Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (2017) assessment

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Acer isn’t bashful in relation to who it constructed the Chromebook Spin 11 for. This can be a rugged Chromebook that may deal with an unintended spill, the occasional drop from a desk or somebody standing is supposed to be in a classroom, after all.

Chromebooks vary in worth and dimension, from the smaller 11.6-inch show discovered on the $399 (about £303, AU$522) Spin 11 to the $199, 14-inch HP Chromebook 14 or the $499 Asus Chromebook Flip with a sharper, 12.5-inch show splitting the distinction.

Nonetheless, solely the Spin 11 presents what quantities to be a built-in protecting case. That mentioned, having the ability to face up to some abuse isn’t the whole story for the Spin 11. Its modest specs, mixed with spectacular battery life, make a case for it to exist outdoors the classroom.

Spec Sheet

Right here is the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 configuration despatched to TechRadar for assessment: 

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N3350 (dual-core; 2MB cache; as much as 2.4GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Display: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768), multi-touch IPS Professional LCD
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Ports: 1 x microSD card reader, 2 x USB 3.1 Sort-C ports, 2 x USB 3.Zero ports, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac/a/b/g/n 2×2 MIMO dual-band WiFi; Bluetooth 4.2
Digital camera: 720p webcam, 5MP (1080p) rear-facing
Weight:  3.09 kilos (1.40kg)
Measurement: 11.65 x 8.11 x 0.82 inches (29.6 x 20.6 x 2.08cm; W x D x H)

Value and availability

The precise mannequin despatched to TechRadar for the aim of this assessment is listed on the Acer web site at $399 (about £303, AU$522). Nonetheless, it’s not accessible for buy from the Acer web site – solely Amazon – within the US. 

There are two related fashions listed on the Acer web site, each of which can be found for buy. One (the R751TN-C5P3) is listed at $399 (about £303, AU$522) and has similar specs, save for the dearth of an IPS Professional panel, and is available in black. A barely cheaper $349 variant additionally has the identical specs, however forgoes any type of webcam.

Taking the usual asking worth of the Spin 11 into consideration, it’s not the most costly Chromebook available on the market, with Google’s Pixelbook clearly taking that crown. However, it is likely one of the uglier Chromebooks we’ve seen on the almost $400 mark. 

For instance, the HP Chromebook 14 is half the associated fee and appears a heck of rather a lot higher. Add one other $100 to the worth, and the Asus Chromebook Flip blows the Spin 11 away aesthetically and in efficiency.

In fact, neither are more likely to take a smack on the ground in addition to the Spin 11 can.

Design

With an 11.6-inch HD show, the general dimension of the Spin 11 could be very straightforward to tote round or throw right into a backpack. At simply 3.09 kilos (1.40 kg), it’s a tad heavy for a tool with dimensions of 11.65 x 8.11 x 0.82 inches (29.6 x 20.6 x 2.08 cm; W x D x H), but it surely’s nothing to get upset about. 

Your entire housing is product of a sturdy plastic, with rubber bumpers across the edges. In keeping with Acer, the Spin 11 is US MIL-STD 810G navy spec licensed for tough environments and abuse. 

Surrounding the show is a thick, black bezel with a 720p webcam centered alongside the highest. One other digicam, meant for use when the laptop computer is in pill mode to snap photographs or video from the rear of the gadget, is centered simply above the keyboard.

On the left aspect of the housing is the place you’ll discover the headphone jack, a microSD card reader, a USB 3.Zero port, a USB-C port and the ability button. On the other aspect is one other USB-C port, USB 3.Zero port and a quantity toggle. 

Each the ability button and the amount toggle are lined in rubber and don’t have a lot of a  tactile really feel to them. Every button is even with the outside, making both one arduous to seek out simply by working your finger alongside both edge.  

The touchpad is easy and offers a reassuring click on when pressed. There are not any points with palm rejection – even with our arms resting instantly on the touchpad throughout the vast majority of our typing. The keyboard’s keys are recessed as a method to additional defend the keys. The adjustment of typing from above on the keyboard was minor, if in any respect, and we discovered the keyboard to be relatively nice to make use of. 

The Spin 11 doesn’t seem like a virtually $400 laptop computer, on account of its ruggedized supplies. It appears to be like like a cheaper Chromebook combined with a toy laptop computer from Mattel. Granted, it’s not designed to look spectacular for teenagers in school to point out off with.

Sturdy hinges

As an alternative of 1 hinge that goes the size of the laptop computer, there are two separate hinges. Every hinge can transfer almost 360-degrees, making the Spin 11 versatile sufficient to sit down with the display screen in opposition to its base, or arise like a tent, with none fuss. But it’s sturdy sufficient {that a} bump or knock on the desk gained’t trigger it to fall flat.

Tough and difficult

Acer included channels beneath the keyboard able to dealing with as much as 11 ounces of liquid spilled on it. The channels are designed let the liquid drain, with out inflicting any hurt to the laptop computer itself. 

Moreover, Acer states the Spin 11 can survive a fall of 48 inches and face up to somebody weighing as much as 132 kilos standing on it. There’s little doubt when you decide up the Spin 11 that it’s designed to take abuse.

Show

Exterior of design, which admittedly is a matter of non-public style, the show is disappointing. At 11.6-inches with a decision of 1,366 x 768, we don’t fairly get a full HD expertise. When viewing textual content on the IPS Professional LCD panel, letters look a bit rougher across the edges. General brightness can also be missing, forcing us to depart it on max brightness – even in a well-lit room. 

The show does not make the Spin 11 unusable however, at this worth, we hoped for extra. 

Included within the field is a Wacom stylus. It’s the identical dimension and form as most pens or pencils, and even has a button on the highest with simply sufficient give to depart you with the impression that it really does one thing. 

There’s nothing fancy concerning the stylus, it’s only a lengthy piece of plastic molded to seem like a writing utensil. Not like extra refined styli, there’s not a battery or Bluetooth connection to fret about. Merely maintain the stylus to the display screen and draw or write. 

There’s a little bit of lag between a pen stroke and digital ink displaying up on the display screen, however for college kids who’re jotting notes or sketching throughout a lecture, it’s sufficient to get the job achieved.



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