Acer has unveiled the new C720 Chromebook, the Haswell-powered follow-up to last year's C7. At $249, it's slightly more expensive than the previous $199 notebook, but Acer appears to have addressed some of our issues with last year's model. One big problem was short battery life, which should be improved with the switch to Haswell, and the C7's lengthy bootup times could be helped with the switch from SATA to a solid state drive. The C720 is also slightly thinner and lighter than the original C7, although it appears to still be based on the the same general form factor.

The C720 appears poised to compete directly with the $279 HP Chromebook 11, which uses a Samsung Exynos 5250 with 2GB of RAM compared to the Intel Celeron 2955U processor and 4GB of RAM in the C720. Both notebooks have a 1366 x 768 display, giving the 11.6-inch screens decent displays for sub-$300 notebooks. Both notebooks have 16GB of internal storage, which is fairly standard with the largely cloud-based Chrome OS.

Acer said that there will be different configurations of the C720 available in the coming weeks, but didn't provide any specific details. There have been rumors of a version of the C720 with a touchscreen, or Acer could release a model with 4G LTE, like the new Chromebook 11.