-core Celeron 847 processor and provides reasonable performance for most applications, including video playback and photo editing. This Acer model also provides 4 gigabytes of RAM and 320GB of internal storage, a surprising amount for a device focused primarily on delivering applications and services from the cloud.

The keyboard on the C710-2055 is open and well spaced. A 6-cell battery provides up to a six-hour charge and raises the back of the notebook slightly to provide a comfortable typing angle. The notebook also includes a number of external connectivity options, including wired Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports along with three USB ports.

Why It Works for IT

Campus IT departments will appreciate the low cost and tight integration with Google's cloud offerings. Those using or considering Google Apps as a ­strategic direction will find the Acer Chromebook C710-2055 provides a low-cost platform for accessing Google's cloud services. IT also will like the ­ChromeOS application delivery model, which stores very little application or user data on the device itself. Instead, user data is stored in Google Drive or other cloud ­services, making it far easier to reconnect users to their data in the event of a hardware or software problem.

Disadvantages

The limitations of the Acer Chromebook C710-2055 stem primarily from the lack of a traditional operating system with the ability to install native applications and configure traditional services. Users wishing to install Microsoft Office or other popular applications will not be able to do so natively on the C710-2055, but can access those applications running on another computer or server via the included remote desktop application.

While Google provides a rich variety of web applications through the Chrome Web Store, those looking for a particular native ­application experience may need to connect to a remote computer to achieve it.

Likewise, organizations may find it difficult to fit the C710-2055 into an enterprise printing strategy unless steps are taken to ensure printers are Google Cloud Print–enabled.

Aug 13 2013

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