Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook – Iron Gray Review

Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook - Iron Gray

The Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook – Iron Gray (16GB SSD) is an excellent example of what a Chromebook should be – small, lightweight and easily portable, making it possible (and desirable) to take the machine around with you for access to the internet just about anywhere that offers a connection.

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Which is, of course, the whole point of a Chromebook. Rather than providing lots of local computing power, as you would find in most laptops, they are devices intended primarily to access the internet and make use of online services like Flickr or GMail.

With this in mind, they don’t need to run Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Instead, they are built around Google’s ChromeOS operating system, which, in turn, makes heavy use of Google’s popular Chrome web browser. ChromeOS is much less resource-intensive than its more heavyweight competitors, enabling it to run well on much less powerful hardware.

Naturally, since they don’t make use of Windows at all, Chromebooks are unable to run standard Windows software. So if you need a computer that can do that, a Chromebook isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you make extensive use of online services, particularly those offered by Google, it probably doesn’t matter to you what Operating System is running on your computer – the web is the web, whatever device you use to access it! There is also a fairly comprehensive library of Chrome-specific apps that can be installed from the Chrome store, if you can’t find an online service to meet your needs.

Chromebooks offer other advantages over conventional laptops, too, as long as you’re comfortable with their largely-online usage philosophy. They start up quickly – typically in a matter of seconds – and are kept constantly up to date. Virus protection is built in, and, again, is automatically kept up to date. And, since most documents are stored in online services such as Google Docs / Drive, there is no need to worry about backups – they happen automatically. And, should the worst happen and your Chromebook is lost, stole or damaged beyond repair, your documents will be instantly available when you sign in with a new device.

Pros :

  • Small, lighweight Chromebook
  • Intel Celeron 847 1.1 GHz
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 16 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 11.6-Inch Screen, Intel HD Graphics
  • ChromeOS

Cons :

  • Does not run Windows software
  • Works best online

The C710-2833 is powered by an Intel Celeron 847 processor running at 1.1 GHz. Although this Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) component is designed for use in small laptops, it probably wouldn’t be able to provide anything like acceptable performance for a modern, Windows-based laptop, particularly in view of the mere 2GB of RAM installed in this machine. Chromebooks, however, are generally much less demanding of the hardware they’re running on, and this combination of processor and memory should be perfectly adequate for ChromeOS to function well.

Similar comments apply to the machine’s 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD). While conventional laptops are offering Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) with many hundreds of Gigabytes of storage, the C710-2833 simply doesn’t need all that storage capacity, relying instead on online services for permanent storage of your documents, pictures, movies and music. The 16GB provided is perfectly adequate for the small amount of material that needs to be stored locally, and the vastly superior speed of an SSD compared to a conventional HDD makes a huge contribution to the Chromebook’s rapid startup time.

Other elements of the machine’s spec are very much in line with what you might expect from any modern laptop. The 11.6″ HD Widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit Display is driven by integrated Intel HD Graphics technology with 128MB of dedicated system memory, and an HDMI port is provided for those times when a larger screen is desirable or necessary.

Chromebooks are designed to be used primarily online, and, as such, internet connectivity is essential. In this machine, that is provided both via an Ethernet port for wired networking, and 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi for wireless connections.

Three USB 2.0 ports make it easy to attach peripherals to the machine, while a built-in HD webcam and stereo speakers round off the usual array of input / output ports.

Despite its small size, the machine is endowed with a full-sized Acer FineTip Keyboard and multi-gesture touchpad, making it ideal for getting real tasks done on the move. And, with a weight of just 3.05 lbs and a battery life of up to 4 hours, there should be no difficulty in taking this machine with you wherever you go.

Overall, the Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook – Iron Gray (16GB SSD) is an excellent choice for anyone who spends much of their time using online services in a location where internet access is readily available. Although it is possible to use the machine offline, and some apps are specifically designed with that in mind, Chromebooks are primarily designed for online use. They excel as a second machine that will be used for web browsing, and make a much cheaper option than a fully-fledged laptop in that regard. They are also useful in office or educational environments, where internet access is virtually guaranteed and there is a frequent need to have a small but flexible computer available. If any of these sound like you – and you don’t need to run standard Windows software – then this could well be the machine you’ve been looking for!

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