What is a Chromebook if it doesn't run Chrome OS? A Cloudbook, apparently. That's what Acer's calling its latest Windows 10 laptops, two inexpensive machines with the kind of minimal storage space and modest hardware you'd normally associate with Chromebooks.
The Aspire One Cloudbook comes in 11-inch and 14-inch varieties (both 1366 x 768) and uses an Intel Celeron processor with 2GB of RAM. The 11-inch model is available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and the 14-inch model can be loaded with 32GB or 64GB. Both versions are 17.9mm thick. Acer includes a one-year subscription to Microsoft's Office 365 Personal and 100GB to 1TB of OneDrive storage depending on the model.
Of course, since these Cloudbooks run Windows 10, they're basically just regular laptops with low storage space. Unlike a Chromebook, they won't stop you installing Steam or other Windows apps as long as you can make them fit. But it's intriguing to see Acer, one of the premier Chromebook manufacturers, use similar language to position and market its Windows machines. Google's cloud-first Chromebook approach may be resonating with consumers at the low end of the market.
And one thing likely to resonate about Acer's Cloudbooks is their price — the 11-inch model will be available this month from $169, and the 14-inch version is coming in September from $199. You're not going to get top performance, build quality, or display resolution for your money, but that's aggressive pricing that even manages to undercut low-end laptops like the HP Stream. The race to the bottom continues.