NEW YORK (AP) — Google is unveiling its cheapest Chromebook laptops yet, two versions priced at $149 aimed at undercutting Microsoft's Windows franchise and gaining an even stronger hold in school and overseas markets.
Google began working with various PC manufacturers to design the lightweight laptops in 2011. The newest versions are made by Hisense and Haier. Hisense's Chromebook can be ordered beginning Tuesday at Walmart.com and Haier's version can be bought at Amazon.com.
Their arrival coincides with Microsoft's rollout of a lower-priced Surface tablet in a bid to expand its market share.
Unlike most computers, Chromebooks don't have a hard drive. Instead, they function as terminals dependent on an Internet connection to get most work done. Despite those limitations, Chromebooks have been steadily gaining in popularity, particularly in schools.