Did Acer Just Announce a Cloudbook?

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 51 Comments

Did Acer Just Announce a Cloudbook?

Microsoft and Acer are promoting a number of new Windows 10 PCs today. And of them—a low-end laptop that’s arriving in June—looks an awful lot like a Cloudbook. Meaning, a PC running Windows 10 Cloud.

You can see the full list of new Acer PCs at Microsoft’s Windows Experience Blog, along with a separate post about coming Acer gaming PCs.

But the very first PC on the list really stands out, given the recent rumors about Windows 10 Cloud. As Mary Jo Foley reported recently, this coming new generation of Windows 10-based Chromebook competitors will apparently require a minimum of a quad-core Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of eMMC (or faster) storage.

The PC that Acer just announced? It features an Intel Celeron or Pentium processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 GB eMMC storage.


Further interesting: It will cost just $219 when it goes on sale in North America in June. And that, folks, is Chromebook pricing.

I think we’re looking at a Cloudbook. Or whatever Microsoft and its partners call this coming generation of low-end, education-focused PCs that will run Windows 10 Cloud (final names TBD).

Other specs on this interesting new Acer include a 14-inch display, 11ac Wi-Fi, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet, and battery life of up to 9 hours. The weight is 3.6 pounds, which isn’t fantastic, but customers also get a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which of course includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.

Seems like it would be, um, perfect for a student. Who, you know, goes to school. And studies. And stuff.


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Comments (51)

51 responses to “Did Acer Just Announce a Cloudbook?”

  1. MikeCerm

    So, is Windows 10 Cloud just Windows 10 Pro (for Active Directory manageability), but locked down to Store apps only, basically like a Chromebook? If so, that's kind of a brilliant way to take on ChromeOS, but also bit of a disappointment. I mean, Edge is barely usable as a browser, and there are plenty of reasons anyone might want/need to install a non-Store app or two. Telling these people "you can upgrade your $200 laptop to Windows 10 Pro for another $200 if you want to run a decent text editor" will certainly ruffle a few feathers.

  2. maitrishah

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  3. aelaan

    Everything so far that I have seen with these upgraded netbooks, cloudbooks, slow pieces of "garbage books" is that they never meet any of the expectations. "Oh, this is ideal for students?" Is it? Every 5 year old or younger has a powerful tablet that runs a different operating system than Windows, be that right or wrong that kids that young are spoiled rotten. What do teenagers care about Windows when Apple is the craze in North America or some sandal trotting alternative running ChromeOS or Android (I know very stereo typical). You can offer alternatives but as long as there are 2,000 makers of crap hardware competing against one brand name it does not matter to a kid what OS is running as long as they can have Facebook, Snap and PokemonGo (or fill in the apps kids use these days). "My Acer is better than your Asus or HP or your Insignia" is not what you will hear in schools (there is another old fashioned concept). What you will hear is: Can you facetime me? What, you do not have iMessage?" Until the platforms unite Windows is, and will always be, third and hardware wise the market is such a mess that there is no way to say anything positive about it. Go ahead bring your Windows to school, instead of learning something you'll be tinkering the whole freaking day because the infrastructure is just different enough to keep you out, deal or no deal.

  4. Waethorn

    The Cloudbook PC spec from Microsoft has been around for a while. Acer shipped the Aspire One Cloudbook back in 2015. It's only being publicly addressed now because of the launch of Windows 10 Cloud (or whatever it's going to be called). What's really sh*tty about it is that Cloudbooks up until Windows 10 Cloud would always have full Windows 10 features. They would just have the discount-priced Windows 10 Home. Cloudbooks are the laptop spec for ULCPC's for OEM's to get said discount licensing.

  5. chrisrut

    Actually, depending on the specific limitations of Windows 10 Cloud - and I'm not wishing for the moon here - this could be veeeeeery interesting for remote workers....

  6. Jorge Garcia

    No matter what the price, it's 100% undesirable to normal people and millennials unless or until the Google Play Store/Android App Store is on it (or Apple App Store, but that's a non-starter of course!). It's high time for the big boys to see what their real weakest link is and start doing what some Chinese OEM like ONDA and D2 are already doing...ship these cheapie laptops with Phoenix OS, not that "dinosaur" known as Windows.

  7. Bats

    Huh? LOL...it doesn't mean a PC running Windows 10 Cloud. Seriously, is this supposed to be new news? Acer has had "Cloudbooks for (as far as I know) over a year now. If you want proof, just go Groupon and search for "Cloudbook." When you do you'll see a Acer Cloudbook for $119. LOL...that's $100 lower than the "interesting" price Paul mentions above.

    What's funny, is that Paul thinks he breaking news here. Maybe he IS, to an ill-informed fanbase, but this stuff has been out for a while.

    And that folks is the real news.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Bats:

      Whether Paul is overloading the term "Cloudbook" or not, the article was speculation that the new Acer laptop might be one that runs Windows Cloud. If you really believe that Paul was talking about Acer's old laptop named "Cloudbook" for no obvious reason (since it had no more connection to the cloud than any PC on the planet.) you are the one who is ill-informed.

  8. Detective Polarphant

    Thinking about the viability of this Windows 10 Cloud product, it might have some chance if not only you can upgrade them to Windows 10 Pro later, but schools could downgrade existing Windows 10 computers to Windows 10 Cloud. This would speed up adoption - without that option it would take too many years for schools to be able to adopt Windows 10 Cloud with all new computers.

  9. JaneSmith76

    Actually, depending on the specific limitations of Windows 10 Cloud - and I'm not wishing for the moon here - this could be veeeeeery interesting for remote workers....

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  11. wingsio

    True, the laptop is affordable and features enough for basic needs


  12. TomWZ

    Yes this laptop is fantastic.

  13. Maxpayne

    Are the cloudbooks really a reliable one? What if it really doesn’t sync well due to crappy internet connection, wouldn’t that seriously affect our work in a negative manner? And I don’t think you will get a satisfaction like you work on normal laptops.

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  16. sarahevans

    this is the awesome laptop

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  18. Jack Smith

    Hard to imagine Windows gaining traction in education.  I have been fighting a Windows machine that keeps telling me to not turn off while it updates and then just hangs saying doing 1 of 3.

    Ran out of out disk space on my system disk and found all kinds of crazy stuff eating up the disk from MS like 1000s of CAB files. Can I delete?

    This is a total and utter joke compared to Chromebooks. Updates happen in background and you do NOT even know. You boot you get the new version completely transparent to the user.

    There is ZERO chance the schools want to return to the Windows horror show, IMO.

    • James Wilson

      In reply to Jack Smith:

      I love it when people use old examples to justify the benefits of a newer technology e.g.

      Windows is rubbish is because it doesn't come with TCP/IP. You have to install Trumpet Winsock and mess around with .ini files. My Android device is so much better... etc etc

      The whole point of Chromebooks' is they are easy to administer. They didn't really take off because they couldn't run Windows software. Now Microsoft are going to announce Windows Cloud, Chromebooks become obsolete. No 'cab's, you can only download apps from Windows Store, so they are sandboxed for the OS, can easily be installed and reinstalled etc, teachers can configure users, software etc from a cloud based control panel and so on.

      Who in their right mind would want kids learning on a system designed for mobile? Why not learn on a product extensively used in business and academia. Chromebooks response - yea - well we can run Android software too! <slaps forehead>

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Jack Smith: You're exactly right. There is no way schools are going back to the freak show that is windows. It's not Microsoft's fault really, and I PERSONALLY love my Windows machines, but for average people, it is nothing but antiquated garbage.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Jack Smith:

      Many schools don't need to "return" to Windows because they never left. Having said that, the only significant benefit I see for Windows Cloud over a Chromebook is printer support. Schools are probably the last place where you are going to find networked printers.

  19. wshwe

    MS should throw in a lifetime subscription to Office 365 Personal.

  20. skane2600

    Could be a Cloud Book, but the evidence is pretty weak. You can easily buy a Windows laptop for less than $200.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to skane2600:

      Those ARE Cloudbooks. The Cloudbook spec from Microsoft has been around for a while.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Waethorn:

        You may be right, but these specs aren't unique in any way that I can see. The only definitive specification would be something like "OS: Windows Cloud". Perhaps we are talking about different things. In the context of this article, "Cloudbook" is defined as a laptop that runs Windows Cloud. If there were other laptops that the manufacturer called "Cloudbooks" it isn't really relevant to this discussion.

  21. VasiS

    "battery life of up to 9 hours"

    That doesn't look that good (or) in the Chromebook range. is it? If advertised is 9hrs, the real battery life will be far less than 9hrs.

    I guess, we'll need to wait for Windows on ARM to see much improved battery life.

  22. skramer49

    How can Apple or even Google expect to compete in the education market when students can get a device with Office and that much cloud storage at such low cost? Even if schools continue to rely heavily on Google docs as a sharing platform, this device sounds like a real game changer, platform-wise.

  23. MalcolmH

    Yes, last year Acer has released a range has called the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, unfortunately predates Windows Cloud, this is the latest line in them. It is aimed at the Chromebook/netbook market.

    The current range has an Intel® Celeron® N3050 processor Dual-core 1.60 GHz at this price point.

  24. MalcolmH

    The Windows store can still install win32 apps. A business/school can have their own corporate store page and allow installs from that with the O/S restricted from installing other apps from a security/profile setup.

    The store currently has the full Adobe Photoshop elements win32 app and it takes advantage of store apps being able to install on up to 5 devices.

  25. polloloco51

    I have to say, I think a version of Windows where people can only install either desktop programs or modern programs, through a centralized store, is well needed! I have seen so many unwitting people download and install programs from the web browser, that are either malware, or junkware, and breaks their computer.

  26. bbold

    Great news! Let's also hope these Cloudbooks come with a "quick reset" type power-wash button for teachers who are not IT pros.

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