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The Acer Premium R11, a convertible-hybrid Chromebook running on Google’s Chrome OS, offers an inexpensive alternative to the traditional PC experience. If Windows is a must-have for your projects, this might not be best choice – you’re better off with a full-fledged budget notebook. But, if it isn’t a must have, this laptop might be what you’re looking for.
This chromebook packs an Intel Celeron processor, 4Gb of memory, and a solid-state drive (SSD) storage, making it a solid performer for the price. Yes, it lacks the ASUS chromebok Flip‘s metallic body, but the Premium R11 offer more screen are, doubles the local storage, and includes faster components. All that, plus a robust, stylish construction and useful port options, earn the Acer R11 a spot among our top picks for chromebooks.
The Premium R11 is a nice-looking system, measuring 0.76 by 11.6 by 8 inches (HWD) and weighing 2.76 pounds. Its sibling from last year, the Acer Chromebook R 11 is very similar (0.8-by-11.6-by-8 inches; 2.76 pounds), while the 10-inch ASUS C100PA-DB02 is a bit lighter at 0.6 by 10.4 by 7.2 inches and 2 pounds.Its aluminum lid has a plastic trim along the edges, and features a pattern cut from nano-imprint technology, giving it a premium feel of a textured plastic emboldened in a metallic finish. As with all Acer chromebooks, it doesn’t feel flimsy, though the Asus Chromebook Flip’s metallic build has a sleeker feel.
The system’s 1,366-by-768 11.6-inch touchscreen isn’t the brightest in the packs, neither is it 1080p, but it does compensate with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. Having IPS feature for the price is a rarity, it allows you to view the screen at wider angles without losing the color quality. This is a bonus, considering that the system is a convertible system; thus, if you fold it in a different mode, not everyone will be staring at the screen head on.
A versatile hinge system adds more functionality to the overall experience. In addition to Laptop mode, there are Display mode, Tent mode and Tablet mode, which is quite helpful for different use scenarios. It uses two hinges, located on each side of the screen’s bottom edge. They provide enough support, making the panel feel sturdy in any mode.
Keyboard and Touchpad
This chromebook uses a well-built chiclet-style keyboard, though, the key could do with more travel. Individual keys feel like they have too much resistance. As expected for a value system, the keys lack backlighting, while the Toshiba Chromebook 2, features a backlight keyboard. The Premium R11’s touchpad is smooth and has a responsive feel.
Inputs and Storage
Port selection is good – for the price. On the left side is a Power jack, a USB 3.0 port, and an SD card slot. The right side holds a USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. Compared: this system has more useful ports than the Asus Chromebook Flip’s USB 2.0 port, a micro-HDMI port, and microSD card slot. It comes with a 1,280-by-720 front-facing camera, which subtly records decent-quality videos.Wireless connectivity comes via dual-band 802.11c Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
For storage, there’s a 32GB SSD on board, providing double the 16GB you’d find on Asus’ Chromebook Flip. For Chromebooks, 32GB storage is pretty standard even for more expensive laptops. However, Google compliments it with 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years with every new Chrome-OS system. Although Chrome OS systems can’t run traditional Windows programs, there are alternatives for basic applications and photo-editing. The apps can be accessed offline, but depending on your needs, Chrome systems aren’t full-replacements of Windows systems.
With a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3160 processor and 4GB memory, the R 11 is a fast system, in addition to the snappy SSD loading times. It boots up in a record 5 seconds, and is perfectly able to run a couple of Web applications and stream videos, simultaneously. Still, the Toshiba Chromebook 2, with an Intel Core i3 CPU, offers better multitasking, and can handle intensive tasks like photo-editing and multiple browser tabs. Nonetheless, for day-to-day multitasking, the Premium R11 can get the job done – and done well.
Battery life is perhaps the main highlight here. With over 10 hours 30 minutes on a single charge, this a strong showing for daily-use chromebook. The Asus Chromebook Flips lasts longer (11:14), but it has a smaller, lower-resolution, that doesn’t need as much energy. The Lenovo IdeaPad 100S-11 sits at the very top, with 11 hours 29 minutes.
Affordable, Fast, Better
The 2017 Acer Acer Premium R11 is a convertible-hybrid Chrome OS system, that delivers impeccable all-round performance, and lasts all-day. It packs a solid feature set, offers a sturdy construction, and useful ports options for much less than the competition. It lacks an all-aluminum build, but that’s just it, we expect more from the competition these days. To that, it adds an extra 2GB of memory and doubles the storage over its closest rivals, the Asus Chromebook Flip, all of which are welcome additions, and so is the extra screen real estate. For all these, the premium R11 Acer Premium R11 earns our Editors’ Choice award.
Acer Premium R11
The Acer Premium R11 is a convertible-hybrid Chrome OS system, that delivers impeccable all-round performance, and has a battery that lasts all-day.
- Quite inexpensive
- Sturdy, convertible design
- Useful, full-size ports
- Would do with longer key travel