Acer’s first Chromebook with an Intel Core i3 Haswell processor is priced at $350 and up. The new Acer C720 Chromebook models feature 11.6 inch screens, up to 8.5 hours of battery life, and up to 4GB of RAM — just like the cheaper models with Celeron chips.

But the new models will be among the speediest Chrome OS laptops to ship so far.

acer c720_02

The Acer C720-3871 Chromebook features 2GB of RAM and a $350 price tag while the Acer C720-3404 Chromebook has 4GB of RAM and a $380 list price.

Both models feature 1366 x 768 pixel displays, Intel HD 4400 graphics, 32GB of solid state storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and stereo speakers.

The notebooks are powered by a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3-4005U dual-core processor.

A Core i3 processor might actually be overkill for Chrome OS at this point — models with Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processors boot in seconds, resume from sleep instantly, and have no difficulty handling HD video playback and most other tasks. But as a growing number of web apps tap into native hardware a Chromebook with a more powerful CPU might look pretty good — especially at this price point.

While the Google Chromebook Pixel has a Core i5 processor, it’s a 3rd-generation Intel Core chip while the Acer C720 has a 4th-generation Core chip. Acer’s Chromebook is also more than three times cheaper than a Chromebook Pixel.

I know a lot of Liliputing readers also see Chromebooks as cheap laptops that ship without Microsoft Windows. I suspect it’ll be just as easy to load Ubuntu or other Linux-based operating systems on the new Acer C720 Chromebooks as it has been with most other Chrome OS laptops to date.

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17 replies on “Acer launches C720 Chromebook with Core i3 for $350 and up”

  1. Brad. I bought this chromebook with a 32gb M.2 Sata III, and am setting up Ubuntu with Virtualbox to run Windows apps I still need. When I’m done, I’d like to clone the entire 32gb SSD to a MyDigitalDiscount 128gb M.2 drive. Do you know which software application could do that?

  2. Due to the intel processor I believe you could put OSX on this? Correct me if i’m wrong. Edit – any release date?

    1. Unfortunately, you cannot. I’ve done my share of research, and I was unable to locate any c720’s running OSX. Let me know if you find anything. 🙂

  3. The funny thing is, you have to really and specifically want a Chromebook these days with Asus, Acer, Toshiba and others selling Windows laptops in the 11 to 15 inch size and 4GB of RAM (some with fanless processors and some with touchscreens) for less $300 to $400 and less…

    I would almost say that the only reason to bite on these would be specifically to convert them for Linux use (an OS that would actually make much more sense with a Core i3)–something that the average buyer wouldn’t be interested in.

    1. Do you know of any highly rated 11.6″ Windows notebooks with Haswell Core i3 chips? I’d like to install Linux and it’s easier on Windows notebooks than on Chromebooks.

  4. Is there a way to boot into another Linux distro without needing to always press a key on each boot now for these Chromebooks?

    1. At least on one particular configuration of the Acer C720, someone identified the the write protect screw you can remove and then run a command to make the SeaBIOS the default:
      If you want to make SeaBIOS default, you MUST first remove the write protect screw and then run:

      Warning: I’m
      serious! You HAVE to remove the write-protect screw first! Otherwise
      the system will be corrupted and you’ll need to recover it. It’s the
      number 7 in this picture.

      # 0×489

      Don’t know if there are write protect screws on other Chromebook nor where they would be.

      1. Thanks! Maybe I’ll finally buy a Chromebook. Hopefully, the i3 version has the same write protect screw placement.

    1. And a touchscreen. Though maybe now they’ll be putting out some refurbs of the Celeron C720 models.

      1. They have been. You can get the C720 as low as $150 refurb through their outlet on Amazon. Just wait for the price to drop again. It has happened more than once.

      2. Best Buy sold me 2 open box Celeron C720’s for $99 each. They had a total of 3, but my buddy purchased the other one for his mom. They said that the manufacturer wants to get rid of the old(er) ones, to make room for the new ones coming this fall, so they’re marking the price down to $99.

        All three were literally brand new. They all had the plastic around the frame/panels. The charging cables were all sealed in the original manufacturer plastic. No fingerprints on the laptops.

        You should check out your local Best Buy store(s).

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