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Google(s goog) and Acer launched a new Chromebook earlier this week and there are a few differences compared to prior versions of Chrome OS laptops. For starters, the Acer C7 is the lowest price device in this class yet at just $199. And unlike all other Chromebooks, this one has a traditional, magnetic hard-drive with 320 GB of storage capacity, which could be handy as more web apps work offline. You still get a free 100 GB of Google Drive storage with this model and there’s an SD card reader for additional expansion.
So is this essentially a cut-rate Chromebook? Not really, as you can see in my video overview.
Although I’ve only used the new C7 for part of a day, it can certainly fit in my daily workflow: I’ve been using a $449 Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook full-time since I bought it in June. But you have to like glossy displays and be able to live with a 3.5 hour battery life on the C7. I’m not sure I could do that, but that’s a personal preference. Surprisingly, there are some things I like better on this $199 Chromebook: It has an HD front camera and a better keyboard layout that includes a Caps Lock key. And with the 1.1 GHz Intel(s intc) Celeron 847 chip, performance is nearly that of my current device and faster than the $249 ARM-based Series 3 Chromebook.
I’ll have more thoughts as I spend more time with the C7, so stay tuned!