Acer ships first Chromebook in U.S.

With only 16GB of storage, the $349 AC700 Chromebook laptop is designed for people who rely on Web-based computing

After a short delay, Acer has started shipping its AC700 laptop with Google's Chrome OS in the U.S., priced at $349.

The AC700, which has a 11.6-inch screen and Intel's Atom N570 netbook processor, is designed for people who do most of their computing on the Web. This is Acer's first laptop with Chrome OS.

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Google announced that Acer and Samsung would sell Chromebooks -- or lightweight laptops based on the Chrome OS -- in May. Samsung has already started selling Chromebooks, with prices of Wi-Fi models starting at $429 on Amazon.com.

The $349 AC700 includes Wi-Fi capabilities. The company has yet to ship the AC700 with 3G capabilities, which will become available in mid-August, according to Amazon.com.

The laptop boots up in around 10 seconds, and can run for up to six hours with a six-cell battery, Acer said. It weighs around 1.34 kilograms (2.95 pounds) and is an inch thick. Included in the laptop are a 1.3-megapixel webcam, an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port to connect external displays, 16GB of solid-state storage and 2GB of RAM.

The OS provides options to connect to Google-based cloud services including Google Docs and Calendar.

The launch of the laptop comes as Acer tries to increase its focus on tablets and PCs with new operating systems. Acer has been hurt by the slower-than-expected growth in the PC market globally with the onslaught of tablets. Though Acer is putting more resources into developing tablets, the company has reiterated its commitment to developing PCs.

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