Acer is right up there with the top-ranking Chromebook manufacturers. It has been pretty consistent in the Chrome OS space with the production of back to back highly reliable machines like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713—which, in all honesty, is one of the best mid-range Chromebooks one can buy—and the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. Today, we have another Chrome OS laptop under the guillotine that hails from this Taiwanese company and is situated in the budget range of Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook Spin 11.
Unlike most of its siblings, the Spin 11 comes packed with an included Wacom stylus, so there’s that right off the bat. It also appears to be a solid unit, but that’s just pure speculation from our end, and the veracity of this has to be confirmed first. To do that, we’ve decided to take this device for a spin and gauge how it measures up against its competitors. This is to ensure that if you’re out in the market for a new Chromebook, the Spin 11 can be included in your list of potential candidates.
Therefore, in this article, we will review the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, find out its significant strengths and weaknesses, and leave our final thoughts on this gadget at the end. So without any further ado then, let’s get this party started.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 processor
- Display: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) LCD IPS touch-enabled display
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500
- Hard Drive Size: 32 GB eMMC SSD
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: HD Webcam (1280 x 720) with 88-degree wide-angle lens and HDR
- Ports: 2x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card reader slot
- Battery Type: 3-cell Li-Ion (3490 mAh) battery, 11-12 hours battery runtime
- Charging Speed: 50% in 45 minutes
- Weight: 2.96 lbs
- Price: $339
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 in-depth review
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a budget-range Chromebook that’ll set you back for somewhere around $250 but will offer you a sound and balanced Chrome OS experience with an included, high-quality stylus. At the time of writing, the device is available for purchase on Amazon. It is a top-rated product on the platform with more than 1,000 ratings and a stellar 4.6/5.0 overall rating that speaks volumes of this Chromebook’s capability. People who have bought the Spin 11 say that the device works right out of the box and has a remarkable build quality, although the unit is made of polycarbonate plastic and not aluminum.
This Chromebook has been launched to tackle the education space and give kids a tough stud of a device. This makes one go about tension-free about the safety of the device when it’s in the hands of a child. That is to say; the Spin 11 comes with military-grade durability with a bundle of drop tests and spill tests while being built strong enough to withstand a downward force of 132 pounds, which is roughly the weight of a small child. Furthermore, the device can tolerate liquid spills up to 11 ounces and drops from about 48 inches, redeeming itself as one of the toughest Chromebooks out in the market today.
The Spin 11 has an 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) touch-enabled display with antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The latter feature is quite impressive as not all Chromebooks boast active protection from bacteria and germs. But, again, although general in scale, this feature is primarily for keeping kids safe and ensuring that no amount of taps on the screen from different people can contribute to a health risk. Moreover, the screen is where the functionality of the included Wacom stylus shines. It’s a good, precise pen that responds nicely to light and heavy presses, making it efficient for your little one to draw and sketch.
To talk about the screen itself, it’s pretty average and nothing to write home about. Admittedly, the resolution isn’t FHD or anything similar, so acknowledge that the Spin 11 has a low-res screen with good viewing angles. The brightness, however, is quite adequate and doesn’t leave you squinting your eyes to catch what’s going on in the display, so there’s that.
As for the keyboard, the key travel is slated for merely 1.1 mm, which does seem quite a bit underwhelming on the specifications sheet, but don’t let those figures fool you. The Spin 11’s keyboard feels nice and tight, and we’re pretty impressed with the overall typing experience. Although it’s a relatively small, 11.6-inch Chromebook and the keys are compact, and the keyboard isn’t that wide, it’s still a decent quality component overall that won’t let you down for the days to come. It’s also spill-resistant up to 11 ounces of liquid, so the clumsiness of kids can be compensated.
Another great plus point is the port selection of the Spin 11. It boasts two USB-C ports for fast data transfers and charging speeds, two USB-A ports for legacy devices and other peripherals, a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot to expand the device’s storage. An ample number of ports always bodes well for Chrome OS, unlike the Lenovo Chromebook Duet that comes with a single USB-C port.
Let’s cast a lens on more of the negatives now in terms of design. The Spin 11 has a trackpad that screams budget quality. It’s a flat-out plastic component whose click mechanism could use some improvement. It’s not the worst trackpad out there, however, and some casual users won’t even tell the difference between this one and a quality trackpad. Accompanying the trackpad in disappointment are the speakers that are reasonably loud but lack depth and clarity. A quality set of speakers on the Spin 11 would’ve been exceedingly welcome.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a well-designed, sturdy device, but that’s not all a Chromebook should aspire to have. Luckily, the performance levels that this device dishes out are constant and reliable, allowing schoolgoing children and office workers alike to nail their day without breaking a sweat. It employs an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU with 4 GBs of RAM and a 32 GB eMMC flash memory. These essentials provide enough horsepower to conquer each day with excellent performance.
With that being said, we must stress that you should remain within the limits of the Intel Celeron N3350 processor since there’s only so much it can do. For instance, 8-10 open Chrome tabs, with a couple running high-quality YouTube videos with two or three open Play Store applications, are within the Spin 11’s capacity. At this pocket-friendly price of $250, we presume that this is nothing but fair.
Acer has created a single configuration for the Spin 11 with the specifications above.
3. Battery life
One great aspect of the Spin 11 is its battery life, which is, quite frankly, best in class if we’re to talk about its rivals. The device will provide a battery runtime of around 12 and a half hours, which is more than enough to last you a whole day of school or office.
Acer has managed to fit a 3-cell 3490 mAh Li-ion battery inside this machine that can charge up to 50% in 45-50 minutes. All in all, you’ll have a great time using the Spin 11 due to its excellent battery life, and we’re solid on this plus point.
4. Final thoughts
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is yet another fantastic product from this well-reputed company that doesn’t fail to hit the mark. It has a commendable design with a 2-in-1 convertible form factor coupled with the functionality of a Wacom stylus, offering users the flexibility of another input method effortlessly. In addition to that, you get a bang average HD display quality that’s sufficient for binge-watching television shows and anime.
At the end of the day, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is for all those people looking to get an affordable device with a quality keyboard, appreciable versatile design that’s portable as well, excellent battery life, and decent performance. For a price tag of $250, the Spin 11 is a worthy affair that we wouldn’t be shy to recommend. However, for its small number of cons, you get a lot to work with, and this is where the device proves its value to the world of Chrome OS.