Cheap Windows PCs are already beating Chromebooks

The Cornerplay has made some crazy predictions we know, some of them involving Chromebooks. We’ve long argued that in comparison to Windows PCs, Chromebooks sell only because of price and that Microsoft’s efforts to lower the cost of Windows PCs will be effective.

Chromebooks are in the news again because HP is launching the Stream 14 for $200, a Windows laptop the press is designating as a Chromebook killer. This laptop will probably be powered by Windows 8.1 with Bing, a version Microsoft is providing free to OEMs in exchange for Bing as the default search engine. The Stream 14 has an AMD chip so it’s unclear whether the laptop will perform well, but it will probably sell well regardless due to price.

It’s not clear when the HP Stream 14 will launch, but we don’t need to wait that long to evaluate our argument that Chromebooks sell only because of price. Low cost Windows laptops have already been proliferating on Amazon, the place where advocates like to point to as proof of Chromebooks’ success. And those cheap Windows laptops are winning.

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Here are Amazon’s top 10 best sellers (as of this writing):

  1. Windows: $237 Dell Inspiron
  2. Windows: $200 HP 15
  3. Windows: $230 Toshiba Satellite
  4. Windows: $276 ASUS HD
  5. Windows: $379 ASUS Transformer Book T100 (with 500 GB extra storage)
  6. Windows: $249 HP Pavilion 15
  7. MacOS: $1,379 MacBook Pro
  8. ChromeOS: $300 Acer C720
  9. Windows: $363 ASUS Transformer Book T100 (no extra storage)
  10. Windows: $394 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge

That’s eight Windows laptops in the top 10, and only one Chromebook. Does anyone really think Chromebooks have any other meaningful advantage over Windows PCs except price for average consumers? Without that price advantage, most will simply choose Windows.

We’re also gratified to see Amazon customers agree with our assessment the ASUS Transformer Book T100 is better value than the Acer C720 Chromebook, and not Engadget’s. The T100 is so popular it appears twice in the top 10.

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