If you're looking for an under-$200 notebook, you no longer need to settle for a Chromebook. Instead, you can opt for new Acer Windows 10 machines that could help make Chromebooks a thing of the past.
Until now, if you were looking for an inexpensive notebook your best choice were Chromebooks. But because the machines run Chrome rather than Windows, they weren't ideal. That may explain that even though Chromebooks sales have been increasing, they primarily sell to the education market, according to a May Gartner report.
Acer just announced two Windows 10 notebooks that could help make sure that Chromebooks never make serious headway in the non-education market. The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 and 14 are serious machines that both come not just with Windows 10, but with one-year subscriptions to Office 365 Personal and 1 terabyte of free OneDrive online storage. The 11-inch Cloudbook 11 will sell for $169 starting in August, and the 14-inch Cloudbook 14 will sell for $199 starting in September. Given that Office 365 Personal with 1 terabyte of storage sells for $70, the effective price of Cloudbook 11 is $99, and the Cloudbook 14 is $129.
The specs won't knock your socks off, but at that price, they don't have to. The machines should be solid and respectable performers, with 1.6GHz Celeron processors, 2GB of RAM, full-size keyboards and USB, HDMI and SD card slots. There's also a 480p webcam. Screens have 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution. The Cloudbook 11 has an 11.6-inch screen and weighs two pounds. The Cloudbook 15 has a 14-inch screen and weights 3.5 pounds.
The upshot? If you're looking for rock-bottom prices on respectable notebooks, you no longer need to opt for Chromebooks. You can get full-blown Windows 10, along with a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and 1 terabyte of OneDrive storage.