Acer Chromebook White Pearl White 11-11.99 inches
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- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2.4GHz)
- 11.6" HD (1366 x 768) Multi-touch widescreen LED-backlit IPS display
- 4GB DDR4 Onboard Memory, 32GB Storage
- Google Chrome with Wacom Pen Included
- Up to 10-hours Battery Life
- Max Memory: 16 GB
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From the manufacturer
360° of Versatility
This 360-degree convertible Chromebook, Spin 11 with included Wacom technology pen, captures every subtle detail of your idea to maximize productivity. It’s super portable design meets the rigors of daily life by both students inside and outside the classroom thanks to its military-grade durability and special keyboard drainage system.
- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2.4GHz)
- 11.6" HD IPS 10-point multitouch screen (1366 x 768)
- 4GB of Onboard DDR4 Memory & 32GB internal storage
- 2 - USB Type-C ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C
- 5MP 1080P Full HD (2592 x 1944) HDR rear-facing camera & 1MP 720P HD (1280 x 720) HDR front-facing camera
- Wacom EMR Pen
- 2-cell Li-Ion (4780 mAh) Battery, Up to 10 Hours Battery Life
- Google Chrome
Maximizes productivity with full functional keyboard.
Brings the screen closer for enjoying any entertainment content.
Perfect in a narrow space like on an airplane or viewing a recipe in the kitchen.
The best way to browse the Internet, play games or shar information.
Military Grade Durability
A 360° convertible Chromebook with military grade durability means that it can take the daily knocks of kids or adults, even if it accidentally falls off a table. The unique dual-torque hinge ensures a wobble-free touch experience.
Spill Resistant Keyboard
The Chromebooks unique drainage system provides protection against system damage caused by accidental spills. The design allows 330ml of water to be spilled over the keyboard and moves liquids away from important components fast, thanks to two square drain holes that increase drainage speed.
Write Naturally with Wacom Technology
With fast and accurate control, the Wacom technology pen provides unsurpassed usability (Included with purchase). Create directly on screen with the most natural pen experience ever, as naturally as you would with pen and paper.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I've waffled a lot between preferring either the Chromebook or the iPad Mini for travel. But I'd be really upset if I ever lost my iPad... whereas a lost or stolen Chromebook is pretty survivable. I'd hate to lose one, but I'd feel that my data is safe. I know losing a ~us$400 device is still major, but it just wouldn't carry the same life-and-death meaning, y'know?
Anyway. This review is long, so let me begin with its salient takeaways:
- The build quality cannot be beat. Sturdy construction makes this Chromebook a great value.
- Decent performance for the size and expense.
- Terrific keyboard, very comfortable for long-stint typing (although I did put a silicon cover on mine, and I do feel that this has made a difference)
- "Handsomely benign"
- Not an ASUS
- Free stylus
- It's a Chromebook!
- Bulky and rather heavy, not at all a tablet replacement (although tent mode does work well)
- Grainy screen and tinny speakers will be a dealbreaker for some.
- Lower battery life than Acer claims -- 8 hours or fewer, I'd say. Not bad, not exemplary either
- The mousepad is... functional, but not good.
- It's a Chromebook.
When I first started looking for a new "portable machine," I knew I wanted a small computer to serve as a reasonably-priced "go-between" (I switch a lot between a Mac and a PC for work, and I also travel a fair amount).
I quickly realized that "performance" was, weirdly, not going to be the highest criterion on my priority list -- if it were, I'd just bring my MacBook Pro with me to Europe, right?
What I wanted was something small. Secure. And rugged! A TANK! And with a Gorilla Glass screen, ideally! If a small, inexpensive computer IS meant to be tossed into a backpack, it should be sturdy and tough! A lot of tech reviewers praise other Chromebooks' superficial resemblances to MacBooks, which I personally find baffling. Aluminum unibodies are prone to dents and scuffs!
I realized I was probably going to be looking seriously at, not an "adult" Chromebook, but a Chromebook designed for kids and students.
And the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 IS, in fact, intended for kids. But please don't be deterred if you're older -- there is nothing childish about wanting a laptop that won't break in your luggage.
It's called "Spin" because it's a four-position convertible laptop. I actually really enjoyed my last ultrabook, the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, only because I could leave my laptop in either "stand mode" or "tent mode" and use my own mechanical keyboard. The exact same is true of the Acer Spin: I can set up a cozy little workspace in a hotel with my external bluetooth Filco keyboard. Ahh, so homey.
Except... I *like* this thing's keyboard? Elsewhere I've seen it called "mushy"; *I* would say that it just isn't as weird and clicky and "chicklet" as some contemporary keyboards. Even though the machine is a petite 11" or so, the keyboard is very comfortably sized, not noticeably cramped at all. I've been typing on my Acer Spin for six hours now -- really!! -- and although I wouldn't go so far as to call the keyboard a "pleasure to use," it's certainly more than acceptable according to my high standards. I WILL say, however, I slightly prefer typing with a silicon keyboard cover on top. (The Spin's keys' "travel distance" is actually very short and shallow, so maybe I like using a silicon cover because it gives the illusion of a longer travel distance.)
The touch mousepad is... not great. It's almost bad. Two-finger "right-clicking" is kind of a chore. It isn't quite as bad as the mousepad on my Predator gaming laptop, though, which is also made by Acer. (Who is designing these terrible touchpads? Is it just one guy??)
For that matter, the Acer Spin 11 won't win any audio/visual awards. The screen is dimmer and lower-res than you might hope, and sound is tinny and pretty quiet. It isn't a very exciting machine. It struggles to run certain sideloaded game ROMs, for instance.
And the entire machine is plasticky. For its size, it's heavy and pretty beefy. It's too thick to really use as a tablet (although I HAVE used it to read an eBook in portrait mode). A lot of people won't like the design overall.
I personally think that, aesthetically, it's appealingly sporty, like a running shoe. It reminds me of "survivalism" -- you know, army knives and "tactical" breath mints and all that. You could definitely take this laptop and go camp in a yurt.
It's still just a Chromebook, though, so the associated perks and limitations apply. Chrome power-users know that they can also install and run Linux, access Windows and Mac machines remotely, et al. (I consider Chromebooks' reliance on cloud-based storage a huge negative, but Android support has changed this somewhat.)
Thanks to Google Play support, the Acer Spin 11 does run Android apps. I regularly leave the Android versions of BlueMail, Telegram, 1password, and iA Writer all open and running simultaneously. (I'm writing this in iA Writer right now! Through Dropbox, it synchronizes my drafts with my PC, MacBook, and iOS devices.)
But what really makes Chromebooks great is the fact that, ultimately, they offer a stripped-down work environment, free from distraction. The fewer apps and tabs you leave open, the better the machine functions, which in turn imbues a certain monastic "practical minimalism" in the user. Generally Chromebooks are snappy... but a Chromebook ill-used will be sluggish instead.
The Acer Spin 11 definitely zips along far better than Chromebooks that come at a lower price point, which are the Chromebooks I have previously used. I can enthusiastically confirm that this particular model of the Acer Spin can simultaneously run four other Android apps and a handful of "live" browser tabs -- in addition to Netflix Android simultaneously playing an episode of the Joel McHale Show -- without running into any hangs or lags.
I encountered performance difficulties only when I briefly disabled a Chrome browser extension called uBlock Origin. The ads on the website I was visiting slowed my machine to a halt, and I finally had to reboot my machine (for the first time in two months!). I also use a plugin called "The Great Suspender," which "sleeps" on open browser tabs that haven't been looked-at in a while. Both add-ons have drastically improved performance in a machine that might otherwise fall short.
At this price point the available eleven-inch Chromebooks are slim pickins, unfortunately. You've got Acer, you've got Dell, you've got the more-expensive Samsung. The top-rated frontrunner, if you read a lot of tech reviews, is definitely one of the 11.6" ASUS machines.
I've had two ASUS computers previously -- a netbook and a Chromebook -- and both fell apart. It was like plate tectonics, where the different planes of the chassis slowly shifted out of place. After a couple years with the netbook, it got to a point where, if I were typing and I paused to rest my right palm on the space for palms, the machine would suddenly shut off, losing whatever I was working on.
Still, the ASUS Flip is probably the top-rated Chromebook in this price point, so I remained open to it. But when I read user reviews suggesting the build quality was not great... ugh, call it confirmation bias, but it sounded like a familiar tune. So I wrote the ASUS off and kept searching.
The Acer Spin 11 is definitely a polarizing machine. I've noticed that professional tech reviewers give it glowing, middling, AND low reviews, depending on what they're looking for.
Ultimately it all comes down to how you intend to use the machine. It isn't a desktop replacement -- I've read that the Acer Spin 11 can huff and puff during certain benchmark tests -- and it's too large and cumbersome to function as a true tablet replacement.
But I think it's a great... Chromebook.
Philosophically I think a practical Chromebook should never be stunningly beautiful, or able to run everything you throw at it, or even necessarily sound great or whatever. Sure, there are Chromebooks that can outperform this one, and there are Chromebooks that look like "grown-up" machines, with backlit keyboards and aluminum unibodies and all that. This machine, in comparison, isn't glamorous.
But I can't help but feel that, in this category, no Chromebook will ever really measure up. You have to manage your expectations instead.
Although it would be impossible to ever mistake it for a Google Pixel computer, the stalwart Acer Spin 11 is a handsomely benign device, and a wonderful little work machine. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to "road warriors" as a secondary laptop, to students who require a go-anywhere note-taking essay-writing machine, and to kiddos whose parents want them to have a safe, secure "grown-up" computer that can also stand up to some roughhousing.
I gave the sound quality four stars merely because I know nothing of sound quality. I can hear something therefore, good quality.
The only thing I dislike: no delete button, only backspace. Not that it’s a huge deal but I like having both.