The function of Chromebooks is typically to access the internet. For that reason, Chromebooks have found themselves in an odd spot in the laptop market time and again. In most cases, Chromebooks will sport almost similar features irrespective of the manufacturer. However, the Acer Chromebook R11 stands out from the pack with the increasing popularity of online games. The device comes with a 360-degree hinge which makes it Acer’s first ever convertible Chromebook and tells it apart from other devices.
Acer’s idea of developing a small, convertible Chromebook that is touch enabled makes a lot of sense especially in the light of recent events — Android applications will soon be available on Chrome OS. Upon its launch, many pundits were of the opinion that the Acer Chromebook R11 was a little ahead of its time. But what exactly can the Acer Chromebook R11 do for you that other Chromebooks can’t? Check out the full review to find out.
Acer Chromebook R11 Specifications
There’s nothing too fancy about Acer Chromebook’s R11 specs; you get a very standard set of ports and internals. The device comes with an SD card slot, HDMI out, and two USB ports. The Acer Chromebook R11 features a 16 or 32GB of storage and 2 or 4GB of RAM which supports the Intel Celeron N3150 processor clocked at 1.6GHz. Other key features are:
Display: 1366×768 IPS, 11.6-inch
Weight: 2.76 lb
Dimension: 294.6 x 203.2 x 19.2 millimetres
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Memory: DDR3L 2GB/4GB
Sound: Microphone, stereo speakers
Camera: 1280×720 HD web camera
Battery: 3220 mAh, 3-cell Lithium-ion, almost 10 hours of battery life.
Look and Feel
With a weight of 2.76 pounds, the Acer Chromebook R11 is a relatively light Chromebook. It measures 0.8 by 11.6 by 8 inches (HWD) and it’s pretty attractive and easy to hold due to the small size. The R11 feels like a textured plastic with a metallic finish but what it really made of is a Nano-print technology print, white plastic edges, and an aluminum lid. It’s white in color.
The screen itself features a 1366×768 pixels resolutions featuring IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. The Acer Chromebook R11 is not a FULL HD, but it has pretty impressive display — the 768p is resolution screen is good enough for a Chromebook of that size. There are three modes of the convertible feature: tablet mode (using it as a tablet by folding the display all the way back behind), tent mode (placing the system upright on its edges), and the display mode (the screen pointing outward and the keyboard facing down).
Apart from a few minor hiccups, the Acer R11 Chromebook performs admirably when subjected to internet accessibility and gaming tests. The Intel Celeron N3150 processor clocked at 1.6 GHz with the support of the 4 GB of RAM gives a pretty smooth experience even with several tabs opened. It slows down a little bit with ten browser tabs and several apps open at the same time. This bog down can only be noticed when loading pages in the background and when opening the pages.
It’ll take some time before text input and window switching become noticeably slow. Other than that, the Chromebook handles basic tasks very well. Video streaming is okay at best typing on Google docs can be a challenge especially if you have multiple applications running. Having said that, it’s unlikely that an average is going to have any problems performing various games and the normal Chromebook tasks with the Acer R11.
Charging and Battery Life
According to the manufacturer, the Acer Chromebook R11 will give your about 9.5 hours of battery life. But that’s subject to change depending on usage with heavy users reporting a significantly shorter battery life. The reasonably impressive battery life is as a result of a power efficient CPU in the Acer Chromebook R11.
You can increase the battery life by dropping the level of brightness. The laptop comes with a standard two cable and brick design, bearing the same white color on the Chromebook. Just like many other aspects of the device, there’s nothing fancy about the Acer Chromebook R11 charger.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Just like its predecessors, the Acer Chromebook R11 sports a decent keyboard, but don’t expect it to sweep you off your feet. The keyboard is not backlit, which is a let-down for most people given the price range. Otherwise, when typing, there’s little to no side to side movement, proper spring, and good travel on the keys themselves.
The trackpad is another story altogether, very disappointing. This seems to be a regression from trackpads on Acer Chromebooks preceding the R11. The trackpad itself is made from a glossy plastic akin the laptop’s body. Some users were unable to smoothly drag their fingers on the trackpad to select precise elements.