The Acer R13 represents a variety of Chromebook offering users something a bit more premium compared to the host of budget devices in the marketplace. At £399, it’s certainly just a little pricier compared to the typical Chromebook, but you are getting some very nice standout features for that extra investment. Now you can get amazing discount, offers, deals, coupons on this black friday & Cyber monday.
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The R13 is a convertible device with a 360-degree hinge and a touchscreen, providing three configurations: Laptop, tent and tablet. It is also filled with a seriously impressive battery, and even supports installing Android programs through Google’s beta programme.
Chromebook R13: Design
Built from silver aluminium with some pleasingly shiny chamfered edges, the Chromebook R13 looks sleek and feels a lot more premium than its £399 price indicate. The Acer logo can be silver, and sits nicely on the lid, although the result is slightly marred by the occurrence of the brightly coloured Google Chrome logo that detracts from the entire sleek finish.
That aluminium design is effective for a 2-in-1 convertible, since it provides device the strength you want from a tablet – that reassurance that it can be in a position to handle a few bumps and scrapes. The build itself features an angular design that provides it a blocky look – although never to everyone’s taste, we found it put into the overall strong effect.
The R13 weighs slightly below 1.5kg, which is heavier than you may expect from a Chromebook, specially when you look at its competition. The Samsung Chromebook Plus, for instance, weighs just 1.1kg. It’s also 15mm, which again is slightly thicker compared to the Samsung model, but that is barely noticeable. It’s still small enough to transport around during a morning, it’s simply a shame about that additional weight, which is particularly noticeable when you’re using it as a tablet.
Where in fact the Chromebook excels is in its construction, which shines when you flip these devices into its tent or tablet mode. Its 360-degree hinge provides enough resistance to help make the device feel reassuringly sturdy, it doesn’t matter how you use it.
However, despite its excellent mechanical design, the hinge has been coated with a reasonably cheap-looking plastic, which shines awkwardly when in tablet mode.
The R13 also lacks colour variations, only being obtainable in silver. It’s a tiny issue, but having some choice here will be welcome.
In conditions of ports, the left side of the R13 sports an individual USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. Additionally you get yourself a USB Type-C port, but it has been reserved for power, and that means you won’t will have that to play with. On the proper side, there’s only a headphone jack. Overall, this will be properly sufficient for some users, although we’d have recommended a dedicated power port to release the USB C for use elsewhere, such as for example plugging in a monitor. You will find a USB C to 3.0 adapter contained in the box, however, which is helpful if you want that extra port
Chromebook R13: Keyboard and trackpad
Although this Chromebook sits on the pricier side of the budget spectrum, that is still a low-end device, so don’t expect any frills like keyboard backlighting.
Everything you do get is a well-designed keyboard, providing decent feedback during key presses and a nicely spaced layout that wont trip up your typing. This review was typed up using the keyboard, and we are able to say it had been a joy to use.
The trackpad is similarly impressive, providing a decent-sized space that feels smooth and responsive. In addition, it performs well with finger gestures and provided a nice experience when navigating documents and webpages.
Chromebook R13: Display
A 13.3in screen at 1,920 x 1,080p is a decent size for both notebook computer and tablet use. Viewing angles offer reasonable overall flexibility (although nothing too impressive) but its biggest issue is its glossy finish and black borders, that will create a nightmare for many who obsess over fingerprint marks.
In tablet or tent mode, we found the touchscreen display to be responsive and nice to use. Although we barely used its tablet configuration, due to the fact it’s overweight to use comfortably, its tent condition works beautifully for watching videos or displaying infographics at the job.
Chromebook R13: Hardware & Performance
The model we reviewed was included with 64GB of eMMC storage, although a smaller 32GB option is offered by a slightly cheap. With the inclusion of some preinstalled Google apps, that is reduced right down to around 55GB. This is not an especially impressive amount, but with Google Drive integrated directly into the OS, you mustn’t require much physical space for storage anyway.
Thankfully, given how lightweight Chrome OS is, performance continues to be nippy enough to supply a genuinely nice browsing experience with some extra juice for light multitasking. Google Chrome works beautifully on the R13, and it can certainly handle a substantial number of tabs prior to starting to buckle.
Where in fact the R13 really shines is its battery life. Inside our video playback test the battery was fully drained in 12 hours and 35 mins, actually exceeding Acer’s estimate of 12 hours. If you are using the Chromebook as mainly a browsing tool, you could eke out a lot more. That is seriously impressive, and is obviously affordability given the purchase price point.
Chromebook R13: Android apps
Google has slowly began to roll out support for Android software to a tiny number of Chromebooks, the R13 being one of these. But as the Google Play store is merely available through a beta channel, we’re reluctant to examine its functionality until full release. What we are able to say is that providing users with the choice of installing Android software on a Chromebook is obviously a welcome prospect.
Ultimately, Chromebooks are suitable for browsing and using web-based apps. Most popular productivity tools are accessible through a browser, so as the notion of downloading a desktop version of Slack or Dropbox could be appealing for a few users, we suspect it’ll only be useful for accessing a few favourite mobile apps.
Generally Google provides some decent alternatives to Microsoft products, particularly Google Docs word processing and Drive storage. It might be that you use many of these services regularly, which can make moving to ChromeOS a breeze – but for many who regularly turn to applications built for Windows could find having less support for installed software frustrating initially.
Chromebook R13: Verdict
The R13 is simply perfect for those users looking for something a bit more premium compared to the budget Chromebooks. At £399, you are getting the efficiency of ChromeOS with the overall flexibility of a convertible.
That impressive battery life also helps it be incredibly beneficial to business customers, since it will reliably tell you a complete day’s work without conking out midway through a gathering. You can also access a bunch of tools through ChromeOS software and web-based applications, including a bunch of Microsoft Office alternatives.
Much like any convertible, you will have to decide if you’ll actually utilize the various modes in your projects. Unless you quite fancy a convertible, there’s likely nothing here that could persuade you to spend the extra handful of hundred on the R13. Cheaper alternatives can be found, like the Acer Chromebook 14, which features the same aluminium design. If you are after something with an increased resolution screen, you could choose the QHD Samsung Chromebook Pro, which also supports Android apps.
Although performance was just a little disappointing, the R13 continues to be capable of handling daily activity, including multi-tab browsing plus some light multitasking. When you are looking for a no-frills machine that’s simple to use and can survive a complete day of work, the Acer R13 is a good choice that won’t break your budget.