A few premium-price chromebooks enable you to do serious work within Chrome OS-and cause you to look sharp while doing it-but most chromebooks are plain, low-cost churners for simple tasks. The brand new Acer Chromebook 11 ($269.99) runs with the latter chromebook crowd, given its bargain price, modest feature set, and low power ceiling. It generally does not offer anything special, and it’s really on the pokier side, but if you should do little more than see the web, sling words, and run some Google Play apps, it’s a safe, well-built buy. When you can spend somewhat more, though, its 2-in-1 convertible stablemate, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, is our Editors’ Choice among student chromebooks, as the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is our overall top chromebook pick.
Chrome, With a Splash of Color
Like many an economical chromebook, the Chromebook 11 includes a chassis manufactured from thick plastic with an uninspiring feel. That isn’t necessarily a knock-for a notebook to cost this little, you just can’t expect a pricey alloy or metal. Regardless of the cost-conscious plastic, the notebook computer feels sturdy, not flimsy or susceptible to flex. The keyboard deck is brushed black plastic, but Acer spiced up the appearance with a light blue hue on the lid and bottom. Not everyone will like that shade, nonetheless it adds some style and fun to an otherwise basic box. It’s a perky intensify out of this model’s predecessor, last year’s sober Acer Chromebook 11 N7.
The Chromebook 11 is nice and compact, simply perfect for tossing in a bag and toting to class or onto a train. It measures 0.71 by 11.65 by 7.83 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.43 pounds. It will not take up much room in a bag, or be considered a burden hanging off your shoulder. Acer’s Chromebook 11 Spin is slightly bigger (0.82 by 11.7 by 8.1 inches, 3.09 pounds), and the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook and the CTL Chromebook J41 are also close in proportions. Dell’s Chromebook 3189 Education 2-in-1 is larger (by a tiny margin) at 0.8 by 12 by 8.2 inches and 3.16 pounds.
All that is to state: In conditions of size and weight, these chromebooks of the same screen-size class (11.6 inches) certainly are a toss-up if portability matters much. On the other hand, if the Acer Chromebook 11 isn’t quite trim enough for you personally, the Asus Chromebook Flip slims things down further, at only 0.53 inch thick. It costs extra, however the difference in thinness puts that Asus model in its class among this lot.
The Acer Chromebook 11’s keyboard is reasonable quality and attentive to type on. I haven’t any complaints about the feel or the layout-and that’s in no way a given, as of this low of a cost. The touchpad, however, isn’t as solid. It is effective enough and is generously wide, nonetheless it doesn’t feel satisfying to click, and, sometimes, it skips when you swipe. You should employ a firm finger.
The sound quality from the speakers is of the same flavor: serviceable, not impressive. The speakers will suffice for the casual YouTube video short in a pinch without bumming you out, but I’d advise keeping your selected headphones readily available for hearing music or watching anything long-form.
The display can be an 11.6-inch IPS panel, bearing a native resolution of just 1,366 by 768 pixels. With most laptops in the entire year 2018, you wouldn’t want to go any less than 1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) for native resolution, but we’re working with an extremely low-cost system here, and a tiny screen. A 720p native panel is okay for the screen size and for the purchase price, whether or not it’ll definately not stun you. The display quality is decent, though it generally does not get particularly bright even at the utmost brightness setting.
Also, understand that while 720p isn’t typical among budget laptops as a class anymore, it really is still quite common amongst small-screen chromebooks such as this one. Indeed, Acer’s own Chromebook Spin 11, and also the Dell Chromebook 3189 Education 2-in-1 ($239.00 at Dell Technologies) , the CTL Chromebook J41 mentioned previously, and the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook ( at Amazon) all tout the same native resolution (many of them at higher prices, actually). No touch-screen technology is designed for the Acer Chromebook 11’s screen at the moment, though Acer says it plans to include touch input as a choice in the future.
Acer has you covered on the connectivity front aswell as you may expect from an under-$300 chromebook, factoring in two USB 3.0 ports and two USB Type-C ports. The latter kind tend to be seen only on more costly systems, so it is nice in order to hook up any USB Type-C peripherals that you might own to a budget machine such as this.
You also get yourself a microSD card reader (it supports cards up to 128GB) and a headphone jack. The card slot is crucial, because the system includes only 32GB of flash storage inside, typical among chromebooks. Because chromebooks rely largely on web-based apps, a heap of internal storage isn’t necessary under most circumstances, nevertheless, you still may have documents and media files to transfer or store.
A 720p webcam in the upper screen bezel gives decent quality for video calls. The Chromebook 11 offers support for Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, and the complete works is supported by a one-year Acer warranty.
Mobile Celeron, Pedestrian Speed
The Acer Chromebook 11 is made around a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 (“Apollo Lake”) processor and 4GB of memory. The CPU offers the essential graphics acceleration, via the chip-integrated Intel HD Graphics 520. Apart from a small number of expensive chromebooks, systems of the class are usually low-horsepower performers, but even due to the fact, this Celeron is on the low end. As the CTL Chromebook J41 mentioned earlier matches these specs, simply a bit more money can bump you up into quad-core CPU territory.
Performance might not exactly be very vital that you you within an impulse-buy laptop computer such as this one, but take my word for this: Having a slightly hopped-up processor, versus this Celeron, does make a perceptible difference in a chromebook of the class. To begin with, on the Acer Chromebook 11, enough time on top of that up (from pressing the energy button to landing on the sign-in screen) was a sluggish 15 seconds. A number of the competition boots in two that time.
That particular measure may well not make or break a chromebook for you personally, but it’s an indicator of overall speed. We ran a few non-Windows benchmarks-the browser-based JetStream 1.1 and WebXPRT 2015 tests, in addition to the Chrome OS-specific CrXPRT suite-and the Acer Chromebook 11 resulted in middling scores over the board. (The latter two tests are products of Principled Technologies.)
The earlier-gen Celerons in models just like the education-focused Dell Chromebook 3189 2-in-1 show a decided step down in performance, but older machines predicated on Intel’s now-deprecated Core M chips outpace the Celeron in the Chromebook 11.
The Chromebook 11 is among today’s cheaper chromebook options, though, in order that should be considered, as speed isn’t the principal focus in a chromebook as of this price. In my own anecdotal puttering with the device, owning a Google Play iphone app or two was fine-your Netflix binging, largely dependent upon your web connection, isn’t likely to lag-but loading up a small number of browser tabs took its toll. If you are trying to do a lot of things at once (open plenty of tabs, stream video, and run another iphone app or two privately), the Acer Chromebook 11 isn’t likely to breeze through it, but it will not become unusable, either.
Battery life was a sunny spot, thanks partly to the low-resolution screen and the power-sipping Celeron CPU. (A laptop’s display may be the biggest power drain, and pushing relatively few pixels, like on the Acer Chromebook 11, means less energy consumption, everything else being equal.) The Acer model lasted a good 9 hours and 13 minutes on our video-playback battery-rundown test. That is clearly a solid result alone, though it’s worth noting that almost all of the models charted above, plus some other competing models not charted here, lasted longer. Types of the latter are the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook (12:13), the CTL Chromebook J41 (13:05), and the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (12:48).
It’s hard to state whether a few hours of battery life in either direction can make or break confirmed chromebook for you personally. But if maximizing life off the charger is vital to you, choose among the longer-lasting alternatives cited here.
Not really a Stunner, But a Money Saver
Given its price, the Acer Chromebook 11 does not have hardware muscle to wow you. Its primary strength is in offering decent value your money can buy.
This budget-minded chromebook is made sufficiently, considering its all-plastic orientation, and it includes an acceptable feature set in comparison to similarly priced chromebooks. It really is on the slower side, though, and you will get yourself a snappier chromebook when you can fork over about $100 more. (When you can spend the money for $399 Acer Chromebook Spin 11, you’ll enjoy more functionality and performance.) If $250 to $300 is your ceiling, however, you will discover the Acer Chromebook 11 properly satisfactory, in a position to do the easy jobs that it is fair to throw its way.