Acer, Samsung Ring in the Holidays with Chromebook Announcements

With so many new tablets coming out and Intel making a push to promote its Ultrabook concept, there's another portable device that's been lost in the shuffle. We're talking about Chromebooks, those little netbook--like PCs built around Google's Chrome OS that were supposed to revolutionize how we think about computing and living in the cloud. Well, they're back in the headlines, with both Acer and Samsung serving up separate announcements.

Going in alphabetical order, Acer's big announcement is that it's slashing $50 off the price of its AC700 Chromebook with an 11.6-inch LCD. As of today, the Wi-Fi model goes for a wallet-friendly $299, down from $349, and the Verizon 3G model is now selling for $399, down from $449 previously.

In case you need a refresher, the AC700 sports an Intel Atom N570 processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 16GB solid state drive, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, two USB 2.0 ports, and of course Google's Chrome OS. Battery life is rated at 6 hours of normal use.

Samsung, meanwhile, is looking to spread a bit of holiday cheer by introducing a new Series 5 Chromebook with a Piano Black makeover. This too features an Intel Atom N570 processor, 2GB of memory, 16GB SSD, and two USB 2.0 ports.. It has a slightly larger screen at 12.1 inches and a 4-in-1 memory card reader. The Series 5 Chromebook is available for $350.

In related news, Google said it's "been busy packing a few goodies into Chromebook in time for the upcoming holiday season." These goodies include an overhauled UI with a "fresh, clean login experience," a revamped New Tab page, and a new-look Chrome Web Store.