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The Google Laptop That Beat Apple and Microsoft

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In 2013, Google (GOOG) went from zero to hero in the laptop market.  This is one reason Google stock generally outperformed Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) in the last year or two.

Being one of the first users of Google laptops, I started warning about this trend in a long series of articles already in December 2010.  People laughed at me all the way, but I was finally proven right.  It took two years for Google to work with its key hardware partners to get the product right in order to dramatically outgrow Microsoft and Apple.

Unlike Apple and Microsoft, Google doesn't report laptop or PC sales -- or in Microsoft's case, OS licenses.  Therefore, we rarely see a big quarterly headline showing what we now know, that Google murdered Microsoft and Apple in the laptop market in a record-fast time.

For market share data, we go to our new King of retail, Amazon (AMZN).  Of the top 14 best-selling laptops on Amazon, five are Google laptops and only two are Apple.

Of these five best-selling Google laptops, three are variants of the Acer 720.  This new Acer 720 has become the Honda (HMC) Accord -- or Toyota (TM) Prius -- of the laptop world.  It's the new volume king -- "America's laptop" if you will.  It's the laptop that saved Acer as a company, after it intelligently chose to ride the Google laptop wave shortly after Microsoft started to decline.

Briefly speaking, this is a 11.6-inch laptop that weighs 2.8 pounds.  It doesn't have integrated LTE but relies on WiFi for wireless connectivity.  When you buy the Acer 720, you get an extra 100 gigs in your Google Drive account, and the device intelligently makes sure that the stuff you are likely to need can be cached on the device's 16-gig solid-state storage.

The Acer 720 first came in two versions: One with 2 gigs or RAM and the other with 4 gigs of RAM.  The former is $200 and the latter is $250.  I reviewed the $250 version on Oct. 17 as it was just hitting the market.

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