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Acer C720P Chromebook packs power in lightweight unit


Katie Cincotta

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Google's latest stripped-down laptop, the Acer C720P, is the ideal travel PC. The thin, light, white netbook gave me all I needed to file a story from the 27th floor of a Kuala Lumpur hotel.

At 1.3 kilograms, it packed easily, which means you can forgive the plastic 11.6-inch display. The super spec of this Chromebook model is a touchscreen at 1366 x 768 resolution, which is handy when you don't have a mouse to navigate - just not if you've got greasy fingers (because you'd scoffed your pad Thai sans industrially wrapped cutlery).

You just have to tilt the screen to avoid reflective glare.

The Intel Celeron processor won't set the world on fire for power but virtually everything runs through Google's Chrome browser, so it's fast enough for browsing and Google Docs, with a keyboard that's easy to type on, and seven hours of battery life.

The 16GB solid state drive lets you open the lid and work in seconds. If only hotel connectivity could get up and running that quickly.

The HDMi port lets you plug in to a bigger screen, such as a TV or a projector, if you want to run a Google Slides (which can open PowerPoint) presentation.

This C720P has an optimised webcam for Google Hangouts - the free video calls home to my family from my hotel room were clear, with minimal delay, and there are some fun special effects. The SD card slot let me download my DSLR photos, which you can email through Gmail, or store on the 100GB Google Drive Cloud Storage. The USB 3.0 port is nifty if you want to carry movie files on your stick, or back up your Docs when a tropical storm threatens to blow up your netbook. The C720P offers tablet connectivity with the laptop couch experience.

RRP: $499 

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