UNDERCUTTING THE COMPETITION: Google and Samsung Electronics are selling a laptop computer for $249. The machine unveiled Thursday is aimed at siphoning sales from the latest products from Microsoft and Apple.
THE CATCH: The low-priced laptop lacks a hard drive for storage and runs on a relatively new operating system revolving around Google Inc.'s Chrome Web browser. That means an Internet connection is essential.
CROWDED MARKET: An array of higher-priced machines running on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 operating system will go on sale next week. Apple Inc. is widely expected to introduce a smaller version of its iPad on Tuesday.