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Acer's new laptops, hybrids set tone for Windows 10-Chromebook battle

Agam Shah | April 24, 2015
A heavyweight battle between Windows 10 laptops and Chromebooks is expected to break out later this year, and Acer will play on both sides with low-priced laptops and laptop tablet hybrids it announced on Thursday.

The low price of Chromebooks have also made it attractive to buyers. Microsoft has been trying to catch up by providing incentives for PC makers to cut the prices of Windows PCs and tablets. One result of Microsoft's efforts is Hewlett-Packard's Stream 7 tablet with Windows 8.1, which sells for only $99.99.

At $199, don't expect the Acer's new Chromebook 15 CB3-531 to be a speed demon, but it should be good enough to meet basic computing needs. In fact, the price matches that of Acer's smaller-screen Chromebook 13, which has an ARM processor and is being sold starting at $199 on Amazon.

The low price of the Chromebook 15 shouldn't come as a surprise as some of the cheapest Windows laptops also have 15.6-inch screens. Most Chromebooks have 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch screens, but some users may prefer the larger screen.

The Chromebook will provide 11.5 hours of battery life. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, SD card slot, and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. It is the second model in Acer's growing line of Chromebook 15 laptops. The other model starts at $249 model with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an Intel Celeron processor.

Acer also announced new Android tablets. The Iconia Tab 10 includes a Gorilla Glass 4 screen, while the Iconia One 8 is designed for entry-level use and gaming.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

 

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