"chores like backup could be less onerous." You mean they couldn't be less onerous. I bet you're American and say "could care less" about things you in fact couldn't care less about.
The C720 works perfectly well with a Celeron and 2GB. Anything more is a waste. But on Google subsidising the cost, it's been said that Intel was actually subsidising the cost of the Celeron processors for Chromebooks. Apparently it was part of their $1beelion marketing budget, and wanting to gain share over ARM processors.