When comparing MacBook vs Acer C720-3404/C720-3605, the Slant community recommends MacBook for most people. In the question“What is the best laptop for programming?” MacBook is ranked 15th while Acer C720-3404/C720-3605 is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose MacBook is:
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a [certified Unix](http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/certificates/1190p.pdf) and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS. There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free. You can also install [Homebrew](https://brew.sh/), an extremely useful package manager.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro macOS is developer-friendly
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a certified Unix and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS.
There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free.
You can also install Homebrew, an extremely useful package manager.
Pro Amazing display
Everything about the display is very good - from its high resolution (2304x1440) to the brightness (325 nitts), uniform brightness distribution (90%), and high contrast ratio (1000:1) with over 95% of the sRGB spectrum. Overall, a great display which will come in handy for people who work with visual arts.
Pro Decent battery life
The battery lasts around 7h30m of continuous web browsing which is about average for this class of laptops. Where this laptop's battery truly shines though is under heavy stress where it manages to last an impressive 2h35m under a total stress test (maxed out brightness and processor usage - circumstances that you are likely never going to encounter in the real world).
Pro Extremely portable
The laptop weighs just 2 pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It's one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market and it's extremely portable and easy to carry around.
Pro Decent keyboard
Pro Excellent trackpad
The MacBook has a large 4.4 x 2.7-inch Force Touch trackpad with a Taptic Engine that delivers haptic feedback whenever the user taps on it to give them the impression that they are actually clicking on it. It also supports gestures and multi-finger swiping.
The accuracy is almost perfect and there's virtually no lag or stutter when using the trackpad.
Pro Available in 4 colors
The laptop is available in space gray, gold, silver and rose gold (pink) finishes.
Pro Very good speakers
The speakers, found above the keyboard produce loud and clear sound with minimal to no distortion whatsoever. They can be used for both listening to music and watching movies with no problem at all.
Pro Completely silent operation
Thanks to the Core M processor (which doesn't require a fan) and the SSD storage, there are no moving parts the in MacBook. It will operate in complete silence.
Pro Good scratchpad
In a sub-$1000 laptop, you are always concerned about how good is the scratchpad. Luckily, the Acer c720 series has a really good-quality scratchpad, only one notch below Apple in Quality, and better than most of the scratchpads offered by Lenovo.
Pro Able to install Linux
With the combination of SeaBios and the CPU used inside of the c720P users can install Linux onto this devices hard drive, replacing Chrome OS. Though there may be some limitations to the touch screen and touchpad depending on what Kernel or distro is used. There are distro respins available that offer a more tailored experience and everything working out of the box.
Pro Decent battery life
The battery life of this device is user reported at over 7 hours and claimed to be over 8 by the manufacturer. For a device with an i3 processor that is quite good especially when comparing it to it's less power hungry sibling the c720p.
Pro User replaceable storage
The SSD that comes in the C720 is user replaceable. So users can upgrade to what SSD size they like as long as it is an M.2 (or NGFF) SSD.
Pro Intel Core i3 and 4GB RAM
With the 4GB RAM and an i3 processor this is frankly the best internals to date for a Chromebook other than the 1,299.99 Pixel.
Con Connecting more than one thing requires a hub
The laptop comes with a single USB-C port that's used for charging as well as any other peripherals or external storage devices. Connecting more than one thing at a time requires using a USB hub.
Con Not very powerful
With an Intel Core M processor, the Macbook isn't a serious development laptop. While it will get the job done for lighter tasks, it will struggle with heavier jobs.
Con Non-free software
Apple doesn't release the source code for most of their software & firmware. This makes it significantly more difficult to customize, automate tasks, and verify security.
Con It's a bit hard to get used to the keyboard
The keys are pretty shallow, with a travel length of just 0.5mm. They still provide good feedback and the writing experience itself is not bad, but it's just a bit hard getting used to, especially if you are coming from a laptop that's not a MacBook.
Con So-So screen
At only 720p the Acer c720 definitely does not have that great of a screen. However, it is fairly bright(230 nits) and has surprisingly good viewing angles (75+75 degrees) side-side, and maybe 20+20 degrees up-down. The touchscreen (c720p) models have a glossy screen and are a little bit brigher and clearer than the mattscreen models.
Con Includes a fan
The Acer C720 does have a fan built into the device as it's faster i3 Intel processor does need cooling for the more tasking operations.
Con Shallow SD card slot
The SD card slot is shallow which means having a card in it will stick out a bit.