Google and its hardware partners are finally solving the Chromebook pricing problem — but at what cost?

Today, Acer announced the C7, a $199 Chromebook that comes with a 11.6-inch display and 18-second load time. But it has one huge, potentially deal-breaking number in its feature set: it’s 3.5-hour battery life.

While giving the C7 a small battery helps keep it cheap, this also means that owners will rarely use the device without its power cord nearby. That makes it difficult to call the C7 “portable” on any level. And it also makes me wonder what in the world Acer was thinking when they designed the thing.

Stranger, still, is that  C7 comes with a 320GB hard drive, which is a bit excessive for a device that’s almost entirely reliant on the cloud. For comparison, Samsung’s new Chromebook comes with a 16GB solid state drive, which is small, but far more reasonable considering the device’s intended usage.

In short, while $200 is an attractive price, the C7 is definitely not an attractive device. At least so far.

As with the Nexus 7, Nexus 4,  the C7 will be sold starting tomorrow in the increasingly crowded Google Play Store.

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