Acer Chromebook R11 review
Chromebooks are not like other laptops. Historically perceived as a direct route to the Google Chrome browser, their functionality was limited to what you can reach on the web. The climate is somewhat different now that many Chromebooks are harmonious with Android apps through the Google Play Store. In that respect, the Acer Chromebook R11 is not any different.
The Acer Chromebook R11 brings inspiration in the MacBook Air, and can be trendy without going too much. As well as the Acer Chromebook R11 is cheap, unlike its own Apple inspiration, costing $329 (£221, AU$455).
If we needed to compare the Acer Chromebook R11 to like-minded Chromebooks, we would place it on the exact same amount as the $249 (£170, AU$320) Dell Chromebook 11 or the wonderful Asus Chromebook Flip at $249 (£160, AU$337).
However, the Acer Chromebook R11 is a ton better than rival Chromebooks, as a result of its 360-degree hinge. As soon as it is not the fastest Chromebook on the block, it is possible to render raw processor and RAM capability into the Windows and Mac laptops. The Acer Chromebook R11 flawlessly uses Chrome OS, so it does not require the best specs to provide a smooth-as-butter experience.
And, as you ought to have the ability to make do with only the Acer Chromebook R11, we must state that you'd probably be better off using a MacBook or even one of the best Ultrabooks in case you want raw power and versatility rather than pure price. Beyond that, the Acer Chromebook R11 ought to be perfect for students or anybody whose laptop use is usually confined to Google Docs or casual web browsing.
One of the huge advantages of the Chromebook R11 is its weight and size. The R11 weighs only 2.76 lbs (1.25kg), using a comparatively compact framework of 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.76 inches (29 x 20.3 x 1.9cm) (W x D x H). This is sold in slightly smaller than the competing Dell Chromebook 11 using its 2.91 pound 11.69 x 8.57 x 0.83 inch frame. Acer's offering compares well to the marginally smaller Asus Chromebook Flip, which weighs 1.96 lbs (0.88kg) and measures 10.6 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches.
The Acer Chromebook R11 is mainly composed of a slender, white plastic chassis using a matte finish. Where that design is different, however, is about the lid of the device, which features a textured white metallic panel that looks and feels amazing.
In reality,that feel extends throughout the whole Chromebook R11, providing the laptop a great grippy feeling whilst carrying it about. It is a minor boom, but the bead weave feel provides everything could be a dull white slab a little bit of panache. The R11 is far from what we'd think alluring, but it is not dull, either.
At the top of the Chromebook R11, you will discover the above metallic panel adorned with Acer and Chrome logos, and that's it. On the other side of the panel is located the 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 resolution, touch-enabled display, using a glistening Acer logo just below. At the bottom of the R11 sits a slightly glowing keyboard using a pair of slightly-textured chiclet keys. Further beneath that is a comparatively broad trackpad with ample hands rests.
Despite being a mostly plastic affair, the R11 feels unbelievably sturdy in the palms, with little to no sacrifice at all. The only criticism worth noting here's the R11's white outside, that proved to be quite proficient at picking up different smudges seemingly randomly. Truthfully, this is something that you'll run into with almost any bit of white tech, but that textured end might be helping pick up things.
In terms of ports, the Acer Chromebook R11 features one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, every inhabiting different sides. There's also a full-size HDMI port with HDCP support, a headphone jack, and an SD card slot for transferring files and photos.
In our testing, for example writing this review using a couple of tabs open, the Acer Chromebook R11 performed admirably, albeit with a few small hiccups. The combination of the Intel Celeron N3150 processor and 4GB of RAM maintained things amazingly fluid when typing in a Google Doc using a few of YouTube videos quietly streaming and pumping sticks through Google Play Music.
I did notice a few small hiccups in performance together with the R11, nevertheless. Sometimes, Google Docs seemed to struggle with keeping up with my typing. The lag was rare and typically worked itself out at a minute or so, but it broke our train of thought many times in writing this review.
In the same way, while switching between the dozen or so tabs we had running was normally fine, starting a new tab and loading some thing such as Facebook or YouTube took a bit more patience than we are used to.
Of course, we are coming out of an fully decked-out MacBook Pro as my everyday driver, so my base of contrast is somewhat skewed. Our guess is that this just boils down to RAM use: we managed to remain under the 4GB limit using a high number of tabs that are open while streaming audio and video, but only barely. It is highly improbable that any real world use is going to involve streaming a number of videos and audio at the exact same time, so this bodes well for the 4GB R11, however it is a little about for buyers who choose 2GB of RAM.
Screen and display
In composing documents and performing a few general web surfing, we found the display to be around the job. Brightness was not a problem in the smallest and viewing angles are excellent as a result of the in-plane switching (IPS) technology. Similarly, media looked pretty good and movement was fairly sharp from the many movie trailers we burnt through. My only criticism here is the comparison level, which it was not dreadful, it was not amazing either. We would not necessarily advise doing any hardcore picture editing around the R11, but it should work just fine for composing, surfing the web and kicking back to a few YouTube binging.
One shining star of the media experience of the R11 is its own speaker output. In other words, audio on the Chromebook R11 is clear and crisp, and this baby can get loud. When quantity was phased out, we did not see much, if any, split, and this item could certainly fill a small room with sound. Bass output is lacking, of course, but that's par for the course with most laptop speakers. For the price tag, audio output excels on the R11.
The Chromebook R11's capacity to be used in conventional laptop mode, as a tabletcomputer, or in tent mode means you are going to be placing that touch panel to use sooner or later. And general, touch input Chrome OS is a little bit of a mixed bag. As you're allowing Chrome perform the majority of the work using a non-touch optimized web, hitting touch targets can be challenging sometimes, so some might not need to leverage the R11 as a comprehensive tablet replacement.
That having been said, the R11 performs fairly well complete with what it is given to use on the OS side of things. Tent mode is good for propping the R11 upward as a small, easily portable display, and I used it to stream a few Netflix while preparing dinner.
As a tablet, with touch with web apps is somewhat annoying, however serviceable. The R11 is clearly thicker and thicker than your normal tablet, and it is strange sense your hand press to the keyboard and trackpad (they're inactive in tablet mode) together with the display flipped back. 1 place I could see tablet mode being especially useful, however, is using it as a kind of notepad in portrait orientation.
Aside from having a MacBook Pro on a daily basis, we originally did not care for the keyboard on the Chromebook R11 because of its softer action. On the other hand, the more people used it, the more people came to enjoy it. The spacing between keys can stand to be only a smidge wider, but tapping feels fine and we found ourselves back up to normal typing speed fairly quickly. Additionally, we became a major fan of the texturing work on the keys. There's something nice about using a bit more traction to help keep you grounded while fingers go flying.
However, as far as we arrived to love the keyboard, the trackpad did not fare too. When pressing down, there's a different mushy feeling until it clicks, and the amount of pressure required to commence a click does not feel constant from press to press. Acer also touts the fact that the Chromebook R11 features a"click anyplace" trackpad, but with the vastly different degrees of pressure required to commence a click, many will find themselves chained into the bottom corner each moment.
Acer claims battery life of right approximately ten hours to the Chromebook R11, and I found this to be fairly close to true. This is good for people who are looking for something that may continue all day, especially in the education marketplace where Chromebooks currently dominate the landscape.
We did a lot of our testing using the screen brightness group around 50-60 percent, also found the Chromebook R11 to continue just more than nine hours involving overall web surfing, watching the occasional video, and knocking out a few composing. Given the generally accepted efficacy of Chrome OS, this is not all that unexpected, but it is a fantastic stat nonetheless. For comparison's sake, we found equally Dell's Chromebook 11 and Asus' Chromebook Flip to continue just more than eight hours in comparable testing.
If you are in the market for a little Chromebook, it is difficult to argue with Acer's R11. The cost certainly strikes a sweet place, and the laptop is a fantastic device for getting a little bit of work , returning to get a few songs, and sometimes breaking it out as a tablet replacement. It might not be quite as trendy as the Asus Chromebook Flip, or as rocky as the Dell Chromebook 11, it sits securely in the center.
1 thing that will take some profound concern, however, is whether Chrome OS is the right operating system for you. As I mentioned at the introduction, Chrome OS is focused on a web experience, which comes in the price of power and flexibility. And as useful as the hybrid nature of the Chromebook R11 is also, with touch with Chrome OS remains a mixed bag. This is not a knock to the R11 whatsoever; these are problems for Google to handle, after all.
However, Acer's Chromebook R11 is a good purchase if you are in the market for something that will last a full day without breaking a sweat, perform satisfactorily under stress and otherwise serve up a fantastic web browsing experience.