In Pictures: Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide

Chromebooks are Web-centric alternatives to laptops that, while not for everyone, are coming into their own. To help you decide if one is right for you, answers common Chromebooks questions and takes a look at the current lineup.

Acer C720 Chromebook Acer's C720 Chromebook ($199), released in Oct. 2013, is among the least expensive of the current Chromebooks. It sports an 11.6-inch display with 1366 x 768 pixels and an 16:9 aspect ratio. The C720 features Intel's Haswell architecture; gets up to 8.5 hours of battery life (says Acer); and weighs 2.76 pounds.

The C720 was recently the No. 2 most popular laptop on with an average 4.5 rating. Computerworld reviewer JR Raphael says the C720 "offers unprecedented power for an entry-level Chrome OS system...(providing) solid performance...while simultaneously delivering admirable battery life."

(Author's note: I've tested a C720 and like it. But the screen quality leaves much to be desired, especially compared to iPad Retina models.)

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