In an obvious effort to combat the growing popularity of Chromebooks, Microsoft is helping hardware manufacturers to build low-priced Windows laptops. Microsoft is using Windows 8.1 With Bing, which was unveiled earlier this year, to spread Windows to more low-cost PCs and tablets. The OS is the same as Windows 8.1 except with Bing as the default search engine in Internet Explorer.
HP, Dell and Lenovo are all early adopters, selling these Windows laptops with basic processors and specifications for under $250.00. The laptops have common features such as 1366-x-768-pixel resolution screens, hard drive storage and HDMI ports.
HP is shipping the 15z Value Laptop, a 15.6-in. nontouch laptop, and the Pavilion 10z Touch Laptop, which has a 10.1-in. touchscreen. Both are priced at $249.99 and run on low-end AMD processors. Features include Wi-Fi, up to 500GB of hard-drive storage and a maximum of 4GB of memory. The laptops have a comparatively poor(ish) battery life, with the 15z offering 4 hours and 15 minutes, and the Pavilion 10z offering 4 hours.
Lenovo’s G40 Entry Level Laptop, which has a 14-in. screen, and the G50-30 Entry Level Laptop, which has a 15.6-in. screen, are priced at $249. The laptops come with 320GB hard drives, 2GB of memory and Intel’s Celeron 2830 processor, which is based on the Bay Trail architecture.
Dell’s $249.99 Inspiron 15 Non-Touch laptop has no USB 3.0 port but is instead equipped with two USB 2.0 ports (PC makers often sacrifice some hardware features in inexpensive laptops). The Inspiron is also equipped with the Celeron 2830 CPU, and includes 500GB of storage and 4GB of DDR3 memory.