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Acer refreshes Google Chromebook with £199 C7

Better than the Samsung? Diifferent.

Three weeks after Samsung, Acer has upgraded its take on Google's Chromebook laptop, announcing the overhauled C7 model.

Where Samsung plumped for an ARM processor, Acer uses the recently-announced dual-core Intel Celeron 847, running at 1.1GHz, coupled to 2GB of DDR3 RAM.

This is a slightly more conventional PC take on the Chromebook, coming with a 320GB hard drive (Samsung used a 20GB SSD), and the netbook-sized 11.6-inch HD LED-backlit LCD, integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. It's also slightly heavier than the Samsung at 1.36kg.

Connectivity includes three USB 2.0 ports (Samsung helpfully offers a single USB 3.0), and HDMI.

Despite the chip's lowly 1.1GHz clock speed, it should comfortably outperform the previous generation of low-power processors (for instance the Atom) which on paper ran at higher speeds.

Despite its low £199 (and $199) price tag, one issue with the Acer might be the quoted battery life. At 3.5 hours, this is half that claimed for the Samsung which is not much more expensive.

Running the Chrome OS, the C7 boots in 18 seconds and resumes instantly from sleep. The battery life does affect the latter issue; the longer the life the longer the machine can be kept in semi-permanent sleep mode rather than rebooted.

"Today's computer users are doing more online heightening the need for enhanced security, quicker online access and an easy-to-use interface," said Acer's Jim Wong.

"The Acer C7 Chromebook provides all this at an affordable price, making it the right choice for families and students on a budget as well as anyone who wants a new or second mobile PC for web-based computing."

Chrome OS users get 100GB of cloud storage to use for two years free of charge.

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