Nancy Blair, USA TODAY
November 12. 2012 - Google and Acer today announced a $199 Chromebook with an Intel processor and 320GB hard drive.
The Acer 7 Chromebook comes just a few weeks after Google and Samsung launched a $249 Chromebook with 16GB of SSD storage and a Samsung Exynos 5250 processor.
The new machines will be available starting tomorrow in the U.S. through Google Play and BestBuy.com and rolling out through the week at Best Buy stores.
Almost everything you do on a Chromebook is through Google's own Chrome Web browser and the cloud-based Chrome operating system. The machines are marketed as hassle and virus-free machines that start up in seconds. Google says there are thousands of free apps available for Chromebook. And there is tight integration with Google products including Gmail, Drive, Maps, YouTube and Google+.
The machines are meant to be used online although you can access some files offline, including Google Docs and Gmail. The Acer 7 comes with a full-size keyboard. Google says it has 3.5 hours of battery life (compared to 6.5 hours for the Samsung Chromebook).
Here are some other specs for the new Acer 7:
-- 3.05 pounds; one-inch thick (making it heavier and thicker than its Samsung counterpart).
-- HD 1.3MP webcam w/ LED indicator and microphone
-- 11.6-inch screen with an LED-backlit LCD
-- Intel Celeron 847 processor
-- Three USB ports; HDMI port
Acer is aiming at the air travel crowd by throwing in 12 free passes for Gogo Internet access. The passes can be used over two years on domestic U.S. flights.