The C720 Chromebook also has the longer-lasting battery life of the two new laptops. Acer lists the laptop as lasting 8.5 hours, while the HP Chromebook 11 only lasts six hours. For a laptop, 8.5 hours is very good, and I had no issues with the C720 Chromebook. It kept going strong for me, even while I used it to charge my iPhone.
With a speedy processor and a long lasting battery life, the Acer C720 Chromebook was clearly made for productivity, and that continues with the ports included on the machine. Acer’s new Chromebook features an HDMI port, an SD slot, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port as well. You can hook up all sorts of things to Acer’s computer.
The HP Chromebook 11, on the other hand, is much more limited. It only comes with two USB 2.0 ports. However, one neat thing about the HP machine is that it can be charged using a micro-USB charger -- the same kind of charger that you use to charge most non-Apple smartphones and tablets. That’s handy because it lets you carry around one charger for all of your devices.
But you’ll want to make sure the charger you bring with you is the one that comes with the HP Chromebook 11. I tried charging the laptop with a charger I have for one of my Android smartphones, and the laptop quickly warned me that using that cable would require a long time to charge the computer.
Other differences worth pointing out about the machines were in the keyboards and trackpads.
I disliked the trackpad on the HP Chromebook 11. It felt like HP used cheap material, and I didn’t think it reacted to me as well as the trackpad on the C720 Chromebook.
But I did prefer the keyboard on the HP machine. It just felt easier to type on, so if you’re a writer, you might prefer the $279 laptop.
The last major difference between the two devices comes in the extra goodies that are bundled in.
The Acer C720 Chromebook comes with a free 30-day trial of Google Music All Access, while the HP Chromebook 11 comes with a 60-day trial of Google’s Spotify-like service. The HP Chromebook 11 also includes 12 sessions of free GoGo Inflight Internet. Both machines come with two years of 100 GB cloud storage through Google Drive. They also have 16 GB of internal storage.
Overall, I liked both devices, but for different reasons. If you’re going to buy one for yourself or as a gift, think about what you care about most. If you like beautiful design and a very nice screen, you’ll prefer the $279 HP Chromebook 11. If you like speed and productivity, the $249 Acer C720 Chromebook is the better choice for you.