A 2-in-1 Chrome OS laptop and tablet that approach with the ordinary strengths and weaknesses a Chromebook offers. Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is amazing machine in such a little price.
|Versatile design||Limited performance|
|Decent battery life||Chrome OS|
|Impressive connectivity||Poor-performing speakers|
- Intel Celeron N3350
- 1.1GHz Intel HD Graphics 500
- 4GB RAM, LPDDR4
- 64GB, eMMC
- 11.6-inch IPS LCD screen
- 296 x 206 x 20.90mm
What is Acer Chromebook Spin 11?
We’ve seen relatively a small number of Chromebooks hitting UK stores this precedent year, from a diversity of manufacturers counting Asus and HP. However, the nearly all prolific manufacturers of these online-only laptops are Acer, with more than half a dozen devices to its name.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (or ‘R751TN-C0CG’) is a classic entry. For just a small amount of money, you find a machine with essential specs and Google’s Chrome OS, which is designed for everybody who’s glad working with apps or in their web browser.
Spin 11’s USP is its stretchy design. That screen is capable of bend right back until the Chromebook efficiently turns into a tablet, which suits the touchscreen-friendly OS. So is that sufficient to suggest the Spin over rivals, and how does it contrast in other areas?
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Design and Makeup
Like a good number of Chromebooks, such as Acer’s own Chromebook 14, the Spin 11 is compact. While it’s pretty chunky (20mm thick when closed), I had no difficulty at all slipping it into my negligible backpack. At 1.4kg, it isn’t too hefty either, even though you’ll find lighter models if you shop around.
Chromebooks infrequently impress when it comes to design, offering small in the way of flair or frills. Acer definitely doesn’t buck that trend here. The Spin 11 gives off a budget vibe from the instant you clap eyes on its synthetic lid with plain linear pattern. It’s an old-school look, not helped by that thick finish.
Pull unlock the lid and the interior isn’t any more thrilling; a plain matte finish is what awaits. I have no complaints about the toughness of this device, however. The Spin 11 can soak up all kinds of knocks, bumps, and scrapes, which makes it well suitable to live on the road. It’s incredibly a grab-and-go type of device.
Those hinges are well designed, keeping the display definitely in position even when you’re jabbing it non-stop. And the Spin 11 transitions flawlessly between laptop and tablet mode, basically by swinging the screen all the way approximately until the lid touches the rear end. This robotically deactivates the keyboard, which is a blessing for sure — pushing those keys is inescapable to get a good grip on the thing.
You get a couple of cameras with the Spin 11: one positioned above the screen, and one more housed just above the keyboard (which faces outward in tablet form). These cameras are very well for Skype sessions, even though you won’t see a lot more than a gritty mess in poor lighting conditions.
Connectivity is usually fairly limited with Chromebooks, though Acer has served up enough ports here to satisfy. Two Type-A USB ports are connected by a couple of Type-C ports, split between the two edges.
You as well get a microSD memory card slot, for increasing the 64GB of built-in storage, although this must prove plenty for apps and other bits – unless you download a load of games (note that simply 45GB was in fact accessible for make use of).
Acer has still added a volume rocker to the side, in addition to the enthusiastic media controls above the keyboard. Handy for when the twist is in tablet mode.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Keyboard and touchpad
If you’re after an appliance for smashing out extensive essays or dozens of everyday emails, the Chromebook Spin 11 will surely satisfy.
The chiclet-style keyboard stretches almost completely from edge-to-edge, making the nearly all of the space on offer. Each key is fine-sized and spaced from its neighbors, and I was grateful not to have Page Down/Up keys crammed in alongside the cursor keys – which I forever end up hitting by accident. The Return key is a tiny bit squished over on the right edge, even though at least it stretches over two rows so I had no difficulty beating it with no glancing down.
The keyboard is firm throughout, with no clue of sponginess as you shift towards the center. And while there isn’t a great deal travel on offer, particularly given the thickness of this apparatus, I found the Spin 11 absolutely comfortable to type on for hours at a time.
A chain of devoted Chrome OS controls sits over the main section, which is an appealing standard. These permit you to rapidly navigate through WebPages and apps, adjust the screen brightness and so on. However, while you find dedicated volume controls here, there’s no key for pausing or skipping songs. Considering you already acquire a volume rocker on the side of the Spin, I’d much rather have those media options in place of the volume up/down controls.
Unhappily, there’s no backlighting. If you desire to type in the dark, you’ll either require relying on touch or turning on a lamp.
Acer’s touchpad is astonishingly spacious and works well, which is pretty rare for a Chromebook. That smooth surface responds fine to swipes, taps and multi-fingered gestures, devoid of proving too sensitive. You are able to also poke the screen directly since it’s touch-sensitive.
The Spin 11 comes bundled with a stylus pen, which is a comfortable and helpful tool for sketching and making notes.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Screen
As it comes to Chromebook displays, my hopes forever fall flat. These devices generally sport fairly basic screen tech, to fit the low asking price.
Typically, the Spin 11’s 11.6-inch IPS panel is useful if not principally inspirational. The basic HD resolution means visuals aren’t precisely super-sharp, although you are capable of still gladly watch your favorite shows with no tutting over blocky image quality. Colors appear more inspiring than on rival devices, although creative professionals will surely want to boost their budget for realistic visuals.
On highest brightness, I found I could usually see what I was doing unless I was trying to watch a moody flick such as John Wick on a sunny day. Darker scenes seem murky and grainy, not helped by the poor contrast levels – so Marvel TV fans will struggle straight away. That backlighting isn’t fairly uniform either, with images appearing brighter around the very edges.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Audio
Not astonishingly, the Spin 11’s audio output isn’t all that great either. For one, the dual speakers are positioned on the bottom, so any sound is instantly muffled by your desk or crotch in normal laptop mode. And still in tent mode for doing watching movies, the audio is aimed away from your face.
On top volume, you are able to just about hear what’s going on in a noisy environment, but the tinny output is similar to a budget tablet, so music sounds poor.
I’d suggest sticking with headphones, even though the port is somewhat ‘sticky’. I found that I had to force the jack all the way inside before the Chromebook really detected my headphones.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Performance
An Intel Celeron N3350 processor powers this Chromebook, backed by 4GB of memory. The end result is a crucial performance, though not anything too painful.
Working in the Chrome browser is absolutely excellent, yet straightforward tasks such as dragging apps around the desktop infrequently result in some serious stammers. I’d surely suggest not having too many apps open at once unless your tolerance is considerably better than mine.
All the same, the most up-to-date Android games tend to be playable on the Spin 11. You’ll see the infrequent frame rate drop, but not anything too shocking. And while I couldn’t perform the normal Trusted Reviews benchmarking, this Chromebook did spit out a score of 3736 in Kraken, which merely means it’s okay for web browsing. That’s superior to many other Chromebooks around this price point.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 – Battery Life
One of the chief advantages of rocking a Chromebook is the frequently absurdly good battery life. This is a result of the low-powered components and slimline operating system. Gratefully, Acer’s machine doesn’t dissatisfy in this area, although it surely isn’t the strongest device we’ve tested.
If you want an appliance to last a full working day with mixed-use, you’ll have no problems here. The Spin 11 characteristically lasts around eight to nine hours when using browser-based apps, so you can leave the charger behind whenever you hit the office. That’s lesser than the ten hours Acer claims you acquire with this, but still not to be sniffed at.
Even when streaming Netflix non-stop, the Chromebook still manages close to eight hours of playback before giving up the ghost – first-class news if you’re off sick and you desire to binge through a heap of boxsets.
That said, while the Spin 11 roughly matches Acer’s Chromebook 14 for battery life, some opponents such as Google’s own Pixelbook do present an additional hour or two on top.
Why buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 11?
The most excellent Chromebook right now remains the Google Pixelbook, yet the Spin 11 has its own advantages for amazing that’s roughly a third of the cost. Mostly, that bendy design which permits you to change the device into a tablet, with zero fuss. It’s a far from wonderful setup, but it does the required job when you require a touchscreen device.
As with nearly all Chromebooks, you have to deal with some restrictions. Beyond that basic OS, performance on occasion is juddery, so you’ll want to limit yourself to fairly easy tasks. However, Spin 11 does present a pretty first-class screen for the price, as well as sturdy usability. And as ever, the battery life is hard.
A 2-in-1 Chrome OS laptop and tablet that approach with the ordinary strengths and weaknesses a Chromebook offers.