Acer Chromebook R 13 Convertible, 13.3-inch Full HD Touch, MediaTek MT8173C, 4GB LPDDR3, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-312T-K5X4
|Price:||+ $32.53 Delivery|
- MediaTek MT8173C Core Pilot Quad-Core ARM Processor
- 13.3" Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display, Multi-touch screen
- 4GB LPDDR3 Memory, 32GB Internal Storage,Connectivity : 802.11ac wireless LAN
- Google Chrome Operating System
- Up to 12-hours Battery Life
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Acer Chromebook R 13 CB5-312T-K5X4 Full HD Touch Convertible Notebook
One Chromebook, Many Options
Pick up the Chromebook R 13, and open it all the way until it becomes a tablet. With four modes to choose from, the 360-degree rotation makes finding every mode easy. With quad-core processing, a 13.3-inch Full HD touch screen and 12 hours of battery life, this sleek Chromebook has enough spunk to last all day on a single charge. Wrap up all your tasks during the day and return home to enjoy millions of Android apps from the Google Play Store.
- MediaTek MT8173C Core Pilot Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A72/A53 Heterogeneous Multi-Processor
- Google Chrome Operating System
- 13.3" Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, high-brightness, LED-backlit IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology with integrated multi-touch screen, (16:9 aspect ratio)
- 4GB of LPDDR3 Onboard Memory
- 32GB Internal Storage
- Integrated Imagination PowerVR GX6250 Graphics
- Two Built-in Stereo Speakers
- 802.11ac WiFi featuring 2x2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1 - USB 3.1 (Type C) port supporting USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps), DisplayPort over USB-C, USB Charging 5 V; 3A, DC-in port 20 V, 45 W
- 1 - USB 3.0 Port
- 1 - HDMI port with HDCP Support
- HD Webcam (1280 x 720), supports High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- 3-cell Li-polymer (4670 mAh) Battery
- Up to 12-hours Battery Life
360-Degrees of Flexibility
You weren’t designed to sit still, and neither was the Acer Chromebook R 13. This 360-degree 13-inch convertible Chromebook is empowered with the availability of millions of Android apps from the Google Play store so you can work, play and do more! A fan-less design not only makes it thin and light, but keeps it silent and dust-free. No more worrying about the hot air exhaust.
The 360-degree hinge provides the perfect combination of flexibility and strength so you can effortlessly open the lid yet enjoy a great touch experience. Use it as a mobile Android tablet, optimize productivity in notebook mode, and share and create content with the screen folded backwards. The Chromebook detects the mode you are in and optimizes the sound accordingly through two sets of speakers.
Four modes, one device:
- Notebook: Maximizes productivity with fully functional keyboard.
- Display: Brings the screen closer when you watch a movie, also a great photo frame.
- Tent: The perfect mode when space is limited such as in an airplane or kitchen.
- Tablet: Android apps give a full tablet experience.
Watch what you love in all its clarity with detail and saturated colors from edge to edge thanks to the 13-inch Full HD display with IPS technology. The multi-touch screen makes it easy to surf, organize, swipe and edit with the tip of your fingers.
With an incredible battery life of up to 12 hours, wrap up your tasks during the day and return home with time left to spare. The powerful MediaTek Quad-Core processor provides outstanding performance for great browsing, smooth gaming and amazing video experience.
Supercharged Internet! Equipped with the latest 802.11ac and 2x2 MIMO stay unplugged and connected to the Internet, to wireless devices, and to the world. Enjoy smooth streaming, extremely fast downloads and keep up with your most demanding workloads.
Connect, zip through your transfer, done! The new USB 3.1 Type-C port supports ultra-fast data transfers, power and hi-res display with just one port that's one-third the size of a current USB Port, while the USB 3.0 port can charge up your devices when the Chromebook is powered off.
Whether video conferencing or talking to friends, more people can fit into the screen with the 720p HD wide viewing angle webcam. The 88° wide Field of View (FOV) accommodates more participants in video chats without missing any details while the HDR ensures that your photos and your Google Hangout experience is clear.
Get more done with a Chromebook
Because the Chromebook OS is designed for efficiency and simplicity, the Acer Chromebook R13 starts up in seconds and has virus protection built in, so you can spend less time waiting and more time doing. With a long-lasting battery life, you can keep the full Chrome OS experience at your fingertips.
Chromebooks come with free apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which let you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time with other people, and don't have to sweat losing any of your work since your files are automatically backed up online. You can also open and edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files.
Watch movies, play games or get work done (if you really have to). The Google Play Store offers thousands of free apps, themes, and extensions to help you make the most of your Chromebook. Plus, automatic updates help keep your Chromebook safe with the latest virus protection.
Chromebooks stay synced with your Android phones & tablets, and everywhere you're signed in with your Google account - so your stuff stays with you, even when your laptop doesn't. Switching between accounts is a snap, so you can easily share your Chromebook without anyone else messing with your stuff.
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TWO THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUY: For a 13” convertible this computer is BIG and HEAVY. It’s practically a 14” laptop with a 13” display. I forgot to add a 13” laptop sleeve when I did my order, but I had an Amazon Basics 14” laptop sleeve sitting around from an Acer Chromebook 14 that I had auditioned a couple months back (which my folks now use). All the other 13” laptops I have owned fit quite nicely into the 13” Amazon sleeves, but those sleeves were too small for this Acer R13 (unless I really stretch the thing and risked scratching the laptop with the zipper). I understand that a convertible needs some bezel beyond the display so you can hold it as a tablet without inadvertently touching things on the screen, but not to the point that a 13” laptop is the size of a 14”. The width isn't all that bad, but the depth could stand to be about half an inch less. The R13 is also heavy. At over 3 pounds it feels unwieldy when using it as a tablet (especially portrait mode). I can manage my 10” Asus Chromebook Flip for extended sessions in tablet mode, but unless you have the R13 resting against your legs and are holding it in landscape mode it gets uncomfortable pretty quickly. If you’re looking to use this R13 primarily in laptop, tent, or stand/display modes or as a tablet in landscape mode that’s resting on something, then the size and weight shouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, if your intent is to use this mainly as a tablet you definitely need to consider the size and weight.
DISPLAY: For a budget 1920x1080 panel the brightness, sharpness, and color are very good and I had no dead pixels. The display is easy to see in a sunlit room and looks good when dimmed in a dark environment. The panel leans towards a warmer color temperature (like the Chromebook 14), which I prefer; and it looks great when streaming video. On my 13” 1080p Chromebooks I like to set the resolution to 1536x864. You lose only a little sharpness, but things are much easier to read. The easiest way to change the resolution on any Chromebook is to hold the “ctrl” and “shift” down while you tap the “+” (zooms in and lowers resolution) or “-“ (zooms out and increases resolution). The resolution will change instantly and you’ll get a notification in the lower right corner. Running in a lower resolution will have NO EFFECT on full screen playback of 1080 video. The lid which houses the display may be metal, but it’s not all that rigid. I recommend caution when opening, closing, or flipping the lid. The touchscreen works well too. Not as responsive as my Pixel, but it already seems better than the one on my Asus Flip. Tapping, scrolling, panning, swiping, and pinch-zooming all work well, but the lid bounces quite a bit when you tap the screen in laptop mode (wobbles back and forth at least 7 times).
PERFORMANCE: Don't expect the R13 to scream right off the bat. It'll be a bit shakey while it updates itself, syncs your account data, and installs your apps/extensions (especially if you already had another Chromebook). Once you do start browsing it'll also be a bit slow to load pages as you build up your cache. So far for me, the performance has been pretty good. The R13 is certainly faster than my flip, but obviously slower than my Pixel LS. It does seem to run better than the Acer Chromebook 14 I picked up for my folks, and the Octane score says it should. I streamed off of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and played some 1080p 60fps videos on YouTube; all of which worked well and played smoothly. Facebook loads quickly and scrolls pretty smoothly (not like on the little Flip). Loading pages while streaming music or video didn’t really seem to cause any issues either. I’m not a tab monster so I really didn’t push the machine in that regard, but I will do some testing and report back. My Wi-Fi connection has been solid, but I have not had a chance to run the R13 with any Bluetooth devices. UPDATE: I've have had a couple crashes (system crashed and restarted) over the past couple days, Both of which occurred during video playback on YouTube, but at this time I don't see this as a real problem. I have been an early adopter of several Chromebooks, and this behavior sometimes occurs with new models (and new to Chrome OS CPUs) and is usually resolved after a couple Chrome OS updates. I had lots of glitches with my Asus Flip when I first got it, but that machine runs great now. If this becomes a problem I'll be sure to update my review. UPDATE 2: After a third crash I did a simple "Hard Reset" to the R13. A hard reset disconnects the battery from all systems that never really shut down (like the charging system or the orientation sensor) allowing them to reset. The whole process takes about 6 seconds and no data or settings are lost. You simply hold the reload/refresh key (circular arrow on top row) and tap the power button. The machine will shut off and then restart in only a couple seconds. Since I did the hard reset I have not had any crashes, and I've been using the R13 a lot (knock on wood).
TOUCHPAD: The touchpad is pretty smooth, relatively solid, and pleasantly responsive (like most Chromebook pads). It fits well into the base, and my example is well seated against the single click button. That button is located front and center under the pad and is easy enough to click as long as you stay within the front 75% of the pad. Trying to click anywhere near the back of the pad will cause excessive flexing of the base and won’t result in an actual click. I only physically “click” the pad when it’s required. Tap-to-click is enabled by default and the pad responds well to all my 1, 2, and 3 finger inputs. The pad is approximately 4” wide by 2.5” tall. I would have preferred another half an inch in the height, but I’m not complaining.
KEYBOARD: When I first posted this review I was pretty harsh on the keyboard in this R13. Aftrer banging away on it for a few more days I have deceided to adjust this section. I’ve never been a fan of the keyboards that Acer puts in their Chromebooks, but the one in this R13 is an improvement over the ones Acer used in the past. I'll admit I’ve been spoiled by some fantastic laptop keyboards, but I would also add that the one in my little Asus Flip feels a bit better. The keyboard in the R13 is a good size for me, and I’ve used it to type this review and a bunch of other stuff. It’ll get the job done for casual to medium users, but can get fatiguing during long sessions spent typing. The pressure required is okay, but I’d still like a little crisper break at the end of the keystroke. I would also have preferred a backlit keyboard for my four hundred bucks, but It isn't essential for me as I've been using Chrome OS keyboards for so long that the layout is second nature. The R13 keyboard should not be considered a deal-breaker at all (unless you plan to pen the next great American novel with it), I just had higher hopes. UPDATE: I think part of my complaints regarding this keyboard are due to the fact that there is enough flex in the center of the laptop's body that you often feel a bit of give when a key bottoms out. If you press, even lightly, between the spacebar and the touchpad the deck will distort.
OVERALL BUILD QUALITY: The R13 is a very attractive laptop and the fit and finish on my unit is very good. I appreciate the metal construction for its aesthetics, but I expected this machine to be more solid (especially considering its weight). This machine is no more rigid (possibly less, even) than my son’s Toshiba Chromebook 2 with its plastic body. I have a couple 13” Ultrabooks that are much thinner and lighter than this R13. Yet they feel much more rigid and exhibit little to no chassis flex when held by a front corner. The R13 twists like a pretzel (okay, maybe I'm exaggeratig a little) when you hold it by the front corner and simply resting your hands on the base as you type results in some flexing. It feels very solid when it’s closed or in tablet mode, but like the keyboard, I expected more. I would also re-state that users are cautious when opening, closing, or flipping the lid as it can get pretty bendy as well (which could result in a cracked screen). UPDATE: While considering why my R13 was so "bendy" I thought about the screws that attach the bottom and deceided to check them out. The 4 screws that run along the end nearest to the hinge weren't exactly coming out, but they were loose. I pulled out a small phillips head, broke all the bottom screws loose, set the laptop lid down on a nice flat surface and then snugged up all the screws. I would say that there is now less chasis flex when I hold it by one of the front corners. This didn't change the amount of flex in the main deck, nor did I expect it to.
BATTERY AND CHARGING: The R13 uses USB Type C charging and the included power adapter comes in 2 sections and totals 12ft in length with a 1”x 1.5”x 4” brick in the middle. I will comment further on battery life at a later time and once I’ve run through a couple cycles. At the time of this writing and with the display at about 25% brightness, the battery is at 90%, and I have around 11:45 of power left (Wow!). UPDATE: I am very impressed with the battery on the R13. I basically used it for 2 evenings at home without recharging. When it was run down to 7% I shut the power off and plugged the computer in (a good technique to use if you want to "reset" the battery meter). I came back in 1-1/2 hours and it was full. I started surfing at 25% brightness with 2 tabs open in the browser and my mail open in a second window and the meter reported I had 13 hours of battery life. 25% brightness is just fine (and less straining on the eyes) in a room with the TV and a lamp on, so I'm really not making any sort of major sacrafice to save battery power. I need to pay more attention to the machine next time I recharge it. And I'd also like to do a 15 minute charge test to see how much on-time that will net me (in the Pixel you can get around 2 hours of battery in 15 minutes of charging). UPDATE: I ran the battery down to 8%, shut the machine down and plugged in the charger. The time to recharge was 1-1/2 hours. I have 2 tabs open and my Gmail in a separate window, my screen is at 25% brightness and I'm typing this update. The battery meter reports that I'm at 100% and have 11-1/2 to 12 hours of battery time available (it's jumps around a bit based on my actions). Obviously this would change were I to brighten the screen or really start surfing around, but still, the battery is impressive considering that the first laptop I ever bought ran for about 45 minutes before you had to plug it in!
MISCELANEOUS: All the ports and plugs work well, as do the side mounted power and volume buttons. The speakers sound pretty good and I like the side/bottom firing configuration. They aren't all that loud, but they do sound good. The headphone jack has plenty of power and can handle some of my hard to drive headphones. The included webcam is average at best, and I haven’t had a chance to make a video call yet. The biggest micro SD card I have is a 64GB and it worked fine. I'd imagine this could handle a 128GB card, but I don't know about a 256GB. The R13 connected right up to my cloud printer and I did a quick remote desktop session with a Win 10 PC. I plugged in my Schiit Bifrost DAC and the R13 recognized it right away. It worked with a Logitech micro-receiver mouse and also a Logitech USB webcam. You can plug in your digital camera (nothing too old) and directly upload your pictures to the machine or your cloud drive. HDMI to my TV worked good as a mirror, extended, and external display. I also tried it with an external optical drive and had no issues (reads only compatible files... no CD/DVD playback or burning).
A HANDY TIP TO SIMPLIFY LOGIN: With the update to Chrome OS Version 54 you can now use a pin to log into your Chromebook when it wakes from sleep or when you switch users. With the R13 you can easily tell if you’re in sleep mode by looking for the flashing amber light on the right side of the laptop. If you actually shut the machine down (as opposed to simply closing the lid) and restart it you will still need to log in with your Google password. This capability isn’t enabled by default, but it’s easy to set up by using the following steps. This is especially handy when logging in while not in laptop mode (meaning you're using the on-screen keyboard); especially if you have special characters in your password.
• Enable the Quick Unlock flag at chrome://flags/#quick-unlock-pin (type into browser)
• Next head into the new Material Design settings menu at chrome://md-settings/
• From here select the option to Configure Quick Unlock
• Select the Quick Unlock setting you’d like to use, configure your PIN, and reboot
CONCLUSION (For Now): I think this could have been a much better Chromebook with only a few small tweaks; mainly the size and the weight. I didn’t expect this 13” Chromebook to be the size of a 14” Chromebook. Especially considering that it is meant to be used as a tablet from time to time. I wish Acer would have done a bit more work on the keyboard or at least included a backlight. I also wish this R13 was more solid/rigidly built. There’s just a ton of flex in both the lid, the deck, and the base for a metal body. If you’re looking for an attractive convertible with adequate performance that can be used “occasionally” as a tablet the R13 should be considered. If you want a giant tablet to run Android apps (should be here by the end of the year) you really need to realize how unwieldy this thing can be when using it as a tablet. In this regard I would say that bigger isn’t always better. This will be a good fit for me because I bought it primarily for sitting up in bed and watching video. I expected just a bit more for what the R13 costs, and if you don’t need the 180 degree hinge there are much nicer machines out there for not too much more money (Dell Chromebook 13, HP Chromebook 13 for example).
REGARDING THE PHOTOS: A reader asked if I could compare the display of the R13 to the Toshiba Chromebook 2. I included my Pixel LS display as another reference. The brightness looks similar in the pictures due to my phone’s camera, but the Toshiba is definitely brighter (probably 340 nits according to Laptopmag) than the R13 and similar to the Pixel (which is also very bright). The R13 and the Toshiba are warmer where the Pixel is a bit cooler in color temperature. The R13 and Pixel have a more neutral level of color saturation while the CB2 has a much higher saturation (un-natural, but pleasing to many people). The temperature and saturation actually showed up pretty well. This does speak to my wish that Google would include some basic user adjustable color/saturation settings in Chrome OS. As I stated earlier in my review, I am happy with the color quality and brightness level of R13 even if it isn’t the brightest or most colorful display available in a Chromebook.
Picture 1: Toshiba CB 2 on left: Acer R13 on right
Picture 2: Toshiba CB 2 on left: Pixel LS on right
Picture 3: Pixel on left: Acer R13 on right
I am developing all new websites using online themes like Divi, so I no longer need my PC only Artisteer or Mac-Centric RapidWeaver programs to create and maintain responsive sites. My workhorse Acer 720P was starting to lose a little battery life, and I longed for a better display. After much research, I opted for the Acer R13.
As many have noted, the screen is lovely, the fit and finish of the case, feel and function of keyboard and trackpad are impressive. Pages and files load quickly and WiFi connections are solid with no apparent attenuation from the metal case. So far, battery life seems to meet published quotes of 10 to 11 hours. As with most Chrome laptops, estimated remaining power is frequently recalculated. The R13 takes updates of remaining battery life to a maddening extreme. One minute it may inspire with an estimated 7 hours and the next a depressing 5 hours. It shifts enough to limit it as a useful estimate of remaining run time. My astigmatism forces me to spend an inordinate amount of time adjusting and testing different resolutions and find the 1536x864 setting with a page zoom of 125% yields the best text clarity for me.
The R13 is frequently described as heavy. It does have a bit of solid heft to it, but I would not characterize it as heavy. After draining the battery to 3%, charge time to full was approximately 2 hours. Some complain that screen brightness is limited, but from one who often lights a room with the glow from his computer, I find the screen at max to be too bright to use for extended periods. Audio volume is a tad lower than that of my Acer 270P but loud enough to share music and videos with others sitting close. Bluetooth syncs quickly with my LG headset.
The R13 is one of the Chromebooks listed by Google in line for Play Store Apps support, but as of this review, the only way to install apps is to switch to the Beta channel. The only app of interest to me is Skype, and I can wait for stable channel support.
The Acer R13 is an excellent laptop computer and has become my La-Z-Boy computer of choice. Recommended without hesitation!
Update: With almost a week of daily use, the R13 has never disappointed, Battery life is close to 10 ½ hours. Charge time from lows around 3% remaining life to 100% is a bit less than 2 hours. YouTube videos and MP4 files stream without hiccups. As of this update, the Play Store is not available on the stable channel. I switched to beta and downloaded the free release of the Power Director, video editor. I am familiar with the PC desktop program and impressed with features, responsiveness, and ease of use of the Android app. I decided I could wait for the promised stable channel release and reset the R13 to the stable channel. The R13 has become my preferred laptop for entertainment and work. I spend much of my time developing, and maintaining websites using the Divi theme and Divi Developer plugin. I am literally using the R13 while comfortably seated in a Lay-Z-Boy recliner where the fan-less cool case is appreciated.
My Acer R13 Chromebook just updated to Version 60.0.3112.112 (Official Build) (32-bit) and enabled Play Store access using the stable channel. Long wait but as I look through the store none of the apps seem particularly appealing. 8-30-2017
1. Bootup time is crazy fast (maybe 5 seconds).
2. Overall inexpensive option for checking email and basic web browsing.
3. Screen is clear and keyboard is pretty good.
4. Battery lasts for 12+ hours in my normal use.
1. The hinge appears to flex the back of the screen, which is causing mine to separate.
2. Chrome OS takes quite a bit of getting used to (compared to Windows or Mac OS).
3. Apps from the Play Store are a little glitchy.