Friday, December 13, 2013

Acer c720P, is a touch enough to bring happiness?

My new Acer c720P Touch Screen Chromebook arrived yesterday. I thought I’d be happier with it than I am, though it’s hard to express exactly why reality didn't meet my expectations. I don’t think it’s rooted in so much in functionality of the machine, though I did have to call support immediately after logging in thinking the screen was defective but more on that later. I’m thinking my disappointment is based on the fact that the design seems old school. The dark gray square case looks like an old IBM machine I had years ago. Its not sleek and thin like my Samsung Chromebook which takes its looks from Apple’s MAC Air Pro, and we all know that Apple is all about design and how our devices make us feel.

I had been waiting for an affordable touch screen Chromebook since the Chrome Pixel came out. I decided I couldn't justify $1200 for another Chromebook just because it has a touch screen. Why I thought the touch screen would make a difference, I can’t tell you, maybe I thought it would combine the best of the computer and tablet worlds. It’s too early to tell on that score but my initial reaction is that it doesn't completely have the same functionality as my Nexus 7...no screen rotation and I’m trying to figure out what exactly the pinch open and pinch close works on. I haven’t gotten it to do anything yet but that could be just my ignorance.

Which brings me back to when I first opened and logged into my new Chromebook. The initial setup went fine, I was able to touch my way through links on the shiny new screen but as soon as I logged into my account the screen was zoomed in so far all I could see was white space at the bottom left of the Google search page with no menu or navigation anywhere on the page. After what seemed like hours, I was able to inch the screen over to get to the settings and look at the zoom and screen size settings but nothing looked abnormal. Several times I shut down and started the process all over again only to find the same results. Thinking it was a defective touch screen I went online on my Samsung Chromebook, and found the Acer support chatting with them about my problem. After troubleshooting for another hour they concluded it wasn't a hardware problem and therefore not covered under warranty. My excitement over getting a new Chromebook diminished to anger over getting a lemon. I told them I’d just send it back to Amazon. But during our conversations, I had the feeling they didn't know what they were talking about and weren't really familiar with a Chromebook. After another hour of researching and struggling to change the super zoomed in screen, I found that the Accessibility setting was enabled for the screen magnifier. I hadn't changed this setting and can only conclude that for some reason it had been enabled in the factory.

I’m now trying to get over my negative experience with my initial use of my Acer Chromebook and the fact that it looks like a boring business machine. This morning’s HangOut might be enough for me to like it, the connection and picture quality was excellent. I’m still wondering if a touch will be enough to bring happiness, or was the anticipation and excitement too much to expect that.
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