What's the Acer Cloudbook One like for $169?

Acer Cloudbook
Acer Cloudbook

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.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

70 Comments
  • Sooooo does it come with any extra OneDrive storage or just whatever you already have as an MS account holder.
  • Nothing mentioned. But since this is Windows 10 you don't even need to constrain yourself to Microsoft ;-)
  • I've never understood why would someone squander their investment on something like a Chromebook Pixel. $1000 for a chromebook.
  • Except for the price, maybe, everyone would say the same about Windows RT (which I use and love, tho)... RIP Windows RT :-(
  • Windows RT was more functional than a chromebook though.
  • And died faster than CB Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 4 years old right here and works perfectly fine. Chromebooks are garbage and Windows RT was always far more functional than a bloated, RAM-hogging, battery draining browser.
     
  • Hate is strong with this one. Chrome OS was fairly lightweight and snappy imo.
  • never Really... just Look at IOS and Windows, they are the true lightweight and snappy OSs.
  • ROFL at iOS being "lightweight". iOS 8 is over 5GB installed.
  • Of course it was light. After all, all your system's resources are directed only to a browser.
  • Haha you haven't tried it have you. Such piety insults you use.
  • Surface and Surface 2 tablets (Windows RT) are still sold by Microsoft outside US, you should do research first before spreading FUD on the Internet.
  • Not really. It just became Windows Mobile. That said, IMHO Microsoft is making a HUGE mistake by not upgrading Windows RT devices to Windows Mobile 10. It's already built and optimized for ARM, just deploy the fucking thing!
  • Agreed. Windows RT is more functional than a chromebook, by far. For starters it has lots and lots of usability beyond the browser. And also has access to the file system. That trumps Chromebook over...
  • Three words...plug and play. Windows wins because of that.
  • Plug and play? Welcome to 2005. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • ChromeOS has less desktop marketshare than OS X OR Combined Linux distributions, it should be 2016 the year that Google gives up on ChromeOS, its simply not a good solution for giving good education tools to our kids.
  • And yet all tech sites (except WC, of course) still appreciate it and call it a success. I wonder what they would have said if Microsoft would have made an OS out of their browser. A**hole, biased websites..
  • I had a good look at the Chromebook (supporting it for a friend of mine) - and it is a piece of, well nothing really - I can't put my finger on it, because there isn't anything in it to put a finger on. Google and apple sell some things these days which is simply amazing, heads down to them for the marketing or whatever it is they're doing.
  • I would rather buy something like this rather than a Chromebook. I don't understand how that piece of crap is even called an OS. I can just download the browser on Windows and do EVERYTHING I can on Chrome OS.
  • Right. A user if he doesn't want Windows for some reasons can better install Fedora.
  • Chromebooks are about the closest you'll get to idiot-proof computers. You'd never catch me on one but there is absolutely a market for it: little kids, older people who just check their emails and anyone who is a very casual computer user. Anything beyond that tier should look elsewhere though.
  • Chromebook is not suitable even for a very casual computer user..
  • Yep, Chromebooks are pretty idiot-proof. But Windows 10, with automatic updates, built in virus protection, the Windows store and Chrome support.... that might be just as idiot proof.
  • Nope. Not at all. Still the majority of malware and viruses are targeted at Windows users and Windows 10 hasn't changed that. So wish my parents had Chromebooks. They wouldn't need my support at all. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Little kids have no cloud account, or at least should have none.
  • Why not? They make kid sized tinfoil hats! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • it isn't actually (idiot proof) - I had to explain (the emphasis on 'had to' :)) things like "where are my icons gone now" etc. etc. Frankly for such a "piece of nothing" I'm amazed at how much "issues" it had (talking about entry-level users)
  • I think the usability would increase by far when/if Microsoft implement placeholders for Windows 10 and OneDrive… Before that it should be pretty useless?
  • Yep, pretty much. With a 32GB system drive, you'll be housing the Windows 10 OS, essential Windows Updates, and all of your apps (if /until MS releases the Install to SD feature). I'd imagine that even a free 15GB OneDrive account would be hard-pressed to keep all of your folders synchronized. How is Microsoft ignoring this still?
  • I agree with you there. Seems pretty useless without the the placeholders. Although, saying that, the people that buy these aren't exactly going to be power users, more like people who want a tablet without touchscreen.
  • Yes, that would certainly help with this machine
  • Yep... Can't put OneDrive on the sd card either. My to hp streams feel the pinch just being used for school documents.
  • You can put the OneDrive folder on an SD card. I have done it on my HP Stream 7.
  • Directions please. Every work around I've tried and found has failed on windows 10. Even the ones that used to work on windows 8.1.
  • Create empty folder where you want to sync Onedrive. Mount SD card to folder.
  • That doesn't work in w10. Does once then looks you out. Tried on two machines, different builds, then final. Never worked.
  • This a PERFECT replacement for the old Asus netbook my highschool student is using. Perfect for schoolwork. 
  • Shop around, this will be offered with a year's worth of Office 365 freeb.
  • I think its better to get this rather than a chromebook.....
  • These laptops have super slow internal memory
  • Well it's not as fast as what you'd get in the 500-1000 dollar range.
  • Like what do you expect?  So if you get a $169 hooker it will look and perform like a $700 hooker? get outta here
  • People will complain if Microsoft gave them a free $1000 escort for the night
  • "...is pretty well equipped. The Intel Celeron" Lol
  • Well, look at the unbiased reviews on the HP Stream 14", its a nice laptop with Celeron (BayTrail) and it works really well for some people that don't need a PC for doing productivity stuff. Its a consumer device, good if you plan it to browse the web, read email, use Office, thats it.
  • think of it as an iPad counterpart with windows. Celeron is much better than Apple A# CPUs. Waiting just a little more will set you up with a propper x7 cherry trail or Core m7 CPU which is even better.
  • I have a Windows 7" tablet for my little daughter with just 16GB of storage, a few points if you plan to have a device with so low storage like this cloudbook with 32GB of storage 1) Prepare to turn off Windows Update/Windows Defender 2) If you use this device for a kid, make sure to give him parental control - non administrator account so your kid doesn't try to install Disney Infinity 2.0 which occupies 5GB of storage and Project Spark which occupies about 3GB of storage. 3) Having so low storage makes you think you can uninstall software, please don't, one time I started to delete programs, and one of that program was the camera driver, I could not found my camera driver online so I had to do a restore to factory settngs to get my camera driver back. 4) Download and install TreeSize free and Ccleaner, these programs can help you to keep about 4GB of free storage if you don't install games or software on the system 5) Go and do a bing search to understand how to delete hiberfil.sys to get about 1.6GB of storage of back and 6) And never, never delete the restore partition, if you do and your system cannot recover, you will need to give this device back to Acer so they can create a USB stick with all the drivers to do a factory format which is geek stuff.
  • This is Windows 10 with Bing ?
  • lol
  • Too expensive at least here in Europe with a price tag of ~270€ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I compare Small Notebooks always with my Surface pro 3 and sometimes Theres are a Lot of Things both Devices can Do quite well, except the SP3 - Most of the time- completely kills it
  • The SP3 price would definitely kill it. If someone's considering this device, then the SP3 is not something they'd consider.
  • Who even makes such a 80's resolution displays anymore? These hipster displays are probably more expensive to source than modern ones.
  • I am all with windows on that one. The functionality of all ports and the cloud there is nothing better. The price is the best part!
  • Nah I'll go with a Chromebook
  • That $200 14 inch version will be a good buy.
  • Whats that in USA dollars?.is it worldwide release interested in 14 also! 
  • Hey, the price is given in the above article, it is 200 USD for 14 inch, North America release is September and Worldwide release in october, for detailed specs check this acer website link: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/press/2015/162099
  • Whats specs like weight? 
  • Weight is 1.15 KG for 11 inch and 1.6 KG for 14 inch, check out detailed specs on Acer website: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/press/2015/162099
  • I would get one if the screen was IPS.
  • so it's an HP Stream 11 without touch. I'll keep my HP thanks.  
  • It should not be necessary to mention that the CPU and screen resolution "won't set your pants on fire" when discussing a $169 device.  Do people really expect to have a fantastic performance and display for such a low price? I don't think so.  They should coin a name for these type of machines. For example, "lightweight" computers. That way we already know that the device "won't set your pants on fire" because we will align our expectations with the name of the device category. 
  • What's to stop anyone from dropping in a decent SSD? Unless it uses NAND or something? And how is OneDrive going to work if you have existing files that exceed 32GB?
  • This is something for my nephews. My sisters have been telling me no more toys and instead stuff they can use for school for birthdays and Christmas regardless of their wishlists. Haha. Lucky they asked for XBOX ONE last time.
  • "for some reason the demo units were still running an old Insider Preview"
    but WHY ? :))) uff
  • Acer sucks, i had an acer and i had friends and family that have had acers and they all sucked my suggestion..... never my an acer for anyreason... acer sucks
  • You can get a (refurbished) ASUS notebook with 500GB hard drive (which you can swap for an SSD), a faster Celeron (2.16Ghz), a 15.6" display and 4GB RAM for roughly the same price (in Canada, anyhow).  Not sure why anyone would buy this Acer device when there's better alternatives. The model is F551MAV-DB02-B and you can find it at Newegg.