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Take home a Haswell laptop for £200 with new Chromebooks

Want a laptop packing the power of Intel's latest Haswell processor for £200? Say hello to new Chromebooks from Acer and HP.

Want a laptop for £200? Want a laptop packing the power of Intel's latest Haswell processor for £200? Then say hello to the latest Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are laptops powered by Google's Chrome OS rather than Windows, harnessing the cloud to get things done. The Acer C720 Chromebook and HP Chromebook 11 are the latest bargain-tastic Chrome-domed laptops.

Inside the Acer C720 is an Intel Celeron 2955U processor with up to 4GB of DDR3L. And it's no slouch in the battery department either, taking a licking and keeping on ticking for up to 8.5 hours.

Chrome software coupled with a nimble 16GB solid state drive means the laptop boots up from a standing start in 7 seconds

Inside the 11.6-inch HP Chromebook 11 is a Samsung Exynos processor with 2GB of RAM. One clever feature is that it charges over USB, so it will happily share a charger with your phone or tablet (but not an iPhone or iPad, obviously).

The Acer C720 costs £200, while the HP Chromebook 11 costs less than £230 at Currys and PC World.

The only downside to Chromebooks is that they rely on an Internet connection to do anything, as you carry out tasks online rather than adding apps to the laptop. Still, if you want a portable PC for simple tasks and prefer a keyboard to a tablet, the Chromebook is looking more attractive.

Even as PC sales decline -- thanks to the rise of tablets, the mixed reaction to Windows 8, and the general state of the economy -- Chromebooks are quietly growing. Industry experts reckon sales will more than double to 5m next year, and could rise to 12m sold in 2016.

Is a Chromebook a decent tablet alternative for a friendly price, or is the online requirement a fatal flaw? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.