Acer launched what was quickly dubbed a 'Chromebook killer' recently in the Cloudbook One, a low-cost Windows 10 laptop.
This year's IFA marks the first time we've been able to lay our hands on one, albeit briefly. It's an interesting product for a host of reasons, but the asking price is towards the top of the list.
So, what's it like for that $169 asking price? In our opinion, not bad.
Expectations should be checked at the door. This is a cheap laptop with a low amount of internal storage, with the demo models here having 32GB. The clue is in the name, really, and you're going to be relying on the cloud a fair bit if you're storing a lot of files. If you can live with that, the rest has its charms. Not least the fact that despite the price you're getting a full version of Windows 10. Not Chrome OS which has been so widespread in this segment of the market.
As such you're given the best of what Windows 10 has to offer. From what we've seen (and a warning here, for some reason the demo units were still running an old Insider Preview) there's no massive issues with running the OS.
Hardware wise the Cloudbook One is actually pretty well equipped. The Intel Celeron CPU and 1366x768 resolution display won't set your pants on fire, but they're a means to an end. It's not a very good display in the wider scheme of things at all, but a better display would raise the price and thus miss the point.
The Cloudbook One is very well equipped though. It's got all the major ports you'd want from a laptop with a USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and SD card slot all adorning the exterior of it's compact frame.
As you'd imagine, it's made of plastic, and not particularly premium feeling plastic, either. But, again, price. It's not horrible, and it's a very light machine. The trackpad actually feels pretty good and quite responsive, and the chiclet style keyboard is nothing fancy but has a nice feel to it.
Not wanting to sound like a broken record, but it all comes back around to the price. Starting at $169 for the 11-inch and $199 for the 14-inch, the Cloudbook One offers very good value for money. When you sit it side-by-side with a Chromebook costing similar money, it's hard to see why you'd go Google.