The Acer Chromebook CB3 is now $179 at Amazon.com. There have been cheaper laptops in the past but the CB3-111 is not a piece of crap. This is a stable, productive, 7-hour laptop with a reasonable keyboard. It is a laptop that can be integrated into the business world and education markets just as easily as it can be used on a lap at home. It’s using what can be argued as one of the most stable, secure and clean mainstream operating systems available. It comes with all the software you need plus 100GB of storage, for free. I have one under my fingers right now.
A little perspective is needed, yes, as Microsoft and Google jostle for position in the run-up to the huge Black Friday weekend when, at least in ‘Western’ markets, marketing budgets across the business get together to whip-up a consumer frenzy that results in huge numbers of products being sold in a very short time.
The $179 price might not last but it gives us an idea how Microsoft and their partners will have to position themselves. The $199 Acer E11 (also Acer, also with Intel inside!) Windows laptop is an interesting, enjoyable product (I have the here too) and there’s a lot of momentum for the HP Stream 11 too so will the supply chain decide that Windows products are worth more or will they try to match this $180 price over the next few weeks. Windows laptops are also offering 100GB storage and in some cases they come with Office 365 personal but if Google can marry this price movement with a ChromeOS announcement it might be just what’s needed to get Chromebooks moving in the consumer sector.
If I was responsible for marketing Chromebooks to consumers i’d have a raft of Android apps ready to be dropped into the Chrome Web Store and they would include popular games, a popular messaging platform and a few popular productivity tools.
$180 is the new baseline for low-cost laptops and that’s great news for everyone.
[I’m reviewing the Acer CB3-111 for Notebookcheck.net]