Windows laptops gearing up to battle Chromebooks for low-end supremacy

Return of the netbook? Microsoft partners plan for holiday assault
Acer Aspire ES1

Despite grumbles from traditional PC users, low-end Chromebooks are starting to take off—and Microsoft doesn’t want to give away that portion of the notebook market entirely to Google and co.

At its Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington, D.C. today, Microsoft brought out chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, to share news that lower-priced Windows laptops are due out later this year to try and disrupt the rise of Google’s cloud-centric devices.

According to The Verge, HP will offer a laptop for just US$199 (about RM633) this holiday season, which it refers to as a “Stream” device but offered no other details. The company will reportedly also have 7in and 8in Stream devices for US$99 (RM315) this fall, which has us wondering exactly what you’ll get for that tiny sum of money.

Meanwhile, Toshiba will have an 11.6in laptop—that has a 32GB SSD and weighs in at 2.4 pounds—selling for US$249 (RM792). Microsoft also pointed out that Acer already has a top-selling model out at the latter price: the Acer Aspire ES1 (pictured above), which packs a 2.16Ghz Celeron, 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a 15.6in display.

“We’ve got a great value proposition against Chromebooks,” said Turner. “We are not ceding the market to anyone.”

Microsoft likes to point out the deficiencies of a Chromebook compared to a standard Windows-centric PC—like the inability to run native apps or the full Office experience—but it remains to be seen whether these lowest of the low-end options prove capable enough to reliably do everything the company says they will.

[Source: The Verge]

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