Here are key points about the CHROMEBOOK R11.
Sleek, Thin, and Textured: The Acer Chromebook R11 is very sleek, thin, and lightweight. A stack of paper of the same thickness might weight almost the same, which is great considering the device is quite capable. I like the texture on the bottom and top of the device, but it does have a very airy feel to it. Nevertheless, the texture will keep the device from slipping out of your hands.
Google Play Store: Using the Google Chrome OS means you are limited to software applications designed specifically for the operating system (Chrome OS). Google's Play Store is loaded with tons of compatible applications and games. I was able to find many of my desktop and phone applications in the store, and they all ran very well on the Chromebook R11.
USB and SD Card Slots: With two USB ports (one is USB 3.0) and an SD card slot, you will be able to browse through your camera's photos and even store pictures and files on external storage devices. Now, USB port compatibility is not perfect, but you should be able to use external keyboards, mice, and even webcams. An HDMI port is present, allowing you to use an external display with the Chromebook R11.
Wireless AC: The Acer Chromebook R11 uses an Intel 7265NGW Dual Band Wireless-AC card. I am happy to report that Wi-Fi speeds were quite good, and you shouldn't encounter any streaming issues. I had no problem streaming Hulu and Netflix content, and applications downloaded quickly.
Battery Life: Half of the Chromebook R11 is the battery, and battery life is excellent. I was able to get 7-8 hours of mixed usage out of a single charge, and the notebook charged to 100% within a few hours.
Learning Curve: You do have to get used to Chrome OS. Coming from Windows to Chrome, you actually do have the ability to run mobile versions of the most popular desktop titles such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, and Chrome, but you are limited when it comes to more specific software. Getting used to the fact that the OS tries to make you save everything to the cloud, slightly limited options without internet connectivity, and a different menu setup will take some time, but it's manageable.
Celeron Isn't the Fastest: Intel's Celeron processors are great because of their low heat output and compatibility, but they aren't the snappiest processors. While the Celeron used in the Chromebook R11 is good enough to run Chrome OS applications, it's not comparable in responsiveness to a notebook or desktop with an Intel Core series CPU.
My first experience with a Chromebook is the Acer Chromebook R11, and I would get this instead of a similarly sized tablet if not only because it does offer a level of usability not present with many tablets. I like the fact that it has a physical keyboard and multiple ports for expandability, and its touchscreen display is very beautiful and responsive.
Most of what we do on our computers, from watching Netflix to typing can be done in the Chrome OS with a Chromebook. While reviewing the Acer Chromebook R11, there were many times when I reached for the Chromebook R11 instead of my phone or tablet.
While the Chromebook R11 isn't a full-fledged notebook replacement, it has potential. With reasonable pricing under $300, Chromebooks are finding their way into schools and perhaps even homes at surprising rates. If I had the choice to buy a tablet or Chromebook at the same price point, I would choose the Chromebook.
Acer has done an excellent job creating an attractive product with the Chromebook R11. It's quick enough to get things done, has multiple options for expansion, and excellent battery life, so you don't have to always plug in. If you are in the market for a well-equipped Chromebook, then you should give the Acer Chromebook R11 a try.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||94%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||88%|
The Bottom Line: With a magnificent display and a healthy amount of features, the Acer Chromebook R11 is perfect if you are in need of a relatively versatile little machine at a good price.
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