With netbooks, tablets, and ultrabooks now kicking around in e-tail listings, it's not entirely obvious how Chromebooks fit into the picture. At least they're getting more affordable over time, though. As Lilliputing points out, Acer's AC700 Chromebook has dropped in price from $349.99 to $299.99. That's with free shipping.
The new price puts this machine in the same league as your typical 10-inch netbook with Windows 7 Starter. The Acer AC700 is different, though. It has a larger, 11.6" display with a 1366x768 resolution, and it has a faster processor: Intel's Atom N570, which packs two Hyper-Threaded cores clocked at 1.66GHz. The AC700 also features only 16GB solid-state drive. That might be enough for Chrome OS, which is essentially a glorified web browser, but it's a little on the light side for most other operating systems.
None of that answers the question of whether the system is a bargain at $299.99, of course. I suppose the Chrome OS software makes it a nice, fool-proof solution for someone only moderately computer-literate. At the same time, the AC700 has to vie for attention with entry-level tablets like Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's $249 Nook Tablet, which could be more appealing to users who don't need a hardware keyboard.