Acer C7 Chromebook hands-on, the no-nonsense Haswell Chromebook improves over its predecessor

We got our mitts on the latest Acer C7 Chromebook at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco. It's been some nine months since we saw the earlier C7 model, and with the new Intel Haswell chip on board this is a leaner, meaner machine. But it's still just a Chromebook.

The 11.6-inch display device has only limited information available about it at the time of writing. It was in the process of being packed up and taken away when we located it on the IDF show floor.

What we do know is that Intel's latest Haswell chip is on the inside and that makes for better battery life - a quoted 8.5 hours per charge according to the Google rep that we were chatting to. None too bad, particularly at this small scale.

When we reviewed the earlier Acer C7 Chromebook we noted that it was slow to load, in part due to the 320GB hard drive on board. The latest C7, however, boots up in just 8 seconds - more than doubling its load time by comparison. That's partly down to the 16GB SSD on board to keep everything that much nippier.

READ: Acer C7 Chromebook review

As with any Chromebook, the C7 comes with a two-year 100GB Google Drive cloud storage acount too, so the limited on-board space ought to not be a problem.

Another issue we had with the earlier C7 is that the screen's viewing angle was poor. Now the latest C7 isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but even in the relative daylight that we saw the machine in - and as you can see in our pictures - the screen image is easily visible. Seems like an improvement.

It's small, it's simple-looking, and it's got the majority of what you'll need for simple tasks. Although there's no official price as yet, the Acer C7 Chromebook with Haswell on board will also be among the most budget of Chromebooks - the earlier model was £199 at launch - and that by itself will give it plenty of appeal.