HP Offers Mini Windows PCs as Chromebook Alternatives - Page 2

For its part, Lenovo at the show on Jan. 5 unveiled the latest additions to its ThinkPad portfolio, including the newest ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch Ultrabook. The third generation of the system, at less than 2.9 pounds, is lighter than its predecessors, comes with longer battery life and is powered by Intel's latest 5th Generation 14-nanometer Core processors.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will be available this month starting at $1,249. The latest generation of the system demonstrates Lenovo's drive to stay atop the list of the world's PC vendors despite its efforts in other areas, according to Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing, who noted that the company has sold 100 million ThinkPads since buying IBM's PC business in 2005.

"When we acquired IBM's PC business, we made a promise to not just protect the ThinkPad franchise, but to make it even better, even stronger," he said in a statement. "Now, even as Lenovo expands into mobile devices, servers, and ecosystem and cloud computing, ThinkPad will remain at the core of our strategy and the heart of our business."

Acer officials on Jan. 3 announced the Chromebook 15, the first Chromebook on the market with a 15.6-inch display that is powered by Intel's 5th Generation Core i3 and Celeron chips. Chromebooks—most of which have screens no larger than 13.3 inches—have become an important part of Acer's efforts to grow its PC business; the company has about a 40 percent share of the market, according to Gartner analysts.

Demand for Chromebooks continues to grow, according to analysts. In November 2014, IHS DisplaySearch analysts predicted that Chromebooks would make up 5 percent of notebook PC shipments worldwide by the end of 2014 and that they could reach 12 percent by the end of this year.

"A lower total cost of ownership and the fact that they are very easy to work with and access the Web with are some reasons Chromebooks are becoming more popular," Hisakazu Torii, vice president of Japanese TV market research at DisplaySearch, told eWEEK at the time. "Of course, the PC prices are low and there is a volume discount for commercial organizations and schools, and they offer easier management by corporate IT teams."

Acer officials said several Chromebook 15 models will be available with either a 16GB or 32GB solid-state drive (SSD), and either 2GB or 4GB of memory, with prices in the United States starting at $249.99.