Chromebooks have a history. In the past, they've generally been considered lower-end cheap laptops match for casual and education web-browsing. Nonetheless, in a place -Pixelbook world, do they fill the exact same function? Well, as the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 proves, they definitely can.
Now, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is not a dreadful device, but it appeals to a specific audience -- parents with young kids that require a laptop to perform schoolwork with. It is durable, has adequate enough performance, has an added stylus and carrying case -- and it is cheap considering all that's in the box.
But, that's where the appeal finishes, particularly compared to the similarly-priced 2018 iPad. Thus, is the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 value your hard-earned money ?
Price and availability
There's just 1 configuration of the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 readily available for purchase. Only $349 (£329, about AU$470) will net you the laptop with whatever you see to the right. These are fairly average specs for the category, as well as the Spin 11 sweetens the pot by adding a fairly good stylus and carrying case.
Compared to comparable Chromebooks with comparable settings, the Dell Chromebook 11 3180 is $319 (£182, AU$903) using a marginally lesser CPU and the exact same storage and memory. Similarly, the Acer Chromebook R11, using a quad-core Intel Celeron processor, will put you back about $329 (£279, AU$548).
So, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 normally falls in line with similar devices in the USA. And, once you choose the included stylus and carrying case into account for only an additional $20, it really starts to look like a bargain. For the money, you are not going to get a better deal when it comes to a Chromebook for schooling purposes.
But when you look at the Asus Chromebook Flip C302, for only $150 more at $499 (£599, about AU$650), you are getting a massive bulge in performance using an Intel Core m3 processor and double the storage -- you are also getting awakened into a Full HD display. If you are purchasing a Chromebook to get anything other than college, we would recommend going with the Asus, since the bulge in performance and screen resolution would be well worth the extra money.
Then, have a look at the 2018 iPad. In the marginally greater cost of $329 (£319, AU$469) you are getting a greater display, better speakers, a more powerful processor -- less RAM without a keyboard. It depends on what you're looking for, however when you're looking for a multimedia device, the iPad is normally the better purchase -- but you will lose out to the keyboard and durable build.
In the time of writing, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is offered in the United States and UK, but if you live in Australia, then you are going to need to import it likely detracting in the value proposition.
Very similar to the Acer Chromebook R 11, the Spin 11 features an all-plastic build. Do not let that fool you however, since this Chromebook is just one of the sturdiest laptops we have ever used. However hard we trywe can not get the laptop to bend even a bit. Even the screen -- it merely wobbles if we attempt to wobble it.
For the intended audience (read: college kids ), this laptop is going to have the ability to endure just about any trial it must endure.
The advantages of the build do not end there. On paper, the keyboard would seem shallow, using only 1.1mm of key travel, but it seems comfortable and we do not believe the keys bottoming out at all while working with it. We'd like a broader keyboard, but that's a restriction of the 11-inch form factor more than anything else.
It is not the lightest Chromebook at the store though, weighing in at 2.96 lbs (1.35kg), which makes it noticeably thicker than the Asus Chromebook Flip. But, its slim 0.78-inch framework with curved corners makes it nice enough to grip, and we are certain that it was tricky to ensure it is a lot lighter without giving up on a few of the durability.
Ports are also a big win -- you've got just two USB-C ports, which handle data transfer and charging. At a Chromebook at this budget, we'd have been happy with only one of these ports. You have also got two USB3.0 ports, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. This is a whole package so far as ports go, and also a good deal more than we'd expect on a Chromebook at the price point less this dimension.
The screen also reflects the durable nature of the remainder of the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, since it is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass, therefore it ought to be quite resistant to cracking or shattering -- probably not something you ought to test, however.
The touchpad is a sour stage, however. The surface is capable, but it is extremely sensitive, and of course the plastic end and tough center-click flipped us off. But it does support straps, so it is not all bad.
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Screen and speakers
Things start to have a turn when you look at the display. It features a 1,366 x 768 IPS display. And, while viewing angles are, well, pretty good -- it is not so bright, leaving us while functioning at a brightly lit area. At 11 inches, the display looks grainy and pixelated. And, yeah, in the price point and shape variable an HD display is not just out of the ordinary, but we'd have appreciated a brighter panel, even or even a Full HD resolution.
The speakers, too, are a little lackluster. While they do be able to fill the space, there's not really that much in the means of detail from the sound. Listening to Papi Pacify from FKA Twigs, we can make out a sign of the bass, even although it had been watered down. And, a great deal of the more distinct details from the tune were frankly missing in the muddy audio.
So, the Spin 11 is good for watching a few youtube videos between courses, just don't expect a nice experience whilst listening to music or watching films. If you are going to do any type of heavy media intake, we would recommend going with the 2018 iPad. You're going to get a lot better audio and visual experience.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is not a power house, and we weren't expecting it to be. However, in spite of its modest components, Chrome OS continues to prove itself capable for its planned use cases: web surfing and word processing.
When it will not have the ability to keep up with something similar to the Google Pixelbook, since it rocks an Intel Celeron processor, it managed to keep up with an adequate workload: typing up this review with 10 tabs available from Chrome and Spotify running at the background. And, frankly that's what we desired to see out of the device.
If it comes to the raw benchmarks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 performed , if unspectacularly. We do not doubt that we would see a great deal more impressive numbers using a faster processor, but the very low cost prevents that from happening.
In the conclusion of the day, provided that you do not go in expecting top-shelf (or perhaps middle-shelf?) Performance, the Spin 11 will function exactly as you want it to for just how much you're paid.
But, one of the most important areas of a Chromebook is the battery life, and sadly the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 disappointed . While in our everyday use we did not really need to worry about charging the device, it did not exactly perform admirably from the TechTnet battery evaluation.
In this evaluation, we loop neighborhood video in 1080P at VLC media player before the device dies -- the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 clocked in at only 7 hours and 34 minutes. To get a Chromebook, this score is well below the category average. For example, the configured (albeit old ) Dell Chromebook 13 scored nearly double, at about 14 hours.
A touch of Android
Lately one of the largest selling points of recent Chromebooks is the addition of the Google Play Store, along with the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is no exception. It is actually brilliant of Google to incorporate this, as it goes a long way towards unwanted stepping a few of the criticisms that Chrome OS has traditionally endured -- being a glorified web browser.
Getting in the Play Store was a breeze, and we could download just about any app we can think of. We downloaded Super Mario Run, and while it was not as easy an experience as it generally is on our iPhone X (and of course the blurrier visuals it was completely playable. You ought to be able to perform some mild Android gaming on the Spin 11.
However, it is not all about fun and games. Because of the included stylus, you are in a position to do some drawing this item -- we downloaded Adobe Sketch and did a bit of doodling. And, as you're certain to get a better experience out of a more expensive tablet, drawing this device is a serviceable experience. We simply would not suggest doing any sort of handwritten notes on this pencil, since there are a few noticeable lag.
In case you're looking for a inexpensive laptop for college, you won't perform much better than the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, particularly at the purchase price. And, once you add the carrying case and stylus, you are looking at one hell of a bargain -- you are paying less than $400 to get a 2-in-1 laptop using a pencil comprised, something we can not even state about the Surface Pro anymore.
It is not going to knock your socks off with its own performance, and it is not going to continue all day off of one charge -- but exactly what you are getting in return is a Chromebook that will last you several years. And, these days when what's more breakable than previously, we feel like that's well worth the trade-off for the right audience.
If you are not a student, and you're looking for a device for multimedia intake, we would recommend going with the 2018 iPad or storing up to the Asus Chromebook Flip. But at this price point, you are not going to come across a Chromebook that's far better than the Spin 11.