3 star rating

Acer C710-2457 Chromebook Review

$229.00
Pros: Very affordable; Smooth performance; Good display for the price
Cons: Below-average battery life; Plain design; Bottom gets hot; Slow SSD
The Verdict: The Acer C710-2457 Chromebook delivers smooth performance and a crisp display at an aggressive price, but it has limited storage and a short battery life.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

Chromebooks, which run on Google's Chrome OS and are designed specifically for surfing the Web, can be as pricey as $1,300, but the most popular models go for under $300. At $229, the Acer C710-2457 is one of the least expensive Chromebooks we've reviewed yet. It's packed with the same Intel Celeron 847 processor and 4GB of RAM you'll find in its pricier predecessor, the $279.99 C710-2055, but this time around, Acer has swapped out the 320GB hard drive for a 16GB SSD. Is one of the cheapest Chromebooks also among the best?

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Design

Acer C710-2457 Chromebook

There's no denying that the 11-inch Acer C710-2457 is aimed at folks on a tight budget, and that notion comes through in its design. Like the Acer C710-2055, this Chromebook is made entirely of plastic. The lid features a dark-gray brushed aluminum finish; when we pressed down on the Acer logo on the lid's center with the notebook closed, we noticed a small amount of flex. Still, we were pleased to see the dark-silver keyboard deck was sturdy and solid.

MORE: Best Laptops 2013

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookMeasuring 11.2 x 8 x 1.1 inches, the Acer C710-2457 is exactly the same size as theC710-2055. At 2.6 lbs., it's slightly lighter than the 3-lb. 2055, which we criticized for its hefty weight for an 11-inch notebook. The C710 sports nearly the same dimensions as the 11.4 x 8.1 x 0.7-inch Samsung Chromebook Series 3, but Samsung's notebook is a bit lighter, at just 2.4 lbs.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookFor an 11-inch notebook, the Acer C710-2457's keyboard is fairly roomy. We like the normal-size Shift and Enter keys, as well as the handy row of dedicated Chrome command keys along the top, which include forward and back browsing buttons, a shortcut for expanding the size of your Web browser window, and brightness and volume controls, among others.

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookWhen typing, we found the C710-2457's keyboard to be smooth and fluid. Its key travel is fairly shallow, but that didn't stop us from notching 65 words per minute with only four typos during the TypingTest.com speed trial. This matches our personal average typing speed on mainstream notebooks, which usually falls in the range of 65 to 70 wpm.

The 3.6 x 2-inch touchpad offered a generally smooth scrolling experience, but we were unable to pinch-to-zoom. Two-finger scrolling was a breeze, however, and worked without the least bit of lag when we browsed the Web. The trackpad's click button was responsive when we highlighted text and followed links, but to right-click, we had to hold down the Alt button.

MORE: Best Apps 2013

Display

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookThe Acer C710-2457's 11.6-inch 1366 x 768p glossy display renders images and video sharply, but has poor viewing angles. When watching the trailer for "The Wolverine," we could barely decipher what was happening in the clip unless the laptop was positioned directly in front of us. When viewing the trailer head-on, however, we noticed crisp detail in Hugh Jackman's facial expressions, especially in close-up shots. Colors weren't particularly vibrant, but the display quality is acceptable given the notebook's budget-friendly price.

Although we were pleased with the display's detail, at a mere 163 lux, it certainly isn't the brightest. This score is well under the 237-lux ultraportable category average and also dimmer than the 202-lux C710-2055 and the 176-lux Samsung Chromebook Series 3.

Audio

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookLike other Acer Chromebooks, the C710-2457 comes with bottom-mounted speakers. These are meant to amplify sound when placed on a hard surface, such as a desk or table, but typically muffle noise when placed on your lap. Unfortunately, the case was no different with our Acer C710-2457 review unit.

When listening to "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (featuring Mary Lambert), we found that the vocals and the melody sounded shallow and tinny. The sound lacked the depth and bass you'd find in a full-bodied laptop, and was barely loud enough to fill our testing room at full volume. We also heard a jarring buzz when singer Mary Lambert hit a high note in the chorus of the song.

Ports

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookFor a lightweight, Internet-based notebook, the Acer C710-2457 comes with all the ports you need. The left side houses a USB 2.0 drive, as well as HDMI, VGA and Ethernet ports. On the right side, you'll find a headphone jack, two more USB 2.0 ports, a charging dock and a Kensington lock slot.

MORE: Acer Best and Worst Notebook Brands 2013 Rating

Webcam

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookDuring our testing, we found that the Acer C710-2457's 720p webcam snaps somewhat fuzzy and dark images. When capturing photos in fluorescent lighting, we noticed that although color tone looked accurate, there was noticeable noise. When looking closely, we noticed slight pixilation around the subject's face.

Heat

The Acer C710-2457 may be small, but it certainly gets hot. After streaming Hulu at full screen for 15 minutes, the trackpad registered a reasonable 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius), and the area between the G and H keys also reached 91 degrees. However, the device's underside reached 102 degrees F (39 degrees C), which is well above the 95-degree F (35 degrees C) limit we consider to be comfortable.

Chrome OS

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookEvery Chromebook runs the latest version of Google's browser-based Chrome OS, and the unit we tested came with Version 28. The update, which debuted on the Chrome OS platform in early July, brings some subtle improvements, such as a speedier File Manager tool that now supports recent and shared files on Google Drive. Additionally, notebooks running on Chrome OS now display a pop-up notification after a screenshot has been captured, which brings you directly to the screenshot when clicked.

As for the user interface, you'll be greeted with a barebones desktop. In the bottom-left corner, you'll find icons for Google Chrome, Gmail, Angry Birds and Picasa. Along the bottom-right corner of the screen are icons for Wi-Fi connectivity and battery life, as well as a thumbnail photo of your Google+ image.

Within the Chrome browser, you can minimize windows, view them in full-screen mode or pin them to the left or right side of the screen. These features were introduced back in Version 23 and make the browsing experience more fluid and natural.

Apps

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookLike all Chromebooks, the Acer C7 comes with a suite of Google apps built into the device. Clicking the tiny app symbol on the bottom-left-hand side of the screen will pull up the notebook's app launcher, which comes with a slew of apps, from YouTube, Google Drive and Gmail to "Plants vs. Zombies," Evernote Web and "3D Bowling."

Additional apps can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store, which currently boasts tens of thousands of apps. While many of these apps require Internet connectivity, certain applications -- such as Gmail, Calendar and Drive -- also offer offline functionality.

Remote Desktop

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookIf you're not wild about the limited Web-only Chrome OS experience, you can enable full desktop interaction through the Chrome Remote Desktop app. This allows you to view and manage the desktop of a remote computer through your Chromebook.

We used Remote Desktop to connect our Dell desktop PC to the Acer C710-2467 and successfully edited documents stored on our PC via the Chromebook. The cramped view can be jarring at first, considering Google stuffs your entire desktop into a tab in Chrome, but you can make this slightly more bearable by unchecking Shrink to Fit under the Screen Options tab. We copied and pasted text between computers and launched a trailer on our desktop using Remote Desktop.

Other similar alternatives, such as LogMeIn and GoToMyPC, over more robust solutions, but they aren't available for Chrome OS.

MORE: How to Set Up Chrome Remote Desktop on Your Chromebook

Cloud Print

As with previous Chromebooks, you can send documents to cloud-ready printers, which include certain models from Canon, Epson, FedEx, HP and Kodak. Additionally, Chromebooks can print through standard printers by networking with a PC that's already connected to a printing device.

Performance

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookThe Acer C710-2457 comes with the same 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847 processor you'll find in the C710-2055 model, as well as 4GB of RAM. The C710-2457 also comes with a 16GB SSD, unlike the 2055 model, which packs a 230GB hard drive. This is plenty of power for surfing the Web, streaming HD videos, playing casual games and editing photos -- which are exactly the kinds of things for which the Chromebook is designed -- but it leaves little room for storing files locally.

Chromebooks are renowned for starting up much faster than standard notebooks, and the Acer C710-2457 is no different, booting the Chrome OS desktop in just 8 seconds. That's faster than both the Acer C710-2055 (13 seconds) and the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 (11.3 seconds).

MORE: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Laptop For Under $100

When we tried to duplicate 4.97GB of multimedia files on the C710-2457's 16GB SSD, it took 6 minutes and 50 seconds to copy all but the last 83 files, before we received a warning that the notebook had run out of storage space. If we do the math, that translates to a transfer speed of 12.4 MBps, which is slower than even the C710-2055 (13 MBps).

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookOn the Peacekeeper benchmark, a universal browser test that measures overall HTML5 performance, the Acer C710-2457 scored a 1,523, which is just slightly higher than the C710-2055's score of 1,510. It also beats the Samsung Chromebook Series 3, whose 1.7GHz Exynos Dual processor and 2GB of RAM scored 1,214.

On the Sunspider Javascript benchmark, the C710-2457's time of 576.4 ms is nearly on a par with the Acer C710-2055's slightly faster time of 519.8 ms. Both notebooks outperformed the Series 3 in this benchmark, which took 737.2 ms to complete the test.

During everyday use, we found the Acer C710-2457 to be smooth, with no noticeable lag. We played "Plants vs. Zombies" with eight other tabs open in Google Chrome and browsed through the File Manager without a hitch.

Battery Life

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookThe Acer C710-2457's 4-cell 2500 mAh battery lasted only 4 hours and 31 minutes during the LAPTOP Battery Test, which consists of continuous Web surfing with the brightness set to 40 percent. That's almost 90 minutes less than the ultraportable category average of 5:54, and two hours less than the C710-2055 (6:32). The ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook Series 3 lasted 7:34, three hours longer than the C710-2457.

Verdict

Acer C710-2457 ChromebookIf you're looking for a cheap alternative to today's mainstream laptops and a notebook exclusively for surfing the Web, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more budget-friendly option than the $229 Acer C710-2457. Its 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847 processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB SSD delivered a smooth experience for browsing the Web and viewing HD videos. However, for such a portable notebook, its battery life didn't impress. For $20 more, the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 lasts nearly three hours longer, and delivers comparable everyday performance. If you're looking to save every penny, the Acer C710-2457 is worth considering, but there are better Chromebooks in this price range.

Tags: Acer C710-2457 Chromebook , Acer, laptops, reviews, Chromebooks, google chromebooks

Technical Specifications
Acer C710-2457 Chromebook
http://www.acer.com


The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
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CPU
1.1GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847
Operating SystemGoogle Chrome
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
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RAM
4GB
The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
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RAM Upgradable to
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
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Hard Drive Size
16GB SSD
The rotation speed of a mechanical hard drive.
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Hard Drive Speed
Your notebook’s storage drive (hard drive or solid state drive) holds your operating system, your programs, and your data.
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Hard Drive Type
Secondary Hard Drive Size
Secondary Hard Drive Speed
Secondary Hard Drive Type
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
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Display Size
11.6
The number of pxiels (wxh) displayed on your screen at once.
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Native Resolution
1366x768
An optical drive allows you to play or record to DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs.
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Optical Drive
The speed of the optical drive.
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Optical Drive Speed
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
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Graphics Card
Intel HD Graphics
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
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Video Memory
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
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Wi-Fi
802.11a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Model
Bluetooth allows you to connect to wireless devices such as headsets, smart phones, and speakers.
Bluetooth
Mobile broadband connects you to the Net from anywhere, even places with no hotspot.
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Mobile Broadband
Touchpad Size3.6 x 2 inches
Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
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Ports (excluding USB)
Ethernet; HDMI; Headphone; Kensington Lock; VGA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
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USB Ports
3
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
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Card Slots
2-1 card reader
Warranty/Support
Size11.2 x 8 x 1.1 inches
Weight2.6 pounds
AUTHOR BIO
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she's not reviewing gadgets, she's usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco, Staff Writer on
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