Google releases 11.6-inch, $199 Chromebook from Acer

The C7 Chromebook gets 3.5 hours of battery life and will be available starting tomorrow.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
The Acer C7 Chromebook.
The Acer C7 Chromebook. Google

The Chromebook family of devices welcomed its cheapest member yet into the fold today when Google announced an 11.6-inch netbook from Acer for $199.

The Acer C7 Chromebook joins the Samsung Chromebook and Samsung Chromebook 550 in the current lineup of computers running Google's cloud-based Chrome operating system.

The latest model boasts an Intel processor, full-size keyboard, and clickable trackpad. It has a 320GB hard drive and 100GB of additional storage, free for two years, on Google drive. The C7 boots in 18 seconds and gets 3.5 hours of battery life, Google says.

There are trade-offs involved with the low price, though. The C7 gets three hours less battery life than the Samsung Chromebooks, which start at just $50 more. It's also thicker, boots slower, and lacks the 3G capabilities of the Samsung 550.

Still, at $199, the C7 could prove tempting this holiday season for consumers who do most of their computing online. Google is marketing the device as easier to share than conventional laptops, since users log in with their Google accounts and will see only their own files when they do.

The C7 goes on sale tomorrow in the U.S. on the Google Play store, at BestBuy.com, and in some Best Buy stores. In the United Kingdom, shoppers can find it at Google Play, Amazon UK, PC World, and Currys. It will be coming to more countries "soon," Google said.