The work of a Chromebook is challenging. The fact that it needs to be affordable necessarily means that you can’t expect too much from it. However, it must stand out in a market that is flooded with dirt-cheap rivals in order to be successful.

It makes the best of an uninteresting scenario with the Acer Chromebook R 11. With a starting price of $279 (about £195 or AU$395), it’s a low-cost lightweight gadget with a touchscreen display and a 360-degree hinge that can be folded all the way back to form a large tablet. Acer’s Chromebook doesn’t have much more to offer in terms of style or content, but if you’re simply wanting to get online, the spinning display adds a nice touch that makes it stand out. It also makes it more practical for sharing movies or presentations with a small group of people.

The Acer Chromebook R11 takes design cues from the MacBook Air and manages to be both attractive and functional without going overboard. In addition, the Acer Chromebook R11 is reasonably priced, as opposed to its Apple counterpart, at $329 (£221, AU$455).

The finest Chromebooks are not like other laptops in terms of design. In the past, they were regarded as a direct path to the Google Chrome browser, and their usefulness was restricted to what could be accomplished on the internet. Today’s environment is a little different, as most Chromebooks are now compatible with Android applications downloaded from the Google Play Store. Similarly, the Acer Chromebook R11 is no exception in this regard.

For the sake of comparison, the Acer Chromebook R11 is comparable to the $249 (£170, AU$320) Dell Chromebook 11 and the $249 (£160, AU$337) Asus Chromebook Flip (both of which are also available in black).

The Acer Chromebook R11, on the other hand, performs far better than rival Chromebooks, due to its 360-degree hinge. While it isn’t the quickest Chromebook on the street, you can leave the sheer CPU and RAM capacity to the Windows and Mac computers, which are far more powerful. The Acer Chromebook R11 makes excellent use of Chrome OS, so it doesn’t require the highest-end specifications to deliver a buttery-smooth experience.

Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C67Q Touch Screen Chromebook with Intel Celeron N3060 Processor, 11.6" IPS Multitouch Screen 4GB Memory, 32GB SSD and Google Chrome OS

Specifications

BrandAcer
CPUIntel Celeron N3150 Quad-core 1.60 GHz
Card SlotsSD memory reader
Company Websitehttp://us.acer.com/
Display Size11.6
Hard Drive Size32GB
Native Resolution1366×768
Operating SystemGoogle Chrome
Ports (excluding USB)Headphone/Mic, Lock Slot, SD card slot, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI
RAM4GB
Size11.6 x 8.03 x .76 inches
Touchpad Size4.1 x 2.4 inches
Warranty/SupportOne-year limited warranty
Weight2.7 pounds
Wi-Fi802.11ac

Design

One of the most significant advantages of the Chromebook R11 is its small size and lightweight. The R11 is lightweight, weighing only 2.76 pounds (1.25kg), and has a tiny frame of 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.76 inches (29 x 20.3 x 1.9cm) in size (W x D x H). With its 2.91 pound weight, 11.69 x 8.57 x 0.83-inch dimensions, and 0.83-inch thickness, this is somewhat smaller than the rival Dell Chromebook 11. Even the somewhat smaller Asus Chromebook Flip, which weighs 1.96 pounds (0.88kg) and measures 10.6 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches, is a competitive match for Acer’s offering.

The Acer Chromebook R11 is mostly composed of a thin, white plastic chassis with a matte finish that serves the majority of its construction. That design is different on the lid of the machine, which is made of a textured white metal surface that is both visually appealing and tactilely satisfying to the touch.

The Chromebook R11 is distinguished by the presence of the aforementioned metal panel, which is emblazoned with both the Acer and Chrome logos. That’s all there is to it. The 11.6-inch touch-enabled display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels is located on the other side of the panel, below which is a gleaming Acer logo. A somewhat recessed keyboard with a set of slightly textured chiclet keys can be found on the R11’s bottom half of the device. Further below that is a trackpad that is rather large and has plenty of palm rests.

In spite of the fact that it is primarily made of plastic, the R11 feels remarkably robust in the hands, with little to no give at any point. The one real flaw in the R11’s design is its white exterior, which proved to be very adept in picking up a variety of smudges that seemed to appear out of nowhere. To be honest, this is something you’ll encounter with any white tech, but the textured finish may be aiding in the resolution of the issue.

When it comes to connectors, the Acer Chromebook R11 has one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, both of which are located on the left side of the device. A full-size HDMI connector with HDCP compatibility, a headphone input, and an SD card slot is also included for transferring data and photographs.

Performance

The Chromebook R 11 is equipped in a manner that is nearly comparable to that of the Lenovo 100S Chromebook. A full-sized SD card slot is located on the left side of the device, which is also home to a USB 3.0 connector and an HDMI output, while a USB 2.0 port is located on the right. The Chromebook R 11 is also equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

With an Intel N3150 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage space, the $279 entry-level model is a good value. By increasing the price to $329 (£230, AU$465 translated), the RAM is doubled to 4GB, which corresponds to the model reviewed here. I have a bad tendency of being a little careless with Google Chrome tabs, which may cause computers with only 2GB of RAM, such as the Lenovo 100S Chromebook, to stutter to a halt when I have a lot of them open. However, surfing a plethora of websites while simultaneously streaming music or movies did not appear to slow down the beefier Chromebook R 11.

The Chromebook R 11 also performed admirably in our battery drain test, lasting 8 hours and 11 minutes while streaming video. That’s a respectable performance, and it just edges out the previously mentioned Lenovo 100S Chromebook, which lasted 7 hours, 26 minutes on a single charge. Fortunately, my personal usage was mostly focused on a considerably less demanding regimen of writing and online surfing, and the Chromebook easily lasted it through two workdays before I needed to locate a charger.

Display

We used the display for document editing as well as regular web browsing and found it to be adequate for the task. It was impossible to see any difference in brightness, and the viewing angles are excellent owing to the in-plane switching (IPS) technology. In the same way, the media appeared excellent and the action was reasonably sharp in the numerous movie trailers we saw. The only thing that bothered me about this was the contrast level, which, while not terrible, was also not spectacular. We wouldn’t necessarily advocate using the R11 for intensive picture editing, but it should be plenty for writing, perusing the web, and relaxing back with a YouTube binge session.

The speaker output of the R11 is one of the highlights of the device’s media experience. Simply said, the audio on the Chromebook R11 is crisp and clear, and this baby can produce a lot of volumes. We did not detect any significant breakdown in sound even when the volume was turned up to its maximum. This device is capable of filling a small room with sound. It goes without saying that the bass power is weak, but that is to be expected with most laptop speakers. The R11’s audio output is excellent, especially considering the price.

Battery life

The Chromebook R11 has a battery life of around ten hours, which I found to be quite similar to that claimed by Acer. This is excellent for people who want a device that can be used continuously throughout the day, particularly in the education industry, where Chromebooks have taken over the landscape.

We conducted most of our testing with the screen brightness set between 50 and 60 percent, and we discovered that the Chromebook R11 had a battery life of just over nine hours between regular web surfing, viewing the occasional movie, and doing some writing assignments. Given the generally recognized efficiency of Chrome OS, this isn’t all that shocking, but it’s still a fantastic statistic in its own right. In identical tests, we discovered that both Dell’s Chromebook 11 and Asus’ Chromebook Flip had a battery life of little more than eight hours in total.

Conclusion

Chromebooks have found themselves in a difficult position as a result of competition from Windows 10 machines like the HP Stream 11, but Acer is taking the correct approach. Despite the fact that the Chromebook R 11 is a budget laptop, it includes enough attractive extras to entice people who may otherwise choose for a lower-end computer. Asus followed a similar path with the hybrid Chromebook Flip C100, but the PC’s poor Rockchip processor leaves a lot to be desired in terms of overall performance.

There’s a lot riding on the outcome of this pivot. If I were in the market for a low-cost notebook, I’d go for Windows 10 above anything else. In terms of pricing, Chromebooks and less expensive Windows 10 laptops are competitive, and Windows gives you the choice to load up on programs you’re already acquainted with rather than being forced to use a browser. If you scrimp on RAM, performance might be a problem; but, if you get the version with 4GB of RAM and keep your expectations in check, you should be just OK.

Pros

  • Nice price.
  • Long battery life.
  • Convertible
  • Colorful display
  • Full-size ports.

Cons

  • HD-only screen
  • Noisy webcam photos
  • Key travel feels short.

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