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Is The $169 Acer Cloudbook with Windows 10 a Chromebook Killer?

Snapshot of omgchrome

Our earlier article on plans for cheap Windows 10 devices

Acer recently unveiled its latest low-cost Windows 10 laptop, one the press is already calling a ‘Chromebook killer’. 

But is the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, which is priced from $169 and ships with hardware specs eerily similar to most standard Chromebooks out there, worthy of the (often overused) title?

Acer Aspire One CloudBook Is Priced To Sell

From the new Macbook to the semi-premium ASUS Chi line by way of the cheap cloud-based HP Stream 11 — it doesn’t take much for a device to earn the title of “Chromebook Killer” by a lazy tech press.

But the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook is a decent stab at creating a Windows-based alternative to Chromebook. It offers similar low-power hardware with small on-board storage at an attractive price.

A great attempt by the world’s biggest seller of, er, Chromebooks. 

We do know that this device, and a raft more on the way, have been created specifically to counter the growing popularity of notebooks running Google’s cloud-centric OS. Microsoft’s earlier efforts (which largely consisted of shouting “you’re wrong” at consumers) hasn’t had any material impact on Chromebook sales, which continue to grow year-on-year.

cloud

As we shared back in June, several big-name OEMs have, with some encouragement from Microsoft, been prepping low-cost laptops running Windows 10.  The strategy is an odd one. A capable Windows 10 laptop costing $169 could undermine sales of more expensive, and profitable, devices.

But is this capable? After all, while Chrome OS can run lightly on low power hardware Windows, by design, is a ‘fuller’ OS, requiring more overhead and thus more slowdown.

Acer Cloudbook Specs

The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook series is priced from $169.99 (matching the cheapest Chromebook released to date) and treads dutifully into Chromebook hardware territory.

It runs on a dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor (Braswell based) running at a 1.6GHz and is paired with 2GB RAM.

The notebooks are available in 11.6-inch and 14-inch screen sizes, all of which are trapped at the lowly dimension of 1366×768 pixels. All of the screens are standard LCD panels and non-touch

Battery life is being touted at ‘up to 7 hours’ for the 11-inch model and ‘up to 6 hours’ for the 14-inch — not as spectacular as some recent Chromebooks, mind. Devices like the $169 Acer C200 push nearer 12+ hours on a single charge.

Onboard storage options are suitably modest, with 16GB or 32GB eMMC for the 11.6-inch versions and 32GB or 64GB eMMC on the 14-inch model.

To give users some file leeway Microsoft will bundle in 100GB of free OneDrive storage (for a year) while Acer is preloading —no groaning— its suite of ‘abApp’ cloud tools to help Cloudbook owners get the most from their files and multimedia content across devices.

On the ports and accessories side:

  • 1x Full-sized HDMI Out
  • 1x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • SD Card Slot
  • VGA Webcam (640 x 480)

To take full advantage of of Cortana in Windows 10 Acer has included dual digital microphones with digital signal processing to filter out background noise.

The 11.6-inch model is set to land in the US this month and Europe next month. Dates for the 14-inch model will follow.

But to get back to the question posed at the start: calling this Acer a ‘Chromebook Killer’ is too simplistic. It’s an easy tag to attach but it ignores the reasons why Chromebooks have proven popular (hint: it’s not just the price). One cheap priced Windows device won’t ‘kill’ off those reasons overnight, but it will give consumers more food for thought.

Are you likely to be tempted by an Acer Cloudbook?

  • Rich

    I’ve used the HP Stream 11 Windows laptop which was $199. It was surprisingly pretty decent for $199. Still, chromebooks just run much more smoothly and clutter free. The only reason the HP Stream could beat out a chromebook is if you wanted to install programs. For example, I only bought the Stream for my mom because she’s used to windows and wanted to be able to print through a locally connected printer.

    I’m curious how well a $169 laptop running Windows 10 would be. I could picture students preferring a windows device over chromebook just because of how much more they can do with windows. It still annoys me that my chromebook is unable to do (without finding work arounds or modifying it slightly) basic tasks like print, usb connect to my tablets, or run small simple programs.

    • GelisGelis

      About printer. I really hate the way Chromebook only support Google Cloud print. I really hope Chromebook will support local lan printer in the future.

      • Wolfie

        It would be nice.

        I’ve installed cloud print compatible printers and the setup was easy enough. Everyone in on my domain can print with ease. I think there are more cloud print devices out now than there were in a past.

        • GelisGelis

          I also have a cloud print compatible printer, the Canon MG5500. The problem is last week my internet went down for 2 hours, and I need to print my homework :(

          It would be really nice if it has local lan print too.

          • Wolfie

            To be honest the internet going out never occurred to me. I don’t print anywhere near the volume I do at my office. I have a 99.99% up time per my SLA with my ISP, so we’ve not had an outage that I’m aware of.

            At home I’ve never had to print while the internet was down – not that I’ve had a lot of downtime at home or anything. You’ve peaked my interest! You’d think you’d be able to print locally via a USB drive or some other method. I’m surprised printer manufactures and Google haven’t provided a contingency work around.

          • GelisGelis

            Wolfie… You live in good country.

            In other part of the world, downtimes occur. My internet got around 3-5 downtimes a year. Each times varies around 15 minutes – 8 hours. I already using the best ISP in term of downtime. Other ISP have more downtime.

            I don’t want to print locally via USB cable, as I put my printer in a table that I can’t put my chromebook at it side, but seeing how canon provide a software/driver for android to print with local wifi, I think the same can be done for chromebook. The chromebook just need to send the print command along with the content to the printer instead of to google cloud print.

          • Wolfie

            Yeah it boggles my mind why they wouldn’t implement some kind of fallback. I’m motivated to try to find a viable work around now.

          • GelisGelis

            Please share with me if you find one.
            Thank you.

    • GelisGelis

      But on other reason. I still pick chromebook over anything else. I like the way I don’t need to care about virus, and don’t need to affraid about loosing my chromebook because my data are safe in cloud.

      • Wolfie

        Agreed.

        I’ve dropped nearly all my Windows products in favor of the Google ecosystem. It’s easier on the budget (both personally and for my business) and has zero IT administration headache. Chrome OS is fundamentally more secure than traditional windows because it’s lean and an OS designed around a browser.

        You can take security a step, or few, further by enabling 2-step authentication, browser/account sync pass-phrase, drive encryption, and third party hardware token authentication (Yubico) and you’ll have yourself one secure cloud and Chrome device. Windows can do this too but expenses can mount up quickly and integration is a nightmare – I’m a cyber security engineer by trade; I speak from personal experience. I have all of the above deployed on my Chrome devices and my personal cloud and corporate enterprise and it was inexpensive and a breeze to integrate.

        And just like you said, Gelis. If I drop my Chromebook in the sea while sailing, or it gets stolen, I can easily sign in from another location and remote wipe my CB and go buy another Asus C100 4GB model for $259.

        Nothing against Windows or the WinLovers out there – I just prefer something more efficient and cost effective.

        • brian

          And one thing that makes me happy about it: It wasn’t an entrenched OS company that did this. A newcomer (google) came and made a great usable system, that finally very seriously offers real competition to the entrenched in a way that currently doesn’t encourage lockin!

          • GelisGelis

            I think Google (chromeOS) NOT JUST seriously offer real competition, but Google ChromeOS surpass windows PC in manageability by leaps and bound.

    • Edward Viguerie

      Rich makes a good point. The advantage that a windows machine has over a Chromebook is the world of cheap shareware programs available for windows. This is particularly true, I think, in the education context. Most teachers likely assume that if a child has a computer at home it’s a windows machine and may require the use of specialized windows software for class.

      I’m in the market for a cheap laptop for my youngest daughter just starting high school. I like ChromeOs, but will probably go with a windows machine because it gives my daughter more options.

      • oldman_60

        And also head ache for you and virus for her. This being said, with a CB your daughter will have access to more secure cloud applications than shareware. Collaboration is key for classroom and best teachers know what they prefer for their students.

        • Edward Viguerie

          Meh. A windows machine really isn’t that hard to keep secure. And while the number of web based applications increases everyday, there are still gaps. Furthermore, the local school district’s computer ecosystem is predominantly windows based. That’s just the reality.

          Look, I’m not some windows fanboy. I used to run FreeBSD as my primary OS. But an OS and the computer it runs on are just a tools. And the tool chosen should fit the job. I like my Chromebook because of it’s relative simplicity and because it allows me to do 90% of what I need to do on a computer. But I recognize that there may be some jobs for which it is not the best tool. Windows’ considerable software catalog gives it an advantage in some situations. Perhaps in five or ten years that will not be the case.

          • Wolfie

            I’m in agreement with you, Edward.

            Windows served me very well at home and in the beginning when I incorporated. Fast forward a bit and add a fiance who’s not a tech head, a growing business with more employees, and then the headache and expenses start to mount. At first I just wrote it off as just the cost of doing business, but after it started affecting my profit/loss numbers in a way that I refused to accept I began looking to change my approach a bit. There had to be a better way that would still allow us to conduct business without the expenses and management headache I was experiencing.

            We’ve migrated to Chromebooks and other assorted Chrome OS (and Android) products and things are so much easier than before. My IT guys have it made in the shade now since Chrome/Android devices are easier to manage in the company domain. I’ve also set up Google Cloud Computing for those tasks that can’t be handled locally within Chrome OS. We’re able to remote into VMs of our choice (Windows or Linux) and perform complex functions via the cloud. Currently we only pay $10/hr while utilizing our cloud computing assets.

            This is just my personal take on it based off of my experience these past few years. I don’t believe Windows 10 is a Chromebook killer or vice versa. Like you said; the right tool for the right job.

      • simon gray

        Much as I like ChromeOS, I think you are right.

      • brian

        Its shrinking incredibly fast. Even several years ago a majority of educational software was web based. With an almost majority of schools buying chromebooks the windows only software needs to change or it will fail.

  • r4in

    It might be OK, just avoid, AVOID 16 GB storage version, 16 GB is not enough for running Windows.

  • Mi Pen

    Prefer my current chromebook. With such poor storage I wouldn’t want it as a Windows machine. I like a fast OS on low spec machines. And Windows bloats up fast.

    • James Bell

      hahaha

      • Mi Pen

        Contributing nothing useful again I see JB. Must be sad to be you.

        • James Bell

          Oh yeah, it’s horrible being me. Please, make me feel worse about myself. You’re doing a wonderful job!

          • Mi Pen

            You obviously work for Microsoft as a paid shill to spread fud on this site and others. Either that or you have no life to troll a Chromebook site.

          • James Bell

            Oh, that’s a classic one. I like a company so I MUST work for them.
            I’m assuming you work for Google, then. Since we’re throwing all logic out the window here.

            Still no answer? That’s a shame.

    • liamdools

      Windows XP bloated up fast. Windows 10 doesn’t. In fact, Chrome OS bloated up faster for me than Windows 8, and even then Windows 8 wasn’t bloated.

      • Mi Pen

        Chrome OS can be easily powerwash wiped in minutes and be back up an running with access to the files you cloud backed up. Try doing that with any Windows PC.

        • liamdools

          Easily. Go into Settings, go to Recovery, select Reset, viola! New Windows.

          • Mi Pen

            Chrome OS does a far more thorough job flushing its light OS. Unlike a recovery on Windows 10 its like having a reinstall, rather than dropping back to a earlier windows backup that can still be full of crap.

            Also the Chrome OS reinstalls your apps and saves your files to the web. So nothing gets lost.

          • liamdools

            Windows 10 has Onedrive integration and signing in with a Microsoft account syncs all your apps whenever you log in.

          • GelisGelis

            Does it remove virus/malware when reset? Does it remove/restore my setting/preference of keyboard/mouse/date/time?

          • liamdools

            Yeah actually

        • Wolfie

          I agree with Mi Pen.

          I don’t know what you mean about Chrome OS bloating up. How many extensions and apps did you install? I’m running quite a few extensions now and have 10, no joke, 10 tabs open for work and my Asus C100 is running right as rain. I’d be interested to know what you have on your Chrome device that’s bogging it down so much because I’ve put mine through ‘the ringer’ and they’re just as fast as they were out of the box.

          • liamdools

            Zero extensions, about two pages of apps in the old app shelf (not the new redesign.)

        • Michael Alan Goff

          You can refresh a Windows PC with 8 or above and either choose to just wipe the system down and leave the files and wipe everything clean.

        • mazieaz

          The advantage Windows has over Chrome OS is the ability to easily run third party software like Photoshop, drive recovery tools and even genealogy software. “Refresh” removes every bit of third party software. It even REMOVES MICROSOFT OFFICE. I call it the Windows “send-you-back-to-hell” feature. If you don’t need the sophistication of third party software, you do not need Windows at all. If you do need the sophistication, Microsoft has an easy way to kill it. Chrome OS is brilliantly simple. When you powerwash, then log back in ALL of your stuff comes back. A tablet with a keyboard.

          Windows 10, which I am using right now, has two small advantages over my Windows 8.1 plus Stardock’s Start8 – 1) the damned Charms bar is gone, 2) the start menu works in SafeMode so you can avoid the damned Charms Bar (yay!).

          • liamdools

            I powerwashed my CB and had to backup all my stuff to Google Drive. Nothing came back when I powerwashed it. Good thing I backed it all up, huh?

          • mazieaz

            um yeah that’s where you store your data. It’s call cloud storage and it is still there after a powerwash. You’re not telling us that you keep all of your data on the little 16GB camera, huh?

          • liamdools

            So you think Windows is just physically incapable of letting you back stuff up to the cloud? Windows 8 and up has OneDrive integration just like how Chrome OS has Google Drive integration.

      • oldman_60

        I have a Samsung CB 2. It is much faster than it was without any power wash. Octane 2.0 score was less than 7000 and now 8150 with 20 extensions. I can’t say anything on Windows 8 or 10 but Windows 7 bloated.

    • Communist

      Just use linux?

      Honestly setting up a chromeos styled linux machine isn’t that hard.

      • brian

        trivial updates and maintenance are what makes chromeos what it is. This is what has MS so worried. These chrome devices make fabulous family computers. We each have our own user account. Never did that before with linux or other systems because of how slow login/logout is on those systems.

  • Scott Bassett

    I like and use Windows some of the time. My experiences so far with Windows 10 on my primary desktop PC have been very good. But have you tried running Windows, even Windows 10, on a sub0$200 machine? I have, and it isn’t always pretty. When you need to runs Windows apps, it is acceptable. But for what we do 90%+ of the time, a Chromebook is a more satisfying experience.

    I have an Asus x205TA which I recently upgraded to Windows 10. Whether running 8.1 or 10, it can be sluggish, particularly when running Chrome instead of IE or Edge. My son had one and decided it was simply too slow for daily use. I don’t know if the new Acer models will outperform the x205TA, but I doubt their will be much difference. My x205TA has an Atom processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage (expanded with a 32 GB micro-SD card).

    My Acer C720P and my wifes C720 are much zippier than similarly priced Windows laptops in everyday use. There is no lag to cause frustration. And there is no way to make a Windows PC as secure as a Chromebook, at least if you are using second-factor authentication on your Google account.

    I don’t see these “Cloudbooks” as doing much to hurt the market for Chromebooks. The user experience is so dramatically different (and better) on a Chromebook.

  • I get 13 hours of use on my Chromebook, but I’d consider a Cloudbook if I can wipe Windows and install a full Linux distribution on it.

  • Vic

    The only reasons I would want a Windows laptop over my Chromebook (an Acer that I picked up new at BestBuy for $129) is if I wanted to either 1)Run programs that I don’t have access to on the Chromebook (such as Office, Autocad, or Photoshop) or 2) To play games (I am a World of Warcraft junkie). A Windows laptop with those specs would be PAINFULLY slow running the first few programs I mentioned… slow to the point of not being worth trying for many things)… and it wouldn’t even meet the minimum specs of even many of the simplest games. My wife and son both have Intel Core i3 laptops with 4 gb RAM, and they HATE them. My Chromebook flies circles around them for regular web-browsing or video-streaming, and I can get more work done quickly on Docs or Sheets than my wife can on Office on her machine. I get better battery life, and almost instant-on access (my son won’t even close his laptop because when you do it takes a few minutes to come back on totally). As for games, my son can just barely play a few games like Minecraft on Steam, and only at the worst settings available.

    • Kevin Wendland

      There are online versions of Office now. In fact there are even apps in the chrome store to the pages. Photoshop is coming. It has actually rolled out on a trial basis for Photoshop customers. More and more companies are writing g their apps/programs to work in an html5 environment. Windows needs to focus on businesses because if they don’t they will lose that to chrome OS as well.

      • Wolfie

        Agreed Kevin,

        Vic – I’ve migrated myself personally and my investment firm away from M$ products simply due to efficiency issues. I’m also a PC gamer and have always ran my gaming rig on a Windows OS, but lately M$ has left a bad taste in my mouth. Their products are expensive from a business standpoint. I don’t want to throw out specifics but I’ve spent an upwards of tens of thousands of dollars on M$ and the hefty maintenance that comes with it. Granted I had money in the company budget for this but I’d rather pay my employees a higher salary, give holiday bonuses, schedule more company dinners and parties rather than throw that kind of money at managing my IT assets, infrastructure and enterprise.

        Chromebooks excel at EVERYTHING (save from gaming) that windows can do. Email, Calendars, and M$ Office alternatives are all handled via Software as a Service (SaaS). Since I run a real estate investment firm we’re constantly planning and executing rehab projects from small to large scales. We’ve used AutoCAD on Chromebooks without any issues via Platform as a Service (PaaS). So I’m a firm believer that Chromebooks, and Chrome OS as a whole, can be just as powerful and successful as Windows for a fraction of the cost and minus 100% of the IT administration headache. All it takes is a little understanding on the users part, and a little creativity, and you can get anything you want done on a Chrome device that you could on a Windows device. I’d even wager that you could get your WoW on with a Chrome device. I believe I read an article where Chrome was running WoW via remote desktop.

        I’m also in favor of SteamOS or game developers/producers opening up their games to us Linux heads. I don’t feel I should drop the money on a Windows OS when all I want to do is run games. SteamOS (which runs on Linux) comes with a browser, chat and voice, and that’s really all you need; you simply power up your PC and SteamOS is ready to go while downloading any drivers and updates in the background. Here’s hoping that more games break out from the Windows world.

        Cloud computing is the future my friend and my future and that of my employees is looking very favorable.

        Cheers,

        Logan

        • Michael Alan Goff

          We’re still throwing a $ for S on MS?

          • James Bell

            Yes, the immaturity is remarkable.

          • Wolfie

            James,

            What’s remarkable is your lack of contribution to this debate, James. Instead of answering other peoples feedback you’re bashing those providing their real world experience in Google’s ecosystem.

            Yeah… immaturity is remarkable indeed. =/

            Michael – the only thing you take away from my comment is ‘$’ in MS? Really?

          • James Bell

            How have I “bashed” you? Or anyone on this site?

          • DB01

            You are a di*khead.

          • James Bell

            No answer for my question? It’s nice asking simple question and nobody being able to answer it.

          • Wolfie

            Have you not?

            Apologies – I thought your comment above was directed at me. <-Not sarcasm.

          • James Bell

            Well it was, I never understood why people used the $ in Microsoft. Even companies I hate I address by their proper name. No disrespect intended, though.

          • Wolfie

            Then I retract my previous response, James.

            I don’t always refer to Microsoft as M$ – I did in this discussion to make a point though. My company started out employing primarily Windows and other MS products, but as my company grew the overall expenses of licensing, upgrades, and just maintaining it all became a dent in my bottom line that I couldn’t ignore. I’d rather save that money and use it to enrich my employees lives at work and at home (e.g., grant larger salaries, larger Christmas bonuses, throw more company parties, etc.). Wouldn’t you?

            Though Microsoft is great at what it does Chrome OS w/ Google Apps Unlimited is simply better. That’s a fact for me as we can easily deploy Chromebooks at a fraction of the cost of a PC, I’m not expending hours/$$ to maintain them, troubleshooting is a breeze, and Google Apps for Work wraps all of my Chrome assets into a tightly and VERY easily manageable company domain. Any gaps in Chrome products are bridged via Google Cloud Compute which costs me $10/hr when utilized and not a dime if we don’t. We also have UNLIMITED cloud storage and it costs me $10/per user/per month. Last I checked Microsoft didn’t offer something like that at.

            Actually I just checked and they do 1TB per user for $5/month. Not bad, but Google Apps for work has the same plan plus again we have unlimited cloud storage.

            This is just my personal experience with computing on both sides of the fence, and personally I find Googles grass greener.

          • Michael Alan Goff

            Office 365 gives unlimited storage.

          • Wolfie

            You sure about that? When I was comparing MS to Google back in the day they didn’t. I just checked their business pricing plans now and every package states that it’s 1TB per user for file sharing. Am I missing something?

            Google Apps Unlimited is still a better deal, imho. I’ve had issues storing different stuff on my SkyDrive (now OneDrive) back in the day – things like my coding projects, .exe files, .iso, full blown programs, etc.

            I don’t know if it’s changed since then but I should mention that I’m able to store my coding projects, or anything for that matter, on the cloud without any limitations. I believe in the past they didn’t want you to store programs for fear of executing XSS attacks.

          • I appreciate that this isn’t the right comment to reply to, but while modding I spotted a few of your earlier posts in the spam folder.

            Just wanted to apologise and say that the spam filter on Disqus has a mind of its own. None of your comments were manually/intentionally sent there by us.

      • simon gray

        I loathe the online version of word. Limited features and doesnt print for some reason on our network at work. I dont like not knowing where the file is. Seems to be no way to directly edit a local file with it(?)

    • Ice

      Same here, I bought a $300 Windows 8 machine, at first it was fast..keyword WAS. After about 6 months I had to reinstall the OS entirely because it was slowing down to the point where even opening a web browser (IE11) was painfully slow. Then after another 4 months a picked up my ASUS C200 Chromebook for about $190-$200. I turned it on for the first time set up my Wifi, signed it, gave it a run for its money, seeing just how fast I was browsing the web, loading web pages I was literally blown away I could not stop. I loved the feeling of having total control of my Chromebook, not having to worry about viruses/malware/adware/spyware/trojans or anything. Ever since that day ChromeOS has been improved dramatically, packs a punch with new features/UI improvements. I love everything about Chromebooks, I do not think I will EVER go back to a Windows PC again.

  • James Bell

    Chromebooks might be increasing in popularity, but they have no meaningful market share. Calling a PC a Chromebook killer is liking calling an Android phone a Blackberry killer.

    • Wolfie

      James,

      You should look up Chromebooks and their market share in the education sector. I think you’ll see that it’s anything but meaningless. There’s a reason why M$ has changed gears to compete with Google CB (and assorted Chrome products) at this scale and that’s because Google is eating M$’s lunch. I can provide business articles here if you’d like to do some light reading on the matter.

      Android and Blackberry are different platforms. You might as well be comparing apples to oranges. Google has released Android for Work, and I’ve rolled out Android and ChromeOS products for my small business completely doing away with anything windows/BB. You could say that Google Chrome has a place in the business sector as well.

      • James Bell

        Where are the numbers to prove it? Where are the stats for Chrome OS’ market share?

        “Android and Blackberry are different platforms. You might as well be comparing apples to oranges.” Are you serious? Chrome OS and Windows are different platforms but run on the same hardware type (PCs). Android and BB are different platforms but they run on the same hardware type (smartphones). Apparently my comment went right over your head.

      • James Bell

        I’m intrigued, if you have those articles I’d like to see them.

    • DB01

      If that’s the case why has HP and Dell jumped into the Chromebox/Chromebook markets? Because Chromebooks
      are growing at 25%+ per year and Windows based PC/laptops
      have been in a decline for years.

      • James Bell

        Where are the numbers to prove it? Why can I STILL not find any market share numbers for Chrome OS? Nobody has been able to back up these numbers they’ve thrown around, but no, I’m the di**head. That makes sense.

        HP and Dell likely saw potential in Chrome OS (which it does have). I don’t know why they did what they did and neither do you, so their involvement is irrelevant.

        • Wolfie

          Hey James,

          Apologies for the for the late reply. I’ve been busy. Anyways – I’ve replied to your post asking about the numbers twice already with hyperlinks to various business and technology research, sales reports, and projections for 2014 and 2015 for Chromebooks. However, it seems that neither of my replies were approved by the moderators (I’m only guess here).

          Edit: Maybe they don’t allow linking to external sites?

          You’ll find those articles about Chromebook sales, market share/projections at places like:
          Gartner
          Bloomberg Business
          and even here on OMG Chrome – I just saw an announcement on the front page of this sight saying that Chromebooks have taken the top place in sales for the first time (posted some 14 hours ago at the time of this writing).

          In the grand scheme of things the over all market share of Chromebooks may appear small, but keep in mind that Chromebooks came to market in June of 2011. Look up the references above and you’ll see real data showing that sales keep rising with CB taking the the lead it seems (see OMGChrome! front page).

          Really wish my last two replies hit the comments section for you, but I guess this will have to do. =/

          Let me know what you think as I’m eager to hear your thoughts (I mean it. I think you have some good input and would love to keep the conversation going with you).

          Oh, and you’re not a d***head. =)

          On an slightly unrelated note – has anyone seen that new Dell Chromebook 13? That thing is slick!

  • jason

    The cloudbook ins’t locked like a chromebook. One could easily run or install a linux distro or another operating system off of a flash drive. That’s a huge benefit over a chromebook.

    • You can run other Linux distros on the Chromebook too.

      • Communist

        Yes, but it is much more difficult.

        I hate the idea of buying a windows machine myself, i’d rather they ship with no OS, but I can’t deny that this is an easier product to install linux on, natively anywho.

        • simon gray

          true – meant to put comment here not at above comment

          • Communist

            you can delete comments with the little arrow on the top right.

      • Wolfie

        Agreed with the above. I have several Chromebooks and a few Chromeboxes that I’ve, very easily I might add, installed various versions of Linux. Some ‘side’-loaded while others have ChromOS removed and Linux as the primary OS.

        Jason – what you’ve said about Chromebooks being ‘locked’ is 100% incorrect. Look up Chrumbuntu and Crouton.

        • simon gray

          true

    • oldman_60

      You can run Linux in a window of Chrome OS. It runs in a Chrome OS ( Linux) container. Absolutely low overhead.

  • GelisGelis

    Sundar Picai has been elected as CEO of Google.
    Congratulation for Sundar Picai.

  • JWells

    I ditched my Windows PC for a Chromebox and couldn’t be happier. Why would I want Windows back (not a gamer)? I have a Windows 10 laptop just to tinker and remember the good ol’ Microsoft days and run a couple of .exe apps I’m not ready to totally give up just yet. But the better part of my computing/Internet time is on my Asus Chromebox, and the wife loves her Acer Chromebook.

    • JWells

      Yesterday I researched and bought an airline ticket and rental car for my wife. I printed the receipts to PDF files and downloaded them to the downloads folder. I then attached them to an email and sent them to my wife with Gmail, and moved the PDFs to my Western DIgital Passport external drive, all on my ASUS Chromebox. Didn’t need or miss Microsoft at all!

    • David Mulder

      Well, the question is more along the lines: Why would a user switch to a Chromebook if he’s already running windows on his main system. In my experience my 300 euro chromebook runs better than a 600 euro windows laptop, *however* once that’s not true there won’t be anything stopping me from buying a cheap windows laptop again. After all, anything I can run on a chromebook I can also run on a windows PC, but the other way round is not true.

  • simon gray

    Chromebooks arent locked but they certainly are a pain in the butt to get to dual boot properly. I still haven’t worked out how to get rid of OS verification, and I haven’t yet got the thing (Toshiba CB) to dual boot (getting there – I think, progress is slow). IMO if ChromeOS had a proper office suite loaded direct to the harddrive it would be perfect. As it is, the platform is vulnerable to being killed by cheap windows machines. [am I right in thinking Crouton is limited in what distro one can put on?]

    • David Mulder

      You do realize that a quick ctrl+D will skip that startup screen? And using crouton if you need it you have a full linux desktop including libreoffice running in 10 minutes. Honestly, I have (nearly (at one point the new Google Drive introduced a super crappy formula editor, not sure they fixed that, but shortly after that introduction I lost the need to write formulas in Google Drive)) never lacked any functionality in any of the cloud office suits.

  • singlestick

    I would like to try running the writing program Scrivener on a Cloudbook. I don’t think that this product is available for Chromebooks. The performance test would be running Scrivener while streaming music in another tab, while keeping a couple of other tabs open for research, email, etc. I don’t need a powerful PC, and don’t do gaming or run Linux. I use a Chromebook and docs currently, but then have to finish work on a Windows PC. A Cloudbook might work fine for students who don’t need a powerful device. But general performance, battery life, boot times and ease of update are critical, and here Chromebooks may still have an advantage for the average consumer.

  • Rickey Shortt

    Unless Windows 10 is much better and lighter than in the past, running it on a low spec machine with minimal RAM and a mediocre processor is, or will quickly become, an exercise in frustration methinks. Even if that were not the case, I wouldn’t be tempted. I gave up Windows some time ago and rarely even boot up Linux anymore either, except to play around with it or maybe rip a cd or dvd. Even that last task is mostly a thing of the past for me now. It did take a while, and some preparation and adjustment on my part, but I have been able to meet virtually all of my computing needs with the combination of Chrome OS and Android for over a year now. I find it a very pleasurable, frustration-free experience and expect it to only get better as time goes by. But people have different needs and likes and some people may find these cheap Windows machines appealing – at least at first.

    • Ice

      I agree with you 100% I have had my ASUS C200 Chromebook for a good bit now, I only use WIndows 10 for gaming which is not that great. DX12 is not even out for any of the games yet, the only game that I play on my Windows 10 machine is Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. Other than that I am fully engulfed in my Chromebook. Their is literally not maintenance that is needed to be carried out ever, other than the (almost) weekly update that the OS itself which is amazing. Every time you upgrade your Chromebooks OS it is basically a whole new computer but better/faster/stable/secure in every way, plus we get the newest features along side with the OS upgrade. Windows 10 maybe the most used/wanted OS right now but Chromebooks/ChromeOS should not be just passed by.

  • mrpoponz

    The funny thing here is most people will buy these, download the Chrome browser. They will edit their documents in google docs / drive while using gmail. I don’t think google will be too fussed about it. One drawback is the battery life.

  • ParacogSteadham

    I love my Acer C720P for most things. I game in WoW and do digital recording. For those, I have a refurbed Mac Mini I picked up from the Apple Store for $500, which handles those tasks admirably. I spend virtually no time maintaining my computers these days, which is how I think it should be.

  • Speerdo

    I replaced my Chromebook with a 13″ Dell Ultrabook for my work. While it’s a great laptop, there are certain pitfalls when compared to a Chromebook. I’ve already had a run-in with a virus. The boot-time is a bother. Sometimes it relatively fast(15 seconds) other times there’s a windows update and it takes forever(2+ minutes). It’s capable of gaming, but I never use it for such because frankly my desktop is a much better experience, and that’s where all my games already live. I need it to remote into work, but if that weren’t the case, I’d probably sell it and go back to a Chromebook. Point being, this is a laptop the retailed for 4-figures just months ago, and cost me $600 used(which was a steal) earlier this year, and it can’t hold a candle to my $110 Craiglist C720P in many key areas.

    • sggodsell

      You do realize Chromebooks can also use remote clients, they support all the major players, use VPN and more. You should look it up.

      • Speerdo

        Yeah, that’s worth a revisit. I didn’t have any luck with it a few years back, but it’s probably worth trying again. Maybe my company or Citrix have made updates that’ll make it happen.

  • John Hixson

    Why would anyone step backwards and buy this cheapo Windows computer . I guess they are trying to grab people who have never owned a Chromebook because once you have a wonderful Chromebook there can be no going back to crappy Windows. The whole operating system paradigm has shifted with the introduction of Linux and Chromium. I’ve owned numerous Windows computers since 1995 and everyone of them did the same thing. Slowed down and crashed and got viruses and worms and after three years were outdated. People are already having problems with Windows 10.Please people don’t waste your money.

  • DB01

    MSFT sees Chromebooks as a threat and they are doing something about it, but it won’t amount to much since the Chrome OS is still faster, more secure, and cost effective vs Windows.

  • [AFX]

    im open to both platforms and not against any of them. i used to own the samsung ARM chromebook and it was awesome. however, i ended up selling it a year later and picked up an asus t100ta simply because i needed a little more function from a portable computer (i deal with certain applications for my field of work as one example). i still recommend the chromebook to anyone who is looking for a super-simple laptop to use vs having to deal with windows. simple, yet such a capable device too. in fact, i wish i had a chromebook that uses an intel chip instead, just to tinker around with (if possible).

    i dont like the term they used to describe this product (chromebook killer). i think the product is competing in the same category as the chromebook, and i think its great. i used to love my eee pc 701 4g (still own it!). i view these computers as the true netbook successors, regardless of the operating system.

    anyway, the specs are decent for an ultraportable but i wonder how that celeron will really perform. i really like windows 10 and thats nice that this comes with it. or, if you dont like windows, put another operating system on it instead.

  • tiamat2009

    So where are chromebook sales growing? Here in germany all the highstreet retailers have stopped stocking them because, they say, there is no demand, customers are buying tablets instead. I tried to buy one the last month and couldn’t unless I get it from amazon.

    • In US.

    • brian

      that’s weird. At home I ditched all my tablets for chromebooks.
      Organizations are purchasing chromebooks like mad because they are just so easy to administer and recycle (within an organization).

      • Wolfie

        I can attest to that, Brian.

        I’ve deployed full Chrome OS products and suites for my company and the cost savings is ridiculous. In a good way, of course. =3

    • ellett

      In the US, at least, Chromebooks are outselling Windows notebooks.

    • Wolfie

      Yeah CB sales are predominantly in the US. Though I read a Forbes article today that said that sales picked up slightly in select places around the globe this quarter.

  • AdjustinBeaver

    The ASUS X205 didn’t kill Chromebooks, so why will this device?

  • Curtis Mitchell

    I’m not real concerned about a Windows PC vendor releasing a Chromebook killer but I’m glad everyone is trying to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. We’ve seen some interesting basic devices for people who need an appliance and don’t need to spend $800-$1000 just to get them going. I’ve a friend with an HP Stream 11 and she absolutely adores it. I must admit it is a good device for the price.

    This device seems built to make use of Cortana and Microsoft’s cloud services so it could be a very good machine for someone steeped in Microsoft’s eco-system though I still think Windows tablets are the way to go for basic Windows machines.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Oh wow, I wouldn’t mind getting the 14″ one. At least it offers up to 64GB, which is enough for some moderate usage with a Windows machine

    • Jeňa Kočí

      yeah I still wonder if the 16GB 11″ one will even boot :)

  • Motley Blogger

    Whenever MS cuts prices in one area, you can bet it will raise the price somewhere else. Don’t be fooled by this mock “discount.”

    • Wolfie

      I think this is good for Windows. They’ve held a monopoly (debatable with Linux, of course) forever. Healthy competition is good as it breeds innovation, spurs the advancement of technology in this case, and products to market that are more sensible and easy on the budget. I’m all for Microsoft getting a swift kick in the pants. I’m looking forward to what they’ll have coming out in the next few years.

      Of course, seeing as how Chrome OS has come along since 2011. I’m thinking those of us residing on Google’s front lawn have pretty bright futures too. =)

  • Nicholas Conrad

    I’m extremely dubious about these devices. I’ve had an i5 Surface Pro 3 on 10 for 3-4 months, and I just pulled the trigger on my first Chromebook as a result of that painful experience. I’m sure these netbook V2s will go over about as well as netbooks did 4 year ago.

  • Ryan Johnson

    Aspire? Acer is still using that brand? Cloudbook is also an interesting name… I guess I don’t know anything when it comes to product marketing.

  • “But is the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, which is priced from $169 and ships with hardware specs eerily similar to most standard Chromebooks out there, worthy of the often over-used) title?”

    Random parenthesis

    • Rickey Shortt

      You and I both know the answer to that ;-)

      • I was only quoting the article to point out a typo

  • Skunky

    most computer users don’t need more than what a chromebook offers, and people are becoming aware of that. im not gunna buy a windows laptop no matter how cheap they become. the general population only needs these 5 things
    1. a web browser.
    2. documents, spreadsheets and notes, (can use these offline and online)
    3. photo editing. (Pixlr Touch Up – an independent app. not web based)
    4. skype (an online version now available for chrome os)
    5. play simple web based games.

    (you don’t need a windows computer with its hundreds of updates and tons of useless software you don’t need)

  • evildrgnome

    Decent enough for a college laptop…. once you remove windows.

    • Jeňa Kočí

      yeah PeppermintOS or Xubuntu could run happily on this :)

      • evildrgnome

        PeppermintOS I had issues with when I ran it on my Acer C720 (It would not remap or recognize certain keys like the search key and the volume keys). Ubuntu is what I am currently running and it works great.

  • Kenneth Strong Jr.

    I’m assuming this will have built in security like the Chromebooks?

    • Android123

      Nope. It is impossible to have full sandbox type security in Windows like you do in the Chrome OS. I believe the best thing you can do (assuming you have setup normal Windows security measures) is make sure you are using the Chrome browser on your windows machine. Cheers.

  • Android123

    How do people forget so quickly? I have not heard anywhere that Windows 10 is enough more efficient than Win 7 or 8 that it can somehow run satisfactorily on the machine specs that Chrome OS can. Have you tried to use Windows on the reduced spec machines over the last couple years? – – I don’t think it’s going to happen. Besides, I’m now doing ALL my sensitive online stuff with a Chromebook because of the better security. I haven’t been hit with a virus/ransoneware in years, until last week and that PC is running Windows 10 with MalwareBytes and Hitman.

  • +1

  • Mi Pen

    Nope. My next device laptop will be a chrome os device like that new flip version. I’m only still keeping my Windows 7 PC for legacy gaming. I tried Windows 10, went straight back to Win 7 and re skinned it with WindowBlinds.

  • Glacier

    These “cloud ready” windows laptops really miss the point. With those specs why do you need windows? If it is supposed to be a cloud machine why is it running windows? Chrome OS can do pretty much anything that a cheap windows laptop can do and anything the average computer user needs to do but much faster, lighter, hassle free and free of charge forever. Slapping a heavy OS on windows on hardware that was originally for affordable chromebooks in mind doesn’t make sense imo. Just because a device is running a OS that CAN run programs ( which can be covered by the webstore and the chrome browser itself 99 percent of the time) does not mean it is a chromebook killer. There is no chromebook killer because there is nothing out there truly competing with what chromebooks stand for and windows does not count. I will not be using a windows machine after using chrome OS,this OS has me covered with everything I need while having perks I mentioned.

    • The More You Know

      Um, check any ChromeOS forum and you’ll find wastelands of people who can’t find any suitable alternative to programs and apps they need to use.

      Most of Android apps don’t work, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of programs that only run on windows or mac.

      You’re right: this notebook doesn’t compete with Chromebook/what Chromebooks stand for. A closer device would be the Kindle tablets. Low-powered, extremely limited in functionality, bastardized app store, but great at a few focused functions (web browsing on Chrome, media consumption on Kindle).

  • No_Comment_9

    In the event of a malware infection, can a Windows Cloudbook be instantly reset to factory condition (like a Chromebook’s “power wash”) followed by a quick download of the latest OS? That is one of the benefits of using a Chromebook. No hard drive to reformat, and your files are safely in the cloud, on servers defended 24/7 by Google engineers.