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Acer undercuts Samsung with sub-£200 C7 Chromebook

Google's partnership with Samsung on a low-cost ARM-based Chromebook now has competition, with rival Acer announcing its own partnership on an even cheaper device.

Designed to undercut the £229 device launched by Samsung last month, the Acer C7 Chromebook packs the same Linux-based cloud-powered Google Chrome operating system in a very similar 11.6in laptop. A high-brightness 1366x768 resolution display is included as standard, along with a front-facing HD webcam and an HDMI output for high-definition video. Three USB 3.0 ports are built in to the laptop, along with a single analogue VGA port for older monitors and a card reader supporting SD and MMC format memory cards.

Under the hood, the system packs an Intel Core-family processor - a return to form for Chromebooks, and a significant departure from the ARM processor used in Samsung's latest model - along with 2GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB mechanical hard drive. Connectivity is supplied by a wired Ethernet port or integrated 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. A 4-cell 37Wh battery provides a claimed 3.5 hours of active use.

So far, so standard - but Acer is targeting budget-conscious consumers with its Chromebook, and has priced it accordingly: at £199, the Acer C7 Chromebook is one of the cheapest low-cost laptops available on the market today.

While it's true that the Acer Chromebook is bulkier than its Samsung counterpart, and heavier - 1.38kg for the Acer compared to 1.1kg for the Samsung - its position below the critical £200 mark could mean it steals a march on its higher-priced rival.

The Acer C7 Chromebook is available to buy now from the Google Play store.

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