Microsoft’s Surface pushes Acer to be more aggressive about Chromebooks

by: LucianSeptember 17, 2012
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Microsoft’s entering the tablet business with Surface hasn’t really made them any friends in the Windows ecosystem. In fact, the majority of the manufacturers were quite angry with them, especially since the Redmond company didn’t even tell their hardware partners about Surface except a few of the major ones like HP and Dell. And that’s only two days before the launch event. If Microsoft doesn’t want to compete with them, then why were they so secretive about Surface in the first place?

Acer  had been one of the companies to be the most vocal about their critique of the Surface, blasting Microsoft over its decision to suddenly become a tablet-maker. Now they want to show Microsoft that they’ve got an alternative in ChromeOS, so they’re going to heavily promote their next-gen Chromebooks supposed to come out this October.

Acer hopes to sell about 200,000 Chromebook units monthly, and will use their Chromebook line to replace the Windows-based netbooks. It seems the netbook is an ailing product line, as users are not so keen on purchasing these under-sized, under-powered notebooks anymore, with the popularity of tablet alternatives. Major PC manufacturers have seen their sales of netbooks decline rapidly.

The question is this: if $300-$500 Windows netbooks aren’t selling anymore, what makes Acer think $300-$500 Chromebooks will?

I’ve always thought Chromebooks were a $200 kind of device, because even though you may want higher performance for browsing, at the end of the day, it’s still a browser-only machine. And so, paying $300 more for a higher performance machine just to browse a little faster isn’t easily justifiable.

If Google were to stop making favors to Intel, maybe the price of the Chromebooks would come down to $200 a lot faster, especially since Chromebooks have absolutely no need for x86 chips, as they don’t use legacy applications. I’m still hoping to see some dual core Cortex A15 Chromebooks this fall, but that might not happen through Acer, as I doubt they got to make a deal with Samsung for its Exynos 5 Dual chips.

So the last chance is for Samsung to make such a Chromebook. There have been some rumors about it this spring, but it remains to be seen if an Exynos 5-powered Chromebook will actually show up on the market.

  • Aeon Cipher

    Your statement about chromebooks not needing x86 processors makes me question if you understand what plans google has for software on chromebooks.

    • Chromebooks are only likely to shift to ARM after Portable Native Client is out for full release. Hopefully this will happen at the end of this year.

  • yeomandroid

    Let the snivel and try to put lipstick on a pig–Chromebooks are horrible in performance and capability. Intel Atom is a POS!

    • The new Chromebooks have i3 class processors and Intel HD3000 graphics processors. They are not games machines, but they are very fast at doing everything they need to do – similar level of performance to the 2011 11.6″ Apple Mac Airbook (or at least the Samsung 550 Chromebook is). Acer’s will probably be similar.

  • I know this sounds like a bit childish but I really hope this kills off Acer.
    I work in a IT shop and I freaking want to cut my wrists every time someone tells me they have an Acer and it’s having problems. For once I’d like someone to tell me that they buy Acer because they “Are just so reliable” and not because “They are so cheap.”
    This company and been cutting corners for as long as I can remember and they don’t deserve to be in the market if you ask me. They keep saying that they want to create high quality products like Apple and it makes me laugh and get frustrated. That company shouldn’t have a hard time competing in the PC industry and yet….

    In other words to put it nicely, they should be forced to work with there own products for the rest of there lives as punishment for the crap they produce.

    • This is probably why Samsung has monopolized sales of Chromebooks despite the fact that Acer’s offerings were cheaper. The bottom line is that Google is marketing Chromebooks mainly for the education and business markets. These are all driven by TCO rather than sticker price, and they simply will not buy cheap and shoddy netbooks of budget Windows laptops, as the repair costs and reduced productivity drive up the TCO. I hope Acer has figured this out.