Chromebook Vs. Chromebook: Measuring Acer's C910, C740 - InformationWeek

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6/3/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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Chromebook Vs. Chromebook: Measuring Acer's C910, C740

The massive Chromebook 15 C910 dominates in size and processing power, but the smaller C740 wins for on-the-go productivity.
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(Image: Kelly Sheridan)

(Image: Kelly Sheridan)

Chromebook budget laptops are built to last and are known for offering decent quality with reasonable price tags.

Acer is a leader in the Chromebook market, capturing 36% in 2014, reports Forbes. Its devices are often associated with educational environments but could alternatively transition to business use.

It's easy to see how these inexpensive devices would be ideal for education -- if you're going to have kids on laptops, best to choose the least expensive and most durable products on the market. That aside, Chromebooks also merit consideration from professionals on the run.

The two recently released Chromebooks, the Acer C910 and C740, are distinctly different in size.

[ Can IoT thrive behind a walled garden? Read: Apple's HomeKit Is An Innovation Killer]

The larger C910, the first of its size, is designed to be used in commercial or educational environments. Its design makes it a suitable choice for individuals who need more screen space or frequently share devices, such as students in a laboratory.

Acer's C910 is a strong option for professionals who need to maximize productivity during frequent travel. Its large trackpad makes it easy to navigate a larger screen, and a 4-cell LiPolymer battery should last for eight hours of use, according to Acer.

Traveling professionals who don't mind a smaller screen (or who tend to drop/bump their laptops) may instead consider the Acer C740, a followup to Acer's earlier C720. The newer model is similar to its predecessor but has a more durable design and projected nine hours of battery life.

Obviously, size isn't everything. If you're looking to do some video editing or intense gaming, the C740 won't be able to meet your needs. If you're looking for a basic device that can support Internet browsing and word processing, however, it's a solid pick.

Read on to learn more about the C910 and C740 and see them side by side. Do you use a Chromebook? Would you purchase a low-budget device for productive travel? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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JediSQL
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JediSQL,
User Rank: Guru
6/4/2015 | 1:56:34 PM
Re: School Computer
@Kelly22, They were required for first thru sixth grade!  By the end of the year my kid was typing reports.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/4/2015 | 12:50:57 PM
Re: School Computer
@JediSQL I'm still trying to get over the fact that they required Chromebooks for third graders - what?! That aside, the C720 seems like a great machine for a kid. Inexpensive and built to withstand bumps and drops.
JediSQL
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JediSQL,
User Rank: Guru
6/4/2015 | 11:36:46 AM
School Computer
My third grader is at a school that "required" that parents get them Chromebooks.  They said there was 93% compliance, and the school was able to provide for the rest.  We got him the C720P with the touch screen and 4GB/32GB.  He used it all school year, and it is still running great.  They used it a lot at school (to the point where the principal noted that the kids' handwriting was suffering, and they started working on that), and he often used it for hours after school playing games and watching videos.  I don't remember any complaints about battery life.  After so many years of seeing laptops owned by adults and treated like crown jewels, it was funny to see my kid's white laptop all encrusted with gook and grime.  I have to admit the C720P takes a licking and keeps on ticking (Though I did recently notice one of the hinges was spreading the case and found that a case screw nearby had popped out. I neatly applied some packing tape, and it is holding well.).  I think it was a real success that the school made the decision to go with all kids having Chromebooks so they could fully integrate technology into the curriculum.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2015 | 10:25:46 AM
Re: Eight Hours Battery Life!
It's indeed quite handy if you don't need to take power adapter with you when being out for the whole day. I am willing to see if there will be futher breakthrough in battery technology in the near future - can we have laptop that can operate for a week without power adapter?
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2015 | 9:13:11 AM
Re: Eight Hours Battery Life!
@Brian, I've been using an Acer Chromebook 13 (uses the nVidia Tegra CPU) for about 10 months now. It is not as fast as the Intel ones but the graphics performance is impressive.

As for battery life, Acer claims 10-12 hours. I have used the laptop for over 8 hours without any trouble. It is my traveling laptop now. When I go to a conference or travel for the day I do not take the power adapter with me.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2015 | 12:46:38 AM
Eight Hours Battery Life!
Eight hours is a long time to operate a device on battery power. I take that battery technology has increased marginally over the last few years but, I feel that the processor gets the credit here. For instance, the i5 520m from 2010 consumes 35watts on average and the i5 5200U, only consumers 15watts on average. Energy management software has also improved in the Chrome OS.
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