Google and Acer unveil lowest-price Chromebook yet at US$199

13 Nov 2012

The purpose of Google’s Chromebook laptop range is to provide users with accessible, affordable computing solutions, and the tech giant has now topped its previous US$249 Samsung Chromebook with a US$199 model from Acer.

The Acer C7 Chromebook does what one would expect from a Chromebook – operating on the cloud-based Chrome OS, booting up in less than 20 seconds and resuming instantly. The 11.6-inch display sports a resolution of 1,366 x 768 and Google claims the device offers smooth HD video playback.

Built to be a connected computer, dual-band Wi-Fi and Ethernet are built in, but offline apps are available. All the expected Google apps come installed, such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and Google+, and users are offered 100GB of free storage space with Google Drive for two years.

The Acer C7 is powered by an Intel Core processor, offers more than 3.5 hours of battery life, and comes with HDMI and VGA out and multiple USB ports. Though not as sleek in design as the previous Samsung Chromebooks, the 1-inch thick 1.3kg laptop is quite the bargain.

If the sparse, constantly connected nature of Chrome OS appeals to users, no doubt the basic specifications of the C7 will, too. Separate accounts can easily be set up for multiple users and updates for performance and security are rolled out automatically.

So far, these Chromebooks are only available in the US and UK, but Google has said it is working on bringing them to other countries soon.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.