Back when Chrome OS first started getting popular, the Acer C Chromebook quickly emerged as one of the best options. Last month, though, that popular Chromebook got its last update. Now that the Acer C Chromebook is dead, lets take a quick look at what that means for those who still own it, and what the best models are for replacement.
Acer C Chromebook isnt getting updates — why?
One thing thats not often focused on with Chromebooks is that, eventually, Google will pull the plug on updates. However, that takes quite a while, and its detailed well in advance. Google provides automatic updates for years after a hardware platform is released, and in June , the Acer C Chromebooks EOL date hit.
If youre an Acer C owner, you might have caught a notification recently that the most recent update was the last one the machine will get. Its a shame, as for many users, the aging hardware has kept up quite well.
Its also a source of nostalgia for some. Here on the 9to5Google team, the C was my second Chromebook and a beloved memory, and it was Abner Lis first Chromebook purchase as well.
My trusty old Acer C in its Toast skin
Luckily, this change doesnt necessarily mean C owners have to stop using the machine. Instead, it simply means that updates wont come, and Google wont offer any support. That, of course, is awful and more than enough reason to want to upgrade. However, it also means those using the C arent just going to turn on their machines to find it completely inoperable.
Plus, there are ways around this. Many have found success in installing Linux distros, and some have used CloudReady with success, even though its not technically supported.
The Best Acer C Chromebook replacements
Still, the best solution at this point is to upgrade to a newer machine. Some of the main attractions of the C when it debuted were its solid keyboard and great performance, along with a good bang for your buck. Below, weve rounded up a handful of options that might be a good replacement for any Acer C Chromebook owners looking for something new.
Lenovo Chromebook C — The best option
The best replacement for the Acer C Chromebook is without a doubt the Lenovo C This machine is capable with a MediaTek chipset and 4GB of RAM and features a ton of modern improvements, too. Theres a 2-in-1 hinge and touchscreen for the inch display, and that display is IPS as well, which is a huge upgrade from the TN panel on the C Lenovo also offers some of the best keyboards out there, and overall, build quality is very good. Plus, theres USB-C for charging, which is something anyone who also uses an Android phone will appreciate.
As for when it will hit EOL, the Lenovo C is guaranteed updates through June
The Lenovo Chromebook C
At the time of writing, the Lenovo Chromebook C can be had for just a hair over $ on Rakuten with the coupon code SAVE15 at checkout. Even at full price, though, its a stellar replacement that costs well under $ from outlets such as Amazon.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C — Taking a step up in quality
If youre looking to take a step up in size, quality, and power, mid-range Chromebooks have gotten really good in the time since the Cs release. To that end, one of the best replacements for the Acer C Chromebook is the ASUS Chromebook C
Launched this year, the C may feel a bit overpriced for some at around $, but it offers a fair bit for that money. Theres an all-metal design, powerful Intel Core m3 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and a nearly bezel-less inch display in a surprisingly small form factor. Its a very modern-looking machine that has a great keyboard to back it up. Theres also USB-C for charging.
As mentioned, the ASUS Chromebook C is priced around $ in general, but its often found cheaper at B&H Photo, and Amazon often has sales, too. The C wont lose updates until June
Google Pixelbook — Ready for the big leagues
If you fell in love with Chrome OS on the Acer Chromebook C, you might want its replacement to be a higher-end machine. If youre looking to spend a fair bit, theres no better route than the Google Pixelbook. The flagship of the Chrome OS world offers a 2-in-1 design, high-resolution inch display, USB-C, and killer specs.
Theres an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 under the hood with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. That means theres more than enough power for basically anything you can throw at the Pixelbook, and its going to be noticeably faster than the Acer C, too. The keyboard is also the crown jewel not just of Chromebooks, but of most laptops in general. Plus, updates wont cease on the Pixelbook until June
The Pixelbook is a pricey machine, though, at around $1, brand new from Amazon, the Google Store, and B&H Photo. However, since its been on the market for some time, sales are relatively common. If you dont want to wait for one of those, a used model can easily be had for a fraction of the retail cost from outlets such as Swappa.
Its very important to keep in mind, though, that were fairly confident a new Pixelbook is coming by the end of
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Can I still use my Chromebook now it is no longer supported?
I have recently got the message that my Acer Chromebook C will not be receiving any further updates as Google no longer supports Chromebooks older than six years. I use mine for surfing the internet, email and creating documents, which I send as email attachments. The machine still works as well as when I first bought it, and I’m reluctant to dump it for a new one.
I understand that I can install a new operating system myself but I really can’t be bothered. The reason I bought a Chromebook in the first place was because of ease of use, simplicity and reliability. What are the risks if I just continue to use it without receiving any more updates? Bill
There is no way to assess the risk because it depends partly on what you use your Chromebook for, and how careful you are. Nowadays, most attacks require some kind of user assistance. This can mean, among other things, installing fake Android apps with hidden features, installing bogus Chrome extensions, visiting malicious websites, falling for phishing attacks, falling for man-in-the-middle attacks and failing to install essential security updates.
You will inevitably miss essential security updates to the Chrome browser. However, we can’t know in advance what sort of holes might appear in Chrome, or whether they might be exploited in unpatched Chromebooks, though Chrome OS’s security record is very good indeed.
We also can’t know how long it will be before your obsolete version of Chrome is unable to cope with new web technologies or when websites will refuse to work with it.
For schools and companies that use Chromebooks, Google spells out further potential problems. “Business and education customers using devices that have passed their AUE [Auto Update Expiration] date should not expect that they can manage their devices as expected using the Google Admin console or leverage new management features released,” it says.
Either way, simple web browsing may not be much riskier than usual, and there are ways to make it safer. But I’d have second thoughts if you use your machine for financial operations without two-factor authentication, or if your email is full of private medical and financial information, passwords, and so on. The risks might be low but the stakes would be higher.
A new Chromebook is cheaper than getting £50, siphoned from your bank account.
Google launched Chromebooks in but the early models were pretty dire, few people bought them, and their relatively short life (about four years) didn’t matter very much. Chromebooks have changed a lot since then, getting a more Windowsy look-and-feel, touchscreen support and access to Google Play with the ability to run Android apps. I assume this means Google has to test all the old Chromebooks and Chromeboxes – probably about devices – to make sure they run new versions of Chrome OS. It would be time-consuming, expensive and ultimately impossible for Google to support all Chrome OS devices forever.
In , Google introduced an End Of Life (EOL) policy that offered support for five years. About a year later, it changed the name to something that didn’t imply planned obsolescence – Auto Update Expiration (AUE) – and extended support for new Chromebooks to years.
This is a reasonable lifespan compared to laptops running Windows or macOS. Some people run their laptops for longer, but usually they are paying more in wasted time than it would cost them to buy a new machine. (Of course, that’s assuming they have the money available.)
The key point is that the AUE period starts when the manufacturer launches a Chromebook platform, not when you buy it. You can buy a brand new Chromebook for a knock-down price, but if it’s based on a three-year-old platform, it will only be supported for three and a half, not for six and a half years.
In theory, Chromebook manufacturers could keep shipping the same platform for five or more years. Their outdated specifications ought to warn off potential buyers but typical Chromebook users probably aren’t following industry hardware trends. Every buyer should therefore check Google’s AUE page for end-of-support dates.
In fact, the AUE date should be shown prominently in Chromebook adverts. If I was going to spend £1, on a Google Pixelbook or £1, on a Google Pixel Slate, I’d certainly want to know that they go out of support in June , according to Google’s AUE page.
However, your Acer Chromebook C probably has a dual-core GHz Celeron U laptop processor, which is a Core design rather than a cheap Atom-based or ARM chip. It’s probably not far behind a Celeron N, though it will run hotter and use about twice as much electricity. You could repurpose it to run Neverware’s CloudReady, a Linux such as GalliumOS, or possibly even Microsoft Windows. I know you don’t want to do this but other users might.
CloudReady works much like a Chromebook but it is really intended to rescue old Windows and Mac laptops. Neverware’s compatibility list does not include any Chromebooks, that I can see. However, you can get it to run by opening the case, removing the Chromebook’s “write protect” screw and flashing the firmware.
Brian, an Ask Jack reader, said he used MrChromebox’s Firmware Utility Script to convert his unsupported Acer C Chromebook to UEFI. After booting from a USB thumb drive, he said: “I installed Cloudware and there appears to be no difference to the Chrome OS. Google transferred all my bookmarks and automatically installed apps and extensions, by my use of the same account details.”
The C is on the list of supported Chromebooks but readers should check first.
Warning: this kind of thing can “brick” your Chromebook. You may be able to rescue it but you do this stuff entirely at your own risk.
Chromebooks were originally designed to do everything online so you should have very little personal information on your device. The C has a full-sized SD card slot so you should already be storing backups of your essential files on this easily removable form of storage. If you only plug the card in when you need it, you should have very little to lose.
You can minimise the amount of information stored on your Chromebook by using the privacy settings and turning off features such as saving web passwords and auto-filling web forms. You could even browse in guest mode, which basically means starting as a new user every time. The drawback is that you will have to log in to each website every time and it will not save your settings.
Chrome OS has had more than 50 security vulnerabilities. However, Google has a standing offer of $, (£,) for anyone who can “compromise a Chromebook or Chromebox with device persistence in guest mode (ie guest to guest persistence with interim reboot, delivered via a webpage)”. No one has collected it so that approach should be relatively safe.
If you do pick up some form of malware, you can reset your Chromebook to factory condition by using the Powerwash feature at the bottom of the “show advanced settings …” page. Of course, this removes all your files and settings so you may not want to do it very often but it’s nice to have the option.
Have you got a question? Email it to [email protected]
Google Chromebooks have always been a bit of an outlier, appearing on the scene as tablets surged and netbooks faded away. Fitting somewhere in between these two niches, they offer quick and easy internet access for those who prefer a PC-style interface to touchscreen tablets. Google's Chrome OS, however, doesn't offer the full range of possibilities provided by a laptop running Windows, MacOS, or Linux.
Compared to the HP Chromebook 11, the Acer C ups the ante in terms of horsepower while maintaining the Chromebook's attractive features. Its simplicity of use, small-and-light form factor, and $ price tag make it an ideal client for web browsing. There's a lot to love about this system, but a few things that feel inadequate.
With its low price and mammoth Haswell battery life, the Acer C is one of the best Chromebooks you can get for the money. While it might be robbed of flagship status by the cute styling of HP's effort, and it lacks the dense display of the MacBook Pro-style Chromebook Pixel, the C nicely exhibits everything you can, and cannot, do on a Chromebook.
Finally, a fully powered, dirt cheap Chromebook
The C features an Intel Celeron U CPU running at GHz. Using the Haswell micro-architecture and built on a 22 nm process, this bit CPU features two cores and 2 MB of cache. Acer has coupled it with 2 GB of DDR3L SDRAM. It also features Intel HD Graphics running at a MHz base frequency and 1 GHz max dynamic frequency. That is more than enough processing power for anything the Chromebook is designed to do. It might even be a bit of overkill for the very light-on-its-feet Chrome OS.
Your standard benchmarks don't have much relevancy to the Chromebook user since these machines aren't designed to run traditional applications. Look elsewhere if you want to use Photoshop filters, do video editing, or play 3D games. Chrome OS is designed for simple office tasks and Web-based applications.
For these low-intensity uses, the system is more than powerful enough. It's extremely responsive, and since the operating system is so streamlined, it often will do these tasks even faster than a souped-up Windows PC loaded down with the extra baggage typical of many installs. Ever done a fresh install of Windows on an old PC and seen how much faster your PC ran? Think of Chrome OS as a PC that's always running a fresh install.
The joys of running Chrome OS
Using Chrome OS takes some getting used to both conceptually and practically. Pretty much, a Chromebook is a laptop that runs only one thing: the Chrome web browser. There's a beautiful simplicity there, especially since the web browser monopolizes so much of what most people do day-to-day on their PC.
That simplicity has some great benefits. Boot up is extremely fast. It takes as much time to type in your password as it does for the system to boot up. It feels more like sleep/awake than a true shutdown and bootup process. This is impressive compared to other notebooks, but of course, Chromebooks aren't the only Internet appliance which can offer this feature. Tablets offer similar speed-of-access.
Chrome OS is also tightly connected with a Google account. There is a guest mode, but to make full use of the system, you need a Google account. This personalizes the experience and lets you have a similar experience across platforms. For instance, your bookmarks travel with you, as do the files available on your Google Drive.
Another cool feature is the "powerwash" reset which returns the notebook to the original factory state. This complete wipe takes just a few minutes and gives you a fresh PC. Any user can perform it, though, so it's best not to leave valuable files stored locally only on a Chromebook.
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Acer C Chromebook (Inch, 4GB)
Acer Chromebook C (inch HD, Intel Celeron, 4GB, 16GB)
The New Acer Chomebook
Acer introduces its new Chromebook, the C - the best performance inch Chromebook with speed, simplicity and security all built in. Continually updated, always new, the Acer C7 Chromebook keeps getting better and better. It starts in seconds, is powered by the newest Intel Celeron Haswell micro-architecture processor and has up to hours of battery life giving you all day to run your favorite Google apps or access your photos, videos, music and documents from anywhere.
- Intel Celeron Processor U (GHz, 2MB L3 Cache)
- Google Chrome Operating System
- MB DDR3L SDRAM Memory
- 16GB SSD drive
- Intel HD Graphics
- Two Built-in Speakers
- Secure Digital (SD) card reader
- Acer InviLink Nplify a/b/g/n (MIMO Dual-Band Ghz & 5GHz) Wireless LAN
- 1 - USB Port
- 1 - USB Port
- 1 - HDMI port with HDCP Support
- 3-Cell Li-Polymer Battery ( mAh)
- Up to hours Battery Life
Chromebook acer c720 google
Acer C Chromebook
- Intel Celeron U GHz (2 MB Cache)
- 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 32 GB Solid-State Drive
- Inch Screen, Intel HD Graphics, HDMI output
- Chrome, hour battery life
Buy from Amazon
|Max Screen Resolution||x|
|Processor||GHz Celeron U|
|RAM||2 GB DDR3L SDRAM|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel HD Graphics|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||MB|
|Number of USB Ports||1|
|Number of USB Ports||1|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||hours|
|Item model number||C|
|Item Dimensions L x W x H||x x inches|
|Processor Brand||Intel Celeron|
|Computer Memory Type||DDR3 SDRAM|
|Flash Memory Size||32|
|Hard Drive Interface||Serial ATA|
|Optical Drive Type||No|
|Audio-out Ports (#)||1|
|Battery Type||Lithium Polymer (LiPo)|
|Batteries:||1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)|
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A thick sweater: - Tea, sugar, cookies: - Come in, Lyudmila Petrovna, sit down. Mine is a little more spacious than yours. Chairs, armchair, dishes.
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