Acer Chromebook C740 review

A laptop a high schooler might love

The C740 Chromebook
The C740 Chromebook

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The Acer Chromebook C740 isn't designed to be the best laptop on the planet. It serves a niche user who is constantly on the move and focused on web-based processes. It is especially designed for the education sector, with a solid build, Kensington lock functionality and web-based multi-user management.

Acer Chromebook C740

We liked

The C740 isn't the sexiest laptop on the market, but its silver-color matte finish is a pleasure to look at. Because the C740 is so slim, it will fit nicely on any desk space or within most backpacks and laptop bags. Its keyboard is perfectly responsive and ergonomically pleasing.

This laptop's battery life is incredibly impressive for a Chromebook. And its performance, though not on par with Chromebooks packing Intel Core processors, is comparable to other low-end CPU-based laptops.

We disliked

The HD screen on this Chromebook is boring and unsophisticated. Acer said it designed it this way to limit eye-strain, but really it is just limiting joy.

Although the Chromebook's processor is capable of competing with other low-end models, if productivity is your main concern, you should look only at Chromebooks with Intel Core CPUs. And if you need internal storage capacity on top of this performance, you may need to leave the Chromebook market totally, as most of these laptops come with a maximum storage capacity of 64GB.

Final verdict

I wanted to love the Acer Chromebook C740. It's solidly built, with just a bit of style and flash, but its low-end specs are reminiscent of a laptop you would have purchased five years ago. That was par for the course for Chromebooks even just a year ago, but the category has advanced far since then.

Although it may seem unfair to compare the C740 to the Google Chromebook Pixel, which is more than $700 (£450, AU$950) pricier than the Acer model, it's important for you to see the full spectrum of what the Chromebook line is capable of accomplishing. Yes, the C740 is a Chromebook, as is the Pixel.

However, the C740 and Dell Chromebook 11 are low-end models that are excellent at web-browsing, surviving long periods on a single charge, and won't break when you drop them. If you need more than these features, you're going to have to spend a bit more coin.