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, CIO.com 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 Amazon.com 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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