This year’s list covers federal IT from all angles and offers something for everyone: citizens, IT professionals and contractors.
Acer’s new C720P Chromebook is like no other. While the exterior resembles the rest of the manufacturer’s Chromebook line, this device sports a touch screen that allows users to navigate with gestures such as swiping, tapping and pinching.
Users of the Google ecosystem may find the C720P a perfect choice for a notebook or companion device to a desktop PC. When it comes to software, Chromebooks are virtually identical — it’s the hardware features that set manufacturers apart. Acer has built a sturdy budget notebook that withstands the rigors of everyday use, although true road warriors may need a more rugged device.
The glossy ComfyView display shines bright in nearly all environments and proved to be easier on the eyes than most other Chromebook screens. What’s more, using pinch and zoom provides a clearer view than using the browser’s built-in zoom functions (powered by the CTRL key, while toggling + or –). Paging back in the browser requires just a single finger swipe from left to right. Spreadsheet or document navigation is also a breeze with the touch screen. And the C720P keyboard is comfortable to type on compared with some 11.6-inch notebooks that typically offer cramped keys.
Chromebooks have been plagued by complaints about a lack of offline access, but that’s rapidly changing. Google recently mandated that all legacy Chrome apps must be offline-enabled to be included in the Chrome Web Store. As such, Acer’s 32-gigabyte solid-state storage will be increasingly valuable. Free of charge for two years, the included 100GB of Google Drive space provides ample cloud storage.
Overall, the Acer C720P offers a great Google Apps user experience. Apps launch quickly, the battery can last all day, and the device is portable enough to take wherever users want to go.
Dimensions: 11.34x8.03x0.78 inches
Display: 11.6 inches (1366x768 resolution)
Weight: 2.98 pounds
Battery Life: 7.5 hours
Processor: 1.4GHz Intel Haswell-based Celeron