Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Evaluation of the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook
May 14, 2016


Acer has developed a low cost laptop running Windows 10; a computer where most programs and files are stored in the cloud. An internet connection is required. Prices vary according to the reseller, but most are under $250. This can be an attractive offering for K-12 schools and for others on a budget who prefer the Windows 10 Operating System.

The Cloudbook has a generous 14” screen, Intel Celeron Processor N3050, Intel HD graphics, 2GB of memory, 1TB of cloud storage, and a full qwerty keyboard. Also included, is a one year subscription of Office 365, six months of McAfee virus checker, and Cortana (Microsoft's voice input feature.)

Set-up seemed long. Processing speed appears to be a tad slower than the Chromebook. Screen resolution was excellent. The Cloudbook is lightweight for a laptop and slightly thinner than the Toshiba Chromebook.

The Cloudbook is comparable to the Chromebook. It has access to many free and low cost apps. This is an exceptional buy for those who prefer working under Windows 10. However, after one year, one would have to pay a yearly fee of at least $69 for Office 365. If only occasional word processing is required, it would make sense to install one of the free programs available on the Acer.

Installing the one-year free trial of Office 395 has problems. So far, I have been unsuccessful. There appears to be a problem or conflict with the password required to install Office and the one needed to open the laptop. The password used to unlock the computer is not recognized. The option of changing your password should be avoided, because the new password voids your entry into the computer. Hopefully, a call to support will solve this problem.

Generally, I tend to avoid software programs that charge a yearly fee as is the case with Office 365 and McAfee. Chromebooks come with all the software most people will ever need (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) at no extra cost. Also, virus checkers are not needed as this function is performed in the cloud. The Chromebook apps are well suited for the average computer user. Too often, users purchase more powerful machines and too complex software than what they really need - all at an elevated price.

In conclusion, the Acer Cloudbook is recommended for those looking for a low cost, Windows 10 based laptop. Note that this computer was recently released; some problems are to be expected. Hopefully, the kinks will be worked out soon.