Google’s Chromebooks have usurped netbooks as the cheapo laptops of choice.

These mini-wonders simply run the Chrome OS, which simply runs the Chrome browser. It’s all very low-cost, low-power, low-hassle, but that simplicity is both a strength and a weakness. Although supremely user-friendly, Chromebooks lack the power to play most games or attempt intensive tasks such as video editing. Still, Google’s superb Drive takes care of office duties, while the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Spotify are all present.


While the rival HP Chromebook 14 is more attractive, with a white exterior and IPS screen, when put on the spot we'd go for the Acer C720.

Why? Those handy extra ports. The simple addition of HDMI and, particularly, an SD reader makes all the difference, giving this simple cloud-based laptop the flexibility it needs to compete with the big boys. And given its price tag, it really is an alternative to splashing out on a 'proper' machine.

And if you still fancy the touch-based experience you get on a tablet or Windows 8 laptop, there's always the touchscreen version of the C720. It'll set you back roughly £80 extra, but also boosts the hard-drive space by 32GB.

Either way, the Acer C720 is our favourite Chromebook and shoots straight into our laptops Top 10.

Stuff says... 

Acer C720 Chromebook review

The Acer C720 is the most capable and useful Chromebook we’ve seen so far
Good Stuff 
Plenty of ports
Decent battery life
Bad Stuff 
Below-par screen
Tinny speakers
Lacks power