Acer is getting ready to launch a new line of low-cost Windows laptops designed to be priced competitively with Chromebooks.

An Acer Aspire One Cloudbook with an 11.6 inch display will be available in August for $169. A 14 inch model is also on the way.

cloudbook_05

There are already a handful of Windows laptops priced at $200 or less, including the Acer Aspire E11, Asus EeeBook X205, and HP Stream 11. But with a launch-day price of $169, the Aspire One Cloudbook could be one of the most affordable Windows laptops to date.

Acer hasn’t revealed detailed specs for the laptop yet, but it’s probably safe to assume it’ll have a relatively low-power processor, a 1366 x 768 pixel or lower resolution display, and other specs that are commonly found on inexpensive laptops (like small amounts of RAM and storage).

Still, laptops like the upcoming Aspire One Cloudbook could help Microsoft compete with Google in the low-priced laptop space. Laptops with Google’s Chrome OS software sell for as little as $149 and offer a simple user interface, quick start-up times, and a relatively secure experience, since apps run in a sandboxed environment, making it difficult to infect a Chromebook with Malware.

But Chromebooks can’t run native Windows apps, which leads some folks to complain that they’re not real laptops. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been working to make Windows feel just as fast as Chrome OS on systems with entry-level specs… assuming you don’t install dozens of apps which slow down your computer.

Acer, meanwhile, is playing both sides of the field. The Aspire One Cloudbooks will join the company’s low-cost laptops including the Acer Aspire E11 and Aspire V11 notebooks, the Asprie R11 convertible, and 2-in-1 tablets like the Switch 10 and Switch 11. But Acer also continues to produce a wide range of Chromebooks with 11, 13, and 15.6 inch displays and a variety of processor options (and a variety of price points).

via Acer, Windows Central and Venture Beat

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30 replies on “Acer Cloudbook laptops with Windows 10 coming soon for $169 and up”

  1. They had better have some standard HDD options for this one alongside the SSDs. I’m sick of all these budget “Chromebook killers” coming with 32GB disks just to keep things fast and cheap. What’s the point of having a Windows laptop if you can’t fit any of the awesome programs Windows has to offer on it? They could definitely fit at least a 160GB HDD in one of these at the same price point.

  2. An interesting turn of events. This ‘Cloudbook’ idea goes directly in the face of the past several years of Windows marketing against Chromebooks.

    1. I’m not familiar with the marketing, but I would assume part of it referenced the inability to run normal programs. And with its Cloud efforts and “Windows as a service” ideas it’s hard to see how it goes against any trend.

    2. Yes, because they threw Steve Balmer out with the bath water… good riddence, now they can focus on being smart.

  3. I think Microsoft should leave the very low end to Google. These really cheap Windows laptops which will most likely have a miserable user experience will do nothing but make users unhappy. They will most likely blame Microsoft, not their own cheap selves. Microsoft needs happy customers if they want to remain relevant.

    1. I love my ASUS X205. I watch 720p video files on it, which play flawlessly. It only has a 32 GB SSD, but I don’t keep many large personal files on it, and these days I back up major personal things (e.g. photos, videos) onto an external drive. This nifty lightweight (2 lbs) Windows 8.1 notebook with 11.6″ screen runs 10 hours on a full charge, enables me to surf the web with no problems. It’s even ready for Windows 10. It retails for $199, but you can find it on sale for less. I got mine for $99.

      1. My biggest issue with sub $200 Windows laptops is only 32GB storage.

        If they went for $250 and had 64 GB eMMC storage I’d recommend them widely. With only 32GB storage, I recommend the sub $200 machines to no one.

        Problem with the $250-$300 machines is they have traditional HDD instead of 64GB eMMC or SSD.

        1. eMMC is so slow, though. That’s the real issue, if you ask me. SATA III interface is faster.

    2. I too am really liking the Asus X205ta. Sometimes extreme lightness and long battery life trumps processing power. It’s all about consumer awareness. We don’t say “Get rid of extra large jackets because small people will buy them and end up unhappy with them…” If it fits a need, it’s fine. Just know what your particular needs are. These small Windows machines are great for students or writers — decent screens and keyboards, lots of juice, and enough room for a decent writing program or suite. If you don’t need much more than that, they’re a heck of a bargain.

      1. The X205’s thinness and lightness constantly reminds me of the new Macbook, but with full USB ports and at a tenth of the price.

    3. You have never used these new netbook because you are 100% wrong. I got a $60 10″ tablet from Cowboom and it run as well as my work laptop with a c2d from 4 yrs ago. The only real limitation is the ram so you can’t have 10 Chrome tab open. It can handle MS office pretty well and even do basic photoshop.

      1. I suspect he’s thinking of the netbooks from 3-4 years ago. Those were slow, even after adding an SSD.

        1. the new 3735F and above Atoms smoke the netbooks of yesteryear and windows has been optimized a lot better since then. Its not nearly as monolithic and modern programs run surprisingly well on this new class of computer.

    4. Leaving the low-end to Google would be a severe mistake for Microsoft. The market is shifting, because people’s need for computers is shifting.

      A $200 Z3735-powered 11 inch laptop serves 75% of consumer’s needs these days. Why would Microsoft not go after that market share?

  4. Just don’t expect these to perform well running desktop applications. They will do so, but nothing like a “real” laptop or a desktop PC. You’ll almost certainly have tablet-spec hardware there primarily intended to run Metro (er, Store, er, Universal, er, …) applets and web browsing. So the pig will sing, just don’t expect an opera. These replace the ill-fated Windows RT tablets more than anything else. I’m sure Microsoft sees them as smallpox blankets, meant to generate chaos if not diminish the Chromebook community. Consumers who keep those caveats in mind however might find a useful product here.

  5. This might help Microsoft with the people who are buying Chromebooks solely because of their price, but it’s not going to help with the people who buy Chromebooks because ChromeOS better suits their needs. For children, the tech-challenged, and those who just want a good browsing machine, Chromebooks are (and probably always be) a better choice than Windows. Google has out Appled Apple in making a simple, easy to use, bullet-proof, idiot-proof operating system. Yep, ChromeOS has limitations, but for a lot of people they are a nonissue.

    1. Until they grow up and get a job and be like where’s chrome ? Parents this days.

  6. Does this mean that Microsoft is giving Windows 10 licenses for free or at very low cost, like Windows 8.1 with Bing?

    1. It looks like it. I got the Windows 10 reservation notice on my ASUS X205 the other day, informing me that this tiny notebook will be ready for the free upgrade.

      1. I doubt you’ll have the free space to be able to upgrade. I have an X205 and I don’t expect to be able to, even though I have a lot of apps (and all of my Dropbox) on microSD.

        1. Sure you can, just do a clean install once you get the Windows 10 license key from the upgrade offer… and you mainly just need to use an external drive for storing the installation files, direct the backup files be placed on the external drive instead of the internal drive if doing a upgrade, etc. and you’ll be fine…

          Much of the minimum free space requirements is assuming you’re running everything from the internal drive… It’s just easier for some people who don’t want to do anything more than click the okay for the upgrade button… but that’s not the only way you can choose to do the installation for the upgrade…

          Windows 10 even supports compressed installations like the WIMBoot Windows 8.1 tablets with just 16GB drives, and can even be squeezed onto a 10 GB partition with a compressed install…

          1. I was wondering about using the microSD card I have installed, but assuming it was through Windows update and that it would not be possible. Extremetech had an article on it, addressing the new compression scheme, and they didn’t mention external drives being a possibility.

          2. Here’s basically what MS has stated on their forums…

            Windows 10 will use partition switching… If enough space is not available, Windows 10 may expand the system partition to make room for the new OS.

            The Windows.Old Folder can be stored on external medium, if required… If memory is less than 128GB, then the system restore option will be turned off from the beginning of the installation…

            You can upgrade all your computers with only one download, there will be a share option in the network settings which will allow users to take the files from another computer, tablet or phone to upgrade to Windows 10…

            There will be a Go Back button available for 31 days right after the upgrade, in case you want to go back to the previous operating system. This might delete programs that were required to be uninstalled during the migration to Windows 10.

            Windows.old folder stored in media if required can be transferred to another media and it will work…

            If main partition was changed on the system (for example you changed your C drive to a D drive with less space and then created another partition “E” to store your files) you will require fresh installation. Windows 10 will only match known installation paths…

            So, yeah, that all basically means we can use external media for the installation…

        2. you dont even need a clean install. I have an Acer tablet with 2GB / 32GB and yes, earlier developer releases were difficult to install but once they got up to I think 10130 or better, every update has been smooth as silk.

    2. The former, so long as you qualify for the upgrade offer then you will end up with a free, equivalent, Windows 10 License key… as long as you take advantage of the deal within the one year time limit of course…

      Just keep in mind the new License key is equivalent to your old one… Home gets a Home License, a Pro get a Pro, etc. So you can only install the Windows 10 version of your previous OS…

  7. Awesome. Windows vs Chromebook has led to me typing this on a $169 Asus C201 Chromebook which has fantastic build quality and battery life for the price. Time for Windows to step up its game.

    1. How does it feel being stuck in a browser all day while the rest of us have real apps in a real desktop environment?

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