Mike Isaac

Recent Posts by Mike Isaac

Will Acer’s $200 Price Tag Make the Chromebook More Appealing?

Acer pulled back the curtain on the next generation of its Chromebooks on Monday morning, hitting a new low price point for the line of cheap, Google-created netbook killers.

At $200, Acer’s C7 bests Samsung’s recently debuted second-gen Chromebook by 50 bucks, which could sway cost-conscious consumers.

But cutting cost corners has its drawbacks, namely in the hardware department. The C7 comes with an Intel Celeron processor and a traditional hard drive — in other words, more “old-school” components, compared to Samsung’s dual-core ARM-powered book and solid-state hard drive.

So, naturally, it raises the age-old techie question: Can you take the performance hit in order to save a few bucks up front?

For what it’s worth, the laptops aren’t meant to be your primary computer. Since Google first introduced the Chromebook at its I/O developer conference a few years ago, the company has positioned the device as an entry point to Google’s cloud services. Think “retail, enterprise, schools and call centers,” Google SVP Sundar Pichai told AllThingsD when first announcing the second-generation Chromebooks.

As an added bonus, both Acer and Samsung offer free 12-day passes to use Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi service, as well as two years of 100 gigabytes of free storage on Google’s Drive service. Talk about pushing customers to the cloud.

Acer’s new Chromebooks go up for sale tomorrow, available through the Google Play Web store, as well as from Best Buy retailers.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik