Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C7QD) Review

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7.5 Total Score

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD is a small, portable, and versatile little machine supported by good battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and great interactivity. It easily stands out in a market filled with budget-friendly Chromebooks.

  • Great design and build
  • Lovely size
  • Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism
  • Dim, low-resolution screen
  • Screen has massive bezels

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD is exactly what most of us want from a Chromebook: Small, inexpensive, and powerful enough to handle work and some light play every day. Acer designed the Spin 311 for students, children, and pretty anyone looking for an incredibly portable machine that checks all boxes for essential use, and true, it’s one of the best Chromebooks for students that can easily compete with some of the best budget laptops, all at a very reasonable price.

Aesthetically, the Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD is fairly understated, covered in a silver exterior interrupted with Acer and Chrome logos on the lid. Because of the restrained look, it would fit in perfectly whether you’re using it in a business meeting or taking notes in class.

It’s such a pleasure to use for work because the touchpad and keyboard are among the best we’ve seen on a Chromebook. That said, the keyboard feels a little cramped, which is expected of an 11.6-inch chassis. If you’re coming from a bigger size, it will take some time to adjust, but its satisfying clicks and actuation will win you over in the end.

The display is a bit of a mixed bag: Its touchscreen capability is easy to use and very durable – it’s protected by Gorilla glass – but it’s a little dim and too small for comfort. It’s also surrounded by thick bezels, and I feel that’s a lot of wasted space.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD Review flip

Overall, the design on the Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD might feel a bit too small for some users, and if you’re looking for a laptop replacement this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for something inexpensive that’s going to survive the occasional push and shove in the classroom and daily commute, then this Chromebook is certainly one to consider.

Acer CP311-2H-C7QD Specs

  • CPU: intel Celeron N4000
  • Display: 11.6 inches, 1366 x 768
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Size: ‎11.65 x 8.11 x 0.79 inches
  • Weight: 2.62 pounds
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11ac

Design and Features

As mentioned, the Spin 311 is the love or hate rendition of a Chromebook: Affordable yes, but it gets thick bezels around the screen, an all-aluminum silver chassis, and a build that’s cut to be both durable and portable.

And the Acer CP311-2H-C7QD succeeds on those last two. It doesn’t get any flex around any point of the body, including the body and hinges. The screen has Gorilla glass protection, so it should withstand a few falls.

Since Acer sells this Chromebook as a portable alternative to your bulky laptop, weighing 2.62 pounds and measuring ‎11.65 x 8.11 x 0.79 inches is very portable, and that footprint is smaller than a standard A4 sheet of paper.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD Review keyboard

The Chromebook Spin 311 is tiny and that’s as much of a pro as it is a con. It doesn’t matter how you look at this machine, it feels cramped. You can carry it around without much hefty, but for most heavy users the limited space is annoying, and at most a deal-breaker.

That’s an issue we often experience on Chromebooks this size, not of the Acer Spin 311 itself. Otherwise, the build quality is excellent, and although it looks a bit uninspired, it still manages to look sleek and attractive.

Port selection is light, but you get enough of them for almost all your peripherals. On the right side, there’s a USB-A port next to a Kensington Lock and the volume rocker, and on the left, there’s a USB-C connection next to a headphone/microphone combo jack and the power button. The USB-C port supports DisplayPort over USB-C allowing you to use an external display. It also serves as the charging port.

Acer CP311-2H-C7QD Review: Display

The Chromebook Spin 311 sports an 11.6-inch IPS display with a resolution just above 720p (1366 x 768). It’s a screen of tradeoffs. On one hand, the display is covered by an antimicrobial Gorilla glass, which protects it from most falls. On the other, its peak brightness is abysmally low, as is the resolution, and it has thick bezels.

When used to watch movies, the resolution is still low. Even at 11.6-inches, the resolution is too low. It feels like the movies have been compressed one too many times, with fast-paced scenes falling apart in a smear of pixels.

The screen measures a peak brightness of 205.3 nits, occasionally dropping below the 200-industry average. The Spin 311’s display produces 70.6% of the sRGB color spectrum, which is underwhelming considering competitors like the Asus Chromebook Flip C433 can deliver a 73.4% sRGB spectrum rating.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD Review front

In short, it’s a not-so-good screen for watching movies or TV shows. That said, you can fire up Destiny 2 on Stadia and won’t have any issues. Even in a fast-paced FPS, the screen handles motion well, and in the context of a game, the lower resolution is easy to ignore.

As a touchscreen, the display works fine, but it’s not perfect. A few hiccups like accidentally clicking a link while scrolling keeps the experience from being perfect. At this price, though, a few minor gripes are expected and easy to contend with.

Acer CP311-2H-C7QD Review: Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard is, without a doubt, the strongest feature of the Acer CP311-2H-C7QD. While the self-proclaimed mechanical keyboards offer the best typing experience, you can fly on the Spin 311. It even rivals the typing experience on the Dell XPS 15, which is seriously impressive considering how inexpensive the Spin 311 is.

It’s not by accident that the typing experience is great, either. The Spin 311’s keys have a travel distance of 1.6mm, which adds a nice amount of snap and responsiveness to each keystroke. This is a feature Acer shows off prominently, even on the Spin’s pre-applied factory sticker. At first, it seems like nothing more than a marketing gimmick, but after using the Spin 311, you believe it.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD Review lid

On the other hand, the touchpad is similarly responsive, but it’s on the small side (it measures 2.4 x 4.1 inches). It’s wide but short, so while you can swipe from side to side without issues, your finger might occasionally fall off when moving up or down. That’s not a reason not to buy, but something to note. Gestures are still not precise, google hasn’t quite mastered the feel of Windows Precision drivers yet, but it’s close.

Acer CP311-2H-C7QD Review: Performance

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is powered by an Intel Celeron N4000, a lower-end processor that you can find in affordable PCs. As a basic CPU, it has only two cores with a single computing thread per core. It has a high maximum clock speed of 2.6GHz and a surprisingly large 4MB cache for the budget processor category. Acer pairs the Celeron N4000 chip with 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage.

The processing power is fine for a machine this size. Jumping from window to window feels smooth when you have a few lightweight applications open. For most users, the Spin 311’s performance is acceptable. It may not be so powerful, but it’s surprisingly efficient given the hardware inside. You can run office tasks, type away college assignments and enjoy some movies without glitches.

Thanks to the low-spec components, the Acer Chromebook 311 comes with low expectations from a performance perspective. However, if you keep things with the remit and it stands out as a pretty impressive little portable. You’ll be surprised that it can drive an external 1080p monitor at full resolution, and it even renders a high-quality YouTube stream flawlessly via the USB Type-C port that supports DisplayPort over USB-C.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD...
  • Aspect Ratio:16:9
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - An operating system by Google that is built for the way we...
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you...

As for broader system performance, Chrome OS feels fairly snappy and responsive, even on an external display. There’s simply no way Windows would feel this responsive running on the same hardware. If you need more gust in a Chromebook, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is a fine alternative with a Core i3 chip, has a 1080p touch display and boasts more storage, and of course, will set you back more money.

Battery life, however, is fantastic; you can hit over 10 hours of video playback before the Spin 311 runs out of juice. That’s very impressive at this price point, and means you can expect true all-day battery life.

Acer Chromebook Spin Review | Verdict

The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD is just another silver Chromebook in a market filled with lots of them. That makes it hard to recommend and compare against something like the Asus Chromebook Flip C433 which does what the Spin 311 does better in many areas, is more powerful, has a Full HD (1080p) display, and is not-so-expensive.

The Saving grace is the Spin 311’s keyboard, which is truly excellent. It’s not as good as the best laptop keyboards, but the fact that it’s an 11.6-inch Chromebook that costs so little speaks volumes. The battery is solid, too, and although performance isn’t top-of-the-class, it’s enough to handle light, day-to-day tasks.

Should you buy the Acer CP311-2H-C7QD?

Yes. If you’re looking for a small, inexpensive, and compact Chromebook. The compact nature of the Chromebook Spin 311 makes it a great device for anyone looking for something you can use one-handed. The touchscreen and ability of the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-2H-C7QD make it an incredibly flexible machine that can be used pretty everywhere.

Last update on 2024-07-17 at 19:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C7QD) Review
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C7QD) Review
$193.00 $249.99
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